The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Entries tagged [walkthrough]

Terrain Spotlight: Generator Tower


Posted on Thursday Dec 05, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

My ongoing project to create updated versions of the classic Necromunda terrain continued this week, with a third structure - a generator tower, based on the hexagonal(ish) multi-level platform.




I started out once again with a rough sketch, to get a feel for what I was building. I wanted something similar to the original shape, but with the bulkhead on the narrow end rotated 90 degrees, and with something in the central hole rather than just having a big empty space.



Instead of building individual bulkheads, like the original Necromunda plastics, I built each support pillar as a single piece. I'm not intending these buildings to be reconfigurable, and doing it this way gives the structure some extra strength. I used foamed PVC for the core of the pillar, cutting out the basic shape of the bulkheads, and then added support struts from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues up each edge on both sides. I also added some buttresses from off-cuts of foamed PVC to provide some cover zones for gangers to hide in.

Access between levels is via a ladder running up the short end of the platform, rather than building a ladder into each pillar. This makes the structure a little harder to get up and down on than the original, but can be made up for with catwalk placement when the table is set up in full.



For the floors, I used double sheets of 3mm foamed PVC. One layer probably would have been enough, but I went for the extra strength and visual bulk from the thicker platforms.



I took two generator coils from terrain sprue #2 and glued them together. The ends have a slight angle to them, so I sanded them down flat, and also sanded down an iris portal to fit over one end of the generator. The other iris portal fits back to back with the first.



To give the generator something to sit on, I took a couple of trapezoid windows from terrain sprue #1 and trimmed their long edges to fit inside the central hole in the middle platform. In between these, I glued an octagon of PVC, with a large pipe fitting glued to the underside.



Time to fit everything together! I took some offcut pieces from the support struts and glued them to the bulkheads to create supports for the floors.



With the floors glued in place on their supports, the last things to do were to add some pipes running up from another large pipe fitting to the underside of the generator, and a control panel on the top level made from another trapezoid window, a computer from terrain sprue #2, and some cutoff support strut pieces.











As with the previous builds, I'll hold off on painting this one until I have a few more ready to go and do them all at once.

Stay tuned for more!



To build your own hove structures, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range, from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to share your models and terrain, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Watch Tower


Posted on Thursday Nov 28, 2019 at 05:00PM in General


- by Iain Wilson

Last week, I shared a trash processing unit, the first of a series of terrain structures inspired by the classic Necromunda plastic/cardboard hybrid terrain. (If you missed it, you can find it here)

This week, I'm adding a watch tower to the set!




As with the previous building, I started out with a quick sketch. I don't always use a sketch, and when I do I don't always follow it precisely, but it can be a handy tool for visualising the process.



For this construction, I once again pulled out the 3mm foamed PVC, and a bunch of both of the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues. I started out by building the central pillar, which needed a ladder running up the center to the twin hatches on the platform up top. To give the pillar some depth, I decided to use two layers of PVC, with a ladder running up the outside of each face rather than just using one going up the middle. I wanted to be able to see through the ladder section, though, so cut out a strip up the middle of each pillar side just wider than the ladder rungs. The ladders themselves were taken from terrain sprue #1. I also engraved some panel lines into the PVC with a scriber.



I glued the ladders onto the PVC with superglue, two to a side, leaving just a small part of the ladder projecting above the top so it would reach to the top of the platform. I then ran a strip of support struts from terrain sprue #1 up each side of the ladders for some extra detail.



Because the gap between the ladders would be practically inaccessible once assembled, I sprayed the inside with some rust brown base before gluing the two halves of the pillar together.



For the platform, I made up the main part of the floor using grating pieces from terrain sprue #2, glued edge to edge and leaving two pieces out in the middle for the ladder access.



I then cut a surround from foamed PVC, with a second layer to give it some thickness, and to provide a support structure for the grating.



I designed the side pillars to give the structure some bulk while also providing some nice cover at ground level. As with the central pillar, these were made from two layers of PVC, cut to shape and with some panel lines scribed in on the outside pieces.



To give the side pillars some detail, I trimmed up some more support struts from terrain sprue one and glued them running up the edges of the pillars on both sides.



To finish up, I cut some waist-height (to scale, obviously!) walls for the platform, using some off-cuts of foamed PVC and some trimmed down corner brackets from terrain sprue #1. I then glued the structure together, and cut a base of hardboard for it to sit on.



And that's two structures completed! As with the previous one, painting will come later, once I have a few of these all ready to go.

Stay tuned!



To give it a go yourself, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range, from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to share your models and terrain, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Trash Processing Unit


Posted on Thursday Nov 21, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Way back in the day, the original version of Games Workshop's Necromunda game came with a small table's worth of industrial-styled terrain that was constructed from printed cardboard and held together with plastic bulkheads. Many battles were fought over my set of this terrain, and so when a friend and I started talking about revisiting the original Necromunda rules, I thought it would be fun to put together an updated set of terrain inspired by that original battlefield. This week I put together the first of the large platform structures.




