Supporting Miniature Wargamers Above and Below Ground
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  • Idiots Guide to Making Terrain #4: Ruined Urban Buildings

    Posted on October 15th, 2005 Rob No comments

    "Avoidance of built-up areas is no longer possible." – US Army Field Manual 100-5

    From now until the end of modern civilization, fighting in cities of every stripe will become the norm. Cities provide a ready-made defense, and are painful in terms of time and manpower to conquer and then hold.

    It is impractical at best to regularly play a miniature wargame in a "standing, civilian occupied" city (for modeling and play purposes) unless you are restricting your movement to outside of buildings. A city that is near ruin, however, is both realistic, much simpler to fabricate and is easier to play in.
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  • Warhammer Chariot Race Track

    Posted on February 16th, 2005 Rob No comments

    Warhammer is a wonderful game in itself, but with all those miniatures you have collected, you would be foolish not to use them for other games. Games Workshop encourages these "mini-games" set within the various Warhammer Worlds, such as Jousting or Pit Fighting, or to some degree Mordheim or GorkaMorka. o­ne of the best mini-games has to be the Chariot Races by GW God Space McQuirk. The rules are classic, and I mean that in the truest sense: they are old!
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  • Terrain – Keeping it Simple

    Posted on January 15th, 2005 Rob No comments

    Keeping it Simple
    Working Foundations

    A model is made up of individual components all related and connected. Sounds a bit too simple? Not really. Even the most complex diorama is a series of sub-assemblies that will eventually join together to form the whole. It is with this in mind that I approach all of my projects. In many cases the various components are constructed months apart, but what blends and ties them together? Color and weathering. The colors all fall within a narrow range of tones. They are never bright, nor do they stick out. That is not to say they are dull or boring! The weathering blends the colors. The various diorama elements appear to be about the same age. The weathering is done in such a manner as to enhance, not overpower the scene. A beautiful model will be remembered or judged by its most dominating visual feature. It is a mistake to make this a bunch of brightly colored springtime flowers, or a shiny new vehicle right off the showroom floor. While these may be very prototypical, they do not translate well into miniature. Not everything in the "real world" looks good reduced to scale! Subtlety will always be my number one rule of thumb!
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  • Idiots guide to making terrain #3: Fences

    Posted on November 14th, 2004 Rob No comments

    As you have seen from my previous articles, there is no right or wrong way to make terrain. While I am morally offended by the "book under the tablecloth" hill, anything you do that forwards your gaming table is a positive step. Today I have concocted a relatively simple formula for making durable and attractive wooden fences, using very little in the way of materials. Again, this isnt the o­nly way to make them, just the o­ne I will teach you for now (future articles will detail brick walls and chainlink fences.)
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  • Building Helms Deep

    Posted on January 28th, 2004 Rob No comments

    This Article is from GeBoom about his Helms Deep project. Im posting it for him as its very heavy with images. It truely is an AWESOME piece of terrain. I wish I had a chance to play on it.

    Thanks a lot Gerard and I cant wait for the next part.

    WARNING! This is a BIG article with BIG pics.
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  • Idiots Guide to Making Terrain #2: Trees

    Posted on January 26th, 2004 Rob No comments

    As I have mentioned in lesson
    of this series, terrain generally hovers between functional and attractive.

    Today’s lesson starts with trees that are functional, easy and cheap. The latter
    half of this article is definitely NOT for beginners, this is due more to the
    tools needed rather than the skill required to do the job. If you are prepared
    for this, the trees you can make will greatly exceed the quality and functionality
    of the trees in Part 1.

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  • Terrain Workshop: Ruined Watchtower

    Posted on December 15th, 2003 Rob No comments

    This is not really an extension of my "idiots guide" series, but the priciples learned in the first article are certainly applied here. Free free to review that o­ne before attempting this project. Additionaly, this project uses the Hirst Arts blocks, a whole hobby in itself, which really disqualifies it from being a beginners terrain piece. Overall, however, the project was pretty easy, and o­nly takes about 2 days to complete if you already have the blocks (due to some drying times).
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  • Making a Stucco Wall

    Posted on December 9th, 2003 Rob No comments

    with HirstArts fieldstone and wood plank molds


    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.

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  • Idiots Guide to Making Terrain #1: The Basic Hill

    Posted on December 1st, 2003 Rob No comments

    The hill is a critical terrain feature. Not only does it break up the flat, featurless table, it is the building block upon which almost all other terrain skills are derived. Lack of these skills would push some so far as to stack books under a tablecloth1. This is unacceptable, and many would be driven to violence if forced to play under such conditions. Much of your future terrain-related angst can be avoided altogether by simply following these directions.

    Some general notes on terrain: Everyone wants to play on a gorgeous battlefield, replete with hills, trees, skulls, destroyed buildings, etc.; but there is a fine line between a functional tabletop battlefield and a delicate 28mm diorama unfit for those with fat fingers and a tendency to throw dice. The wise General chooses to build his terrain to the functional side of the house, with an eye on detail that does not hinder play or break easily. Todays lesson swings WAY to the functional side, but you should still be pleased with the overall outcome.Also, for every hobbyist there are different ways of doing things. This is how I make hills, but it is certianly not the only way or even the best way. This lesson was designed with simplicity and a minimal amount of supplies in mind.
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  • Spray Foam Terrain

    Posted on November 16th, 2003 Rob No comments

    While building a desert gaming table specifically for my Warhammer Skaven and Imperial Guard Tallarn units, I decided to try a new terrain making method: Spray Foam. Sold under a variety of different brand names, with Great Stuff being the most popular, the foam is commonly used as an insulator and all-purpose sealant in places such as where conduit or water pipes enter your home directly through a wall. I had seen it many times in my travels and noted how much the expanded foam resembled rock formations, so it was a natural leap to want to experiment with it o­n my gaming table.
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