Archive for the 'Terrain' Category

Realm of Battle Board Finished and Gen Con

So, after nearly a year of not very much getting done, I finally finished and sealed my GW Realm of Battle terrain board this weekend. The weather was nicely non-humid, so I was confident that the Dullcote matte spray sealer I was going to coat the board with wouldn’t get all weird and ruin the whole project.

A four-by-six foot patch of desert wasteland to call my own

I mostly like how it turned out. There’s one panel of the six that seems to be slightly darker than the others (and it the above photo, it looks much more different from the others than it does in real life) but otherwise, it turned out well. Using the camouflage paint from Krylon worked great for several reasons: it was the right color for my desert theme, it sticks really, really well to the plastic, and the ultra-flat finish makes the board less slippery, which means that models don’t slide around on it.

A few of my Chaos Space Marines enjoying their new play area: “There’s so much room for activities!”

I finished it off by using two cans of Testors Dullcote matte spray. Do this outside, do it on a dry day, and expect that one of the little cans of this stuff will cover three of the six panels. I coated it pretty liberally, and now it’s just as flat as the Krylon paint was before, but also coated with a clear finish, which should protect it from the wear and tear of war in the 41st millennium. I’ll let you know how it goes.

In other news, I’m leaving for Gen Con in less than 48 hours. This will be my third year in a row doing interviews and videos for Beasts of War, so I’ll be a busy badger during the convention. I’ll try and post here during the convention, but I can’t promise anything. However, I’ll be live tweeting for Beats of War, so I’ll throw that info up here tomorrow as soon as I get it all figured out and such.

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Nerd Party in the Nerd Bunker (including grilled meats)

From time to time, an email starts going around amongst a bunch of guys I’ve known for a long time. Dates get discussed, plans and tactics are hashed out, and eventually (usually around 11 a.m.) a bunch of guys start showing up at the Nerd Bunker for a day of Warhammer 40k and other things, whatever they may be. This happened again last Saturday, and a fine time was had. We decided this time to try and have a few big three-on-three Combat Patrol battles on the big table.

Josh has his Tau deployed

The first battle was Chaos (me), Tau (Josh), and Imperial Guard (Rick) versus Necrons (Ben), Space Marines (Karl), and  Orks (Evil Steve). Ben’s Necron force included the new Wraiths, which are right bastards and we were all scared of them. They absorbed a ton of fire as they stalked ever closer to our front line.

3 versus 3 Combat Patrol makes for a pretty epic battle, somehow

My Chaos Space Marines were mostly lined up across the board from Steve and his Orks. I was feeling pretty good about this, as I had two heavy bolters in my unit of Havocs. Heavy bolters will usually chew up a unit of lightly armored Orks, however my dice were terrible and I only killed a few and soon they were upon me. Rick and Josh worked over the Necron Wraiths and they finally died, but we were looking pretty weak.

My Chaos Havocs were holding it down, until they were overrun by Orks

Eventually, it became clear that our side could possibly win if my lone squad of Plague Marines could spread out enough to still stay in coherency (two inches between figures) and be within three inches of two separate objectives (they could), and if Josh’s lone Tau gun drone could fly close enough to one of the objectives that the other team held so that we could contest it (it could), and then the game had to randomly end on turn five. If it went to turn six or the dreaded turn seven, then our carefully constructed house of cards would come tumbling down and we would all die horribly, as per usual. Luckily for us, at the end of turn five, Rick rolled a die to see if the game would end (it would only end on a 1 or a 2 result) and it did. We actually cheered, as we snatched victory from the sticky maw of defeat.

Battle makes one hungry for meat, it seems

It was then time to grill many meats. It was raining a bit, but that didn’t stop us from firing up the coals and getting our carnivore on. There was steak, burgers, brats, and fancy ribs brought by Ben, who is a professional chef when he is not the general of an unstoppable Necron death machine. We then retired to the basement to fill our stomachs and talk shop.

Eventually, it was time to play a second game. Karl had to leave, but Black Tom had arrived with a 400-point group of Lamentors (Space Marines) in tow. The second game ended up being Chaos Space Marines (me), Tau (Josh), and Necrons (Ben) versus Imperial Guard (Rick ), Tau (Evil Steve), and Space Marines (Black Tom). This scenario was Capture and Control, so we each had a single objective in our deployment zones. The less said about this battle, the better. The game ended early, as our team was nearly unstoppable (due to some pretty lucky rolls, to be fair) and the fact that we really, really dug in on our objective. It was going to take an act of God to get two squads of Plague Marines, a squad of Firewarriors and three Battlesuits off of our precious objective.