I started this build by sketching up a rough design for the structure. The aim wasn't to duplicate the original version, but to create something similar to it, with an eye towards making the structures look a little more like actual structures with some sort of purpose rather than just random platforms.



3mm foamed PVC has become my go-to for buildings, as it's easy to work with and lightweight, but quite durable. So to kick things off, I grabbed out the PVC and some support struts from the first Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, and put together eight bulkheads. These were made from a single piece of PVC cut to shape, with two support struts running vertically up the sides of each face.



Four of the bulkheads were left as standalone pieces, while the other four were joined into corner pieces for the front of the structure.



I used some more PVC to put together a box shape for the tower. The cutaway at the bottom of the front wall would be used to add a trash receptacle - my thought was for the tower to be some sort of trash processing unit.



The roof of the tower has four exhaust fans, taken from the second terrain sprue. I mounted these onto floor panel pieces, just shaving off a little around the bottom edge of the fan to make them fit neatly inside the bracing pieces on the panels.



The door for the trash unit was made from pieces of foamed PVC, cut to fit neatly into the opening to look like it's jammed open.



To conceal the joins on the tower walls, I ran a strip of support struts from terrain sprue #2 up each joint on the front and back, and then glued on the roof and a control panel for the trash unit.



For the floor of the first level, I used two layers of PVC, with some holes cut in to insert some floor mesh pieces from terrain sprue #2.



I glued the bulkheads onto the underside of the floor piece, and glued the plastic floor panel pieces into the holes. With a very minor bit of trimming, ladders from terrain sprue #1 fit neatly into the central hole in the grating sections, hanging down to about an inch above ground level - low enough for someone (or at least, someone with upper-body strength!) to grab the lower rungs and haul themselves up.



On the back of the tower, I added a generator piece from terrain sprue #2, bulked out with a little PVC to make it protrude enough to provide a neat little covered firing point.



For the upper level, I put together a catwalk using floor mesh pieces from terrain sprue #2.



The support braces for the catwalk were cut from the sides of a ladder. The ladder up to the catwalk has some of the rungs leftover from cutting the supports glued to the back, to space it out from the wall slightly.



High catwalks aren't very pleasant places to be in battle without some cover, so I added a balustrade using posts from terrain sprue #2 and some offcuts of PVC. A trimmed down ladder added some access to the roof level.



The other side wall needed some detail, so I grabbed the junction box from terrain sprue #2, and some aluminium rod and installed some exposed wiring. The clamp pieces were made from short sections of plastic rod and some sections cut from the support struts from terrain sprue #1. The lower end of the thinner cable will drape over the first level floor, having been severed from wherever it was originally attached to.



Finishing up by adding a light to the front wall and an access hatch to the bottom left wall of the tower, I also added a 10' square of PVC as a slab base for the structure. At the moment, the base, first level and tower are all separate pieces, and the ladders are all similarly unglued. I will glue the base onto the bottom of the bulkheads after painting the underside of the first level, and glue the tower and ladders in place once they are painted. I'll probably also add a larger piece of hardboard under the whole thing for some extra rigidity and also to give it some more weight on the table - better to prevent it sliding around.









Painting will come later - I'll get a few more structures made up over the coming weeks, and then go through painting everything together!

Stay tuned!



To give it a go yourself, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range, from the webstore here.

As always, feel free to share your models and terrain, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Conversion Spotlight: Epirian Pathfinders


Posted on Thursday Nov 14, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I received a grab bag of all sorts of awesome resin parts from Victoria Miniatures this week, so decided it was time to take a break from terrain building and have a bit of a tinker with some infantry. I had thought a while back that Epirian Contractors were just crying out for shotguns, and so with some handy resin additions, I created a new unit of scouty Contractors, which I'm calling 'Pathfinders'.




There's very little converting required here - I just assembled the Contractors without arms. Although I couldn't resist a little bit of cutting things up, so I gave the squad leader a cap on his belt, by cutting off the top of a spare Contractor head.



Victoria's resin cloaks are designed to slot over the shoulders, and fit snugly around the Contractors' collars. These were glued in place with superglue. The shotgun arms needed just a little trimming at the shoulders to fit neatly, as the Victoria Miniatures torsos are slightly narrower than those of the Contractors.





Painting was a quick and easy 'paint in base colours and then give it a wash' job. It's not the prettiest, but it gets a unit on the table quickly. The green areas were painted with Army Painter Army Green, and Vallejo Yellow Green, and washed with Army Painter Military Shader. The metal parts were base coated with Vallejo Heavy Charcoal, given a light drybrush of P3 Pig Iron and washed with Dark Tone. For the shirt, I used Army Painter Barbarian Flesh, Vallejo Heavy Brown for the leather parts, and Coat D'Arms Bone for the shirt. These were washed with Army Painter Strong Tone - This is a fairly heavy contrast with the bone, so creates a bit of a dirty, muddy look. If you are looking for a softer shading effect, you could use Mid Brown or Soft Tone instead of the Strong Tone.



