The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Entries tagged [walkthrough]

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: 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.

Terrain Spotlight: Catwalks


Posted on Monday May 22, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

As the Maelstrom creeps inexorably across the galaxy bringing Armageddon to world after world, many wars are fought in the shadow of once great cities. Where once were towering beacons of hope, the shining pinnacle of human endeavour, now lies ruin - seething hives of scum and villainy where only the strong survive.

For those inclined to less flowery prose: I thought it might be fun to explore what could be done to create multi-level terrain using the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, for games set within the gloomy nether regions of gigantic cities on those worlds where everything has just gone a little bit wrong. Within these cities would be various tall structures linked by ladders and catwalks - essential if you want to get around without having to leap onto the roof of a passing taxi!



So this week, I'll be presenting a few ideas for different ways to construct catwalks to link your buildings together. Starting with the bare bones, Evil-Overlord-thinks-minions-don't-deserve-handrails version:



This is simply a strip of 5mm foamcore cut to an appropriate length, with some panel lines scored across at intervals with a razor saw (you could do the same with a hobby knife, but the saw helps to keep a consistent width and depth). The edges are covered up with reinforcing struts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.



For the slightly more OH&S-conscious city builder, here's example 2:



This is another strip of 5mm foamcore, but this time I've used ladders from the terrain sprue glued sideways along the edges to create handrails.



This catwalk is also a little narrower than the first. Varying the width of your catwalks allows for some visual variety, and also mixes up how the catwalk will function in-game, by changing what can fit on it, and whether or not troops will be able to easily block off enemy advances along it.

For something with a little more texture, example 3:



This one starts with another strip of foamcore, but this time I have glued a sheet of aluminium mesh to the top. Support struts from the terrain sprue are cut to size and glued around the perimeter of the top to hold the mesh down and cover the cut edges, and more support struts run around the outside edge of the foamcore to pretty things up.

The handrails are made using the top halves of half a dozen energy fence poles, with the railings cut from lengths of 1.5mm x 2mm plastic rod.



For a break from foamcore, the base of the catwalk can be made from plasticard or sturdy cardboard:



This catwalk uses 1.2mm plasticard, with some embroidery mesh cut to size and glued on top to add some texture, interspersed with support struts from the terrain sprue. The handrails are made from lintel pieces from the terrain sprue topped with leftover window strips cut from doors I used a few weeks back for barriers in my scatter terrain article.



And finally, the freestanding version:



Back to the foamcore for this one, with the embroidery mesh once again providing some detail on the top. The handrails use the bottom halves of the fence posts used for the 3rd catwalk, with railings made from 1.6mm round plastic rod. The legs are door frames that were also left over from the scatter terrain article.



These are obviously just scratching the surface. You can easily mix up these designs by changing the dimensions or detailing. Replacing the foamcore with sturdy mesh gives you a more open, industrial style. You could even build some junction pieces and lay out catwalks on the table for a space corridor bug-fight!

Where to from here? One of my next projects will be to create some matching buildings to hang these off, based around modular bulkheads like this:



If you're feeling inspired and need more catwalks in your life, 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 Walkthrough: Western-themed SciFi Building


Posted on Monday Mar 13, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

A few weeks back, I built an Epirian Stockyard, just to get an idea of how some more rustic styling would fit into the Maelstrom's Edge universe. So it was with a fairly large amount of delight that I stumbled this week upon some fantastic, inexpensive, western-styled building kits from a company called Plast Craft Games. These are made from die-cut PVC sheets, and make a perfect base for customisation - in this case, with the addition of some parts from the Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue to make a scifi frontier-town building.





The original kit comes as a single PVC sheet, with the cut panels attached with a few lugs. The PVC is soft enough to cut easily, and while there was some warping of some of the panels (I'm assuming from the pressure of the cutting process) they bend back into shape readily enough. The fact that the woodgrain shown in the store pics of the kit was actually embossed onto the parts was a nice surprise - I had been assuming that was just painted detail.



So, the first step was to remove all of the panels from the sheet and clean off the attachment lugs. I was a little surprised to find printing on the outer facings of the building pieces - as I inadvertently discovered three-quarters of the way through assembly, this is actually a sheet of protective film that peels off, once you know about it... It's not mentioned in the mostly-pictorial assembly instructions.



The opening for the door on the front wall turned out to be exactly the right height for the terrain sprue door, although I had to widen it a little. This was the work of a moment with a steel ruler and an exacto knife, and then I did the same for the window, which needed to be widened just a fraction and lengthened a bit. These parts could then be glued in with superglue.



The back wall of the building doesn't have any openings, but I decided to add a second door for in-game versatility. This was done by tracing around the door frame and cutting out a hole for it with the exacto knife and ruler again.



