The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Entries tagged [terrain]

Terrain Tutorial: Sleeper Caskets


Posted on Monday Mar 05, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

As entire planetary populations attempt to flee the destructive advance of the Maelstrom, many ships pressed into service as evacuation vehicles that not equipped with the facilities to carry large numbers of living, breathing passengers any distance. The obvious answer, where such technology is available, is to put at least some of the passengers into hibernation in sleeper caskets. This solution is not without its risks, however, as poorly maintained and over-used caskets may fail in transit, causing the interned to either wake up early or not at all. And, of course, in systems where the demand is high, the casket can easily wind up being worth more than the poor soul inside, resulting in unscrupulous captains selling off full caskets to equally morally-questionable Edge-dwellers. These new owners will either use the caskets themselves or sell them on at an even higher mark-up, sometimes back to the former occupant.

I hit on the idea of making sleeper caskets from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue a while back, for use as scatter terrain or as part of a larger terrain project, and I was keen to give it a go. This relatively easy build uses a few components from the terrain sprue, some plasticard, and some clear plastic. Read on to find out how it's done.



To start, take the two trapezoid windows and two reinforcing struts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.



You only need the long middle section of the strut, so use clippers or a hobby knife to cut through the rivet sections on either side.



Using plastic cement, glue the ends of the strut section to the trapezoid window frames as below. The inside surface strut should be flush with the inside edge of frame, so that the 'glass' top will sit neatly inside.



While the glue is setting, cut a rectangle of 2mm plasticard to fit inside the bottom. Bevel off the long edges so that they sit neatly against the inside surface of the struts. You can also add a layer of textured plasticard on top to provide a little surface detail to the inside of the casket.



If you're intending to use sprays or an airbrush to paint the casket, now is a good time to stop and do that. If you're brush-painting and think your hands are steady enough to not get paint over the 'glass' then you can easily leave painting until the end, although it may still be easier to do it now, particularly if you want to paint the inside - I've just left mine grey to provide some contrast against the white exterior.



When you're ready to proceed, take some transparent plasticard or other thin, clear plastic (blister pack plastic would probably work fairly well) and cut a 30mm wide rectangle that is just a fraction longer than the strut pieces. You want just enough overlap to glue (half to 1mm on either end) - if you make it too long, you'll have trouble getting it into the casket.



Use a ruler or other straight edge to fold two 10mm strips lengthwise down the plasticard, leaving another 10mm in the middle.





You can also cut pieces of plasticard to fit inside the trapezoid windows, to close in the ends of the casket. If you're not too finicky about details, you can leave this step out - the missing glass won't be too noticeable on the ends.



From there, wiggle the top glass into the casket (it may take some squeezing and a curse or two to go in) and glue it into either end. Add any final painting detail, and glue in the bottom.



Note - as an alternative to the above, back during your initial assembly you can just glue the struts to one of the windows and glue that assembly down to the back plate, and then glue the other window in place once the 'glass' is in.

To add a little extra detail to your casket, plastic models can be easily repositioned to fit inside the casket. The 'glass' can also be given a very light frosting of white spray, for a frozen look.



You can use stacks of caskets as line-of-sight blocking scatter terrain...



...although individual caskets will also make handy objective markers.



Of course, now that I've made up a bunch of caskets, at some point I need to make whatever might have been carrying them... Stay tuned!

To make your own sleeper caskets, you can pick up the terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here. As always, be sure to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Tutorial: The Foam Ball Cactus!


Posted on Monday Feb 12, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

You may have noticed by now that I make a lot of buildings. Sometimes, though, it's nice to get away from the urban sprawl, and venture out into the untamed countryside where enemy troops may wind up being less scary than the native flora and fauna.

If you were gaming back in the '90s, you might be familiar with some of the scratch-built terrain that was featured in White Dwarf magazine back then. One of my favourites, and a staple on many a scifi gaming table back then, was the foam ball and toothpick-spine cactus. It was a little goofy, but also really easy to make and looked rather effective on the table in place of all those mass-produced train set trees. So I thought it might be fun to revisit the idea, and see what I could do to modernise it a little and maybe remove some of the danger of taking out an eyeball while checking line of sight. And so I came up with this:



Staying true to the original, I found a bunch of different sized expanded polystyrene balls at a local discount store. To replace the old-school toothpick spines, I dug out an old toothbrush.



The first step is to give the foam balls a little touch-up with some fine sandpaper. This removes the mould line around the middle of the ball, and roughs up the outer surface a little to help the paint stick.



To make the ball easier to stick down to a base board, use a fine-tooth breadknife or other sharp knife to cut a slice off, making a flat surface for the bottom of the cactus.



Next we need to pike some holes in the ball to add the spines. Serendipitously, I used a toothpick, but anything pointy will do the job. Make the holes at least 5mm deep, although it doesn't hurt if they go in further. They're spaced around the ball in rough layers, without being too neat about it - slightly haphazard spacing adds to the organic look.



Toothbrush time! Take your toothbrush and, using a pair of pointy pliers, rip out a bunch of bristles. Try to hold them together - they tend to scatter if you're not careful when you let go.



Depending on how many bristles are in a clump, you might want to split the clump into halves or thirds, or use the whole thing as a single clump of spines. It's entirely up to the look you want.

In most toothbrushes, there is a small piece of metal in the fold at the base of the bristles that anchors them into the brush. Tease this out and discard it, and then separate the bristles into the size clump you want, being careful to put the extras down so that they stay together for later.



Dip the base of the bristle clump in some PVA glue, and then insert it into one of the holes in the foam ball. Mine have about half of the bristle inside the ball, to give them a good anchor and to stop them from splaying out too much.





