Wargame Terrain: Necromunda 3D Walls

Testing 2
Let’s talk about walls.

So, if you read my first post, you will recall that I started playing on Zombicide Black Plague tiles. Now, while I moved on to building 3D terrain, I still like the idea of the simple tile format. That’s probably why the new Necromunda core box really struck me when I started looking into it. First, the models would all fit in my Five Parsecs Gang Warfare game (just add them to the massive back log of minis that need assembling and painting). It also came with a bunch of scatter terrain which is always welcome. And finally, the tiles looked really cool. So, needless to say, I bought it. But, the tiles have these big black bars on them to represent walls that block line of sight. I just could not leave that alone. I need my walls!

I started researching online to see if there were any 3D walls for the game that I could buy and I found quite a few. The only issue was that literally every set I saw was over $100. That is crazy to me; the game itself is cheaper than that. So, I started brain storming. That’s when I realized that for 2 foam boards (about $2 a piece at Walmart), some glue, and some paint; I could make the whole thing. Later, I added some other elements, but even then I did not even come close to $100 spent on the build.

The design was pretty simple: a few single walls, some double walls, and a bunch of corner walls. I looked at the average count and dimensions of the products offered online and settled on what sounded good to me in terms of size and number of walls. I then took my dimensions and counts and, along with a ruler, drew it out on my foam boards.

Planning my Build
Pardon the shade from my air hockey table. I do most of my terrain building in my game room and that table takes up a lot of space.

Now, I did not want to rabbit slot every one of these things. I just don’t have the interest in spending that much time on covering up ends that will for the most part be covered up. Since I was going to paint these as concrete, I figured the exposed foam pieces would work just fine as they were. This let me speed up the whole process. I also only did the walls out of foam board, the tops and, in the case of the corner pieces, the bottoms were just cereal box.

Wall Assembly
Single and double walls.

At first the plan was for the corner pieces to have an indentation on them, but trying to get this consistently turned into what you see below.

what-to-do.jpg
Part of the problem is that the pieces were too thin did not fill the footprint on the tiles correctly, so once I spread them out the big gaps proved troubling.

So, I asked some people online in a Facebook group how to cover up these massive gaps and someone suggested straws. I tested it out and loved the result. It looked like industrial pipe, which fit the tiles pretty darn well. So, boom: done.

Straws
Much better.

Now, blank walls did not sound cool to me, so I wanted some bits. I grabbed some left over bits from some War Hammer 40k stuff I had and found things that looked interesting. I took the lights from the Necromunda doors, some plasma and melta tank guns from the Imperial Guard tank I have yet to assemble, some Land Speeder bits, and some other pieces from my Sedition Wars terrain set. I then ordered Instant Mold off Amazon and used a 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby to get some Miliput. I also had some half-circle styrene rods from my yet-to-be-completed-or-revealed sci fi tiles. I molded the bits and tried to recreate them in the miliput. The bits that came out were cracked and a bit… meh. But, for a run down sci fi set piece, I actually liked the result. I used the styrene to appear like electrical supplies to the computers and even added some thin plastic string at the top of a few pieces to look like loose wires (the string I used is the connecting piece from the disposable ear plugs we use at my job).

Some Bits
These added a lot to the look of the walls. It does make storing them harder though.
Testing
A test shot. What’s up Castle, Hoop, Jaka, and O’Gar?

Next, I followed Wyloch’s Armory’s painting tips on painting pipes. You can find that video on YouTube. For the concrete, I started out with a grey, dabbed on tan, brown, and black. Then I dabbed on the original grey over those to reduce their footprint. Finally, I painted the bits and added some weathering effects.

Painting It all up
Not the best paint job, but hey, terrain should just blend into the background anyway. At least that’s how I defend my skills to myself.

Now, I still was not 100% satisfied with the look. On my way to work, I drive past a train track and every day I get to see some pretty sweet graffiti on the various train cars. So, every day for a week or two when I was driving past the trains, I set my phone to video and just recorded the train (this let me keep my attention on the road). Then, on my lunch break, I would go through the video and screenshot the graffiti I liked. I also went online and found cool graffiti that I wanted to recreate. You’ll see some famous pieces in the photos.

With all that set, I took some colored pencils and started drawing the graffiti right over my concrete paint job. I thought about air-brushing these, but that whole process was a bit intimidating. All the tutorials involved making templates and doing multiple passes. It sounded way more labor and time-intensive than I was interested in. At the end of the day, I think most of my decisions are born out of time-savings. Besides, I actually did most of this at work during my lunch hour for the following week or so. Using an air brush just was not really in the cards.

first-attempt.jpg
My first test piece on my desk at work.
First Lot
My first lot. The planets at the bottom right are a series that I made a few of. I also have some tags of my cat’s name across a few of these.
Second Lot
Pokemon, anyone? That white needle was one of the first ones I took from the trains I recorded. Also, a nice shout out to Tulsa.
lot-3.jpg
I still smile at the Warriors one. A few Jet Grind (Set) Radio tags made it in also.
Testing 1
This is really starting to come together. I do love the Clippy tag. I can’t take credit for that, I saw that on the internet, though I did write what is in his text box myself.

There you go; another pretty easy to do terrain piece. I almost forgot to mention, I made the corner pieces so that I could lay them on their side and have them serve as cover in games not on the Necromunda tiles.

I mentioned before that I have some cool things on the horizon. Well, what might those be? Just check out this photo of my current work-in-process lot. It’s all sitting on my air hockey table, which is why that looks a bit weird.

My WIP
I appreciate that you cannot tell what the hell most of this is. I am showing this to showcase the sheer extent of my sickness. I swear, this is it for building for a while. But, some of what is in here: a skiff, grav train, billboards, fire escapes, building with my first interior space and hidden tunnel, hovering walkway, bridges, stairs, pipelines, fences, and more!

I’m officially done building and will move onto sealing and painting all of these. The new buildings will not be adobe themed, but rather concrete like the walls here. I’m doing this mostly out of laziness. I don’t want to mess with spackle anymore. I am not sure how the two themes will blend, but my hope is that it will look like the old mixing with the new and not be a jarring contrast on the table. I guess I will just find out the hard way. Anyway, all of these builds and more will be hitting this blog in the future. Then it will be onto more Five Parsecs and then some posts on painting and building guys as I go.

Finally, I got my first follower this week! You know who you are. I got super excited at work when I saw the Word Press email hit my inbox. So, if you want dear Sir or Madam, leave a name in the comments below and that will be the name of the next gang member to join my Five Parsecs campaign. My little way of saying thanks for putting a big smile on my face this past week.

I also joined the blogroll at Creative Twilight! Click on the link to their site below in my “Blogs I Follow” list. They have a ton of cool blogs and tutorials to read and follow. Big thanks to Thor over there for adding this little gem you are reading!

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