05 August, 2014

A Fox's Guide to Terrain Building (Part 5)

Well considered and well built terrain helps to tell the story of the world, in much the same way that a well painted figure tells the story of a character within that world.

Take a look at the fogures that this terrain piece is going with...



...they aren't the ornate and baroque forms that you get from a Warhammer 40k Space Marine. They look pretty clean and functional. They've been painted up to avoid blending in. These are visible peacekeepers, agents of the law...once you start getting a feel for the characters you might even say that they are upright, noble warriors, proud of their heritage. But you could just as easily say that they are the visible arm of a tyrannical fascist regime, carefully trained and thoughtfully dressed to make everything look good on the surface while sinister horrors lurk in the regime's shadows. (The 1984 coffee mug in the background is pure coincidence)

The upright freedom loving peacekeepers, and the propaganda driven fascists may have a lot of the same imagery associated with them, but it's in the details where these two stories start to diverge.

As a high tech group with a functional mentality, I'm looking for clean lines on this terrain piece. But I want them to look friendly, so instead of sharp angular corners, I'm sanding all the edges into rounded forms.

This sanding is applied to the windows, the outermost edges of the building, and the new crossbars that I've decided to add to each end. (Why the crossbars? Why didn't they appear in my original design? I'll get back to that later)


I'm also accounting for my poor construction work by over sanding the upright edges. Knowing the tips to help cover mistakes can make construction a lot quicker.


It still looks geometric and modular, but now it looks a bit less imposing.

As for those end bits, I've modified the design slightly because I want to show the hydraulic rams that push the building's second storey upward. I've decided that the absolutely plain rectangular prisms don't have enough interest in them and I want this piece to look like a functional piece of technology.

I've thought long and hard about how to make these hydraulic rams as functional as possible, but the logistics of this was just a little beyond my skills and tools (sometimes it's good to know your limitations and know when to stop).

I'll be using some small hollow metal tubing and a metal rod to simulate the hydraulic rams. Using fourrods to raise second storey when the base is deployed, and simply storing them inside when the game is over and figures are being transported.





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