Saturday, June 23, 2012

Worldworks Titan Scenery part 5

Just a short update this weekend. Added a couple more posts and walls to the section I'm working on. The way the walls are designed, they have a bit at the top that folds and glues into place to create a strong support along the top of the walls. This helps stop them from bending due to moisture, and it also lets ground tiles be sat on top to create roofs, or more levels to the building, to hide the interior contents. Last is a shot showing the table mess :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Worldworks Titan Scenery part 4

Okay, got a few things done today. I've made a few of the interior floor tiles, which have special tab-flaps glued onto them around the edges. By folding one of the flaps upwards, you can slot a support beam down over it, and it is held upright in place on the floor. By putting in two support beams, the walls (which have notches in both ends) slide down to clip into the two beams, holding the wall in place. It works really well, and I was surprised how stable it was.

I wanted the doors to be able to open and close, so I came up with this method: Get a second copy of the wall that has a door drawn on it, and cut out the door and doorframe. Notch the bottom, and notch a small piece of the thick card paper, so it can plug into the bottom of the door and hold the door up. Cut the door out of the assembled wall to make an empty doorway. Because the cut-out door includes the frame, it balances perfectly against the empty doorway, and doesn't fall over. I like the idea of 'sliding door', so to open the door, I just slide it to one side of the doorway. That way, if it's a little unbalanced at all, it won't fall over because it can flop against the wall.

Lastly, I did a wall with windows in it as well today

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Worldworks Titan Scenery part 3

I've done two rows of tiles now, along the bottom of the map layout I'm trying to assemble. 12 tiles so far! People on the modelling forums were right, it's a lot of work, and a bit tedious printing and taping and cutting and gluing stuff over and over again.

Luckily, my brother has loaned me his Star Trek Next Generation and Deep Space Nine DVDs, which are making it a lot more fun to sit down constructing tiles and objects - though I have a tendency to get distracted by Star Trek and realize half an hour later that I'm supposed to be cutting things, lol :)

I've started making some paper scenery objects to go with the tiles too - a couple long barriers to go by pedestrian crossings, two metal fences beside the VTOL landing pad, and some short concrete posts.

I'm a bit more excited now that I've reached row 3 of the map layout, as I get to start doing some walls and doors and room interiors next! I assembled a single 6" wall piece as a test, and placed an object behind it to stand it up, so I could pose some figures in front of it and see what it looks like.

Worldworks Titan Scenery part 2

Yesterday I got the Titan series of Worldworks Games sci-fi scenery, and their sci-fi hover cars, and thick 250 gm2 colour copy paper (instead of photo paper), 'no wrinkle' glue pens, double sided tape, black marker, A4 cutting mat, and five sheets of corrugated core.

I got colour copy paper, because they were out of stock of matte photo paper, and then they asked me, if I wanted really thick, and I wanted matte, why use photo paper when I could just use colour copy paper. I wasn't aware that colour copy paper was different to standard printer paper, but it's designed to show colours better than standard printer paper, and it works pretty well - not to mention, is thicker than photo paper, and the bonus: no reflections, as it's not gloss coated! It's great standing guys on the sidewalk, and not seeing reflections on the concrete :)

As for the boards, I had actually thought I was buying five sheets of foamcore board, but I picked sheets off the wrong shelf by accident, and didn't know until I started assembling ground tiles that I did not, in fact, have foamboard. The result: the terrainlinx system of creating connector tabs in the sides of the tiles was not possible. For one thing, the corrugated board is like corrugated cardboard in that it is two hard layers sandwiching a wave - air tunnels run the whole way through the length of the board, making it hard to cut fitted slots into the sides of the board. The other problem: it was not the correct thickness either. The printed tiles are designed to wrap around the edges of standard foamboard, but there's no easy way to wrap them and slot them around this stuff.

I opted to go simple instead. I just cut the top face out of each floor tile and stuck it onto the corrugated board, then cut it out to get a free-standing ground tile. So my tiles don't physically connect and anchor to each other, but they lay out perfectly together to form the battlefield, and I think when the walls are attached, they will help hold things in place. It's not like I'll be knocking the table about anyhow.

Here's some of the tiles I assembled so far, thrown together on the table to see what they'd look like. I tried to put tiles adjacent to each other that line up, but some were just laid out regardless because I haven't made the tiles they connect to yet. I was impressed how well they go together anyhow.

I used double-sided tape, to put around the edge of a tile, then three diagonal lines of double-sided tape in the middle, to attach the tile to the corrugated board. This way there's no glue involved - so no warping due to moisture, and no waiting for anything to dry. Worked great!

I'm really impressed with the texturing of the pieces. They did a fantastic job! Here's a close-up of one of the tiles. There's so much detail!

Of course, it's just drawn on, and not embossed or anything. I wish there was a way to have physical sculpted floors and walls, painted with this level of detail. That would be truly incredible, but for now, making urban areas, this is the way to go, I think.

My plan is to do all the ground tiles, and then the wall posts, and then the walls/doors. Possibly I'll throw in some scenery objects or hovercars in between to keep things interesting.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sci Fi WorldWorks Titan Goal

Okay, so after playing around with the basic printable scenery I got on rpgnow, I decided that I wanted thicker walls. And more details and variations (it only has one floor tile).

I've looked at WorldWorks Games scenery before, and tried out some of their stuff ages ago. They've come a long way since then - in particular, their 'slot together' model system they use now is fantastic, and the level of detail has really ramped up.