Repeat until you have all of the holes filled with bristles.



For an older cactus, you can add extra nodules by slicing off a section on the top of the first ball and gluing the flat bottom of another ball into place on top. Reinforce with a toothpick glued in the middle, if you want a little extra strength. When that's set, poke in the holes and add bristles as above.





Mixing in some different configurations and different sized balls will help create a nice, varied look on the terrain piece.



To paint, first work around the holes with a pointy brush and a dab of brown wash or thinned brown or green paint to mask the white interior of the holes. (If you're more forward-thinking than me, you could alternatively do this before you glue the bristles in, which might be a bit easier!)



Then paint the rest. I've gone for standard green cacti, with red spines for some contrasting colour, but for alien flora you could obviously use whatever colours you please.



From there, glue your painted cacti onto a base board, and your cactus grove is ready for the table!







Do you have ideas for your own alien area terrain? We'd love to see them! Come along and share on the Comm Guild Facebook page.

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here, and you can find the Maelstrom's Edge model range and boxed game in the webstore here.

Terrain Spotlight: Mini Hab Domes from plastic bowls!


Posted on Monday Jan 15, 2018 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Throughout the galaxy, few structures hold up as well in hostile environmental conditions as the humble dome. They're durable, efficient, and as a bonus look nice and distinctive in a universe filled largely with pre-fabricated, angular structures. So here's a simple way to make yourself some small dome structures for your gaming table, using components from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, a little foam core board, some plasticard, and a plastic bowl.



As with the larger plantation dome that I made a while back, the basis for this building is a plastic bowl, in this case picked up in a pack of 8 from a local discount store for a couple of dollars.



I cut two rectangles of 5mm foam core board, about 30mm wide and the same height as the inside frame of one of the small doors from the terrain sprue. These formed the sides of the building's entrance, and so would need to be curved on the back sides in order to sit flush with the side of the dome.

Sitting one of the rectangles against the bottom rim of the dome, I measured the distance between the top corner and the dome, and marked that distance along the short edge of the foam core.



I then folded a piece of aluminium foil to made a long L-beam shape. With a pair of clippers, I made a series of cuts along one edge.



The uncut surface of the beam was then pressed against the side of the dome, with the cuts allowing it to bend to match the shape while the L-beam shape gave it enough rigidity to keep the curve when removed from the dome.



I then used the resultant curve to transfer the shape of the dome to the foam core, matching the foil beam up to the measured mark and the corresponding bottom corner of the entrance wall.



An exacto knife was used to cut along the drawn curve, angling the cut to account for the horizontal ci



With the addition of a piece of 1.5mm plasticard, cut to shape for the roof, the entrance tunnel was glued together and test fitted against the dome, with a little fine-tuning of the curve with the exacto knife allowing it to sit flush.



I wanted a little texture on the flat top of the dome, so I decided to use some grid-patterned plasticard. Not having a compass handy, I found a small drinking glass that fit neatly into the circular base of the bowl, and used this as a template to draw a circle on the plasticard. Once cut out, this circle was glued neatly into the recess.



For the windows, I took the trapezoid windows from the terrain sprue and trimmed down one side to help them sit almost vertically on the side of the dome.



To glue the windows in place, I grabbed a small offcut of foam core to use as a spacer, to ensure that the windows on either side of the building sat at the same height.



With everything glued in place, the building looked like this:



So, on to painting!

Because the dome is transparent, I sprayed a coat of primer inside to begin with. That way, if the outside of the dome gets a little scratched up from gaming use, it would show grey instead of clear.



The outside was then also primed grey.



The primer was followed with a coat of Army Painter Dragon Red.



I added a white stripe to break up the red a little, and painted some metal detail with P3 Pig Iron.



Finally, some sponge weathering and the roof tiles painted with Vallejo Heavy Charcoal, a quick wash with Army Painter Dark Tone for the metal parts and the roof, and some colour on the lights above the door, and the minidome was finished!









To build your own mini hab domes, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here. As always, feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!



For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Spotlight: Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue Tree Decorations!


Posted on Monday Dec 25, 2017 at 12:00AM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

With Christmas upon us, I wanted to add a bit of a holiday theme to this week's article, and so the only sensible option was to take the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue and build Christmas decorations from it!



Around this time of year you can usually find various DIY bauble kits that have plastic baubles that you can stick photos or other momentos inside, or that you can paint or otherwise decorate. This particular one I think came with some rubber stamps inside for making Christmas cards and the like.



I took four of the long reinforcing struts from the terrain sprue and gently bent them into a curve over a metal tube.





These were then glued around the bauble with all-plastic glue. I used a UHU glue that turned out to be not great for gluing these struts onto flat surfaces as it contracts when it dries, which bends the struts and pops them right off the surface they're glued onto. That very property makes it a perfect glue for attaching the struts to a curved surface, though, as it will make them fit more tightly to the bauble.



The struts don't run all the way down to the bottom of the bauble, so I took the large pipe fitting from the sprue, and used a hobby knife to carve the bottom surface out to make it concave.



This was then glued onto the bottom of the bauble.



Time to paint! A quick spray of grey primer:



Season lightly with some crushed rocksalt:



Spray with Army Painter Dragon Red:



Once the spray was dry, I scrubbed away the salt under running water:



The detail pieces were then painted with P3 Pig Iron:



I followed this up with a generous coat of my old favourite, Army Painter Strong Tone ink.



After sitting overnight for the ink to dry, a quick drybrush of Pig Iron and a little silver, and up it goes on the tree!