Between the Plague Marines, the Firewarriors and the Battlesuits, I think we have this objective held

All in all, it was another good day in the Nerd Bunker, and it really inspired me to switch gears for awhile and get some terrain done. I have so much of it, but so little of it is painted, and I want to try to fix that. Plus, switching up things like that (going from painting figures to working on terrain) helps reduce gamer burnout.

Realm of Battle Board: A Busy Weekend

I purchased a Realm of Battle board from Games Workshop a few years back. I knew I would eventually paint it and get it all set up, but I didn’t have a table to put it on, so it sat in a case, in the closet, for A Long Time.

You’ve heard a story like this before.

Anyway, this summer I did finally build a gaming table with the help of friends, so now I really had no excuse: I had done all of the research, figured out my plan of attack, my materials and how I was going to make it happen and I just had to start. And a few weeks ago, I did start… but only on one of the six 2×2-foot pieces. I looked at it as a test.

And then on Saturday, I woke up and decided that today was the day.

A dusty, sandy wasteland sitting in my driveway

I’ll be honest, it’s still not finished. There’s all kinds of little rocks and details and skulls and skulls and skulls (if you’ve seen this thing close-up, you know that the planet it represents seems to be made of skulls) so those things still need to be painted, and there’s a little bit of airbrush shading and highlight drybrushing I want to try, and then there’ll be the Dullcote clear varnish spray to protect it. But then, it’ll be completely done. I would say I’m at 70% at this point, maybe 75%.

Also this weekend, I primed a daemon prince and my entire USCR faction (six models) for the skirmish game MERCS. I’ll have blog posts about those things as they move along, I assure you. I’m really looking forward to painting the USCR guys. The daemon prince is a little scary because he’s so big and detailed.

On Sunday, I built a Nurgle Chaos Lord that I had picked up at Chimera a few weeks ago and converted him to make him work for Warhammer 40,000 instead of Warhammer Fantasy, which is what he was designed for. I like the way he’s turning out so far:

He seems to have a little problem there... and there... and there...

I mainly just added an old Chaos Space Marine backpack, a Nurgle shoulderpad on his right shoulder, a bolt pistol on his hip, and of course the bayonet he seems to be perplexed by, but overall not too concerned with. I’m really looking forward to painting him (as I do with nearly any kind of figure with the words plague or nurgle in the title) and will probably prime him and basecoat him with my airbrush some time after OshCon, which is coming up this weekend. If you can, you should attend and play some games. It’s a good time, if you’re a gamer. If you’re not a gamer, then you might want to make other plans.

My First Foamcore Ruins: FINISHED

Several years ago, I started a project. I designed and built a ruined building out of foamcore. I added some details and some debris, made a blog post about it, and then it sat on my printer for A Long Time. Then, I finally primed it and painted it (half-assedly, I might add) and then it sat on the printer again, for A Long Time. Eventually it ended up in a photo on my blog related to something else. And then we moved, and it sat in the basement again for A Long Time.

Earlier this spring, I repainted it and it was finished. And this past weekend, I finally took some decent pictures of it.

I'm sorry, I will not stay at this hotel again

I don’t think it has a great amount of detail, but it’s got more detail than many foamcore buildings you see on some gaming tables, so I suppose it’s a step in the right direction. There’s a fine line one must walk between making something that looks like a diorama (this is nowhere near that quality, obviously)  and something that’s actually playable and will allow you to stand some models on it.

I think it needs a little more detail on the outside

I repainted this with my first airbrush lesson with John back earlier in the summer, and added a few more visual details after the new coats of paint. If you plan on doing a lot of terrain, picking up even a cheap airbrush will make your work so much quicker and look quite a bit nicer as well. Painting large areas with a brush is really time consuming and difficult to make look good.

I really should've put a figure in one of these photos for scale purposes

Also, you want to make sure to add details. If you have ever seen a building before (and I suspect you might’ve) you’ll have noticed that they have details on them. Things like pipes, vents, junction boxes, heating and cooling units, etc. That, and simple surface details and window sills and the like, really enhance the look of a building. I should do a post or two just about those kinds of things.