I got their TerrainLinx planner program, so I could map out a test map on my screen using the Titan series of sci-fi walls, streets, interiors, computers, cars and stuff. The photos I've seen of people's completed maps using these tile sets look amazing, so I'm going to take the plunge, get all the materials, and attempt to create a map for mini games using the Titan series of scenery sets.

Here's a link to some of the Titan pages, and some other pages with photos of Titan scenery being used. I'm thinking of using Streets of Titan and Titan Control, as well as some of the vehicles.

This guy's got a complex coming together, with the attachments you put atop the walls to make them look thick.

The wall thickeners also let you stack additional floors of levels on top of each other to make multistory buildings.

This guy's playing around with using tiny lights to make spotlights and streetlamps built into his maps!

Here's my first test map idea. The TerrainLinx planner lets you see all the parts available in each TerrainLinx scenery set, and as you drag and drop pieces onto your tabletop (and you can define the size of your gaming table too!) it creates a list of each product and each page that you need to print, to make what you've drawn on the screen!

All the walls are marked in with yellow lines. The green markings are where connector posts need to go to connect the walls together, and to connect them to the floor tiles. The rest is overhead view of the floor tiles, being room and passage interiors, sidewalk and alleyways, and streets. I threw in a loading bay in the northern building too. The darker squares on the sidewalk areas are VTOL landing zones.

This layout should be good for a range of games: Rebels (Imperial Guards) vs Planetary Guard (Space Marines) in a rebel uprising on some distant world. Or civilians scattered about, with Marines trying to rescue them from randomly wandering/attacking aliens that have infested the city!

I also want to use it for my solitaire Infiltrator scenarios - I've been designing a solitaire adventure game based on Traveller rules, where the player is an Agent for hire with special skills and abilities, and the map has terrorists, or foreign law enforcement, or mafia thugs, or whatever, that are placed around the map. Each room and some outdoor locations have waypoint counters put on them. The enemies will roll dice to radomly determine if they hang out where they are, or head to a different waypoint. The player must navigate the map to achieve objectives (assassination, hostage rescue, steal data from computers, sabotage, etc) without getting caught, with bonus mission rewards for never being seen, not setting off alarms, or not killing anyone, and stuff like that. Rewards can be spent to train up skills, or buy cool gadgets (like stealth armor that makes you invisible if you stand still - as long as no one tries to walk through your space).

Anyway, the map pieces can be freely rearranged to make other maps, and if it works, I can make additional walls and floors, to make a range of levels - spaceship and space station interiors, underground military complexes, and so forth.

I'll hopefully be able to get this project started around the end of next week :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

3D Space Base part 2: doors and support beams

Got to working out how to do doors. I decided that I would integrate the door pieces with wall pieces, so it was easy to just slot a door section onto the map where I want it.

To make the doors openable, I cut a section out of the middle of the wall, but keeping a bit at the bottom, and keeping the tabs that fold out (that I glue the strip of metal too) for support. Then I cut the space out of the door frame, and folded it so a door frame half sits on both sides of the wall. Then I cut out the door, and did not glue it together flat - I left it so each half of the door can slide between the halves of the open door fame and the wall - ensuring the hole in the wall was just thin enough that the door can surround it along the edges, stopping the door from flopping around. Anyway, here's a bunch of pics that hopefully explain a bit better.

Also, support beams for the walls. Basically, cut clots into them, so they can sit down over the top of where two walls meet to help hold them in position. I found I had to cut some pretty big slots into the beams, because the laminated walls were a lot thicker than plain paper, and they ended up pretty much being more for decoration - and adding more 3D'ness to the map, than providing any actual support. But I like them :)

And here's the doors.

 The side white flaps on the door frame fold flat behind it and glue onto the wall. Here, I've cut a slot in the wall, and you can see the back of the door frame. The flap and the door frame form a pocket between the frame and the wall, for the door to slide into.

 Here you can see it's open at the top, after two door frames are stuck on opposite sides of the wall.
 Here's the door. I ended up gluing the tab at the top together, but left the rest of the door open so it could slide half on either side of the wall when inserting it into the door frames.

 You can just pull on the tab at the top to raise (or remove) a door
 Here's the map so far, with a couple walls and beams, a door, and some of my other scenery objects. Printing everything greyscale makes it go well with my 'industrial' plaster scenery pieces.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

3D Space Ship / Station / Base Interior

Okay, so those who have seen my sci-fi blogs (star wars, 40k, etc) have seen how I was trying to make Hirst Arts plaster 3D sci fi scenery for things like marines killing aliens aboard spaceships, and that sort of thing. I've been solitairing some Traveller RPG missions recently, and got the Sci-Fi hobby bug going again.

So I thought, the plaster stuff was sooo messy, took soooo long to do, and the plaster material was toxic (so had to wear gloves, goggles, breath mask, etc), and so forth. A real hassle, even though I loved the final fully 3D scenery it made.

I wanted to do something easy, however. Something that wasn't messy. Had no real cleaning up to do. And so forth. And was light and thin and could easily throw in a drawer for storage. So I turned back to papercraft again. On RPGNOW I came across the Omega Prime Core paper scenery set. It's floors, walls, doors, computers, crates, etc. Not a lot of variation, but some good stuff - and cheap at about $6.

I printed stuff out draft, at low resolution grey scale, then I laminated all the pages, and am now cutting them out and gluing them together. It's a neat system. It has tabs that you stick around the edges of each floor tile, letting them slot together with adjacent floor tiles so they don't slide about. The walls have flaps at the bottom that jut out - and what I've done, is glued long, thin 15mm miniatures bases along the bottom of the walls. The metal strip weighs down the walls, and holds them firmly in place, while allowing me to just pick them up and shift them around to lay out a different map!