April 30, 2014

Jungle Table Cheapa$$ Buildings

For my urban terrain boards, I like to use fancy, pre-fabricated building kits from places like Warsenal or Micro Art Studio. I think that the machined, finished effect is essential to creating the very futuristic and cinematic feel of my vision of Infinity, that no scratch-built piece of foam core can match - or at least not without putting in hours of extra work.

Since the focus of this jungle table was cheap, quick, and effective, I did not want to spend a lot of money on the long-abandoned structures that would populate my stretch of planet Paradiso. Nor did I want to spend the time building and painting those pieces to a standard that those types of kits demand, for a table where they were not the main focus. I'll save that dedication for my urban boards.

Maybe they are old Ariadnan colonial outposts. Maybe long-lost scientific labs. Ancient storage tanks or abandoned barracks... Whatever they are, they are being swallowed by the jungles of Paradiso.

I decided to use electrical junction boxes and outlet boxes to create my buildings. They are very cheap, ranging from $1.29 to $6.99, are made of plastic that takes paint well, and aside from sawing off a few extraneous pieces, come pre-built!

I added a bunch of leftover Micro Art, Warsenal, and Underground Lasers bits to the outsides of these "buildings" to add detail and help bring them to life.

Just like the plant life, I cut out and beveled bases for the structures, affixing them with hot glue and super glue.

Get these painted up and the board ready to go, and I'll already have an entirely new, full board for more Infinity games!

April 29, 2014

New Jungle Table for Infinity

As we play through Infinity's Campaign: Paradiso, I realized that a jungle-themed table would be just the ticket for setting the mood.

I wanted to keep things simple, easy and quick to do. Therefore, I opted for a similar attack to my urban board, where I would spray the board an appropriately-colored speckled spray, rather than trying to get fancy. I'd spray all the terrain bases the same way so it all matched and blended. And rather than make plants that I would then have to paint, I opted to go with pre-colored aquarium plants to do the work for me.

I started by acquiring a variety of aquarium plants from PetSmart, WalMart, and Hobby Lobby (may have been Michael's - any large craft store). I also found a pretty cool jungle-ruins-statue-idol that I won't even have to repaint...

I went for a lot of unusual colors as well - oranges, purples, reds - to make the jungle more variegated and seem more "alien."

Using the plant sizes as a guide, I planned out all the MDF bases for them. I made bases for individual plants, Rows of foliage like a wall, bunches or groups of plants, and also some larger amebic shapes to use as bases in case we wanted some "Area Terrain*."

After cutting out all the pieces on a scroll saw (mine's made by Dremel), I then used a small powered hand-sander to bevel and round off all the edges. I used a heavy gardening glove to hold the bases as I attacked them with the sander, to protect my fingers.

I used a hot glue and/or super glue to attach the plants to the bases.

I wrapped all the plants in plastic wrap before spraying their bases down with the same textured, speckled, forest green spray I used for the table top. This, however, sometimes made a very sharp, unnatural straight line through the plant, so in the future I will simply spray carefully along the base - any overspray onto the terrain itself will become gradual and more natural-looking.

Using pre-colored aquarium terrain, most of which has highlights and shadows already built in, I saved a lot of painting time. And while simply using textured spray paint may not be the "fanciest" solution, it is very fast, effective, and inexpensive. All this work got done in a single Saturday afternoon.

Now that all the foliage is done, time to work on some (old, abandoned, overgrown) buildings.

*There are no rules for area terrain in 2nd Edition Infinity, so you would have to use house rules. Also, the "area" terrain can, by joint agreement, represent areas of "Hostile Terrain" as described in the Campaign: Paradiso rulebook.

April 25, 2014

Parks and Recreation

I keep banging out more terrain pieces, and they're usually by Warsenal. Did I mention that Infinity benefits from a surplus of terrain?

One of 40K's old slogans was, "The more terrain, the better the game."

It's clever, because it almost rhymes.

But they didn't mean it. Not REALLY. Infinity, though, DEFINITELY needs all the terrain you can muster, mister.

To that end - I've painted up some Warsenal Island Packs to go with the planters I just finished. Convenient, because some of these Island Pack bits are suspiciously similar to the Planters...

Picnic tables on sidewalks surrounded by planters. Simple enough, but super-effective at breaking up long fields of fire. And as they are all collected on sidewalk tiles, you don't end up tossing about a gaggle of scatter terrain with one errant arm swipe.

The Small Island I completely assembled before painting. I do not recommend this. Instead, paint the sidewalks, planters, and tables/benches all separately and then stick them together. Especially if airbrushing, this will make things go MUCH quicker and easier for you.

The Large Island is cool because it takes up more table space than an MAS District 5 Apartment, and creates more interesting approach vectors, without providing any "unfair" perches for sinister snipers to abuse. At about a third of the cost, you can really start to fill up a table quickly and inexpensively with these.

Combined with the planters, they form a very thematic, matching battlefield to fight over. Placed all together, I think it would feel like fighting over Disney World, or some suburban, south Florida, outdoor shopping mall, like where Coffeebucks is on Cougar Town.

The planter recipe was just in yesterday's post. For the Sidewalks, I based with VMC Neutral Grey and highlighted the outer edges with VMC Deck Tan. Then I used P3 Cryx Bane Highlight to airbrush in between those two colors, easing the transition. The center of each sidewalk was shadowed with P3 Coal Black, and the very edges were highlighted white. Then edge highlights were added with a brush using white (this works because the airbrush does not deliver the white full-strength over the colors underneath).

The tables and benches were based with VMC Hull Red plus Brown Ink. Then they were highlighted with VMC Reflective Green. I added VMC Yellow Green to the Reflective Green for the first highlight, and then to that mix added VMC Ivory for a further highlight. I used a brush to apply the edge highlights with Reflective Green plus Yellow Green plus Ivory.

The aquarium and Ikea plastic plants I did not paint at all. I think they look just fine in there for gaming terrain! I can't wait to set all this new terrain up on my city board and get some In-Action shots to share!

April 24, 2014

Warsenal Planters

Warsenal makes two packs of planters that are really useful for breaking up fire lanes and providing cover. They have Angled Planters and Square Planters.

They don't come with any vegetation, and indeed look alright without adding anything to them, but after painting I added to them a bunch of aquarium plants and other indoor decorative fake vegetation (from Ikea) to fill them out.

I also like what Warsenal did with their "studio" versions, using flock, clump foliage or "coarse turf" from Woodland Scenics to fill them up nice and low.

Using a Hot Glue Gun is the best way to affix these rubbery, plastic aquarium plants to the MDF terrain.

The planters are a mix of MDF for their core and acrylic overlays with all the detail on them. I like the way the Warsenal terrain products use varying thicknesses of materials to add layers of detail.

These were very simply airbrushed using the same colors I used on an MAS District 5 Apartment and all my Underground Lasers pieces: Base coat with VMC Pale Blue Grey. Shade that with VMC Blue Green and VMC Turquoise. Final shading is done with P3 Coal Black, and final highlights are white. Edge highlights are brush-painted pure white.