From there, the rest of the building could be assembled. There are some timber braces that run vertically up the edges of each all to disguise the panel joins. I left these on the front and back wall, but flipped them over to hide the woodgrain so that they could be painted as metal to match the terrain sprue parts. Then I added the terrain sprue reinforcing pieces on the side walls and roof, and added a railing to the front porch using a trimmed-down ladder.





(The porch roof and rails are still unglued at this point, to make painting the front of the building easier.)

Time to paint!

I started with a spray of grey undercoat all over.



Parts that I wanted to be metal were then given a coat of Vallejo Beasty Brown.



This was followed with a light drybrush of Citadel Boltgun Metal (Leadbelcher, for the newcomers)



Then the whole building was given a generous wash with Army Painter Strong Tone.



Once dry, the wash was cleaned up a little in a few places where it hadn't covered quite right, and then the wood areas were drybrushed with P3 Jack Bone, with some white mixed in for some lighter areas - this was intended to give the wood an uneven, weathered appearance. The metal parts were also given a light drybrush with the Boltgun Metal again.



At that point, all that was left was to paint up the lights on top of the doors (Citadel Ice Blue with a drybrush of white) and the green-orange-red lights on the door lock panels, give the moving parts of the door locks a coat of Boltgun Metal to make them stand out from the rest of the weathered metal parts, and to paint the sign on the front wall.













So while Lieutenant Bob there takes up his sniping position on the roof, and I go off to make up a town's-worth of these and track down some models for the Serenity crew, we mosey off into the sunset once more.

If you're feeling a similar urge to misbehave, you can find the Plast Craft Games range in various hobby stores and through their own webstore and you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue 2-pack from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here.

As always, we'd love to see what you come up with, so feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

Terrain Walkthrough: Plantation Dome


Posted on Monday Mar 06, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

On many frontier worlds, terraforming is still underway when colonists move in and start trying to install some sort of civilisation on everything. Where conditions are less favourable, this can require mean that non-native vegetation can need a little help getting established.

One of my very early ideas when the Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue was first released into my eager little hands was for a small bio-dome-style structure where food or other useful plants would be grown during the process of making the planet fully habitable. It's taken a while to get back to it, but this is what I eventually came up with:





The foundation for this building was a plastic salad bowl, found at a local discount store.



I built a 'gateway' building, to be installed into the side of the dome. This would form a sort of airlock, to allow for environment control inside the dome, and also function as a storeroom for whatever tools or drones were used to maintain the plantlife inside.



To install the airlock, I carefully cut a square hole into the side of the bowl. Apparently I wasn't quite careful enough, as the fairly brittle plastic cracked just as I was almost finished cutting. (Note for next time - use a razor saw rather than trying to get clever with an exacto knife!) I decided to go with it anyway, as a little damage on battlefield terrain obviously isn't the end of the world.



The gateway building was prettied up with doors, control panels and some reinforcing from the terrain sprue.



The hole in the side of the bowl is 5mm too short for the gateway. That allows me to add a foamcore rim around the base of the dome, with another ring of foamcore running on top, sealing in the edge of the bowl.



I wanted some detail for the top of the dome, to disguise the bowl's flat bottom. So I took some shutter windows and used a razor saw to cut the backs of the frames so that the windows sit on an angle.



These were then glued to a circle of plasticard cut slightly smaller than the base of the bowl. A square hatch in the middle forms a hub, where I imagine the machinery that controls the shutters would be located.



On the inside of the bowl, I added some large pipe fittings, positioned to sit directly underneath each of the shutter windows. This forms a venting system, to allow the atmosphere inside the dome to be vented in an emergency, or to allow controlled amounts of the outside air into the dome.



A bunch of reinforcing strips from the terrain sprue were hacked up and glued into planter boxes to go inside the dome.



To these, I added a control unit using a control panel and two trapezoid windows glued together with a small piece of foamcore sandwiched between them. This would control the environment inside the dome, administer fertilisers or other chemicals to the plants, or activate the dome's resident drones.



After marking out the inside circumference of the dome on a sheet of masonite, the planters and control unit were glued in place.



For the plants themselves, I cut appropriately-sized pieces from a few different aquarium plants. These were lightly sprayed with a matt green paint to dull them down a little and make them look slightly less plastic. These would be glued into the planter boxes and the boxes then half-filled with clear craft glue (water effects would be better, but I was in a hurry and craft glue was what I had to hand).



To add a little extra detail to the overall terrain piece, I built a water tank from some foamcore and a beverage mix tin. The ends of the tin are nested into circles cut into the inner sheets of foamcore, for extra strength.



A pipe made from a piece of sprue cut from the terrain sprue and some plastic tube joins the water tank to the dome. I built a support for the pipe from a trapezoid window and another piece of tube, and added small pipe fittings from the terrain sprue to the inside and outside of the dome. The drone tasked with watering the plants would connect to the interior fitting and syphon off as much water as required.