To build your own collection of mechanical... er... decorativeness, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain kit along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range from the webstore here. As always, we would love to see your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

Here's wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Tutorial: Blanket Door Coverings


Posted on Monday Nov 27, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Last week I put together the second part of my Broken settlement, with some buildings made from a cardboard gift box and an old fruit tin. The fruit tin still needed a door covering, and I wanted something that looked sufficiently rough and ready. I decided to go with an old blanket to serve as a makeshift door, which wound up looking like this:



To start with, I took a length of plastic rod and cut it to run across the doorway with a little overhang on either side. This would eventually sit in place at the top of the doorframe, poked through a couple of holes drilled into the tin on either side.



I then grabbed some crepe bandage and cut a piece a little longer than the rod, to allow it to bunch up. Bunched curtains look more interested than a flat sheet, unless you want to paint a design on, in which case a flatter surface is going to be easier to deal with.



Next I glued the bandage over the rod with some superglue, bunching it up so that the ends of the rod were sticking out, and folded over the rod far enough so that the bottom of the blanket would just touch the ground when hung in place.



Now comes the messy part - I mixed up some PVA glue with a little water. The exact amount of water is going to depend on how runny your PVA glue is, but you're aiming for around the consistency of pouring cream.



Then I dropped the bandage blanket in the glue and let it soak right in. When the glue dries, it will stiffen up the cloth, so you want it good and soaked through. If the glue is too thick, it doesn't soak in as well and you wind up with some parts of the blanket that are still soft and floppy, and others a goopy mess.



Once the bandage was nice and gluey, I hung it in place and arranged the folds to look as natural as possible, and then left it sit for two days to give it plenty of time to dry. Once dry, it will be stiff, but still slightly flexible. If it's too soft and doesn't hold its shape, you can stiffen it up a little more by painting on some additional glue, but try not to put it on too thick and fill up the weave of the fabric. If you have a brush-on superglue, you could also paint some of that onto the back of the blanket if it is accessible, but again, be sparing so you don't soak it into the weave and destroy the blanket look.



When the glue is properly dried, it's time to paint. I started out with a layer of Army Painter Strong Tone, but you could use whatever colour fits your terrain. If you use a wash or ink, make sure you give it plenty of time to dry, as the watery paint can cause the PVA glue to soften up again.



Once the wash was dry, I carefully drybrushed with some bone and white to highlight the raised parts of the blanket, and added a little more wash into the deeper creases for some extra shading.



And that's a job done!



You can also use a similar technique to hang blanket coverings over windows. On this one, the blanket is tacked onto the outside of the window frame. To attach the soaked bandage to the window, I added a drop of superglue to the top corners, let that set, and then carefully teased the wet blanket into the shape I wanted it:



The same was done here to hang a blanket inside this door frame. This is a door piece off the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue with the door cut out of the frame. The blanket is superglued in place at the top corners and down the sides of the door frame and then shaped and left to dry.



On my next terrain project, I'll also be using this to add some canvas roof coverings to a building that's seen better days... Stay tuned!

To build your own stellar refugee settlement, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge miniature range from the webstore here. As always, feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Building a Karist temple: how not to


Posted on Saturday Nov 25, 2017 at 05:33PM in Tutorials


Originally posted on Dakkadakka by Sgt.Oddball.



What follows is a brief overview of how I built this Karist temple, inspired by the stepwells seen most commonly in India. A couple mostly water-related things did not work out at first, so here’s how to avoid those things.



1. I took the lid from one of those boxes they put wine bottles in, measured things, and glued my foam stairs to the lid. The steps are sized to accommodate normal 25mm based dudes without them tipping over. At the back: I just used scraps of foam to hold everything up. I then used foam again to make the basin.



2. I then stacked bits of foam to create the rock around the stairs and the temple entrance.



3. With fingers, a hobby knife, a serrated knife and a hot soldering iron I shaped the foam to look like rock.



4. I then undercoated the whole thing with white textured wall paint. Next, I used a hobby paint mixture to make everything rocky a yellow-sandish colour. The inside of the basin was painted a bright blue. The rock was then washed in diluted brown paint and the water area highlighted with progressively lighter shades of blue-green (lighter towards edges). The rock was highlighted with probably the base colour again and then adding in a sandy colour and white. I also used various coloured washes (reds, greens, browns) to give the rock colour some variation. All highlighting is simple drybrushing/overbrushing. In the last picture, I’ve poured Woodland Scenics E-Z water in the basin and in the water source on top, which is a resin you melt before pouring. This is the first thing you should not do. This stuff was just not suitable for this purpose. It shrunk and cracked as it cured and had a yellowish tint.



5. It’s not at all easy to remove E-Z water once it’s set, especially if you want to keep the surrounding terrain in one piece. Getting rid of it involved trying all sorts of methods, eventually a chisel was most effective. I then tried a more familiar (to me) product, which is Woodland Scenics Realistic water. This is awesome stuff and gave me a very nice pool. For the water drop and a little ripple effect I used Woodland Scenics Water effects, which is also nice.

Then I did the second thing you should not do. I figured I could add some white to the water by mixing white paint into the Water effects stuff and applying it where appropriate. However, Water effects itself is white until it cures, hence I couldn’t see how much the white paint coloured the Water effects. Of course, I didn’t bother to test my batch (all this water stuff takes forever to cure and I have no patience). Turns out I used too much white paint and all my water now looked ridiculous (basically like that picture of the uncured Water effects). The thing is, it’s impossible to get rid of. I think I tried painting over the whole thing? Not sure. Anyway, in the end I decided it was time to once again dig out the whole basin.

