Saturday, 26 October 2019

Behind the scenery, The Ruins set

As many of you will have seen in the last HEX release I use what I call a breadboard set for the first time & while I was delighted with how the set turned out there was many a headache in the construction.
When I decided to make the set I didn't really know what type it would be, so what might I be able to turn a flat board into ? one idea was to sue some MDF kits I've got to do part of a town & while I could get residential part to work out I just couldn't get the factory that is the lower part of the picture below to work out the way I wanted.
Back to the drawing-board, my next idea was maybe an Egyptian temple & I ran with this for awhile but.
Well there's always a but, while I liked this as an idea the lay out wasn't really going to work & to change to what I thought might work meant spending money, which would have delayed a project that was already well delayed.

What to do ? the joys of been a studio owner,  it was from the HEX campaign that inspiration came as it called for an episode set among ruins, so I looked at some terrain I'd already had & bingo.
I'd already had the center part of the ground work done on the board as it would have been part of the Egyptian temple, but now it was going to be the main way that seems to run through a lot of the Aztec type ruins & with that in mind laying it out was child play as it kind of just laid itself out TBH.
After fixing it all in place I set about doing some damage before covering the rest of the board, first with a  rough sand & then the ruins & ground where painted before adding grass flock.
Also while flocking I added some jungle foliage to give myself an idea of how it would look.
I didn't add to much jungle to the board itself as I wanted it to have some flexibility for gaming, however if I want it looking more overgrown I've some little scatter jungle terrain pieces I can add to do that.
The last thing I done was just little bits of clump foliage & few vines to add to the jungle over taking it look.
Below the set as it was for the Ruins episode of the HEX campaign, John asked in the comments of that post what the ruins where made of, they where made using Hirst molds mate, here's a link.
http://www.hirstarts.com/molds/molds.html
                               
Well that a wrap for this post, so as always my thanks for dropping in & if you care to leave a comment it would be welcomed :)
         

22 comments:

  1. Great work Frank, and really nice to see a behind the scenes documentary for how your sets get built. What method do you use for making your vines ?

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    1. Thanks Dave, there's only a few little vines tbh I think what I used was in a bag of lichen, it just looked like vine, sorry I know that's not much help.

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    2. Thank's Frank, I know exactly what you mean from your description. If you ever need lots of vines and slightly thicker you can use hairy garden string, separate out the individual twine to the desired length then dip into watered down PVA glue, then dip into your choice in coloured flock and place where you want it. once it's dry you can add different tones with washes

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    3. Thank you very much for the tip Dave, one of the things I love about blogs is how we can share what we know :)

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  2. I think your end result looks really good.
    I wonder about your decision to fix the terrain to the board. Because it is a flat board rather than contoured one could you not have done the base and then added terrain thereby making it more reusable? Probably easier to store as well.

    The board I made for Little Whiskey I was going to do the same as you and fix the buildings in place because with a textured board you always get a gap under a building which doesnt look right. In the end I opted for removable terrain with the intent of throwing some sand on the board brushed up to the edge of the buildings to hide the gap.

    I used pva mixed with sand and it deformed my board a lot, it's 10mm mdf and curls up about 20mm at each edge.

    Your 2nd picture of the town and factory looks a good start, I've been thinking of doing something like this for a gangster/detective game. One of the problems I come up against is ghat I want the roads to have white lines down the centre and the oavements to be higher than the road, as you show. This means a fairly static layout because I think the roads need to be painted on the baseboard and so I lose a lot of flexibility with the layout. Im curious why you gave up on this board.

    Anyway thanks for the info on the hirst arts bricks, they look fantastic as does your board, a big thumbs up - if thats too old fasioned nowadays;)

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    1. Thanks John, I'll try answer your questions one at at time although you've answered some of them yourself :)

      My first idea for the board was something with a river which I could have cut into it, I know I didn't bring that up in the post as I did nothing more then thing of it, the reason for fixing everything to the board was so I could have stuff grown up against it & give it a more realistic look, plus you don't have the gap problem, another reason is I won't have to spend time looking for the stuff & setting it up if I want to game on it.