The last thing to do then before painting and assembling everything was to paint any exposed edges of the foamcore with some PVA glue, to protect it from the spraypaint.



My original batch of buildings for Maelstrom's Edge were painted white with green detailing, and since the gateway building for this one was constructed in a similar style, I went with a matching colour scheme.



The gateway was sprayed with a grey undercoat, and then a spray of matt white, with salt weathering to give it a nicely aged appearance.



The water tank was painted brown, drybrushed with Citadel Boltgun Metal and washed with Army Painter Strong Tone before being sprayed with a coat of green.



Again, salt weathering adds some age and experience. The end pieces, along with the base board and the dome rim, were painted with Vallejo Basalt Grey and then drybrushed with Vallejo Light Grey.



A few touches of Vallejo Beasty Brown add some dirt around the place, and some signs created in Gimp, printed out and glued in place add some character touches.



The interior needed to be all painted and the plants glued in place before the dome could be glued down.





I considered leaving the gateway unglued, so that it could be pulled out to put models inside the dome, but figured that as cool as that might look, there was little actual point in being able to do so in-game, so for a gaming terrain piece that was an unnecessary bit of fiddliness.



A yellow guideline adds a little extra detail to the broad expance of base. The base was deliberately large - the dome and water tank make for a fairly hefty line of sight blocker, so I wanted to leave plenty of free space around it. Where a little more cover is required, scatter terrain (barriers, crates, industrial bins, and the like) can easily be added to the open front corner.



And that's it - another terrain piece just waiting for a battle to spring up around it.

To build your own plantation dome, or a transport hub, or whatever other round thing strikes your fancy, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue from the online store (in a handy 2-pack!) here.

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

Terrain Walkthrough: Epirian Stockyard


Posted on Monday Jan 16, 2017 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

Someone once declared that there are no cows in space. Which would be disappointing, because then there would be no Space Cowboys... and then where would we all be?

Since I prefer to believe that there are cows in space (can't stop the signal!), I decided to have a bash at building somewhere to put them, using the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, some old guitar strings and some air-drying clay.






The aim here is for a terrain piece that will block movement in certain directions while still allowing fairly open fire lanes, just to mix things up a bit. To this end, rather than building a nice, neat yard, I decided to make it a bit of a beaten-up derelict - something that you would find on an old battlefield, rather than in the midst of a new settlement.



The first thing to do was to remove the doors from the doorframes. I cut as far down each side of the door as I could with a razor saw, and then scored around the top with an exacto knife until it was weak enough to snap the door out. This was repeated on the other door, and then the two door frames glued together back-to-back with a support strut running along the top joint and some fence posts on either side.



Next I traced a circle onto the base board using a bowl as a guide, and spaced out the doorway and the fence posts around the circumference. This would form the boundary of the yard.

I wanted the ground in the yard to look churned up by the constant stream of livestock that would have been going in and out when it was operational. To this end, I pressed a thin, rough layer of air-drying modeling clay over the interior of the circle and the area just outside the doorway.



Into this, I pressed hoof-prints with a piece of sprue trimmed off square and carved into a rough hoof shape.



While this was drying, I built a trough out of the corner pieces and the cut-down support struts. This was pushed into the clay beside the fence line, so that it would sit flat once the clay was dry.



Once the first lot of clay was dry, I prepared a second batch of clay by kneading in some fine sand/gravel mix for texture and a little PVA glue to help the gravel bond in. I pressed this around the area outside the fence, wearing rubber gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints. To create some patches of slightly chunkier texture, I then pressed some scattered patches of gravel into the surface.



As this left me once again waiting for clay to dry, I built a condenser unit to fill the trough. This used the square hatch as a baseplate. On top sits an upside-down large pipe fitting, then two trapezoid windows butted up together along their bottom edges to create a hexagon shape, and then another large pipe fitting. A length of plastic pipe with some metal mesh wrapped around it over some spacers, capped off with the top of a knife blade cylinder, finished off the condenser itself, and then I added a control panel using a cut down display unit and a piece cut off the end of a lintel.

The condenser unit would sit on the outside of the fence, with a fill pipe running between the railings and over the trough.



At this point, it was time to add the fence. I ran lengths of guitar string around the perimeter, gluing the strings into the emitter forks on the fence posts.



To create a little extra detail and avoid only having a single entrance to the terrain piece, I put a break in the fence on the side opposite the trough.



From there, all that's left is to paint it.

The whole thing was sprayed with some matt red. I then basecoated the metal parts with Coat D'arms Hairy Brown, followed by a heavy drybrush with Citadel Boltgun Metal. The ground was painted with a coat of Vallejo Heavy Brown, slightly watered down so that the red tint would show through in patches. The whole thing was then doused in a liberal coat of Army Painter Strong Tone.



