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The Biker Marine
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1,618 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

It has been ages since my last post around here, and as I was taking some quick pictures of my first major terrain project for my local 40K group, I decided to document my progress here on the forum as well. Since I already have some work done, and some pictures taken, I will briefly state what the goal of the projects is, what terrain features I decided to make, and what my experience so far has been. But I think that I will start with one of the pictures taken during the brainstorming phase of my work:

So far.JPG


The story is really simple - my local group is not big into Apocalypse, but once a year we do get together and throw around 15K worth of models on the table and have a full day of fun with beer, pizza and pretzels. This year we decided to theme the battle around Space Marines and Inquisition taking on Orks and newly awakened Necrons. Not to bore you with details: Necrons are waking up only to find their planet overrun by Orks. Since they do not want to fight in their weakened state they strike a bargain where both races will ignore each other and Orks will get some cool new Flashy Gitz out of it. Ordo Xenos gets alarmed about the news from the sector and decides to strike at the Necrons before they are fully awoken. They commandeer a sizable portion of the Ultramarines chapter to occupy the Orks and help Inquisitorial Storm Troopers with a direct assault on the Necron Tomb.

So this is the background in a summary. As far as the physical setup we are aiming for 4x20 table with a separate 4x4 table which will be the underground “control complex” of the Tomb. Since we already have a lot of Ork themed terrain and set out on a mission to create some Necron-like terrain for the smaller table, as well as one or two pieces that will be placed on the main table to represent the entrance points to the lower levels…

My initial ideas were of course influenced by the Monolith itself, as well as the magnificent Dawn of War game (the first one) which featured some great Necrons scenery I thought. I was also in a process of simultaneously planning my first lighted Monolith, so this is why I wanted to include some LED lights, or battery-operated lights in general.

It was decided that we are going to need a center piece for the small table, 4 generic pieces and 4 pieces that would represent teleportation gates between the tables. As I was showing my drawings and ideas to the group, we decided that the teleportation gates would look awesome as power nodes (generators, space power suckers, Necron green ore collectors – you get the idea), so the plan changed to include 2 of those instead of 4, but possibly make them bigger to represent their new role.

As you can probably guess, the picture above includes the “generic” Necron piece as well as the early version of what was to become the power node. As a teaser for my next posts, I will end with a picture taken today – and no, I am not fixing my water lines….

Teazer.jpg
 

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The Biker Marine
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1,618 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Necron Obelisk

The easiest part of the project I thought was the Necron “Obelisk” – it was inspired by the Necron defense “tower” from the DoW game. I decided to build those out of foam board, although I was thinking that a pink foam would be an OK material if you had a hot wire knife and a steady hand - In hindsight, I think that foam board is easier to use actually. The basic shape of the obelisk is a four sided column that gets narrow at the top. It can be topped with a pyramid-like tip, but I went for a clean, flat top. The basic dimension for me were 4 inch sides on the bottom, 8 inches tall overall, tapering to 3 inch sides on top.

Three tips if you want to take anything away from this post:

-Shop around for you foam board. I have seen prices vary from $7.99 down to $2.99. There are also colored boards available which will save you time/money if you are going for a mono-colored piece.
-Get a 45 degree foam board cutter – it will pay for itself over and over if you are doing projects like this often. Even if you will use it this one time only – get one!
-Get a decent glue – while “white glue” will work, I find that it takes a long time to dry. I used a “craft tacky glue” which was grabbing fast, drying quickly and so far creating a great bond with the foam, paper and plastic which I used on another part of this project.

This is a picture of the generic parts as I was cutting them to create my obelisks:

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When gluing those together I made sub-assemblies from two side pieces glued at a right angle. I was using a triangle (drawing aid) to keep the pieces properly angled. Once those were secure I was putting them together, and gluing the top piece in to lock the corners in place. They were left to dry with rubber bands around them.

What you see inside those two “ruined” obelisks is an additional piece that I sized to go in at about half way down the main cavity. That added extra strength to the model in case someone grabbed it and squeezed too hard. It should also prevent any warping that might happen due to painting or just humidity getting to the board later I hope…. I glued those in after the obelisks were built, just before I closed the cavity off with the base piece. With the ruined ones, it will allow me to glue in a pink foam piece that will work as the core of the obelisks..

