Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Adding Shelves to the IKEA Detolf Display Cabinet

There are a handful of articles out there across the Internet that discuss adding additional glass shelves to the IKEA Detolf display cabinet.  I wanted to describe my own experience with this and call out a source on EBay that sells a very nice solution.
Image Credit: IKEA

I have two of these cabinets.  The work great, especially when paired with LED light strip kits, also offered by Ikea.  I don't find the lights I used on the site anymore, but there are other strip lights there and elsewhere that I'm sure would work.  The main issue with using a Detolf display cabinet for displaying models is that it only has three shelves providing four surfaces for models (including the floor of the cabinet.  Unless you are housing titans, you won't need all the space between shelves.  Adding additional shelves, however allows you to store more models per cabinet.

Thus I embarked first on an Internet search, then a project to add three additional shelves to my cabinets.  This would double my storage space without increasing its foot print in my hobby room. Adding two more cabinets was out of the question since I'm out of floor space at this point!

The Detolf cabinet uses welded metal round stock to hold the shelves.  You may find articles on welding in new stock to hold additional shelves (I don't have the necessary equipment), and you will find many articles on using cable/wire clamps as shelf supports.  However, I found this solution on Ebay, from user 2005helliwell, that has worked really well. I thought I'd pass it along.

Image Credit: EBay user 2005helliwell

At the time I wrote this article, this auction link was valid. You will want to search EBay using the text "Shelf brackets for IKEA DETOLF" to find any current offers of this product.  The seller offers one pack, or two or more packs as a bundle. The brackets clamp on to the inside metal stock at the corners of the cabinet and provide a secure ledge for a shelf to sit on.

Image Credit: EBay user 2005helliwell

After acquiring a couple sets of these brackets, I then ordered six .25" plate glass shelves from a local glass store.  I originally set out to get tempered glass shelves (for safety), but the tempered glass option was WAY more expensive than plate glass.  After discussing the merits of tempered glass with the seller, I decided that 24" plate glass would be perfectly safe for this project. As it was, the six shelves cost me $60 total...which while not bad, was almost as much a s a whole new cabinet.  So this isn't a cheap add on to be sure.  In my case, I had the money for the shelves, but not the space for a new cabinet.  I brought along an original shelf form the cabinet when I placed the order to be sure I got a solid replacement.  at .25", the new shelves are thicker than the original ones, but it isn't something that stands out.

The brackets came with all the hardware needed in a Ziploc bag. One set will hold up three shelves (12 brackets); I picked up three sets so I'd have spare parts (should something get lost or broken) and could possibly add another shelf or two if necessary in the future.

Enough Parts for Three Shelves in One Set
Each bracket uses a nut and bolt combination to tighten it to the shelves. 

A Bracket and its Hardware
Below is a shot of the parts assembled.  When the bolt is tightened into the nut, the bracket clamp is squeezed together holding it onto the bar stock of the cabinet.  I would suggest tightening the bolt as securely as possible without over tightening and snapping the plastic of the bracket.  I can say I torqued down solidly on all 24 that I installed without breaking one of them.  So they'll take to a good tightening.  You won't want one to slip down the bar stock and tilt or drop a shelf!  That said, I cannot see how it is in any way likely that more than one of these for a given shelf might ever slip at one time.  We're holding up plastic after all...the glass shelf itself is probably heavier than all the plastic I'm storing on top of it. We'll see what happens if I get a good amount of Forge World resin on one. :)

The Parts Assembled for Illustration
With glass and brackets in hand, I set about installing them in my cabinets.  In order to stay sane while attempting to level 24 brackets so the shelves don't wobble, I made a simple jig with a piece of stiff cardboard.  Wood, thick plastic card stock and many other things would likely work as well.  After measuring the distance between existing shelves in my cabinets, I found that mounting the brackets 7" from the top of existing shelves worked just fine for my purposes. This roughly centered the new shelves between existing ones.  I saw no need to be precise here; and visually, I don't see an issue after completing the installation.  

So I cut a length of cardboard 7" long. I would stand the cardboard like a ruler on a shelf at the corner of the cabinet and then attach a bracket so it rested on the top edge of the "ruler".  Doing this carefully and consistently insured that each bracket was the same distance for the shelf below. As I laid in each new shelf, I was very pleased to see that only a single bracket out of the 24 installed needed a slight tweak in height so the shelf it supported didn't wobble.  All the other shelves sat perfectly flat.