This time was worse, as the Realistic water isn’t as easily chiselled as the E-Z Water. It stays a little soft. After much perseverance I got everything out, but I destroyed some of the paint job and actual foam bits around the basin. I had to redo all that and also build new steps into the water (round steps this time). Now that I knew what not to do, again using Realistic water and Water effects got me the desired result (still room for improvement, but I’ll leave that for another project).



6. The final steps were making temple doors with the Karist logo out of plasticard, and detailing. The Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue supplied a control panel. The doors were painted brown, then bronze, then drybrushed pewter and silver. The logo got various purple paints, washes and highlights. I used green weathering powder to colour the rock a bit in the crevices and then sprinkled on fine blended green turf for some moss, and the dried contents of some teabags around the edges of the basin to represent fallen leaves and such muck accumulating there. This muck, of, course, didn’t appear wet so I added a final coat of Realistic water (this is the white sheen you see in the last image). The colour from the tea bled a bit more than I’d like, so this is probably another thing I’d find a better procedure for next time. To finish up I glued some coarser, darker green turf to the rock to represent vines, washed that with a brown wash and then highlighted with an olive colour. I then broke a skewer in two and wrapped the ends in narrow masking tape to make two torches and planted these near the entrance, painted brown and metallic.

And that’s basically it! Apart from messing around with the water a lot (this cost me so much time, it ain’t funny), it’s a fairly simple project.

Terrain Spotlight: Broken Settlement, part 2


Posted on Monday Nov 20, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

This week, I'm continuing on with the construction of the Broken settlement that I started a few weeks back, which you can find round about here, by adding in another 'renovated' building and a converted water tank shelter.



I fast-forwarded a little on construction by grabbing a small building that I made some time ago for a video showing how to make a building from a cardboard gift box and the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue (which you can find on Youtube here). This was partly painted as a test run for the sponge-weathering that I used on the first building for this settlement.



Clearly, this building was still far too pretty looking to fit into a Broken settlement, so I added a bunch of patch-plating using plasticard and corrugated cardboard, and added some mesh over the windows on the sides. I also built a framework on the roof to create a makeshift shelter or sentry point.



The companion building for the gift box one is made from an old fruit tin. This received a good wash and had the label removed, and then I cut a squarish hole in the side to serve as a doorway.



I cut a bunch of reinforcing struts from the terrain sprue to fit neatly down the sides of the tin.



With the addition of some patches, a hatch on the roof and a lean-to on the side, the old tank was ready for painting.



To sit the buildings on, I cut a 12" square of masonite, with a couple of smaller pieces glued on top - a rectangle for the gift box building and a square for the tank. These were cut to size and then sanded around the edges to smooth down the burrs. I then gave the top surface a light sand to break up the shine and give it some texture for drybrushing later, and then glued the building foundation pads on with PVA glue.



Everything in place, ready for painting:



Because the gift box building was already mostly painted, I could skip straight to the detail work. To check how the main bit was done, check out the first article linked back up at the start of this one.

The various metal patches were given a coat of a rough mix of Vallejo Beasty Brown and black.





Over this went a light drybrush of P3 Pig Iron.





This was followed by a generous coat of Army Painter Strong Tone.





The pipe on the back wall was painted with a coat of Citadel Beaten Copper, and then given a light drybrush of Vallejo Sick Green.





Meanwhile, the tank was given a spray inside and out with black Rustguard, to prevent it from rusting through the paint down the track.





I then masked off the detail parts of the tank building with some masking tape.



The came a coat of Rust-oleum Oil Washed Bronze. This is a rust-preventing primer like the black, so could have actually gone straight over the bare tin without the layer of black, but I wanted to make sure it was good and dark. The black base helps this without having to spray the bronze on too heavy, as it gets a bit goopy and rough.





When the bronze was dry, I sprayed lightly over the top surface of the tank with some Army Painter Dragon Red, and then flipped the tank upside down and sprayed lightly around it so that the red caught in the undersides of the tin's corrugations without coating the whole thing in red.



I then drybrushed the whole thing lightly with Pig Iron, going a little heavier on the detail parts to make them stand out a little from the darker tank. The detail parts were then washed with some Strong Tone, and a few puddles of Strong Tone scattered around on the top surface.



While all of this was going on, I undercoated the based board with some flat black, and then gave it a coat of a flat medium grey. I deliberately use a range of different greys to basecoat my 'concrete' terrain bases, to help reduce the uniformity of the vast expanse of concrete on the table. If you look around in a city that has a lot of concrete structures, the colours vary considerably depending on the age of the concrete and the specific mix used, so it creates a better sense of realism on the gaming table if you carry this across in your painting.





To finish off the base, it was given a drybrush of Vallejo Light Grey mixed roughly with white, and then some patches of worn grime were added with a light drybrush of Beasty Brown, on both the base and the gift box building.





With the addition of a couple of final details (some lettering above the tank's doorway, the light above the door and the comm panel screen), this little building cluster is about done for now.





The tank still needs a blanket door covering, which I'll be going through in an upcoming tutorial, and I will go back over all of the buildings in the settlement to add some more characterful detailing once I have some more of the bulking out done, but it's at a point where it's not going to look out of place on the table as-is.











So what's next?

Aside from the door covering for the tank, I'll be moving on to another building section that will have some challenges in the roofing department and some sort of interesting detail in the courtyard.



Stay tuned for more!

To build your own stellar refugee settlement, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue from the webstore here. As always, feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Spotlight: Broken Settlement, part 1


Posted on Monday Oct 30, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

With the release of the Broken adding a long-awaited third faction to the Maelstrom's Edge universe, it seemed fitting to take a break from tinkering with the shiny new models to add some appropriate terrain to the table. So this week, I broke out some gift boxes that I had waiting for an opportune moment, grabbed some terrain sprues and got to work!