Airbrush Lessons and Terrain Painting

Multiple Golden Demon-winning painter and good friend Sam and his brother John came over on Saturday to show me some airbrushing tricks and best practices. I learned tricks on cleaning my airbrush, how to properly mix color and how to apply and blend that color on the model you’re painting. I learned a lot and put some of it into practice before Sam left. I’m really looking forward to trying it out on some figures soon (probably USCR guys from MERCS) and another Chaos Rhino or two and some terrain, of course. So, so much terrain.

Sam working on a Blood Angels Land Raider (for my friend Eric) while explaining the finer points of airbrushing

However, between coats of color on the Land Raider he was painting to show me examples, we stalked about the Nerd Bunker to find something for me to practice airbrushing. I usually have a bunch of primed or half finished projects lying around. One thing we did find (but decided not to airbrush) was a statue from the Honoured Imperium terrain set from Games Workshop. After looking it over and discussing how to best paint it, I got to it.

A work in progress, but it's looking good so far

It’s turned out pretty well so far, especially the green patina effect on the bronze statue. I need to paint the base of the statue to look like stone, and then do a few touch ups with a wash in some of the darker areas, but then it’ll be done. Maybe, if I ever get a second one of those statues, I’ll do a step by step tutorial about it if people are interested. Also, I’ll make sure to take fancy photos of this project when it’s all done.

Gen Con Booty Report

So, as I’ve mentioned, I was at Gen Con in Indianapolis a little while ago. It’s not just a place to get together and play games and demos and tourneys, it’s also a place to buy things. Many, many things.

Stuff I bought home from Gen Con... and a cat

The black case at the top of the photo is from Max Protection, and it was billed on the packaging as a “Miniature Case 2.0” and the photo showed a troop-style foam cutout inside. I found when I got home an opened it that it did not have that kind of cutout inside, it had spaces for card decks. Maybe I can fit warjacks in those holes, we’ll see. Otherwise, I’ll have to see if Battlefoam can cut me a custom piece of foam for it, which will cost more than I paid for the bag, but it’ll be worth it.

Continue reading ‘Gen Con Booty Report’

My Modular Urban Terrain Project

I got an idea last year about making some modular urban terrain to play with. I thought about it for a long time and made a bunch of sketches and notes. Eventually, these turned into some computer drawings and a list of components. One of the first things I needed was a four foot square mat to represent the streets. I looked around online and settled on a mat from The Terrain Guy made of canvas, textured and covered in rubber. This is a great handmade mat for a good value, in my opinion. This will be the streets of my urban board.

I decided that MDF would make up the ‘blocks’ of my urban landscape. Once I decided on all of the sizes and shapes in my configuration, I had to get some MDF and a friend with a table saw.

A simple grid map

After a lot of sawing, I had a stack of squares and rectangles and whatnot, and then it was time for the sanding and the dremeling, which is probably not a real word. The general idea was to round the edges of the pieces and use them as curbs and sidewalks.

A simple example layout with a few buildings for scale

This will allow for a board with many different configurations. Between the different ‘blocks’ and the ability to put different buildings and other terrain pieces on those blocks, I should have hundreds of variations for my gaming table.

However, I now need to texture and paint all of the ‘block’ pieces. I’ll be using sand and kitty litter with wood glue to do the texturing, and then I’ll be painting the pieces with black latex paint. After that dries, I’ll be spraying them grey and doing a little drybrushing.

We seem to be under attack

So the plan is to document the further work on the modular urban project. I doubt I’ll be able to get much done this weekend, as it is currently very humid around here. Hopefully that’ll be cleared up by the end of the weekend so I can do a little painting outside on Sunday morning. I’ll keep you informed here.


atom smashing

A gaming blog talking about miniatures games, miniatures painting and collecting, game design and other nerdly delights.


The Statistics – 2013

Minis games played:
• WH40k (1850 pts):
   BT/GK vs Kevin (Eldar/DE) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Jason (D.E.) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Kevin (S.W.) LOST
Minis finished:
 none yet
Terrain finished:
 none yet
Cons attended:
 Fire & Ice
updated 28FEB2013

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