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While building bases for the obelisk to stand on, I started with a basic square cut out from the thick version of the foam board. My 45 degree cutter was not able to cut all the way through this material so I ended up with straight sides for now. On top of that square I mounted a smaller one cut at an angle for some more interest.

Tonight I am planning to try to add small finishing pieces on the sides of the bigger square to add a little more the model. I hope to have an update before the day is out.
 

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Sir Proofreader
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4,251 Posts
Those are some really cool looking obelisks! The whole endeavour sounds like quite an impressive project, I hope it all goes well :)
 

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The Biker Marine
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1,618 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
As promised, there are some more pictures of the WIP obelisks. I was able to finish the bases yesterday for all 9 of them. I ended up adding strips of foam board to the sides of the platforms that those are mounted on. I was able to cut them at an angle and that should make for a more refined look than just straight sides (used black foam board for those pieces as I had some leftovers sitting around from another piece of Necron scenery that I built at the same time):

TableThursday1.jpg

TableThursday2.jpg


It will help during the painting stage as well – for those who are unaware, spray paint chemicals will usually eat away exposed foam. This is why I started coating it with a watered down mixture of white glue and black paint. Two coats of that should be enough to make it safe to prime… I also added the pink foam inserts to my destroyed obelisks as well. Right now I am thinking if adding some cracks here and there is a good idea, or if I should keep these nice and clean?

In retrospect, if I were not making 9 of them I would probably follow this design - the additional cut along the sides that adds a feature for the eye to follow. However, as it stands, my obelisks needed 13 pieces each and I am on a tight schedule here. Adding that element would increase the pieces count to a minimum of 19 I estimate. That would be a lot of measuring and cutting ;)

relic.jpg


So instead, I fired up Corel Draw and made my own Necron symbol – well, used the GW design but made it from scratch. My work has some vinyl cutting machines and they were nice enough to spare me a couple of slices of green vinyl. With that I made myself a bunch of Necron stickers that I plan to put on the sides of the obelisks once I have them spray painted…

IMG_4409.jpg


That closes the obelisks part of this project for a while. Next one is going to be focused on power generators….
 

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The Biker Marine
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1,618 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Power Generators

Over this weekend I was able to finish what I call Power Generators or Star Power Suckers :act-up: These started as a teleportation portals, but as my group was rehashing the story line for the game they took on a new role. The initial concept called for something a bit smaller and counting as many as 4 identical structures, but we ended up needing 2 only and so I was able to make them a bit beefier and use more pieces overall… As you look at the pictures you will notice that aside from the green light that I intend of using for both, they are rather generic and could be used as an Imperial piece as well. I could imagine that it would not take much to make them into a Tau-themed terrain either…..

The materials came from a local DIY store. Looking at the pictures I used 16 individual parts for each of them (if anyone wants to know the specifics):

The main piece is a 4” roof vent cover – I assume it keeps squirrels away? The bottom is a 4” sever pipe access connector – not sure of the specific… Pipes on the sides are ½” elbows with slide-in caps.
On top of the vent cover we have something used in a flushing mechanism in toilets, whereas the very top is a quick-connector part in a random size that seemed to make sense as I was dry-fitting the parts.

Putting those together was not too hard, except that one of the parts I originally bought to use was not working with the glue so I ended up replacing it for one seen in the final version. I also realized too late that I had absolutely no tools to measure spacing between the side pipes on the circle created by the base of the piece. I also had to buy a large file to shape the side pipes so that they would fit the circumference of the same piece. As a last step I added two groups of rivets, because as everyone knows 40K scenery is about skulls and rivets…

First picture is the original design, the second is the final product:

PowerGen2.jpg

PowerGen4.jpg

Right now both generators are primed and waiting for a coat of metallic paint - I have to paint them first before I can add the transparent foil and light on the inside. Most likely they will end up painted fairly simple with mostly metallic base and lots of corrosion – after all not everything on Necron Tomb Worlds if made out of a living metal :soldier:

Next time I am going to show how the Summoning Core was made – thanks for checking in on my progress!
 