The core of the first building for my new Broken settlement is a 20cm x 15cm cardboard gift box. The plan was to more or less follow the style of my earlier gift box buildings, but with the addition of some faction-appropriate wear and tear and rough repair work.



I started by cutting out holes in the box for windows and doors, using a sharp hobby knife.



To break up the box shape a little, I cut away one corner of the box, 6cm along each side. Flipped over, this corner piece fits back in place as a recessed balcony.



I cut a hole in one wall of the balcony to add a door, and cut a matching corner off the box lid, which would form the walled roof of the building.



From there, it was time to glue the box onto a square of masonite, and start detailing. To make the building look like it had been through some rough times, I modified the rectangular shutter windows from the terrain sprue. For the first one, I carefully cut out the shutter using a hobby knife, and then glued some aluminium mesh over the front of the window frame.



Rather than making all of the windows the same, I made different modifications to the other windows. On one, I glued some plastic flyscreen and a square of corrugated cardboard over the front of the frame, another had the shutter replaced with a piece of crepe bandage soaked in watered-down PVA glue, and on the last one I cut away just the lowest section of the shutter.



The terrain sprue parts were glued in place with superglue, and then I added some patches cut from thin plasticard and corrugated cardboard to the walls of the building.



The door on the balcony received a blanket in place of the original door with another piece of glue-soaked bandage, and a couple of ladders were used to create a railing. A pipe made from pieces of sprue joined with some plastic tubing and a vent made from a large pipe fitting with some aluminium mesh glued inside finished off the detailing on the back.



The building was still looking a little boxy, so I decided to break up the silhouette a bit more with the addition of a watchtower on the roof. This was constructed from a piece of gift box lid left over from a previous project, and some pieces cut from the ends of the terrain sprue. The ladder was glued in place with another couple of sprue pieces forming the hand grips at the top.





With construction complete, it was time to break out the paint. I started with a base coat of flat grey.





Over that went a thin layer of flat white. I didn't want this to be perfectly smooth and pristine, shining white, so kept the coat thin enough for the grey to show through a little. Once the spray was dry, some weathering was added with a sponge and some Vallejo Neutral Grey.



The metal patches and any other parts that I wanted bare metal were painted with a coat of Vallejo Beasty Brown, and then given a rough coat of P3 Pig Iron.



The base was painted with a coat of Vallejo Neutral Grey, and then a drybrush of Vallejo Light Grey, with some patches of Beasty Brown added to dirty things up a little. A splash of Army Painter Strong Tone over the metal bits and blankets, and a rough coat of Citadel Ultramarines Blue over a couple of the metal patches, and the building was pretty much table-ready.



There is still a little detail work to go, but some of that will wait until I get some more of the settlement completed so that I can match details across the different buildings to tie everything together.







So what's next?

I will be adding a couple of smaller gift box buildings with some varying levels of damage and delapidation, and I have some plans for a large peach tin that was rather conveniently opened the other day. The outsides of the buildings will gain some awnings and banners and the like, and I'll scatter some scrap around to add some flavour (and also some handy cover).



Stay tuned for more!

To build your own stellar refuge settlement, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue from the webstore here. As always, feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Tutorial: Streetlights


Posted on Monday Sep 11, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

When you're putting together an urban table, little 'real' details can help immensely to bring it all to life. With that in mind, we shared a tutorial a little while back for creating simple hedges made from kitchen scourers and flock. This week we're adding to the urban chaos, and using up some of that leftover sprue, with some quick and easy streetlights.



The Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue has a whole slew of useful components on it, but it also has a nice, rounded frame that is itself rather handy for making pipes, railings or, in this case, streetlight poles. I'm using three emptied sprues (the smaller side of the two frames that make up the terrain sprue), three small pipe fittings, a striplight, some 6mm plastic tubing and some .75mm plasticard.



The first step is to take the striplight and cut it into 3 sections. You can do this with a sharp hobby knife if you're patient and not too attached to your thumbs, but a razor saw and hobby mitre box makes the job a lot easier.





Trace around one of the end sections of the cut striplight to transfer the shape of the light's side panel to the plasticard, and then cut out four panels - 1 each for the light sections from either end, and two for the middle section.



Glue these panels in place. Once the glue is dry, you can shave or file the edges of the panels down so that they are flush with the shape of the light.



The sprue frame has one end that has no connection tabs on it. This end will form the pole for the light. Cut three of them as below:



On the straight end of each of the poles, add a short piece of the plastic tube - I've used a 10mm section, but the exact length isn't important so long as it's consistent on all of your lights.



The tube then goes into the pipe fitting.



From the leftover sprue, cut three identical connection tabs.



The light is glued in place on the bent end of the pole, and the connection tab is glued on top to add a little detail and bulk up the joint to match the end of the pole.



If you're intending to glue the lights onto your terrain, then you're done (aside from painting, obviously). If you want to be able to use the streetlights as scatter terrain, then you might want to glue them to a slightly larger base to make them more stable. You could use a small circle of MDF or plasticard, a spare miniature base, or alternatively the square hatch from the terrain sprue serves for a more high-tech solution.



From there, it's all down to painting. The lights shown here have been painting using the weathered metal formula that features in so many of my articles - You can find the tutorial here.





And that brings us to a close once more. Time to pop the chairs up on the tables, grab our umbrellas and saunter off into the gathering dusk...



To put together your own scifi urban utopia, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue in a handy two-pack from the webstore here.