To finish things up, I highlighted the green areas with Coat D'Arms Putrid Green, gave the skin, shirt and leather a highlight of bone, and painted the eyeshades with Heavy Brown, P3 Cygnus Yellow and some white highlights. The bases were basecoated with AK Red Brown Leather and washed with Army Painter Mid Brown.





To build your own Pathfinder unit, you can pick up the plastic Contractor kit, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range, from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore.

As always, feel free to share your models and terrain, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Specimen Tank


Posted on Thursday Nov 07, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

The new Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue introduced a whole lot of fun new bits and pieces to play with, and I've been having a blast coming up with different ways to make best use of them. This week, I'm using some iris portals in a slightly un-portal way, to create a laboratory-style specimen tank!




For the top and bottom of the tank, I used a pair of the irises from the terrain sprue.



The two irises are joined together using a piece of 1mm thick, transparent plasticard. I cut this into a rectangle 74.5mm long, to match the circumference of the iris' inner rim. I then curled the plasticard around into a cylinder, and used another thin strip of plasticard as a tab to glue the edges together.



The instrument panel mount serves both to hold the controls for the tank, and to disguise the join in the cylinder. I used a piece cut from the side of the terrain sprue itself for the upright strut, a computer panel and the base of the sentry turret to create a sliding mount for the panel.



Finally, it's not much of a specimen tank without a specimen to put in it! I took a mature angel torso, and filled in the arm, leg and back sockets with 'green stuff' putty, to create a 'resting' angel form with no void gel extrusions.



On to painting! This was mostly done with Army Painter paints. I gave the tank parts (aside from the cylinder) a basecoat with a spray of Plate Metal, and the angel with Wolf Grey.



I followed up with a wash of Dark Tone on the metal parts. I wanted a grimy, green ooze look to the cylinder without messing about with water effects, so I painted the inside of the cylinder with some brush-on gloss varnish with a couple of drops of Green Tone mixed in.



The angel received a couple of heavy coats of Dark Tone over the grey.



To suspend the angel in the tank, I attached it to the upper iris with a piece of copper wire glued into holes drilled into the top of the angel's head and the underside of the iris.



With a final drybrush of P3 Pig Iron over the metal parts, and some detailing on the computer panel, I then assembled the tank by gluing the cylinder into the top of the base iris, sliding the angel inside and gluing the upper iris on top, and then attaching the panel strip to the side.





To give it a go yourself, you can grab the new terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range, from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore.

As always, feel free to share your models and terrain, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Shipping Containers from Terrain Sprue 2


Posted on Thursday Oct 31, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

As one of my very first articles for Maelstrom's Edge, I put together some shipping containers/cages made from parts from the first terrain sprue and a little foamcore. With the recent release of the second terrain sprue, it seemed fitting to revisit the idea with the shiny, new parts available!




As with the original containers, I used doors to form the front and back of the container, with the rectangular doorframes from the new terrain sprue being perfect for the job. For the back of the container, I shaved off the control panelt and the gubbins up on top, as I planned to have the back as a wall. You could obviously just leave it alone and have a door at each end.



I linked the two doorframes together with the support struts from the terrain sprue, and glued in a floor cut from 3mm foamed PVC.



Inside the struts, I glued rectangles of 1mm foamed PVC, running up to about 1mm short of the top edge of the upper struts. This gives the container some strength, and provides something solid for the walls to glue onto and a ledge for the roof panel to sit on.



I glued another rectangle of PVC into the rear doorframe.



Onto the outer faces of the walls, I glued rectangles of corrugated cardboard, cut to fit flush against the edges of the doorframe and the struts with the corrugations running vertically. (There's no special significance to it being blue - it's just from a multicoloured pack of card I picked up a while back!)



Into the front doorframe, I added a piece of corrugated plasticard, cut with the corrugations running horizontally to simulate a roller door. Most modern-day shipping containers have hinged double doors, but since this doorframe is a little narrower I thought a roller seemed more appropriate. I used plasticard rather than more cardboard as the corrugations are slightly smaller, which helps to make it not look like just another wall.

With the door in place, I stuck another piece of corrugated cardboard into the top of the container for the roof.



The finished container, ready for paint:





And with some paint on:





To mix up the design, you could use plasticard with different textures in place of the corrugated cardboard.



You can also use other real-world container designs for inspiration, adding side doors, changing the length, or as below, using a trimmed down generator, a fan and a couple of other bits from the terrain sprue in place of the back wall to creat a refrigerated container.



And, of course, the discerning stellargee knows that nothing beats an old shipping container for knocking together your own little shanty cabin or business shack!







