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Posted in Terrain Building.

Designing Terrain from Desktop to Tabletop part 2

So you have made your 3D model and now your looking to make it a reality.  Unless you have a 3D printer your best bet is to make a template and print it on a 2D printer.

I use Ultimate Paper Craft 3D to unfold my models and print them out.  However there is another step I neglected to mention in the previous article.   To make unfolding easier save your 3D model under a different name then delete all of the unnecessary faces.

As you see I’ve deleted all the parts I do not need and then saved the file.  I then open up Ultimate Paper Craft 3D and I start to unfold the model.  I’m not going to do a full tutorial on how to use UPC that is what the help file is for.

UPC takes a bit of time to get used to.  Some times things just do not unfold like you would like to.  The best thing to do is to reopen the file and start again.

After you have the plans done you just need to print them out.  I prefer to use full sheet label paper.  I print them out, peel the back and place them on the material I’m going to use.  Another option is printing it on Card stock and glueing it to the material you will use.  For me the top three frames (from the picture above) were printed on label paper and the bottom three on card stock.

I realise that this may have been a bit simplistic but a full tutorial on UPC would take pages, it’s best to use the help feature to learn how to use this program.  Next step is cutting and assembling!

Posted in Scratch Building, Terrain Building.

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Designing Terrain from Desktop to Tabletop part 1

Lately I’ve been making my terrain with Google Sketchup which is a 3D software that allows you to easily build 3D objects.  Sketchup is very simple to use and it is free.  the ability to make your models to scale is invaluable to me as I will then open the Sketchup file containing my model with Ultimate Paper Craft 3D and unfold the model so I may print it out and build it.  In these next few posts I will go through the process of making a piece of industrial Warhammer 40k terrain.

Well to get started I need to decide what I’m going to build and what I’m going to build it with before actually designing it.  As it turns out I have a Pringles can (H: 26 cm {10.24 in}, Circumference: 23.5 cm {9.25 in}) a couple of Yakult bottles, some 5mm foam board and some straws.  Make sure you measure your items before construction and jot them down on a piece of paper.

Although I grew up using Imperial measurements I prefer to use metric as it is more logical (in my opinion).

I have a spare piece of precut foamboard that is 6″x6″ so I’ve added that as well.  Now that I have my pieces I move them around in different ways to see what appeals to me.  In the end I’ve decided to make a fuel tank of some sort.  I think I want the tank to go on it’s side to block line of site and increase it’s blocking terrain footprint.  Since I know the diameter of the Pringles Can and the height of the yakults I make some feet for the tube so it sits off of the ground.  I will extend it out so it makes a shield around the two smaller tanks.

now it is just a matter of deleting the unwanted bits and copy/paste to have my two supports.  I will then assemble it to see if I like the looks of it.

Well this is the look that I wanted and you could call it good and go to the next step but with Sketchup you can do much more.  I have some 1mm mat board, card stock and cereal boxes that I’m going to use to add some relief to this piece of terrain.  I will first start with the tank supports.  I will select the side of the support and copy then paste it to the side.  I will then give it 1mm depth and add a simple design to it.

This will be glued unto the foamboard giving it a bit of relief.  You can go as crazy as you like, but I don’t feel like cutting detailed pieces in 1mm mat board.  Now for the tank.  You can just prime and paint it but you will see the spiral of the Pringle card.  So knowing the circumference and the length I make a square then carve it up into smaller squares.  Now I have square plates that I can place over the Pringles can with a 1mm gap between them.

I want a way to connect the Yakult bottles to the Pringles Can so I will place a box on top of the Pringels.  Since I know the curvature of the can I can shear the bottom of the box off so it will rest securely on top.

So far this has taken me an hour and a half to make as I tried out different arrangements and decorations.  Now using Imperial Font I add the Imperial Eagle and call it good!

And we are done!  Next i will show you how to get this design into a printable format with Ultimate Paper 3D.

Posted in Terrain Building.