As always, feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Spotlight: The Galactic Wanderer


Posted on Monday Aug 21, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

When I shared my Hedge Tutorial a few weeks ago, there was a comment made that they looked like they would be right at home in some sort of scifi trailer park. Well, I'm not one to let a challenge like that go unanswered, and so... the Galactic Wanderer was born.



Like many of my terrain builds, this all started with some foam core and a bunch of parts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.



I cut a fairly basic, old-school caravan shape from the foamcore, and cut holes for a door and some windows.



The body of the caravan was glued together with foam glue (a white glue that I picked up a while back. It may well just be overpriced PVA glue, but it does a good job of gluing foam and grabs a little faster than a lot of PVA glues that I have tried) and the door and windows glued in place.



A strip of windows cut from a garage door fit quite nicely along the front wall.



An awning cut from a piece of 2mm plasticard provides a nice break in the regular shape of the caravan, and is totally there for aesthetic reasons and not at all to help conceal the fact that the strip of windows actually wound up just a little bit wonky. I also added a towbar made from a section of old sprue, a hatch in the roof, and rested the construction on some 'bricks' cut from discarded pieces of foamcore.



To help with the scifi vibe, unstead of wheels this caravan has some turbines made from the small pipe fitting from the terrain sprue with some turbines from the Epirian Drone sprue behind them. And finally, a large pipe fitting, trimmed off with a razor saw and with some strips of plasticard glued inside provides some ventilation.



A quick spray and some striping later, and the compact, budget-conscious home of the future is ready for housing stellar refugees or indulging the wanderlust of the more well-to-do.



A better look at the caravan's 'wheels':





To build your own holiday villa or mobile refugee camp of the future, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue from the webstore here. As always, feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Tutorial - Hedges


Posted on Monday Jul 31, 2017 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Stands of forest or jungle trees are staples of most of our gaming collections. Sometimes, though, you want your greenery to suit a more civilised warzone, and for that, you just can't go past the humble hedge. So this week, we're looking at a quick and easy way to churn out some shrubby scatter terrain.



We start with a thick kitchen scourer. For a standard green hedge, you would ideally want a dark green or black scourer, although you could easily use other colours to make alien hedges. The scourer I'm using here is about 20mm thick, and has a really coarse texture. You could use thinner scourers by gluing a couple together, but that may wind up with a visible seam line.



Cut the scourer into strips using a sharp knife or a fine saw. The width of the strips is up to you, depending on how tall you want to make your hedges.



Next, paint the strips of scourer with some PVA glue. Work the glue into the weave of the scourer a little, but try to not leave any big lumps of glue right on the surface, as that may make the outside of your hedge a little blobby.



Finally, scatter flock over the glue. You'll get the best results here with a fine grade flock, which you should be able to find in most gaming stores' modeling supply sections or anywhere that sells model trains. Don't use the chunkier, dyed-sawdust stuff - it will just wind up looking like dyed sawdust stuck to a sponge.



Let the glue dry, and you could easily use your hedges as is to stick onto terrain pieces or scatter around a table. For a slightly more urban look, you can add some boxwork to them using strips of plasticard or the support struts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. For the below, I've used a strip of 5mm masonite as a base, which will help to give the hedge section a little more weight.



Paint the boxwork up however suits your terrain collection, and then glue the hedges in place with some superglue or PVA glue.



You can mix things up a little by making sections in different heights, to create some lower cover and some full line-of-sight-blocking barriers. Battle damage can be added by cutting or tearing away pieces of the scourer before adding the flock.



To create a burnt effect, I left the flock a bit patchy around the damaged part of the hedge, and once the glue was dry gave it a quick spray with some flat black, followed by a light dusting of flat grey.



If you want to get really carried away, you can also shape the scourer using a knife or some sturdy scissors and create some topiary features.



The trunk of this ball topiary was made from a short piece of a wooden skewer, dyed with a little brown ink and then glued into the scourer ball with superglue.



If this all has your green thumb itching, grab yourself some scourers and hedge away! As always, feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page - first one to post a miniature garden maze for their gaming table wins a cookie! (Or possibly just the adulation of the masses and fleeting fame...)

You can find the full range of Maelstrom's Edge models, including the ever-useful terrain sprue, in the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here, and a collection of modeling articles, tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects in the article roundup here.

Terrain Spotlight: Experimental Cybel Gate


Posted on Monday Jul 10, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

As the Maelstrom's apocalyptic conflagration closed in on the planet Devlin IV, rumours began to circulate amongst those still desperately trying to find passage off-world that scientists in a secret Epirian Foundation facility had been working on a new kind of Cybel gate that might prove to be their salvation. Whilst most Cybel gates are massive, space-borne affairs, this gate would supposedly operate from the planet's surface! While the rumour would ultimately lead to disappointment, as the project had been a dismal failure, it nevertheless gave temporary hope to many who had given up on escaping the Maelstrom's wrath and fueled a frantic search for this device.





I had an idea a while back for a table themed around a Cybel gate research facility, where the experimental gate would form a centrepiece that would double as both a cool focal point and a potential objective for scenario-driven games. Capturing a resource such as this would, of course, be a worthy goal for any of the various forces encountered in Maelstrom's Edge, and there is all sorts of additional potential for thematic events when the gate is activated. Below is what I came up with, built from foamcore, cardboard, and components from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.

I started out creating the basic shape for the gate by tracing two concentric circles onto a sheet of 5mm foamcore and cutting the resultant ring out with a hobby knife.



I then used the foamcore ring as a template to make two more rings from thick card.



The circle cut from the inside of the foamcore ring was the perfect size to act as a base, with a channel cut down the middle for the ring to sit in.



