Sunday, July 31, 2016

3D Plaster Hex Terrain for Hex Maps

I've started making, printing and matte laminating, textured hex maps based on the Battletech board game hex maps. I'm doing them at 2" from flat side to flat side, so that even large / wide models can fit between two hills. Any smaller, and some wide figures won't fit because their arms stick out too far and a 1 hex gap between hills is unuseable. But with 2", I can have 1" gaps between two hills, and all my figures still fit!

The maps and hexes should work with almost any minis, so fantasy, sci fi, doctor who, or whatever. Should be good!

I'm doing the map sheets in colour printed laminated paper, instead of flocking and painting. This means that the 3D hex blocks are not specific to a particular type of terrain. Instead, I can print out any type of terrain, and sit the image on top of the blocks. So I only need one set of blocks, and then sitting the image on top of them gives me snow, grass, desert, rock, or whatever!

At the moment I only have a few blocks. I'm making 3-hex triangles, 1x2 hex lines, and 1x1 hex blocks. Once I've got enough of them, I should be able to recreate any of the Battletech Map Sheets in this scale in 3D, and I find the map sheets to be interesting and varied enough to play battles with almost any minis game.

So here's a bunch of pics!

plaster 3-hex triangles, on a drying rack. I got a bunch of racks as part of a flower drying kit, and use them to dry out plaster models.

printed map, then slowly make plaster hexes to construct the hills. Only a few hexes made so far.

wide figure fit in the gaps between hills!

The three 1x1 hexes were too small - I measured it wrong! But it gives the idea of how you can just stack them on top of each other to create levels.

printed, laminated paper surface, sits on top to create terrain!

Doctor Who!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

3D Dungeon Tiles kickstarter !!!

A guy on Kickstarter is going to build custom-painted 3D dungeon tiles! You can say how many you want, and whether you want unpainted ones to paint up yourself, or whether you will pay to have him pro-paint them up for you in a scheme of your choice!

I thought it was so awesome, I want to help spread the word, as he's only doing them for people that make pledges for the kickstarter, I think.

If I join in the pledging, I'm going to ask for one painted up in a sort of moldy old stone like something out of an ancient ruined temple in a Tomb Raider game (or something like that) so it could be used as ancient ruins for Star Wars jedi / sith skirmishes, or perhaps an abandoned ancient dwarven city full of goblins and lost dwarven treasures for some Lord of the Rings skirmishes, or who knows what else!

It's also designed to work for a 3D board, for the miniatures dungeon crawl game Super Dungeon Explore which is a japanese anime / console arcade game inspired board game - makes me think of Legend of Zelda or Pokemon or something :)

He's got photos of a prototype board, painted up in a fiery dungeon theme, and I think his stuff looks pretty awesome :)

Here's a link to his kickstarter page:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

3D Sci Fi Apartment Building part 4

Okay, so yesterday I assembled and painted a custom roof for one of the levels of the District 5 Apartment Block building. After painting it up, it looked really, really white and bright compared with my terrain boards and the walls of the building. (I don't know if it showed in the photos yesterday, but it was heaps brighter than everything else, and quite jarring to look at. I think this was because the paint absorbs/fades into the wood the building is made out of, as opposed to the currogated board the roof was made of)

I was trying to work out how I could shade the whole thing just a tone darker, and what I did was this: Take an empty paint pot and put a small bit of Nuln Oil (Black GW Wash) in it, then add water, with about a ratio of 1:6 or 1:10 or something like that. I just used an eyedropped to grab a little but of nuln oil, then filled the pot about a quarter or a third with water.

Then I washed the whole surface with this very watery mix, with a large wide brush (I just used the Citadel Large Drybrush for stuff like this). It gave it a nice stained/weathered water stain look, just a few shades darker than how it was yesterday, but enough to make it blend in better now with the rest of the building. Because it was mostly water, it didn't leave brush strokes behind, which was good.


3D Sci Fi Apartment Building part 3

Okay, so the MicroArts District 5 Apartment Block has four floor pieces - one floor for each level section, and one for a roof on the top. Because I want to be able to use it as three single story buildings, I've traced one of the floor sections to make my own roof section!

To add detail to it, I glued together cast-off pieces (such as the window shutters that I popped out of the wall because I wanted some opened windows) to stick on top of the new roof.

I cut the roof out of currogated board (sort of like foam board, but without the foam in the middle).

The paint came out a bit brighter than I thought it would, possibly because the paint doesn't absorb into the board the way it absorb's into the wooden walls of the building, so I'm currently thinking about how I might tone it down just a fraction. Otherwise, I'm happy with how the roof turned out. I've still got to finish painting the walls around the outside of the building - I've been distracted with computer games this week.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

3D Sci Fi Apartment Building part 2

Just a quick update on progress with the first floor of the apartment building. (The photos came out a bit washed out, probably not the greatest lighting when I took the pics.)

This shows how the free-standing wall set can combine with apartment building to seperate interior into rooms.

Red floor tiles (still working on them). I'm thinking of outlining the hex floor tiles with white along one edge and shadow along the other edge, to give a 3d'ness to them, and make each floor tile stand out more, to add detail to the floor.

Pale blue interior walls

Exterior walls are mottled white with some pale blue areas and support beams are also pale blue. I've painted white lines along the top of each panel and some black wash lines along the bottom of each panel, to give the panels some more 3d'ness, and with the side of the drybrush, I ran white around the edges of every shape to highlight all edges.

 Windows and doorways really stand out great once you put a roof on top! Haven't painted the roof yet. I'm trying to decide do I paint it as red tiles like the floor inside (because the roof is actually the floor of the second floor if using it as a two story building) or do I paint it mottled white or mottled blue, to go with the walls. Not sure yet.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

3d sci fi Apartment Building part 1

Okay, after practicing working out painting the stand-alone walls and the crates, I'm ready to start on the District 5 Apartment Building by MicroArts Studio. I want to make it as three stand-alone, single story structures, to begin with, to help fill out the gaming table. I might get another one or two packets at a later date, so I can then have multi-story buildings in play.

Anyway, the assembly: I was really surprised at how the pieces just popped out of the A4 wooden laser-cut sheets. And they just clipped together with ease! The only parts requiring any real pressure were the corner posts near the final step, and the middle beams on the long walls, and even then, they still just popped into place with ease!

Here's a long-wall piece. Windows and door just pop out to make openings. Long strips across top and bottom simply snap onto the wall

Here's corner pieces with slots, to connect walls together
 Here's a wall before the strips along top and bottom are attached
 Top one slots into place, adding depth
 bottom one slots into place. Gives good 3d effect to the wall
 support beam half-way along the long walls
 short side walls just slot into place!
 Slots allow floor to just slot into place!
 Attach final wall. Then corner beams where walls meet, then top and bottom 3D strips slot onto side walls
 finished floor! Great size with the minis!
 second story floor can sit on top to make a roof for single-story building
I really love this model! Now I've got to paint it up!

sci fi crates

undercoat black. Paint frame in white.
colour the panels
wash with black wash (nuln oil) Note - citadel washes aren't exactly washes really, they aren't watered down paint, but are a formula sort of like using Liquid Future and Inks, so for people who aren't into using 'washes', I really recommend trying out the Citadel (Games Workshop) Washes range. Particularly like how the black goes on things.
Once wash has dried, carefully paint all edges white again (highlight). Put small bit of paint on brush, wipe brush on rim of paint pot to get off excess paint, run side of brush (not tip) along edges, holding object at 45 degree angle to get thin line of paint just on the edges of each shape.