To give it a go yourself, you can grab the new terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range, from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore.

As always, feel free to share your models and terrain, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Conversion Spotlight: Karist Raptor Assault Skimmer Kitbash


Posted on Thursday Oct 24, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

This week, I'm continuing on my quest to add transport vehicles to all of my Maelstrom's Edge forces, with the probably exception of the Remnant (who really don't need them!). A while back, I shared a kitbashed Karist anti-grav buggy converted from a Games Workshop Genestealer Cult vehicle. This week, I'm revisiting the Karist Enclave to build them a transport vehicle from a Beyond the Gates of Antares skimmer.




The kit that I used was a Freeborn Solar Command Skimmer. This is a hybrid kit with metal and resin bits that go onto a basic plastic skimmer chassis. I went with this variant rather than the basic version because the resin add-ons make the cabin space look a little more practical for carrying troops.



The general styling of the vehicle was pretty much exactly what I wanted, and matches up quite well with the Genestealer buggy aesthetically, so I didn't actually make a lot of changes. I needed to swap out the crew for Karists, and chose to just replace the pilot and putty over the gunner's seat with 'green stuff' putty. The pilot was built using the top half of a plastic Karist trooper, with a head from the resin Karist heavy weapon trooper set.

The main weapons would also be replaced, but I kept the metal launchers for the sides of the cabin, as they'll do well enough to represent Karist grenade launchers.



The main gun on the Antares skimmer is fixed in place in the middle of the nose. I decided that something with a little more free movement was called for, so grabbed a sentry turret from the new Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue and added a Ravager Pulse Cannon nabbed from the Tempest Elite kit.



The gun turret fit in nicely underneath the front of the skimmer, and with everything else glued in place it wound up looking like this:



I kept the original flight base on there for painting, but then switched it to a spare Games Workshop vehicle base that I had laying around, attaching the skimmer to it with one of the drone flight stems from the Antares kit.

Painting followed the same scheme as my Karist Strike Force, and the later anti-grav vehicle, after which it looked like this:











Stay tuned next week for some trial Transport Vehicle rules, and (unofficial) rules cards for this assault skimmer as well as some Epirian and Broken transport vehicles!

To build your own Raptor, you can pick up the Freeborn Skimmer from Warlord Games, and the new Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue and other Maelstrom's Edge kits from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore.

As always, feel free to share your models and terrain, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Basic Sci Fi Quonset Hut


Posted on Thursday Oct 17, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Time for another building!

I don't know why, but I've always loved the shape of the humble Quonset hut. Some time back, I built some vaguely-Quonset styled buildings from plastic drainage channel, but the new terrain sprue gave me an excuse to revisit the idea and build something closer to the original design.




The bulk of the structure is 3mm foamed PVC. For the front and back walls, I grabbed a handy round thing and used it to trace out a pair of semi-circles, which I then cut out with a sharp hobby knife.



I also cut a rectangular piece for the floor, and a bracing strut to connect the tops of the walls.



I took a pair of curtain windows and a curtain doorway from the new terrain sprue and sat them in place on the walls before tracing around them with a sharp pencil and cutting out the resultant rectangles with a hobby knife. Then I used some superglue to stick them in place.



Using some more superglue, I fit the walls, floor and support strut together.



The roof was constructed from corrugated cardboard. I cut three pieces, one for each side, and a third to run over the top. Bending these short pieces over the curve was easier than it would have been to do it with one single, long piece, and the sections create a layered joint to give the roof a little bit of detail.

I started by gluing the side pieces in place along the bottom edges.



After giving the glue time to set properly, I added more glue up along the wall tops and carefully pressed the roof sections down onto the curve.



I used a similar process for the top section, initially gluing the centre line in place along the support strut, and then gluing the sides of the section down overlapping the side pieces.



A few final details from the terrain sprue, and the hut was ready for painting:





For a quick and easy paintjob, I gave the hut a basecoat of AK Interactive Rust Basecoat. Over this, I sprayed a light and rough coat of Army Painter Plate Armour, and then added rust by dabbing on Army Painter Dry Rust. Some quick details like lights and curtains, and then a drybrush in the creases with Vallejo Beasty Brown finished it off.











To give it a go yourself, you can pick up the new terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range, from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore.

As always, feel free to share your models and terrain, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Raised Building using gift boxes and the new terrain sprue!


Posted on Thursday Oct 03, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I've spent the last couple of weeks happily playing with the new Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue and building up a nice collection of delapidated buildings for my Broken force to defend - or loot, as the mood may strike them! This week, however, I thought I might take a break from painting rust and see how something a little better maintained might look with the new components to hand.




I have turned to the ever-useful discount store cardboard gift box for this build. These boxes are perfect for creating buildings, as they come in a wide range of different sizes, are inexpensive, and are quite solid.



