Category Archives: Scenery/Terrain

Cyberpunk table, so far

tableshot

Hi everyone. Above you can see my cyberpunk-themed table so far. Well, the good bits anyway. I cut off the parts that were just more empty road. This is about 4′ by 4′, and not enough terrain for Infinity, but it’s almost enough for a 6′ by 4′ 40k game already.

It’s coming along pretty well I reckon.  It looks suitably grotty and dark with splashes of colour, but to be honest the whole thing is a bit too dark in real life, I think.  I might take Porky’s advice, and lighten the asphalt. Or maybe buy some light-coloured tiles from the hardware store to lay over it so I have options.

As always Like if you like it (and you can find the damn button), and if you have any questions or comments, shoot away.

Have a good one,

James

Cyberpunk terrain: skate park and industrial skip

Here’s some terrain I finished a few days ago.

The skate park:
skatepark
And the industrial waste skip:

bin bin2

I’m particularly happy with the skate park because it’s modular, so it’s great for setting up a varied table, and at first glance it could just be a bunch of generic urban shapes rather than an actual skate park.

For both of these pieces I did what I usually do: sprayed them quickly with a base colour and a highlight, glued the posters on, then scribbled some pastels and graffiti on and sprayed with my ink/water rain mix. Then I matt-sealed the whole thing. The only new element this time was that I bought a white paint pen from the art store for white graffiti, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Five bucks well spent.

The great thing about scenery is that you can stop wherever. I think these are good enough for the table right now, but I can always come back and add rust, metal chipping, more graffiti, whatever. And I fully intend to – I just don’t want to go too far, and make the scenery as detailed as my models, because then I worry that it overshadows them a bit.

Funny how we variously call it “terrain” or “scenery.” I’ve noticed I switch between the two terms a bit. I suppose “terrain” implies that we’re thinking of it in strategic terms, as an element of the battefield to be considered and contended with during the game. But “scenery” implies its main purpose is to make the game look better, and increase our immersion in an imaginative sense. Those two ways of looking at it are an example of the strange dual nature of miniatures wargaming right there: simulation and spectacle at once.

Until next time,

James

 

Even more cyberpunk terrain: billboard + big building

Work continues on the terrain for my Infinity table.  I’m really enjoying it. Terrain is not something I’ve ever really turned my hand to before – I’ve always let other people take care of it.  I’m planning a table that’s partly MDF kits from the excellent BP Laser in Brisbane, and partly scavenged “termite” terrain as befits my roots in old school DIY wargaming.  I think they’ll combine well for a nice scummy-looking cyberpunk scene.

Last time I mentioned I needed to complete a billboard for the noodle shop, and I was going to use some of Aki Akane’s art.  I changed my mind about the specific piece I was going to use.  It was slightly too trippy. So I went for this one instead:07_141719141

And this is how it turned out. I’m really happy with it:

Apologies to Aki Akane.  Image used without permission.

Apologies to Aki Akane. Image modified without permission.

The revolutionary graffiti on the billboard above is specific to the Infinity setting. It says “Kempei,” with the English phrase “stand up.”  Years and years (and years) ago, I studied Mandarin Chinese at university before I realised philosophy was more my thing.  I may have mentioned this before. I don’t recall much spoken language, and I can’t read the characters, but strangely enough I can write them.  It’s amazing; a year of writing hundreds of the buggers repetitively has given me a muscle memory for making the strokes.

So I looked up the characters and I was a bit nervous, but I just took a deep breath and then copied them out before I could think. And it worked! $5000 in university course fees well-spent I say.

Here is my last BP Laser building.  It’s just an indeterminate large building, again with revolutionary graffiti on the roof.  I’m getting cocky now it seems:

bigbuilding

 

phonebooth

And here is a BP Laser phone booth.  Keisotsu Yoshi is waiting for a call…

From here on in it’s deoderant cans and found objects, all the way.

Till next time,

James

More cyberpunk scenery: noodle bar + scatter terrain

I’ve been working on more scenery for Infinity, and I’m starting to realise that not only could it be used for any cyberpunk game, it could be used for any sci-fi game, period. Even though Warhammer 40,000 has its own range of hideously expensive skull-bedecked terrain these days, I’m imagining a game fought over my cyberpunk scenery and I’m thinking it would give it a nice, old-school feel.  You know, back when it was OK for an Imperial world to look like this:

Field_Police

Ha ha the punk is taller than the marines.

Anyway, I’ve made some stacks of boxes out of glued-together 1/2″ wooden blocks, and this Hello Kitty money-box from a dollar shop, suitably weathered and graffitied, will do nicely on the table. Or on top of a building even.

It even glows when I turn it on...

It even glows when I turn it on…

2014-09-23 15.06.19

The noodle shop is from BP Laser Terrain.  It was a bit of a challenge to put together, but it’s one of their hardest kits, so fair enough.  I’m particularly proud of the scrubbed-out “Kempei” written on the roof.

Below are the images I chose for the screens on top of the noodle bar, since you can’t really see them in the photo (not to mention one of them isn’t actually on yet).  The first one is by a Japanese singer/illustrator I have just discovered called Aki Akane:

I think her work is very cyberpunk, even down to the slight creepiness.

I think her work is very cyberpunk, even down to the slight creepiness.

 

Extra points if you can identify the 90's anime this screenshot is from.