The three rings were glued together, and set in place to check the fit.



Next, I cut a bunch of trapezoid shapes from plasticard, sized to fit neatly inside the trapezoid window from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.



These were glued at intervals around one side of the ring.



Over these, I glued 5 trapezoid windows, with power units cut from the bottom of the energy-fence posts glued around the outside of the ring.



I took a ladder and cut the outside edges off with a razor saw.



A second ladder was glued to a sheet of flyscreen, and then the flyscreen trimmed around the edges of the ladder and the cut pieces from the first ladder glued onto either side.



The base was bulked up a little with another layer of foamcore.



I then used a file to carve out an angled ramp down the front of the base.



The ladder assembly slots neatly into the ramp recess.



Finally, I put together a control panel using a light fixture and three trimmed computer panels.



With the addition of some legs made from trimmed down energy-fence posts, the control panel was glued in place, and the gate was ready for painting.



I wanted a bit of contrast in the gate assembly, so decided to go with a coppery ring and darkened steel details. To get started, I sprayed the ring with Army Painter Army Green, partly to give a nice base layer for the copper and partly because I didn't have a lot of time for painting this week, and the Army Painter sprays dry nice and quickly...



Over the green, I did a couple of coats of some old Citadel copper that I had laying around.



The base was sprayed with a medium grey colour.



I then picked out the steel parts with black. It's a little hard to see in this lighting, but I also drybrushed the base with a light grey and added some dirt scuffing with some lightly drybrushed brown.



The ring was given a couple of coats of Army Painter Strong Tone, and the steel parts drybrushed with P3 Pig Iron and then washed with Army Painter Dark Tone.



Finally, the control panel screens and some hazard lines were added, and the ring was given a light drybrush with silver to lift the edges a little.









If you would like to build your own experimental Cybel gate, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue from the webstore here. As always, feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Spotlight: Giftbox Garage


Posted on Monday Jul 03, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

A while back, I shared a scifi western-themed building constructed from a Plast Craft Games plastic kit and the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. This week, I wanted to have another try at that vaguely-western, raise-facade, scifi styling, but with more of a mass-produced, cheap colony building sort of vibe. Something a little more urban, but with a nod back to the frontier. This is what I came up with:



This is built from one of my favourite bases - the good old cardboard giftbox.



You can pick these up from just about anywhere that sells giftwares or from many craft shops, and they're generally fairly inexpensive. Craft shops will also often have raw cardboard versions without the printing on the outside, which does have the bonus of looking slightly less hideous while you're putting it together, but can have a rougher surface texture.

For my previous giftbox buildings, I used the lid upside down on top to form a walled-in roof area. This time, I used the lid for the facade. So the first step was to cut the lid to the height that I wanted the front of the building. I also cut away the end wall of the box, so that the hole for the front door only needed to go through the facade - The door inset is deeper than the width of the card, so would I otherwise have needed to cut a second door hole in the end of the box and hope that they lined up properly.



Speaking of a door hole: I took the garage door from the terrain sprue, sat it in place against the facade, and traced around the back of it before cutting out the resultant rectangle. The garage door was then glued in place.



The same process was used on the intact end of the box to add a small door and shutter window from the terrain sprue.



The facade was then glued in place.



I glued a couple of support struts onto either side of the building, for a little texture.



A row of lintel pieces from the terrain sprue were glued onto the top edge of the back wall.



I then layered strips of plasticard along the roof, working up towards the front of the building.



The final building, ready for painting:





Quick and easy paintjob, that will be quite familiar for anyone who has been following these articles. I started with a black spray undercoat, to give a solid layer to cover over the printing.



This was followed by a spray of flat grey, and while this was still wet I oversprayed this from above with a lighter grey to add a little bit of a natural highlight.



The metal parts were then picked out with Vallejo Beasty Brown.



Then a drybrush of P3 Pig Iron.



Then a wash of the most useful paint on the planet: Army Painter Strong Tone.



A final drybrush of silver over the metal bits and some detail work, and the newest addition to the table is ready to go.







This design can be very easily tailored to different buildings through using different sized boxes and choosing different sprue components. If you would like to build your own, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue from the webstore here. As always, feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Spotlight: Landing Pad


Posted on Monday Jun 19, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

Terrain is a bit of a passion of mine. It can make such a difference to your games having a table full of nice-looking terrain pieces, and this is helped along with the addition of a shiny, impressive centre piece to dominate the battlefield.

With that in mind, I set to work this week to build a landing pad for my table. Landing pads look great visually, can be easily tailored from game to game with the addition of some crates, landing craft or other small terrain features on top and make for nice line of sight blockers in the middle of the table.



I started out, as so many of my projects do, with a few Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues and a sheet of 5mm foamcore. A dinner plate served as a handy template for the pad itself.



After tracing around the plate, I drew in an inset rectangle on opposing sides, to break up the circular shape a little in order to make the pad a little more visually interesting. The the shape was cut out with a hobby knife, and some guide lines drawn on for some detailing.



A round detail in the centre of the pad was created from the large pipe fitting, cut down to match the thickness of the support struts. I used a couple of spare struts as height gauges for a razor saw to cut through the pipe fitting sideways.



I then laid support struts out along the guide lines, cutting them to length so that they extended to the edges of the pad.



For some detail around the edge of the pad, I took some more support struts and rolled them carefully over a glue primer tube to give them a curve.





These were then glued around the edges of the pad, and held in place with some hat elastic until the glue set.



A landing pad on the ground is functional enough, but not much good for blocking line of sight, and certainly won't impress the neighbours. So I made a formwork from some more foamcore to go under the pad. In between each of the formwork supports, I spaced some off-cuts of foamcore to serve as guides for the outer wall.