I started by flipping the box upside down, and cutting a hole in the side for the door frame from the terrain sprue by tracing around the back of the frame and then cutting with a sharp hobby knife. For the door itself, since I wanted something that wasn't all patched up, I went with a shutter-style door made from pieces cut from the support struts from the original terrain sprue.



My previous giftbox buildings have generally had flat roofs, so I decided to make this one angled, just for something different. I took the lid of the box and cut the sides away at a diagonal along the short edges.



I glued the lid upside down onto the bottom of the box (the top of the building, since the box is upside down!), glued the cut-off pieces of the short edges into the middle for reinforcing, and then stuck a piece of corrugated cardboard on top. I also added the vent windows on two walls, tracing and cutting as with the door frame.



To make this building stand out some more, I wanted to put it on a raised slab. For this, I used the lid of a larger giftbox.



On the so-far blank short wall, I gave the building some independent power using the generator from the new terrain sprue and linking it to the control box using some plastic tube and aluminium rod.



To finish up, I glued the base slab to a piece of hardboard, and added some stairs and small vents from the terrain sprue. I also fenced in the top of the slab using the upright posts and grating pieces, which fit nicely around the edge.





With some paint on, the finished building looks like this:











The new terrain sprue will be available from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here from October 7th!

In the meantime, feel free to share your models and terrain, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight - An experiment in eroded rocky outcrops from foamed PVC.


Posted on Thursday Sep 26, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I came across a tutorial online a little while ago for making eroded rocky outcrops using stacks of corrugated cardboard coated in filling plaster, and then distressed with a wire brush. It was really effective, but I'm not a huge fan of using plaster on gaming terrain as it tends to chip easily. So I thought I'd have a go at making something similar, using foamed PVC.




From putting together buildings, I tend to wind up with a lot of small off-cuts of foamed PVC sheet. This would potentially work with any thickness of sheet, but the thicker the better. Here, I'm using 3mm sheet as that's what I had to hand.



I cut a series of roughly oval shapes from the sheet, slowly decreasing in size so that they would stack up to form the shape of the outcrop.



Using superglue, I glued the layers together, trying to not get glue right out to the edges of the PVC pieces as this would interfere with the texturing later on.



Next, I used a hobby knife to smooth down the layers, more or less. These didn't have to be perfectly blended, but enough to disguise the separate layers of PVC once the texturing was applied.



To apply the rock texture, I scraped horizontally around the edge of the outcrop with a wire brush. The aim here was to vary the depth and length of the scrapes to give a random, rock texture, without cutting in too deep and making it all too flimsy.





With a spray coat of black, and a drybrush of a mix of brown and grey paints, the outcrop was ready for the table.



It's not perfect - it could use some more defined layers running around the circumference, level with the flat areas. This would give it more of a stacked-rock effect and look less like a single lump. But it was an interesting experiment, and a fun way to use up some scraps. I'll have to tinker with the idea a little more and see where I can take it!





Do you have terrain creations you'd like to share? You can get feedback on your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

You can pick up the entire Maelstrom's Edge model range, including our plastic urban terrain detail sprue in the webstore here.

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

Terrain Tutorial: Rocky Outcrops.


Posted on Thursday Sep 12, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Buildings are all well and good, but sometimes you want to get out of the urban sprawl, and wage apocalyptic war surrounded by nature! I've shared articles previously covering alien forest bases made from silicon aquarium plants and cactus clumps made from foam balls, but this week we're tackling the ever-popular stacked rock outcrops.




These rocky terrain features are made from sheets of expanded polystyrene. I've used pieces cut from an old foam vegetable box here, because that's what I had laying about. You can generally buy expanded polystyene by the sheet in various grades and thicknesses from hardware stores or foam specialty stores, but if you're more thrifty-minded it's worth asking your local fruit and vegetable retailer if they have any old boxes laying around, or you can save the packaging inserts from electrical equipment.

Expanded polystyrene is composed of loads of small balls of foam pressed together to form a sheet. For this sort of project, you want polystyrene composed of relatively small beads (under 2mm), as the larger sort is much harder to cut cleanly and is more prone to damage.



The first step is to cut a piece of foam to form the base of the outcrop. This can be whatever shape you like, just remember to leave one or more flat spots for the stacked rock spires. For cutting the foam, you can buy heated wire cutters specifically for the purpose, but generally a sharp knife will do the job - just don't use the good kitchen knives, as cutting foam does tend to blunt the knife fairly quickly.



Next, cut rocks for the stacks, starting larger and making each successive rock a little smaller, for however many you want to stack up. Rocks come in all sorts of different shapes and textures, so the actual shape here isn't too important, but I like to use largely flat cuts to create a faceted look. Avoid making really sharp edges on the foam, as these will be fragile. Make your rocks different thicknesses, and you can angle the tops a little to avoid the stack looking too artificial.