Once that dried, the metal was given another light drybrush with Boltgun Metal and the various panels and lights painted in. The ground was drybrushed with P3 'Jack Bone.

Some tufts of static grass were scattered around for some colour, and some longer grass tufts made from toothbrush bristles placed wherever seemed appropriate. I concentrated the grass patches a little around the condenser and trough, as the plan was for this to still be functional. To this end, I poured a small amount of Woodland Scenics water effect liquid into the trough, and stirred in a couple of drops of Strong Tone and Green Tone to make it look sufficiently ick.



You may notice a shiny patch in front of the trough in the above picture. This was the result of some messy pouring from the water effects bottle dripping onto the ground in front of the trough. Accidental, but I decided I liked the effect so made sure the shiny patch goes all the way up to the side of the trough where it is presumably leaking out through a hole or crack underneath somewhere.

With the first layer of water effects dry, I added just a touch extra on top to reduce the concave shape of the water surface. As a final touch, the toothbrush bristle grass tufts were given a wash of Strong Tone and a drybrush of Coat D'arms Putrid Green.

















If you would like to have a go at building your own stockyard, you can get the Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue (in a handy two-pack) from the online store here. If you don't happen to play a guitar, cultivate a friend who plays for their cast-off strings. Otherwise, stores that sell guitars will often have discount strings that they are clearing out (the quality of the string as an actual guitar string is irrelevant here, so cheap ones are just fine!) and may even have some broken strings laying around that they would be happy to get rid of.

As always, we would love to see what you come up with, so please feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page here!

Terrain Spotlight: Watch Tower


Posted on Monday Dec 19, 2016 at 05:00PM in Models


- by Iain Wilson

It felt like far too long since I had built any terrain, and so this week I decided to throw something together out of some leftover scraps and odds and ends from some Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues. And so, a watch tower was born!





I started with just a vague idea of how this was going to turn out, and gathered up a bunch of useful materials: foam core, some thin cardboard, an offcut from an old postage tube, and of course the terrain sprues.



I also made use of a door assembly that I put together for a tutorial a little while ago and hadn't got around to sticking onto anything yet. This was build from one of the small doors off the terrain sprue, with boxing added around the back from a couple of the reinforcing detail strips.



To fit the door to the curve of the tube, I rubed some chalk on the bottom of the tube, pressed the door against the tube with the top panel overhanging the chalked edge, and then rubbed it back and forth a couple of times to transfer the chalk to the inside of the panel. The it's just a matter of cutting away the chalked part of the panel with a sharp knife.



I wanted some buttresses spaced around the bottom of the tube. It's always a good idea when making gaming terrain to consider how the terrain piece will fit into the game. If you want your buildings to be more than just line of sight-blocking cubes, having some small protrusions around them that can be used for partial cover (buttresses, pipes, small balconies, etc) that models can lurk behind on their way across the battlefield is great for making them more useful on the table.

The buttresses were made from some 5mm and 3mm foamcore glued together, with reinforcing strips running up the angled outside edge.



These were then glued in place at 90 degree spacings around the bottom of the tube.



Then it was time to build the watch chamber to go on top.

Taking some 5mm foamcore, I marked out the first wall.



Using a sharp hobby knife, I carefully cut this out, and then used it as a template to make three more.



Trapezoid windows from the terrain sprue were glued into the window cavities, and then I chamfered off the back edges of the walls slightly to help them fit together for gluing. This wasn't particularly exact - that would have required far too much maths for a sunday afternoon, due to the angle of the walls. They'll be held together quite firmly by the glue and some cardboard reinforcing on the corners, so it doesn't matter too much if they don't meet up perfectly flush.



Speaking of cardboard reinforcing - these are just some 2cm-wide strips of thin card, cut with a bit of an angle at the top so that the outside corners don't stick up past the tops of the walls. Once superglued to the outsides of the corners, these add a bit of strength to the wall joints.



A square of foamcore with chamfered edges drops in to form the floor.



A similar but slightly larger square went in just above the windows, to create a roof with a nice little balcony. This comes back to the functionality aspect again - I like to have lots of buildings with game-friendly space on top. A hatch from the terrain sprue adds an access point from within the building.

(Note - if you care about having functional-looking and/or painted interiors in your buildings when they can be seen through the windows, remember to sort out the inside before gluing the roof on! Alternatively, painting the interior black before adding the roof makes it much less visible once everything is sealed up, or you could just glue small pieces of card over the insides of the windows so you can't see through them, and paint them up as opaque glass.)



Then all that remains is to glue the watch chamber to the top of the tube.



Once all of the glue is set, the watch tower is ready for painting and basing!



If you want to try your hand at building a watch tower of your own, or are feeling inspired to try something different, you can pick up the terrain sprue from the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Be sure to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/MaelstromsEdge)!