      Yes PVA can cost wrapping, try coating the under side to see if it will pull it back,btw did you water it down ? thankfully for me the design of these boards means warping is not a problem, as for storage I've a plan for that going forward as I make more.

      The city board was so close to working but the problem which you can't see in the picture was one of the factories has a walkway with a flight of stairs coming off it which I just couldn't get to work in, I agree 100% with you on about the roads needing to have lines & other markings & hence making it static, but unlike the ruins I don't need to fix these buildings to get the right effect so with that in mind I'm looking at making up a couple of different gaming boards or mats with different road lay outs, so that with moving buildings around as well as been able to change the high of some of the ones I have should give me plenty of flexibility.

      I hope that help to answer your questions mate & maybe even gave your some ideas on a city board & thanks for the big thumbs up, it might be old fashioned these days but then so are the kind of movies I make :)

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    2. Thanks Frank, reading your reply and Gregs comment below, we all have the same ideal and can't quite get it to work.

      I agree with you the city block is going to be a fixed board and roads and pavements will be fixed with buildings moving around. Bryan did some very nice sets with the World Works paper terrain, I did buy the road files but not got round to doing anything with them yet.

      Look forward to seeing where you go with this, especially storage solutions.

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    3. Hi John, the buildings I'm using already have the pavements built in so its only the roads I need do & fear not mate as I'm sure that between us we'll crack it :)

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  3. I love the making of and behind the scenes documentaries on DVDs and Blu-rays, Frank, so this post thrilled me no end. As someone who always believes that great scenery enhances any game I get the feeling you are a kindred spirit. Your set designers have set the bar high so please tell them to continue in the same vein or go higher still!

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    1. Thanks Bryan, tbh I enjoy doing these kind of posts as a change of pace & yes I totally agree about scenery enhancing a game, I'll pass or your kind remakes to the props department along with your demand for better quality ;)

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  4. Just managing a little "catch up" time around the blogs Frank, and thoroughly enjoyed reading through this post :-)
    It's great to know I'm not the only one to go through the same thought process when it comes to creating a new terrain board, and must congratulate you on how this one turned out - very well done sir!

    At the moment, I have EXACTLY the same problem that John mentioned regarding 'modern' roads (with markings) and raised pavement areas. Just how to go about making a truly modular board for my ATZ games is eluding me at the moment :-(

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    1. Thanks Greg, I think we all go through this kind of thing tbh I given some of my thoughts on a city board in the reply to John above & I'm now working on my own city stuff so keep an eye out here for posts & hopefully between us all well solve some of the problems :)

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  5. Fantastic board Frank! So many fun possibilities with a jungle table - though I could easily see me going WAY overboard with the overgrowth 😃 What size table is it?

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    1. Thanks Ivor, yep its easy to get carried away lol the board is 2ft x 3ft mate.

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  6. Frank, this is looking superb, lovely work.

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  7. Thanks Martin, the props team will be happy to hear that :)

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  8. Reading your mind-thoughts of how you got to the final product was very interesting and completely different ot how I tackle similar tasks. You see to be far more hands-on,. I would have had several bits of crumpled parer with my thoughts and ideas on them before even getting any form of model on a table.
    The ruins are great btw and it;s always the lttle things (damage, a plant here or there) that makes the model come alive.

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    1. Thanks Joe, oddly enough as a carpenter I'm well use to looking at things on a plan & yet when it comes to doing this thing of stuff I need to throw things down to see how they work.

      Agree 100% its the little details that bring it altogether in the end :)

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  9. hahaha! I read your previous post on the game on this board and thought it looked really nice
    Now, as a bonus, I see how you did it. Great stuff, I really like to read about stuff like this.

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    1. Thanks Joakim, Bryan reckons these thing are like the extras you get on blue-ray dvd's, so I guess your right its a little bonus :) glad you enjoyed it.

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  10. Wow great looking board. Like the layout its good a good variety of cover.

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    1. Thanks Simon, I think it found a nice balance between looking good & been practical for gaming on.

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