Once you have your rocks cut, glue the stacks in place with PVA glue. Don't use superglue or plastic cement, as these will melt the foam. For a little extra strength, you can push toothpicks or wooden skewers cut to an appropriate length down the centre of the rock spires. Push this in until it is sitting just below the surface of the topmost rock, and then glue a scrap piece of foam into the hole to plug it up.



Now we need to disguise the foam a little, as just painting over the foam with regular paint tends to look like, well, painted foam.

So instead, paint the outcrop with a textured paint. Again, the specific texture is more or less up to you depending on the look you want, but here I'm using a Dulux 'River Rock' textured paint. This is an acrylic, indoor house paint with a fine sand texture mixed through it. You can generally pick up sample pots of similar paint from hardware or paint stores, or check out their clearance bins for mis-tinted paving paint, which you can sometimes grab for cheap. If you can find a colour that you want to use as a base colour (as I've done here) that's great, but otherwise you can just paint over it, so the actual colour of the textured paint isn't too important. You can also just use regular paint and stir in some fine sand - silversand (sold in pet stores) is ideal for this.

Dab the paint on with an old brush, rather than brushing it. This avoids brushstrokes and helps to clump the texture. The paint I'm using takes two coats to build up the level of texture I wanted for this outcrop, but coverage will vary depending on the paint you use.



To add some visual interest, glue some sand and/or small gravel to the top surface of the base of the outcrop with PVA glue, and once the glue is dry, undercoat with a similar colour to your textured surface - a few shades darker or lighter is fine, once again just depending on the look you want.



Finally, choose a lighter colour and drybrush over the whole thing. Here, I've used Army Painter Ash Grey, as it's a nice, pale grey with a slight brownish tinge, so it ties into the textured basecoat nicely. If you're unfamiliar with drybrushing, you take a large brush, dip it in your paint, wipe it on some paper until there is hardly any colour still coming off, and then brush that over the surface to be painted. With so little paint on the brush, it just picks up the raised detail, leaving the base coat in the crevasses. You can slowly build up the colour in this way until you get the level of highlighting that you want. It's a great technique for painting rough surfaces like rocks or fur, or for getting worn metal effects.

The finished outcrop, ready for the table:



You can glue your outcrop down to a piece of hardboard to give it some extra weight if you wish - this can be a help in preventing it from sliding around the table!





Keen to give it a go? Be sure to share your creations, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

You can pick up the entire Maelstrom's Edge model range, including our plastic urban terrain detail sprue in the webstore here.

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

Terrain Spotlight: Firepoint Emplacement


Posted on Thursday Aug 29, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

As I mentioned in last week's article, we have a new terrain sprue coming!

Because new terrain gets me as excited as a very excited thing on a special day to be excited, I'm currently locked in my office, figuring out the best ways to make use of the new bits and pieces on the sprue and putting together new buildings for the ever-expanding terrain collection. One of the new pieces I put together this week was a small firepoint, just perfect for holding the line against incursions of lawless rabble!





The bulk of this structure is made up of floor grates from the new terrain sprue, and a combination of 3mm foamed PVC and 6mm foamcore for the walls.

I started out by laying out a floorplan, and gluing the grates together edge to edge. Then I cut the PVC and foamcore into sections to fit neatly around the three straight edges of the floor.



The sprue includes some posts which can be used to make low walls. For this build, I'm using a couple of them as floor supports, so trimmed off the rounded top.



Some stairs were needed to get up to the floor level in the firepoint. The stairs on the new sprue are designed to stack up on top of each other, and two stair pieces stacked come to almost exactly the same height as the floor grates sitting on the posts.



With the wall pieces glued together, the lower PVC sections form a support rail, on which the floor grates will sit.



To cover over the exposed ends of the foamcore, I took some support struts from the original terrain sprue and cut them to the same height as the walls. Four of these attach to the corners, neatly sealing over the foam.



The short, leftover pieces of the support struts were a nice length to form some bracing for the walls. I cut some small triangles of PVC and foamcore, which when glued together are exactly the same width as the struts.



That just left the top edges of the wall exposed. To seal that over, I cut a piece of foamed PVC in a lopsided 'U' shape to match the path of the wall, making it wide enough to overlap slightly on both sides, just to look prettier.



With the structure complete, I glued the firepoint down to a piece of hardboard. I wanted the firepoint to have some dirt piled up against the front, so I cut some expanded polystyrene to form the bulk of the dirt pile, and glued that in place around the front and the sides.



Finally, I gave the expanded polystyrene and the remaining exposed hardboard a generous coat of PVA glue and sprinkled a sand/gravel mix over it.

Ready for paint!





With some paint on, the finished firepoint looks like this:







The exact release date for the new terrain sprue is still to be confirmed based on production scheduling, but should be in the next few months. I'll be showing off some more previews in coming weeks to reveal other components included on the sprue.

In the meantime, you can still pick up the original terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: New Terrain Sprue Sneak Peek!