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Sir Proofreader
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4,251 Posts
Some handy looking stickers there. The power generator looks very impressive, although it sounds like it's going to get much better.
 

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The Biker Marine
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1,618 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
A quick update as I am a bit busy with work this week and the progress has been slow. I was able however to put some paint on the Power Generators and also got inspired to add one more piece that the initial plan was not calling for - brainstorming pic included :soldier:

painted1.jpg

Painted2.jpg
 

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The Biker Marine
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1,618 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Ah, so the Summoning Core… Clearly a rip-off of the Dawn of War design, with a slight modification – I did not do the round emblem in the center in the interest of saving time. But I did place it on a raised platform to add a little flare to the model. I also wanted a base to cover any possible leaks of light under the bottom of the core in case my cuts were not precise.

I started with a container from… The Container Store - it happened to be around the size I needed, was green and transparent – perfect for Necron “stuff”. Based on that I started measuring things and planning my piece. I wanted for the proportions to look right and not have any gaps or weird angles. I also glued the top of the container to the base and carved a large, round hole in what was to become the bottom of the core – this is to allow for the light to be placed in there, batteries changed and possibly upgraded later on if I decide it is not strong enough…

IMG_4368.jpg

From there I started cutting. I used black foam board this time, as obviously painting this piece would be rather difficult once built. I started by cutting the top and each side (using my fancy 45 degree cutter) first, and then cutting those into separate pieces still. I also numbered each smaller piece so that I would not lose track of what goes where and which pieces to glue together:

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From there I started gluing small sub assemblies together, using the container as a guide to keep the corners at nice 90 degree angels. That gave me a lot of pieces that would be ready to be glued to the container itself. I finished the first day by covering the open foam with several layers of white glue and throwing one coat of varnish on all the pieces to give them a bit extra durability… Next evening I gathered my rubber bands, and started gluing those pieces to the “frame” – I used the top and bottom of the container as my guides leaving the “in between” pieces for later:

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With those major parts securely attached to the core, I added the last 4 sub assemblies. I was not sure how to shape the base that the core would sit on, but after some brainstorming I decided for a square, stepped pedestal. I wanted to continue the general design of the core, so the gaps on each side of the core are matched by exact gaps on each side/step of the pedestal. I also cut out the center of the pedestal so that the core is recessed into it a bit – again – covering the base of the core, plus making sure that it sits exactly in the center of the pedestal:

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Finally, I turned the lights of and powered the engaged the powers of my summoning core:

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Next time, I will talk about the second major piece of the table that I decided to create to break the monotony of squares and obelisks….
 

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Sir Proofreader
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4,251 Posts
Neat! You make this stuff look easy :)
 

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Registered
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14 Posts
Great job on the terrain build and lighting, from the flash on glossy paint pics; paint wise could be better but im sure covering a table with the lights on and armies going would look boss :D
 

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The Biker Marine
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1,618 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
The big game has already happened! I was extra busy with getting some more Necrons painted (or repainted as the paint job I did years ago was looking a bit dated now), terrain finished and situated. Hence no updates till after the event. There will be several pictures from the game in the next post, however, let me show you the last major building that I did for the main “on the surface” table before the game happened.

As usual, it was built from a foam board, this time I was using the regular and dual (triple?) thickness variety. I wanted something different and not using too square-ish, and so as I was browsing a craft store the other day, a foam ball caught my eye. From there it was easy. I started cutting some triangular shapes meant to create a “nest” for the ball. I started with four of those, added some side reinforcements at the base and started dry-fitting them. It was still looking too organized, so I decided to add one more arm, for a total of 5. Ha – do not ask me how hard it was to again measure the distances between each of those without proper tools, especially that I was mounting those on a square pedestal – ugh. Anyways – this is how it was looking at that point:

Photo1.jpg

From there I started working on the base. Again, the top level was a square, and the second layer was adding some more squares into the mix. I glued the two together and took some more pictures:

Photo2.jpg

At that point I was actually painting some of the other pieces, so I quickly threw a coat of paint on this model:

Photo3.jpg

And there is was, almost finished. As a last step I grabbed a gold colored marker (that actually used metallic paint) and carefully painted some Necron-looing hieroglyphs on some of the models:

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