HirstArts Fieldstone Color Tests

Before I start, there is a KEY technique I use across all of these: I don’t dry brush in a sweeping motion. I dry brush each layer in a different direction. This cause different colors to be collected in different pockets and not get totally covered by the next layer.
I also tend to think that floors are dirtier than walls so I basecoat them brown and build up from there. Walls are basecoated as needed.
All of these test were done on Flowstone Black bricks (Dental Plaster).
Field Stone Floor

Field Stone Floor

  • Brown basecoat
  • Paint random stones in bright colours. The blue ones are straight cyan. Other colours include Red, Orange, Tan, etc.
  • Make sure that you don’t paint the same colour on two adjacent stones
  • Wash the whole thing with thinned black ink
  • Dry brush up brown up through bleached bone
  • If it’s still too bright, wash it with brown and touch up the bleached bone

Ice Wall

Ice Wall

Ice Wall:

  • Black basecoat
  • Coating of Regal blue
  • Wash of thinned blue ink.
  • Dry brush of Ultramarine blue, enchanced blue and ice blue
  • very fine dusting of white on the tips

Multicolour Wall

Multicolour Wall

Multicolour Wall:

  • Black basecoat
  • Paint random stone in muted tones (pastels). Dark flesh, tan, shadow grey, etc.
  • Wash of thinned black ink
  • Dry brush of bluish greys

Lava Wall

Lava Wall

Lava Wall:

  • Same basic steps as the Ice Wall
  • Run a thin wet brush of Blood Red through all the cracks
  • Use a thinner brush and run Blazing Orange along the center of the Blood Red
  • Run a brush over loaded with yellow ink along the cracks. You want it to creep up the sides of the stones. This makes a “glowing” glaze

Natural Wall

Natural Wall

Natural Wall (In real life, this is the best looking wall – flash made it glossy):

  • Black basecoat
  • Mix of brown and grey (can’t remember the mix)
  • Wash of thinned brown ink
  • Dry brush of Codex Grey, Fortress Grey
  • Dry brush of Scorpion Green into the cracks (randomly, you don’t want to do every crack)

Green Slime Wall

Green Slime Wall

Green Slime Wall:

  • Exactly the same as the Ice Wall but with green
  • Coating of Dark Angels Green
  • Wash of thinned Green ink
  • Dry brush Snot Green, Goblin Green, Scorpion Green
  • Very light dusting of Badmoon Yellow (not white)

Mortared Wall

Mortared Wall

Mortared Wall:

  • The concept on this test is that the stones are held in place by lighter mortar
  • Randomly paint stones with browns: Graveyard Earth, Snakebite Leather, Bubonic Brown, etc.
  • Wash of brown ink
  • Dry brush of grays and browns but not Bleached Bone
  • Using a wet brush (over loaded) run thinned (not too much) of Bleached Bone into the cracks (like the lava wall.
  • Light dry brush of scorpion green through the cracks (random).
  • Somewhere I have a colour test on chipped stone, I’ll see if I can find the pics (one of the great unfinished projects)

Posted in HisrtArts, Terrain Building.

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Minas Tirith made out of matchsticks

Minas Tirith


Minas Tirith!

The Great White City. . .  City of Kings. . .   Capital of Gondor. . .

Matchstick Marvels will take you on another fantastic journey as Patrick Acton completed his matchstick model of J.R.R. Tolkien’s City of Kings from the Lord of the Rings trilogy! Come along for a trip to Middle Earth and its Great White City, Minas Tirith.

Read more at Matchstick Marvels

Posted in Scratch Building.

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New Models from Dave Graffam

These are 30mm papercraft terrain models featuring multi-layered PDFs. All of those extra layers mean you get to choose from a variety of base textures and external features. Customize your creations and print lots of different versions of each model with just a click of your mouse.

Garden Shed

Clock Tower

Grey Hare Inn

Visit: Dave’s Games.

Posted in Paper Terrain.

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Games Workshop: Fortress of Redemption

Games Workshop has just released a new terrain kit (for pre-order) called the Fortress of Redemption.

It’s 2 feet wide and 14 inches high. I’ll have a look at it but I doubt that I’ll buy it. People more into 40K than I am might jump on it though. 🙂

GW Fortress of Redemption

GW Fortress of Redemption

Fortress of Redemption; Legions of The Eye Launched, New Advance Orders | Friday, 23 October | What’s New Today | Games Workshop.

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Posted in Kits, Product Reviews.

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World Works Games TerrainlinX

World Works Games releases preview for the up coming TerrainlinX

WorldWorksGames is running a very special and rare sale in anticipation of its groundbreaking new terrain system TerrainlinX. From August 27th to the 31st you can get your hands on any WorldWorksGames catalog product for 20% off! This is a terrific opportunity to experience the WorldWorksGames difference or increase your existing terrain collection. Please note: your special 20% off discount will not appear until you view your cart and or checkout.

TerrainlinX Launches Sept 1st!