Posted on Thursday Aug 22, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

In the time since the release of the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue a couple of years ago, this useful little frame of detail parts has consistently been one of our most popular plastic kits. As good as it is, though, it was always intended to be just the start of a range of different terrain component kits. So over the last 18 months or so, we've been hard at work designing and sculpting a new sprue to add a whole slew of new building options!

This new kit will be out very soon, but to whet everyone's appetites, I thought I would take the opportunity to throw together a quick building walkthrough to show off some of the great new details!





To keep things simple for this build, I turned once more to my humble favourite: the cardboard gift box!



As with the first terrain sprue, the doors and windows are designed to slot into holes cut into the walls of the structure - although this time around, the doorframes and doors are separate components, so that you can model them open or closed!

To fit them into place, I started by flipping the box upside down, and drawing a guide line 12mm up from the bottom of one of the long walls. Then I held a door frame in place a third of the way along the wall and traced around the inset back of the frame with a sharp pencil. As I wanted two doors on this wall, representing a pair of joined habitation units, I repeated this a third of the way in from the other end of the wall as well.



To cut out the doorway holes, I used a sharp exacto blade, following the pencil line and making several passes rather than trying to cut right through in one go.



I then glued the doors in place with superglue, and cut and glued a window in each end wall using a similar process.



To reinforce the walls of your structures, the sprue includes a number of bolted struts like the first terrain sprue. These struts have some missing panels on them, with optional, separate panel pieces that can be glued on to vary the look of the struts a little.



One of my favourite details, the sprue also comes with two stair pieces, designed to be used individually or stacked up for a taller set of stairs. For this build, I was just using them individually, and also wanted to butt them right up against the wall, so I cut off the triangular support pieces from the backs of them with my exacto knife.



I glued the struts upright on the ends of each of the long walls of the building, and the stairs nestled in under each of the doors. I also glued an exhaust fan onto each end of the building for some extra ventilation.



To finish up, I covered over the rather boring top of the building with some corrugated cardboard, and build an awning using another piece of cardboard, some plastic tubing, and a couple of posts from the terrain sprue. I also added a base of foamed PVC, and some underfloor ventilation using vent pieces cut from the reinforcing struts on the original terrain sprue.



On the rear of the building, I glued a generator in the middle to service both hab units, and built a small fence to protect it and provide some low cover on the table, using some grating pieces and a couple more posts. I also added a couple of corrugated patches on the walls for some low-tech, DIY repair.



With some paint on (which I'll cover in a future article very soon!) the hab block was ready for the table!









The exact release date for these sprues is still to be confirmed based on production scheduling, but should be in the next few months. I'll be showing off some more previews in coming weeks to reveal other components included on the sprue.

In the meantime, you can still pick up the original terrain sprue along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Giftbox Building with Removable Roof!


Posted on Thursday Jul 25, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

There are two common ways to create buildings for use in wargames - making them solid and either treating them as impassable structures or using abstract rules to represent models being inside where appropriate, or using buildings with removable roofs so that models can actually be placed inside and positioned accurately when required. I generally prefer to go the former route, as it makes buildings a lot simpler to put together, and is less fiddly during a game than having to take a roof off - particularly if there are models on it!

Sometimes, though, it's handy to be able to go that extra distance, so I thought I would show a quick and easy way to create a building with a removable roof from a cardboard giftbox, with a little help from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.





For the core of this building, I used a plain black cardboard giftbox, purchased from a local discount store.



Usually when I'm building terrain, I just go from the idea in my head and hope for the best. In this case, though, I sketched out a quick plan to make sure that the interior all fit into place as intended. The plan changed slightly along the way, but it provided a handy reference as I was putting everything together.



I started out by drawing around the base of the box on a piece of 2mm foamed PVC and cutting out a hole for the box to sit in. This serves to conceal the bottom edge of the box, which has a slightly rounded edge.



Next, I took a large door from the terrain sprue, sat it in place on one of the short edges of the box, traced around it with a pencil and then cut out the resultant rectangle to create a door cavity.



I did the same on one of the long edges of the box with a small door from the terrain sprue. This door is largely featureless on the back (as it wasn't really designed for use where you would see both sides of it), so I cut a piece of thin cardboard to duplicate the raised panelling from the front.



For the interior walls, I used more foamed PVC, with doorways cut in using the small door frame as a template. I checked that these walls fit where I wanted them, but didn't glue them in at this point so that I could get at the interior easier to add more detail.



The building needed some windows. I tend to default to the shutter windows on my builds and use the trapezoid windows for more interesting things, but for this building I had another plan for the shutters. So I spaced out some of the trapezoid windows on the long sides, cut holes by tracing around them with an exacto knife and then glued them in place. Using the knife instead of a pencil to trace gives a tighter fit, which is useful since the trapezoid windows don't have a flange to conceal a loose fit like the doors do.



