Friday, September 10, 2010

Terrain: Imperial Hive City Outer Fortification

Although I have many armies, what really interests me is terrain. I’ve always been too busy making armies to play in this fabled terrain I’d eventually make, so I’ve never actually gotten very far in making a lot of serious pieces. Regardless it remains my favourite part of the hobby and with all the people out there that make truly amazing terrain pieces, I find no lack of inspiration to create my own.
The outer walls of Hive Primus on Cerillis IV
   So here I present another first, the Terrain series of articles. For my first I’ll present my favourite piece. This was a class project that I worked on with two of my closest friends. We had planned for additional pieces, but we focused solely on completely the main part and as expected ran out of time for the rest. It was meant to be a practical application of circuit boards, which translated as “working terrain piece” to me.
   I came up with the original concept of the wall and working gate, and with the input of my cohorts and professor we found the solution to bring it into reality. The three of us laid out the circuit map and soldered the wires into the appropriate spots. If I had the foresight, I would have kept the original schematics to show you. At present, I can’t remember the correct names for everything, only that they are wires, circuit boards, control bugs and LEDs.
Vindicator Surprise

   The walls themselves are made from foamcore, painted with regular house paint. I mounted the walls to two pieces of MDF board which I had cut at the local DIY store. Friendly guys they are, very helpful. I used my exacto knife to gouge blast craters into the walls. I used a sharp pencil to put bullet holes in various places. I then punctured holes through the wall in order to pop the LEDs through later. I used thin rectangles of foamcore on the inside to give the walls structure and the top walk ways a place to sit. When the Citadel Spray Gun was released, I used the walls as a test subject to see what it could do. I feel did a pretty good job.
A clever Ork finds another way in

   For the gates, I used two computer disk drives that were ripped out of decommissioned computers. I wired them up to a circuit board and wired a control system to that. There are three settings for the switch: Off, Open, and Close. In order to make the gates activate, a button must be pressed to close the circuit. The switch must be set to which function is desired, those are pretty self explanatory. While it is powered, the lights alternate. I used a piece of plasticard cut to fit the disk drives and painted on the Imperial Aquila by looking at the largest reference I could find from the Third Edition Rulebook.
The WAAAGH! reaches the walls
   This piece was a lot of fun to make, and having others there working on it made its construction that much easier to complete. Luckily my friends just wanted to build it and had no desire to actually keep it. I bought the materials myself just to be fair. With the input of others as well as their help, this piece really came out great. Or I could be really biased.

   Despite its short life it has been the pinnacle of many an epic battle. If I can unearth this piece and get it in some more games, I’ll be able to take some pictures of those battles. For now, enjoy the images I have of it and maybe you’ll find some inspiration for yourself. Also, check out the vid of it in action on my youtube channel:
Signing out

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