Here are a couple shots of the finished cabinets.  Not great pics, to be honest, but I think you can get the idea, especially if you click through to the full image, or zoom in on a mobile device. The brackets are visible, but barely distinguishable from the original cabinet. I installed mine to be parallel with the size walls, bit one could rotate them to point diagonally into the cabinet to provide less chance for a shelf to slide off.  I feel I have plenty of shelf overhang to prevent this in my case.

Modified IKEA Detolf Display Cabinet
Cabinet #1 with ~7" spacing for all shelves, and an area for tall models on the bottom
I'm able to get things as tall as drop pods in here with plenty of room.  There is even a Deathwatch corvus blackstar in there.  The Forge World dreadnought drop pods didn't fit, so they go on the bottom. But landraiders, baneblades, etc. are all set.  I imagine that other taller fliers on their stands won't fit either.  But the beauty is that I can raise the new shelves a bit if I need another inch or so for such models in the future.  For infantry models, the 7" height is still very generous.  I can get my hands in to move stuff about easily enough, as well.

Modified IKEA Detolf Display Cabinet
Cabinet #2 with a tall space in the middle to store my Imperial Knights

Cabinet #2 illustrates some flexibility in how extra shelves can be configured.  Instead of having the knights on the bottom (as would have to happen in cabinet #1 above), I chose to leave a full height section in the middle of cabinet #2 for the taller knights.  It's just a matter of taste.  I could have had them at the top too.  The only restriction is the original three shelves that sit on brackets welded to the the cabinet frame.  They are clearly unmovable without breaking the welds.

Each cabinet has two light sets installed, one at the top and one at the middle, that helps light up the models when I choose.  I have additional sets that I will probably add now to increase illumination.The extra shelves and models cast shadows down through the cabinet.  My issue with the light sets is all the wires that have to be manged inside the otherwise see-thru cabinet.  At some point I'll tackle this and see if I can do something better to manage all the wires. You can see bundles of wires in the pictures above which I currently twist-tie to the frame of the cabinet.  It's going to get a bit unwieldy with more light sets.

That is a minor issue, however.  I have doubled the space for storing and displaying models in the cabinets which is very cool!  I really like these custom brackets.  Using metal clamps will likely require additional felt or rubber pads to rest the glass on.  These plastic brackets work fine on their own with no issues scratching the glass.  Also, the shelves don't rattle noisily or slide on them at all if the cabinet is bumped lightly (which happens, I'll admit!). 

If you are interested in this project, definitely take a moment to scan about on the Internet.  Others have put together very nice step-by-step instructions for using clamps and other methods. I don't have the free time at this point to produce a solid step-by-step guide myself.  If you have specific questions, put them in the comments and I'll be happy to answer all I can. This is a great cabinet and fairly inexpensive for what it is, in my opinion.  I like the fact that it is all glass and allows models to be seen easily from all sides.  It really needs some lighting work to show off your hard work, but in a well lit room you could probably still get away without it.

I look forward to filling mine with painted work.  Currently, they store far more work in progress.  Still, the cabinets keep the work out and in my mind which helps inspire me to truck on and get things done.

Next up will be a follow on article with progress on the 29th Zetic Tigers from my prior post. I have been making slow, but steady progress on the team and they are shaping up well. Not sure why I chose ANOTHER black armored paint scheme requiring edge highlighting...if I ever get to my 1st Legion 30K project, I'll be well drilled in painting black armor...

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

On the Work Bench [July]

With summer upon us here in the US Northeast, I find my hobby time limited but not gone.

Having run across a blog article about using nail polish display racks for organizing hobby paint, I set about Amazon to find myself some racks!  I have a lot of paint and other hobby product put away in various cases, bins and what not.  It never gets used, and I keep picking up new stuff like Nuln Oil pots when I don't really need them.  So after a brief wait and a tiny bit of labor I now have this...

I picked up two racks from Amazon after looking through various options.  There are many suitable choices.  These were inexpensive and hold a good amount.  They are deep enough for GW pots and still hold Vallejo and other bottles just fine.  The shelves have a low lip that keeps things from sliding/toppling off easily which is also good, especially since this wall is part of the stair case going back up to the first floor and so sees a fair deal of jostling as we go up and down to the basement.

The mounting holes in the racks were 16", perfect for standard wall construction here in the US (studs are supposed to be placed in the wall 16" on center) , so I could have screwed them directly to the exposed studs.  However, I couldn't have mounted them side by side using a single stud that way and would have had to leave a big gap between the racks, wasting wall space.