I kitted out the interior with some bits and pieces made from an assortment of terrain sprue parts. All of this was glued in place, except for the ladder. I left that separate to make it easier to paint behind it.









And now, the important part! I took the lid of the box and glued four corner braces from the terrain sprue upside down around the corners of the lid top. These were spaced to fit neatly inside the box, so that the lid could be sat in place upside-down to create a walled roof.



Of course, this could also be done much more easily by just sitting the lid on the way it normally goes, but I like having a lot of buildings with walled roofs to allow for models to have some cover up there.

I finished up with a few extra detail pieces here and there, and another sheet of PVC on the bottom to form a base.







To paint, I gave the inside a spray with a Rustoleum dark brown primer, and then a light coat of Dulux chalky beige. The outside received a coat of Army Painter Army Green.



I gave the doorframes and windows a coat of Vallejo Heavy Brown, and then a layer of P3 Jack Bone. The base and roof are my usual urban mix of Vallejo Basalt Grey with a drybrush of Vallejo Light Grey.



As I wanted the weathering to be heavier on the outside then in, I gave the exterior metal parts a base coat of Citadel Scorched Brown, a very light drybrush of P3 Pig Iron, and then a generous dabbing of Army Painter Dry Rust. The interior metal parts got the same base coat, a heavier layer of Pig Iron, and then a wash with Army Painter Strong Tone.



Everything was dirtied up with a sponge of Vallejo Heavy Charcoal and a drybrush of Vallejo Beasty Brown into all the crevasses and corners, again going heavier on the outside of the building.



With some final detailing and a few printed posters, the building was ready for the table!





To build your own rooftop of removable doom, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.



As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Painting Spotlight: Militus Battlesuit painted with layered Contrast paint.


Posted on Thursday Jul 18, 2019 at 05:00PM in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

I picked up three of the new Citadel Contrast paints to have a play with when they were released - a yellow, orange and red. This was partly just from curiosity as to how they worked, and partly hoping to plug the colour gaps not filled by the other washes (mostly Army Painter) in my current paint collection. I showed off my initial dabblings a few weeks back, with a metallic red and yellow Militus battlesuit (here, if you missed it), using the Contrast as intended, but with the orange I wanted to see of these paints could be used for a thinner, layering style instead of just glopping it on and hoping for the best. So I broke out another Militus suit, and wound up with this:





The model I started with was a Militus suit that I had slightly converted by adding some spare knee wings to the shoulder pads and a flappy cape sort of thing hanging from his belt that was taken from the Karist Kaddar Nova kit.



As with the previous suit, I started out with a basecoat of Army Painter Plate Metal spray.



Over the mechanical undersuit parts and the arm-mounted conflagration launchers, I painted a layer of Army Painter Dark Tone.



When that was dry, I gave the rest of the armour a light coat of Gryph-Hound Orange, keeping it thin enough that it didn't pool. This looked a bit scrappy, but that's ok for now.



I then started building up the orange with successive, light layers. These layers slowly work back from raised edge, building up heavier colour in creases, lower edges of plates and other shaded areas. Once the orange was about as dark as I thought it was going to get, I used a little Blood Angels Red to add some extra shading.





Once I was finished with the Contrast layers, I painted the helmet crest and the cape with Citadel Macragge Blue, and the eyes, inner strip details on the cape and some detail on the sides of the guns with Army Painter Ash Grey. I also basecoated the base with Vallejo Basalt Grey.



To finish up, I gave the blue a light drybrush with some old Citadel Ice Blue to pick up the detail and then washed it with a generous coat of Army Painter Blue Tone. Over the Ash Grey I added a highlight of white, and then I went over the raised edges of the armour with some Coat D'Arms Fiery Orange, with a final spot highlight of white wherever it seemed appropriate. The base was finished off with a drybrush of Vallejo Light Grey and my usual 'urban' detailing.



Some final thoughts: Over the Plate Metal basecoat, the orange wound up more of a coppery brown. I don't dislike the colour, but a white or cream base would be needed for more of an 'orange' orange. I also found that the red faded considerably as it dried, so the final level of contrast on the armour plates isn't as high as I had intended. Some over-compensation would clearly be required when shading this way with the Contrast paints in this way.

Another minor issue is that the Contrast rubbed off on raised edges really easily with handling during painting. I had heard that the Contrast paints were a little more fragile than regular acrylics, and are best sealed for handling, and this would seem to be made worse by the thinner coats used here. A light coat of sealer between layers now and then would probably be a good idea for keeping the paint intact while working, although I'm not sure how the Contrast goes over sealer.

Overall, though, the process seems to work, it just needs some refining as the Contrast behaves quite differently to the Army Painter Quickshades that I usually use for this sort of method.



You can pick up the Militus battlesuit, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range in the webstore here.

As always, feel free to pop along and share your creations, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions 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 Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.