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[IZ] Miniatures & Scenery for Ceres Base

 
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Jordan Peacock
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Location: Orlando, Florida

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 9:24 am    Post subject: [IZ] Miniatures & Scenery for Ceres Base Reply with quote

Apologies if this is largely a re-post of stuff I put over on the Gunmetal Games site, but my Interface Zero campaign is finally about to start up this Saturday (my stomach is tied in knots!), and I figured I'd share a few pictures of scenery and minis I've been prepping for the game. I'm woefully behind, since I'm juggling so many other projects, but I'm still trying to make for a good first impression at the introductory game.

Concourse Delta, Port Ferdinandea, Ceres Base


The base for this is a "battle board" constructed by a friend of mine, Chris Stadler (who was also the one who requested we play a cyberpunk game in the first place), using Hirst Arts Castlemolds castings. He'd originally made the tile board for a Star Wars Miniatures game, but that fell through and this was collecting dust in the garage, so he let me take it and paint it up.

The idea is that it serves as a textured base with some points of visual interest and features that I could interpret in different ways. (For this scenario, I point at that shape on the floor and tell the players it's a maintenance access hatch. For that scenario, it's just a decorative element.) I can modify the board by putting different obstacles and "furniture" pieces on it.

Same Battle Board, View From Above


In this case, the "furnishings" come in the form of a few plastic Robotix kit parts from a broken/incomplete toy I found at my local Goodwill thrift store, plus a "shipping crate" made from some Russian Robogear scenery bits from Tehnolog (distributed as the "Platformer" set by Pegasus Hobbies here in the US).

The "holo panels" are from Warsenal: laser-cut/etched pieces of fluorescent acrylic that I bored small holes into with a hand pinning drill (about 3mm deep), then affixed with wire into a matching hole in the top of some WizKids/Topps "Hunger Games" plastic bases. (Someone else had gotten the Hunger Games figures and cut them off their bases, but I figured the bases have a nice "techno" look to them, so I'm using them to supplement my scenery.)

I have a number of these "sci-fi panels" that I got from a local supplier at the Armadillo Game Shoppe, and I've been trying to find ways to incorporate them into some of my existing terrain. Gluing them on via super glue is right out, as the stuff messes up the acrylic; instead, I've been opting for drilling and pinning, since I've been able to match up the drill hole with some safety wire that has just the right gauge that it holds in place with slight tension -- and then I can just add a dot of Tacky Glue for good measure. (The Tacky Glue is pretty easy when it comes to cleaning up any excess, and doesn't mar the acrylic.)


Ceres Base Maintenance Corridors


I've also been making some modular corridors for any firefights that might crop up in more confined spaces. I'm not doing this like a "dungeon explore" where every last square inch of space the heroes travel will be represented by scenery, because that'd be a tall order for an asteroid mining base that stretched for miles. Rather, I'm just throwing together a few "generic" pieces that I hope I can co-opt to represent a number of different locations, with a few color elements (warning signs, techno-stuff, cyberpunk-looking advertisements, holo screens) to add visual interest and give the players something to respond to. (After all, sometimes players come up with creative things to do with "props" that I've worked into the environment but haven't explicitly described in my narrative, and I encourage that sort of thing.)

The basic modular design here consists of sections of foam-core illustration board cut into 6"x6" (or smaller) segments, with 2" wide corridors. The floor tiles are mostly made of some 2"x2" plastic Fluoroware wafer trays I managed to pick up at the local Skycraft Surplus store on the cheap. (It's a real gamble there; most of their "surplus" is ridiculously over-priced, but every now and then -- just enough to inspire a glimmer of hope so that I come back on occasion -- I find a real bargain.) The rest of the floor tiles (the ones that are a regular grid pattern) are made from plastic cross-stitch grid from the fabric store.

The techno "walls" are Hirst Arts Castlemolds pieces again, as castings donated by Chris Stadler for me to assemble. The fit together very nicely, as the running conduit makes a common unifying element, and the high points come up to the same height, so the resulting tiles can be easily stacked for storage. The central display piece was primarily made from a broken "Toy Story" play set found at the local Goodwill thrift store; I broke it down for parts, using the main part for a "warehouse" facade for my zombie-apocalypse campaign, and individual "techno" pieces finding their way into my stash of "sci-fi supplies" for building terrain.

A gap in the flooring was filled with a Robogear/Platformer panel and some textured plastic from the bottom of a Cracker Barrel carry-out container.

The "holo dome" (neon green translucent dome) was the topper for a water bottle I found at the thrift store. I plan on cutting up the plastic bottle (also "neon green") for more "holo panel" segments.

The miniatures are mostly Reaper, representing PCs in my campaign.
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Snate56
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I dunno, better'n a sharp stick in the eye, I guess... Mr. Green



Another amazing job here, Jordan! I really like the holo displays. Not that I don't have enough "crap" collected in my apartment already, but it really shows how useful throw away stuff can be! I gotta get some of my stuff for Slipstream painted and up here.



SteveN
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Jordan Peacock
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snate56 wrote:
Not that I don't have enough "crap" collected in my apartment already, but it really shows how useful throw away stuff can be!