Instead,  I cut some left over 1"x8" shelving boards to make two horizontal straps to mount the racks to.  The boards were mounted to the wall studs, and the racks were then just screwed to the top board using their mounting holes. The bottom board running horizontally behind the racks is not attached, but gives support.  Since they are a brittle hard plastic, the racks may otherwise have cracked at the top if I inadvertently push too hard on the bottom while organizing/grabbing supplies.
I originally intended to spray the transparent blue racks black.  But after getting them I decided they looked innocuous enough in my basement hobby den and so left them as is.  If I ever hang dry wall and clean up the space so it looks more finished, then I'll likely revisit this decision.  My only complaint with how everything turned is that I could use two more racks just like it to hold stuff I still have put away! :)  This will have to do for now though.  I have limited wall space.

So that's whats over the work let's move on to whats actually on the work bench.

I got another game of Shadow Wars: Armageddon under my belt.  It was another tragic loss for the Death Korps of Krieg at the hands of the Necrons.  The game taught us a bunch. I realized we were ignoring the pinning rules (very important!) and that I was ignoring the abilities of the Astra Militarum kill leader to direct the shooting of the team (when within 6"). One thing about shadow wars, there are a LOT of dice modifiers...and a team like the Astra Militarum can suffer it seems ot me from all the minuses to hit.  I knew I had to rework my team to better accommodate the realities of the rules.

The Death Korps, being all resin, don't have a tone of options and I'm about out of spare parts currently after building the latest team.  Then it struck me...I have a decent force of Tempestus Scions that just scream "Make us a Kill team!!".  And so I plucked a few models from my existing collection and built a coupe more for the ones I couldn't represent accurately.  Then I set about reading their 7th edition codex to choose a regiment.  After some time, a kill team form the 29th Zetic Tigers was born!
29th Zetic Tigers by Games Workshop LTD
Photo Credit: Games Workshop, ltd.

Here is the team after priming.  Eight models for now.  If I enjoy playing them then I'll model new members as they are recruited. I'm choosing a strategy of using the leader, at least initially, to buff one or more specialists. So to start, he has only his base equipment and nothing else.  This freed up points to spend in the team...things like red dot sights to improve my chance of effecting other models in the game!  I also gave up on trying to be good at both hand-to-hand fighting and shooting. This team is armed for shooting.

29th Zetic Tigers Kill Team

The team is mostly armed with lasguns, hots hot packs and red-dot sights (represented mostly by all the scopes).  Not sure how to represent the red-dot sight for a plasma gun, I just left it alone. That gun is funky enough...

Then I took the new recruit and tried out a color scheme for the cloth uniform. As with other projects, I'll post up a paint recipe once I'm finished.  I like where it is heading, so on to the rest of the team.

29th Zetic Tigers new Recruit

The recruit above, the sniper and the Tempestor Prime (leader) were built from scratch for this project.  The Prime is built stock, so he doesn't count really.  The only notable thing was to furnish him with no weapons other than a knife for WYSIWYG.  I have spare parts for a new leader if I choose to re-arm him later on. The new recruit stands out with a beret (hasn't earned his full kit yet) and a standard lasgun, no hot shot pack, no red dot sight.  I clipped off the scope and the wires running from gun to back pack to represent this.  The beret will make it very easy to spot new recruits in the team.  If this one gets promoted I'll swap the model out with a proper Scion and re-purpose it for another new recruit. 

29th Zetic Tigers Kill Team

The real fun was the sniper.  Why is it that there are no plastic Astra Militarum snipers?!  Anyway...I clipped the barrel off the lasgun and drilled out the hand grip as you would a gun barrel.  I then clipped the barrel from a Space Marine Scout sniper rifle and glued it into the front hand grip of the lasgun that I drilled out. I did not think to take WIP pictures, but you can see the sniper above on the right side of the back rank of Scions.  I added the support legs from a Space Marine Scout heavy bolter, and replaced the lasgun battery "clip" with a true clip snipped from a Space Marine bolter. This last modification was to help the weapon look a little more sniper-like and a little less lasgun like.

29th Zetic Tigers

The shot above shows some detail of the work on the inside of the leader's coat. I'm figuring some element of the Zetic Tigers were dispatched to the sprawl on one mission or another and got pretty messed up.  This remaining band is held together by a surviving Tempestor Prime and continues to do the Emperor's work. I'm currently floating the kill team name "Tempestor Rock's Fuggin' Few".  