On September 1st WorldWorksGames will be launching the first in a series of products for the fantasy city of Himmelveil. First conceived in 2004 and over 2 years in the making, our first two releases “Streets” & “Sewers” will cover city infrastructure but in a unique way that has never been achieved before in gaming terrain. Utilizing our upcoming TerrainlinX building system; streets, sewers and multi-leveled structures can all happily coexist on the same gaming table! Everything is on-the-fly modular and absolutely everything is accessible! Not only that but we’ve incorporated automated, consumer machine cutter compatibility to speed up your builds as never before!

Posted in Paper Terrain, Product Announcements.

Warhammer 40,000 and Magnets

I have seen many posts that show how to add magnets to your Warhammer 40,000 models.  Many of the figures and vehicles have such a multitude of options that it is almost a crime to permanantly glue just one option on to them.   The best, and fairly simple, solution is to use magnets into your models.  This way you can remove and add the options you need for each individual game.  This also keeps you from purchasing multiple models in order to have all the options you may need.

Where to start?  Well the best place to start is to take your model and measure the areas that you want to add the magnet to.  You will need to check the entire area including depth.   Once you have figured out if you can even insert magnets into your model it is time to do a check list of tools.

  • Tweezers
  • Super Glue
  • Pin Vice
  • Drill Bits (the same diameter as the magnets)
  • Red Paint (or any brightly coloured paint)
  • Magnets

Have everything you need?  Here are some links you may find what you need.  I have not tried any or all of these companies so please do a little research before purchasing on line.



For my Tau Crisis Suits I went with 2mm x2mm magnets.  I used a 2mm drill bit.  I had grown up with the Imperial measurement system, however I am now living where they use metric.  If your having problems figuring out what drill bit or magnet size that use different measurements try this Online Conversion website.

Step One

Step Two

STEP ONE: Get a paint brush or cotton swab and some bright coloured paint.  Taking the magnets (the normally form a stright line) paint one side of the magnets, either the positive or the negative but not both sides.  This step is the most important step! If you place a positive side facing outward then do the same for the part you want to attach they will repel each other!  This is the easiest way of keeping track!  Remember opposites attract.

STEP TWO: Carefully drill the holes to the proper depth.  If your unsure then stop drilling and place the magnet into the hole to check the depth.  I placed four holes in each Tau Crisis Suit.  One in each shoulder and one in each arm.  I then placed a hole in each of the weapons and Crisis Suit Upgrade items (Multi-Tracker and Target Lock) .  Once you have all your holes drilled proceed to the next step.


Step Three

STEP THREE: Decide what is the facing side for the model.  I choose the unpainted side (silver) for the Crisis Suits and the Red side for the Weapons.  Taking a metal tweezers I attached one magnet to it.  Making sure that the Red Side is facing up!  I then add super glue to the magnet and using the tweezers I insert the magnet so it is flush with the surface of the model.

Step 3

Step 3

Step 3

Step 3

Do the same for the weapons but make sure the painted side (or opposite side) is facing to make sure they attach properly.

Finished arm.

Finished arm.

Modular Crisis Suits and Broadside Battle Suit

Modular Crisis Suits and Broadside Battle Suit

That is all there is to it!  Just remember to take care when drilling.  Some times the heavier Commander weapons will droop however a quick nudge and they are back up again.  I know some sites suggest placing a second 1mm x 1mm magnet in the arm to keep this from happening.  I may one day try this, but so far I am pleased with the results!  Next step is to add magnets to my Tau Devilfish, Piranha, Hammerhead, Skyray and possibly even the drones.

Now this will work for any of your Warhammer 40k models.  Just make sure the magnet will fit without weakening the model first before you start drilling.  I have a friend who is going to do this to his Chaos Terminators and some of his Tactical Marines as well.  I will try to edit this post with pictures.

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Making a Stucco Wall

This isn’t “technically” a stucco wall. Its a variation on Wattle and Daub. Wattles were woven sticks or reeds inside a wooden framework and then covered with Daub (clay, dung, whatever was available locally.) This provided insulation and sealed the gaps against the weather. I’m sure that I’ve seen a similar technique applied to loose stone stacked between wood support beams but couldn’t find anything. Since I live in a fantasy world anyway, I thought, “What the hell! Slap me in a dress and call me Alice.” Err… I mean, “cover it in spackle and pretend its real”. I also figured more people would know what I’m talking about if I called it stucco. I’m very pleased with the result and to heck with reality.



Posted in Terrain Building.