Yeah, really, I've got a bunch of JUNK in the garage that I've kept around because "Hey, I could probably turn this into a spaceship," or "This might be useful for some sci-fi terrain," or whatever. The trouble is, I rarely run sci-fi. (Yes, I've done some Slipstream one-shots, but my regular player group hasn't had any interest in that EXCEPT as a one-shot deal. I've mostly run Slipstream in game stores and at conventions.) It's a lot easier to find stuff that'll work for sci-fi in this regard than fantasy, in my opinion, because many times it's in the form of some interesting disposable package or broken appliance piece that, if I put it next to a mini, suddenly becomes "future tech" with a cut here and some paint there.

Recently, I made the mistake of buying deli chicken at the Super Wal-Mart. (Why, oh WHY don't I learn?!?) The chicken was horrible, overcooked to the point of having very little that was still edible ... but the plastic CONTAINER it came in might well partially vindicate my unwise purchase, because the structural appearance of the sides looks like it could lend itself toward becoming some sort of sci-fi platform if I invert it, or the walls of a chamber or corridor if I cut it up a bit. I just have to clean it up properly first with some soap and water, and I'll see how well it holds up to the base coat.

Meanwhile, on the "pre-fab" front, I picked up some Halo Micro Ops play sets on clearance at my local Barnes & Noble.



Shown here with a flamethrower trooper from my Reaper Chronoscope "IMEF" squad is the upper level of the "High Ground - Gate" piece.

Don't be fooled by the size of the box. The vast majority of that box is open air, while the actual terrain piece is wired to a piece of cardboard and suspended inside. It seems to be scaled for use with either "true" 25mm scale minis (as in, 25mm from base of foot to top of head), or else 20mm minis, depending on how you measure your scales. As such, it's a bit shrimpy for use with 32mm "heroic" Chronoscope minis, but being as it's sci-fi, there's a certain amount of "forgiveness" the terrain allows. (It'd be harder to get by with it if it were, say, a brownstone building with a door so short that our hero would bang his head trying to walk through.)

Here, it's about that bad (our flamethrower dude would have to duck to get under that support), but it's not obviously a DOORWAY, per se, right? Wink



I also got the "High Ground Tower," which is probably the better deal of the two; it reads as larger (even though it might contain just as much plastic), and requires less in the way of "scale forgiveness" to look all right on the board. That the top support structure and camo netting canopy are removable is a nice touch.

Another nice feature is that these separate pieces fit together (they have walkways that are made to appear to be "broken off," but if you fit two sets together, the "broken" walkway end-points neatly fit together) in a few different ways. If I had a bunch of these sets, I could fairly easily make some sort of layout with the "gate" sections as my straight-aways, and the "tower" piece serving either for corners or T-sections in the structure. If I wanted the end result to be anything other than a broken ruin, however, I'd have some serious work to do to fill in some of the obvious gaps in security in the resulting layout.

Although these don't look particularly "high-tech," per se, especially with the concrete effect, one notion I have is that much of the Ceres asteroid base was built with the help of robotic construction and nanotech, utilizing LOCAL materials rather than dealing with the mind-numbing expense of transporting in everything from Earth. Hence, there are large sections of the station built in a sort of "plascrete" or "silicrete" or whatever composite compound.

(I don't THINK those are real words; I should do a Google search just to make sure. Okay ... quick check: "silcrete" is a real thing. "Plascrete" is a fictitious material used in the Warhammer 40K universe. I'll have to make up some new term, I guess, just to be on the safe side. "Nanocrete?" Augh! It's real. "Polycrete?" Company name. "Technocrete?" Company name. Wow. Oh! How about "Wowcrete?" D'oh! There's a web site for that. Supercrete, megacrete. Shouldn't be surprised there. How about "Cretecrete?" Hmm. That seems to be too stupid for anyone to have coined yet. I'll see if I can do better. But I digress.)

Anyway, the height of these sections means that they'd block line of sight for players seated around the table if there are any minis behind them, so they aren't very practical for RPG terrain, except as BACKDROPS. I.e., something I can stick on the GM side of the table, sort of a fancy "GM screen" (although the players would balk if I actually rolled dice behind it) to help set the scene, but without serving much functional purpose in it.
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Snate56
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always liked the term "Astrocrete". Laughing

Synthacrete?


As for the chicken, I did the same thing! Only my store tends to undercook it so I have to throw it into the oven for awhile once I get home. Very Happy
The container, however, is shaped like a boat hull, so it's sitting on a shelf waiting to be used.



SteveN
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Jordan Peacock
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ceres Base Transit Tube Station


Getting some more over-use out of that same Hirst Arts "battle board," I decorated the same piece with some more Warsenal laser-cut MDF and acrylic terrain pieces -- the "Tech Console," the dumpsters (with hinged, opening lids!), the "bus stop" benches, and of course the standing "holo-display" panels on the "Hunger Games" bases.


Transport Shuttle


Here's a toy Avengers Firestrike Jet that I picked up at an outlet store, and repainted in the hopes of skipping scales and using it to represent a shuttle transport. I still have work to do, as I'm likely going to use some paper to make an outline for a boarding hatch on each side (just enough to make a slightly raised outline -- not an ACTUAL OPENING hatch), and then use some assorted "techno bitz" for additional visual interest, and add some more painting details such as burn scoring marks, insignia, etc.
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Snate56
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like you already have a hatch right there, ready to go!
Halfway between the front fairing and the wing.

Other than maybe a decal and some very light highlighting, I wouldn't touch it.


SteveN
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