Overall, if this team comes out well I'll adopt the scheme of the 29th Zetic Tigers for my full force of Tempestus Scions in the future.  For now, this has been a great way to enjoy these brilliant models in my games of Shadow Wars: Armageddon.

So that's what I'm working on this July.  I hope your own hobby projects and games are going well.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Progress, progress, progress!

A short post to share recent progress as June comes to a close.  I'm pretty excited to play the new edition of 40K and after fielding my Deathwatch in my first game the bug to continue the progress I started last fall is back! What I realized I was lacking was BIKES! In the first codex, I didn't get how they really fit into Kill Teams, and they couldn't be used standalone in the Deathwatch formations/detachments. Now in the new edition, they are back as a sanctioned stand alone unit for Deathwtach, plus add a new ability to kill teams they join - shooting in the same turn the unit withdraws from combat, which normally is not allowed. I had the White Scar model from kill team Cassius, so five more would allow me the option to field two minimum units of three, or break one unit up to mix with other kill teams, etc..

Deathwatch Bikers WIP

So of course I had to buy a box and get them assembled.  I went heavy with the hand weapons as it seems a waste to run them with just the bolters on the bike. I may regret that when playing with points instead of power levels, but we'll see. The group above is led by a Dark Angels Ravenwing biker as a nod to my long time favorite Space Marine chapter. In all, I included members from the Dark Angels, Iron Hands, White Scars, Ultra Marines and Black Templars chapters in this squad.

Deathwatch Bikers WIP

So far I have only gotten as far as priming (Vallejo Black Primer) and base coating the armor (Abaddon Black) with the air brush. The I took a break to put some flesh on the Ork boyz! Basecoat and the first shade/wash layer in the picture below. I'm using the paint recipe form the GW painting guide for Ork boys. Not being a dedicated Ork player, I saw to reason to break with cannon and innovate here. I just want some simple, but good lookin' boyz to field.

Shadow Wars: Armageddon

And not content there, I decided I needed a little more Shadow Wars terrain for my Mechanicum Sector; shown below in all it's emergent glory...

Plenty of terrain for games of Shadow Wars now, and plenty of interest to spice up the occasion 40K game board too.

The tile on the bottom right of the photos is the new work in progress.  Based on the Ferratonic Incinerator kit, I need to pick up another walkway sprue on eBay to give it a little more dimension on the second story (including more railings).  In order to have the third bridge to connect tiles, I had to sacrifice two of the walkway/gantry pieces that come with that kit. I also laid down a few more sections of promethium pipes on a couple of the tiles to give more cover at the ground level as well. 

I'll stop here with six Sector Mechanicus tiles to compliment my existing set of six Imperial Sector tiles. Plenty of great terrain now...and really where will I have the time to paint twelve tiles anyway?!  Well...'ll get it properly based, and primed black anyway...then we'll see where I end up.

That's a lot of hobby for me.  I expect another painting session tonight to round out June.  I'm still torn between painting kill teams and Deathwatch...and terrain...plenty of variety anyway.  Hopefully some more games will come too!

What projects are you looking forward too this summer?

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

On the Work Bench [June]

So what has been going on this month?  Not as much hobby as I'd hoped, but I did get some games in for the first time in...over a year?  Too long. The new 40K is here!

Warhammer 40K Objectives WIP
The new set of Objectives Ready for Primer

I was able to play two Shadow Wars games and one game with the new Warhammer 40K rules.  These games used time I would have otherwise put into my projects so progress (and posts for that matter) is understandably thin this month on that front.

Shadow Wars was as much fun as I expected and I very much enjoyed using my new terrain.  The rules, ironically for a small skirmish game, seem more numerous and complicated than 40K now!  What a switch.  The Death Korps saw action first as they stumbled onto a small force of Necrons.  This being the first game of Shadow Wars and my first game of any sort in quite a while, I played poorly so I won't look at this game as a fair test of the Astra Militarum in Shadow Wars.

I was out positioned and out shot from the beginning and so this game never really developed. I bottled after losing four fighters down or out. I was interested to see that even after losing, I got one promethium and to standard 100 pts for improving the team. My existing list was a mix of shooting and hand-to-hand capabilities. After seeing the Orks beat up (see below) I'm having second thoughts on how the Death Korps should equip themselves.  I believe I need more ranged weapons and strategy, but we'll see.

Next up were the Orks which got tabled after a brutal head-to-head clash with a group of Harlequins. My Ork list was more shooty, but Harlequins move fast and you don't get much shooting time, or so was my experience!  When I did shoot (and I did shoot a lot where it was possible), it made no difference due to poor Orky ballistics, cover (and its effect on to-hit rolls) and the Harlequins naturally good saving throws.  Not a single wound was scored after many, many dice rolls.