The outer wall was made from thick card, which was bent around the outside of a coffee mug.



This was then glued in place around the outside of the support formwork, with the help of a few cardboard tabs to reinforce the joints.



A little more foamcore and some doors from the terrain sprue created the bare bones of a control tower.



This will have multiple access points, through the lower door, a second door off the pad surface, and a ladder from the ground to the control platform. The ladder can be just glued directly to the wall, but this never looks quite right to me, as it would make climbing it a little problematic unless you cut recesses in behind it. In this case, I decided to space it out from the wall instead, using some off-cuts from the terrain sprue lintel piece.



Because the inside of the upper door can be seen from the control platform, I used a second door on the inside wall. Two doors back to back are a little thick for 5mm foamcore walls, so I trimmed the inner door's back down flush so it would fit in neatly.



The floor of the platform was made from some tile-pattern plasticard, with a recess created for the inner door - this would have a short ladder up to the main platform.



I also made some computer terminals using some computer panels and lintels.



Opposite the control tower will be a lift. I wanted this to be functional, just for a little fun. So I made a wall section from some textured plasticard and glued on a couple of picture hooks that I had flattened out with some pliers and a hammer.



The lift platform was made from a rectangle of foamcore with detailing around the edges provided by some lintels and a support strut. On the bottom of one of the long sides I affixed some nice, strong, rare earth magnets. These allow the lift platform to be attached anywhere along the flattened picture hooks, and are strong enough to hold it up even with models standing on it.



The base of the platform still needed some more detail, so I made some buttresses to going around the perimeter. These are just a wedge of foamcore and some pieces cut from support struts. Normally I layer a piece of 5mm and a piece of 3mm foamcore to match the width of the support strut, but this time I decided to go for something a little more visually striking and just used a piece of 5mm foamcore with extra reinforcing pieces added on either side.



These buttresses were then glued around the base of the platform, lining up with the support struts on the platform top.



The top of the platform needed some more detail, and so I cut some wedges of card to slot in between the support struts.



These were sprayed black, and then painted with a coat of PVA glue and pressed onto some plastic flyscreen. I used a sharp hobby knife to cut around the edges.



(Spraying them black before gluing the flyscreen on makes painting a little easier, as it can be tricky to cover all of the tiny little nooks and crannies in the flyscreen)

While the glue was setting on the flyscreen, I took the time to glue the landing pad down onto a base board of masonite. A handy, nearby gumball dispenser filled with marbles served as a weight to help the glue bond everything nice and tight.



When everything was set, I glued the flyscreened wedges into place on the platform, and added some landing lights made from small pipe fittings and offcuts of sprue.



With the control tower then glued in place and a row of trapezoid windows added for controller protection, a ramp up to the lift built on the other side of the pad, and a few other little details here and there, construction was complete.











Painting was kept fairly simple: I basecoated with black spray, and then added a coat of grey for the base and walls. The metal parts were then painted using my weathered metal method shown here. Add in the details (including the obligatory hazard striping) and the job's done!















If you would like to build your own landing pad, or if this has sparked some ideas for some other terrain pieces, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue from the webstore here. As always, feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

Terrain Spotlight: Comm Tower


Posted on Monday Jun 05, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

One of the things I really enjoy about working with the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue is that with a little imagination and a sharp knife, there are so many potential uses for most of the parts. I think I've used the ladders, energy fences and pipe fittings far more as other things than I have for their original purposes.

This week's build is no exception, as I had a bit of a brain-flash as I was looking at the energy fence posts and decided to build a communications array!



The main focus of this terrain piece is, of course, the cross-shaped array on the roof. The transceiver panels on this array are each built from a fence post and a series of hexagonal shapes cut from a sheet of plasticard. I cut a few test panels from cardboard to get the size and shape right, and then used one of those cardboard testers as a template to mark out the plasticard.



Once cut and cleaned up, the panels had a small length of plastic rod glued to the back, and then glued in place onto the fence post.



The four resultant transceiver arms were glued onto a pair of trapezoid windows to form the array. I sat this on a post made from plastic tubing and some pipe fittings, with a control panel mounted on the front for servicing and fine-tuning - because as any sci-fi buff would tell you, intergalactic regulations require any piece of important equipment to have a control interface positioned somewhere accessible from outside, but exposed to enemy shooting.



The array obviously needed something to stand on, so I made a basic building frame out of foamcore.



I set a hatch into the roof, and surrounded this with a railing made from a cut-up ladder - because while the control panel needs to be exposed, the Epirian Foundation still (on paper, at least) follows strict OH&S standards.



I wanted to use trapezoid windows in the sides of the building, to tie back to the shapes in the array, but they needed to look different to the array centre to reduce the number of people looking at the building and asking why it had windows on its aerial. So I cut some pieces of aluminium mesh to fit snugly inside the window frames.



With everything glued in place, the comm building looks like this:







I kept the painting on this one a fairly simple grey, to match some other terrain from previous articles. The building section was sprayed with a medium grey undercoat, and the array sprayed red on the less important parts and black on the transceiver plates and 'moving' parts.



The building then had a light spray with a lighter grey, pitched from above so that the darker grey would stay in the indentations and form some natural shadows. The array and the metal parts on the building were painted using the weathered metal recipe from the article here. Then I finished up with weathering added with drybrushed brown, the door light and control panel screen painted in blue, and then added a couple of printed signs and some fineliner graffiti on the side and back walls.













A cheery, grey city in progress...



If you would like to build your own communications array, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue from the webstore here. As always, feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.