Extra points if you can identify the 90’s anime this screenshot is from.

So that’s it for today.  Have a good one,

James

Finished Infinity building + Japanese soldiers

buiding+troopersI’m always promising to show photos and I rarely do, so I’m trying to make more of an effort. Way back I said I’d nearly finished a building for Infinity. So here it is – still nearly finished – along with all I have painted of my 300 point Japanese Sectorial army. I still need to paint a hacker on a bike, a doctor with a yaozao servant, a haramaki with a missile launcher (heh heh) and the second domaru with boarding shotgun.

Above you can see on the roof of the building (from L to R): a ninja standing in for a raiden sniper,* kempeitai, and a keisotsu. On the street are the oniwaban Shinobu Kitsune, a domaru, and Asuka Kisaragi (whose tattoos are looking pretty snazzy from this distance if I do say so myself).

The building uses some of the posters I made up a while ago and some cut-up bits of Chinese newspaper. I was going to LED the interior with help from Bush Craft but I’m thinking I might go full slum style and just nail some balsa wood over the windows so they look boarded-up instead.  Because I lack motivation.  And you want to know why I don’t take photos much?  I managed to drop Asuka and Kitsune onto the building when I was setting up, and they both smashed into a million pieces, as usual, and I had to glue them back together all over again.  As usual.

In other news, SAGA models are being built and primed (Irish and Vikings) and at Wintercon I finally bought this lady, one of my all-time favourite Infinity models.  She’s going to be wearing a yellow and black Game of Death tracksuit I think.  I guess this means my second faction is ALEPH…

*I hear it’s an immutable law of Infinity that if you convert a model they’ll release it straight afterwards, so I’m just going to proxy the ninja until a raiden sniper is released to avoid that fate.

Infinity Terrain Update

I’ve gotten a bit more serious lately with my terrain project for Infinity.  The Infinity Australia facebook group is inspiring me.  People there tend to go all-out with their terrain and it encourages you to step up to the challenge.  But also it’s a little daunting.  I’ve never made terrain, except perhaps a few crumby cardboard buildings as a boy.  I initially wanted to make the whole table, but as a wise person once said: make it if you have more time than money, buy it if you have more money than time.  I don’t have much of either but I have less time, and I was moving slowly and not having much fun trying to build it all.  Best to prise open the wallet then.

This table for example, by Michael Hurrell and Clayton Teschward, is a dishearteningly fantastic example of the sort of table I'm aiming to build.

This table for example, by Michael Hurrell and Clayton Teschward, is a dishearteningly fantastic example of the sort of table I’m aiming to build.

It was my birthday recently, and with the spoils I have made an order from the excellent people at BP Laser Terrain in Brisbane.  It should be enough, combined with the odds and ends I have, to make a full table – some bought, some built.

Now, on to concept.  I’d like to make a cyberpunk/dystopian slum area of a megacity.  So for inspiration I’m thinking Judge Dredd crossed with the dingier parts of the city in Blade Runner.  Since I play Yu Jing, it will be a Yu Jing city, and since it’s a slum that means probably lots of Japanese people.  I’m thinking that they’ll be largely ateks (people without advanced tech; in this case, people too poor to own it).  I’ll need wrecked hi-tech vehicles, signs in Chinese and rebellious graffiti in Japanese.  Planned structures include a noodle shop, a yuan-yuan pirate hideout and storage warehouse, shabby dwellings, and some public toilets (because I’ve never seen toilets on a table).

I’m mostly looking forward to the painting and weathering stage, as that is the area where I actually feel comfortable!  But first, it must be buillt…

Till next time,

James

Infinity Storage Unit and Abandoned Shop

P3

Fang Qu, the most famous Gui Jia in the world,* is stalked by Japanese Separatists.

Here are some buildings I made for the game Infinity using simple materials and the posters I created a while ago: a closed-down import/export business and a storage unit.  Rather than realistic, I wanted them to look stylized and anime-esque.  I also wanted to use easy painting and weathering to give the impression of a city at night.  These are my first attempts, so I’m keen to perfect the idea in the future.

Here are the steps I followed if you’re interested:

  • Spray the buildings dark blue all over and then lighter blue from above.
  • Soak cut-up pieces of a Chinese language newspaper ($1.20 at my local newsagent) in water mixed with a little PVA and stick them all over the buildings.
  • Stick the posters over the top of the newspaper with PVA glue.  Colour them in grey with a copic marker (to reduce the saturation and make them look as though they are in the dark).
  • Use ground-up brown and orange and black artist’s pastels to draw filth on the buildings, especially the edges.
  • Spray the whole lot with a water bottle full of water tainted with brown and black ink.  Smear the powders around a bit.  Let it dry.
  • Use metallic pens and various other markers to write graffiti.
  • Seal with a matt sealer.

The neon sign was made by simply sticking the sign as-printed (i.e. not coloured in grey with the marker) on some foamcore.

I hope to improve the look with future buildings but I think it’s a good start, was easy to do, and has only cost about ten dollars so far not including the paints, markers and other supplies which I already owned.  I think it would be great to perfect the method and use it on commercially produced model buildings, maybe with LEDs to light them up.

Questions and comments welcomed,

James

*I’m not joking.  Do a Google Image search for “Infinity Gui Jia.”  Never seen action and she’s already internet famous.  That says something about internet fame I think…