They fared a little better in hand-to-hand.  They still never scored a wound on the Harlequins, but they at least stayed on combat for several turns.  I felt there were chances where the dice could have rolled different and change the course of the game. Doubling up on harlequins fighters wasn't enough.  Probably needed four fighters on one Harlequin to brig them down. They have SOOOO many dice to throw during combat...even when I felt I got good rolls, the Harlequin fighters would be two or three points better.  They had trouble wounding the Orks which help the team fight it out, but the Orks simply couldn't hit the tricksy Eldar players either. In the end, the team passed a couple bottle rolls and in the end went down to an Ork. This was a test game, not part of a campaign, so I wasn't concerned about losing fighters.

The new edition 40K game was also very fun.  My opponent and I threw together power level lists using a 50 power level max. As a sample game, we didn't use detachments and just picked what seemed to be a reasonable mix of fun units.  This part of the new rules was very cool as I got a list together in ten minutes from my existing Deathwatch collection and we got right to gaming.  We only got two (maybe it was three) game turns in before we had to call it on account of time, but it wasn't because of the 40K rules.  We simply didn't leave enough time for a game following our previous Shadow Wars game.  We of course went slow having not played the new rules before and being rusty in general - though in this case, not having played 7th in quite a while was probably a benefit as the new game is just very different.

I was pleased to see my Deathwatch dreadnought deal death and absorb far more punishment than would have been possible in earlier editions.  Looking back, I forgot to degrade his performance in later turns as he suffered more wounds. Teleporting in terminators is coo again.  Much more fun to place models in a position of choice and to relatively act normally. A unit of death watch terminators was very effective against Eldar foot sloggers...the game was tied when we closed.  I'm not sure I would have managed a win had it gone on to a normal conclusion.

So...what's on the work bench?  Well, I put some base color on the Orks, and hit up the Death Korps long coats with the air brush...

Base Coating the Orks

Painting the Death Korps of Krieg Great Coats

I should have some more progress to show on the Shadow War teams soon.  I am really looking forward to returning to the Death Korps, I even spent time last night reviewing the paint recipe again. Orks are a fun change too.  I'd like to get these two teams painted before getting too wrapped up with continuing 40K projects inspired by the new rules...oh and all the terrain! :) Much to do...

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ork Boys WIP Part 2 - Testing the Paint


So my first ever Warhammer 40K army was Orks from the Second Edition.  I played them into the Third Edition, then gave them up for Dark Angels, and later Tyranids, Tau, and, well, everything else, really! :)

With the new Shadow Wars: Armageddon game, I have an opportunity to play with the green skins again without investing in a whole army, and I knew I must given that the models came with the game and were just sitting there waiting to be built!  It has been fun to go back to the drawing board and look at painting Orks in the context of everything we do now versus my own pale skills of the past and what was done in the mid-90's with miniature painting in general.

I wanted to make the Ork team something special in my collection, so I set about painting two test models that are going to be add-ons to the kill team where necessary and not part of the core nine the team begins with. This really grew from the fact that the boxed set allowed me to build 11 models, and not through any grander strategy on my part.

Here are close ups of the boys, one with Choppa and Stikk Bombs, and the other a simple shoota.

I need to spend more time managing white balance with my photography.  I think the blue background and grey plastic are a challenge for the auto settings on my iPhone photo app.  But anyway, there they are...simple enough, no frills on these base test models!

I wanted to get comfortable painting Ork flesh since pretty much all of my other armies for 40K have little or no flesh apart from the odd helmet-less head. I just don't paint skin all that often!  So after reviewing a few online tutorials and checking a digital copy of the Citadel Painting guide for Orks, I chose my test recipe and purchased what I needed. Then I finally got stuck in and laid some paint down...

I like the results on these models quite a bit.  I really got into the faces, and had fun with the Deathskulls war paint motif. This choice pays homage to my original 40K Ork army which was also drawn from the Deathskulls clan.  These looters are a perfect fit for scrounging about in the ruined hives of Armageddon.

Close Up Face
Wot are ye lookin' at, umie?!
Light is bouncing all around in this close up - I'm very certain there isn't blue paint on the teeth of the model, for instance.  I really enjoy the features of these sculpts and how they come alive under a little paint.  At the end of this session, I was satisfied with the results and feel ready to move forward.  I'll finish these two boys up, but I'm pretty confident painting the rest of the surfaces here since they are treated pretty much the same as I've done on various pieces in my collection.  

Until next time,
Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Shadow War Ork Boyz WIP and more...

Progress continues on Shadow War: Armageddon terrain and kill teams.The new edition of 40K looks very cool and I know I have to make as much progress as possible before I am compelled to put this aside and launch myself into the new rule set. I'm certain to feel the tug of my existing armies and projects as models find new life in the changes to how everything is fielded.

This week I assembled my Ork Boyz from the Shadow War: Armageddon boxed set.  While I blinged them out with some kommando gear from Forge World that I casually picked up while completing my collection of soon to be OOP books.  I honestly can't get enough of the Forge World books!

Shadow War: Armageddon Kill Team WIP

I've not yet played a game, but I hope these Boyz do well in the rules.  I'm thinking I'll play a few mock games on my own to get a feel for the rules and shake some things out.  I can test out how these brutes do against my Space Marine and Astra Militarum kill teams for now.  I haven't played or modelled orks since Second edition when they were my first ever 40K army!

The boyz will get a primer coat asap, then it's off to the hobby store for some Ork colors I don't generally use - primarily greens for the skin. I think Harlequins may be next up on the kill team to-do list...then maybe Genestealer Cultists or Skitarii?

The Shadow War terrain tiles got some love too.  The plastic is mostly glued up and all the bling has been added.  I originally left off most of the extra bits until I was sure I had settled on the final arrangement of the major parts. After priming, they will get glued down to the plywood tiles and the final ground cover and whatever else laid down and primed as well.  Though looking at things, I may need to hold off and paint the under sides before gluing things down to their final places. I can see it will be hard to reach a lot of the cool fine details in this stuff.

Shadow War: Armageddon terrain WIP

This terrain looks sooo good next to the Sector Imperialis pieces.  With a fun battle mat underneath, this is really the dream terrain I've been envisioning for years.  I'm afraid the foam core set from years past will be permanently retired now.  I will keep the fond memories of building, painting and playing many games on it, though!  I'll have to retire them with a post here to commemorate all the hard work that went into producing them.  They were my very first major scratch-build terrain project. 

Shadow War: Armageddon terrain WIP

Below is another scenic tile I'm playing with using the remaining containers and Promethium Generator.  It adds some variety and cover...not sure if it stays or gets reconfigured yet.  I like how it looks along with the crane and container tile visible in the pictures above.

Warhammer 40K Terrain WIP

The full table is coming together and I look forward to settling on the final configurations for the tiles so it can all be primed and based for play.   As much as I'd like to have it all painted up, the reality is that these pieces will see many games before I get everything painted.  I have some ambitious thoughts about getting a bunch of relevant paint together and going full gangsta with the air brush for a couple sessions to lay down some colors to an easy table top standard.

If successful, this approach might make the table look better until I make time to get all the details down for each tile...something that may very well never happen in my life time given the many other projects I have now and possibilities yet to come.  I have added six tiles to the five or so building tiles I already head.  Getting all the base colors and some simple washes down would go a long way towards insuring the pieces are consistent and remain so over time, too.  So much to paint!

So until next time...

Cheers and happy gaming!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Shadow War and 40K Terrain


I have been quiet here in the blog for a while, but not so at the work bench.  I have been busy clipping, cleaning and gluing elements of the new Sector Mechanicus terrain for Shadow War and finally reached a point where I was ready to start putting new tiles together for my gaming table.  In order to base and theme my table top terrain, I prefer to put everything on a tile, 12"x12" squares of 1/4" birch plywood in this case.  I have revealed portions of my Sector Imperialis terrain already, and the new Mechanicus stuff is being assembled to match so everything fits interchangeably on the table top for games.

I love the Shadow War Sector Mehcanicus terrain!  My only complaint is that I could use TONS more of it. :)  I had a modeler's form of writer's block where I became paralyzed by the need to sort out the PERFECT arrangement of terrain for the Mechanicum bits. Finally, I reached a point this week where I threw down the gauntlet and just got stuck in making cool stuff.

Sector Mechanicus Terrain

I decided to put together four new tiles, to start.  Three with buildings and one using the crates and crane bits as a heavily themed industrial piece.  For the buildings, I wanted to have some height, lots of cover and interest for Shadow War games. In the end I compromised on height with only two of the tiles having three levels, and the other just two levels. The shot above is one possible arrangement.  I assembled two independent walkway pieces that can be used to join the three builds as various pre-arranged mid-tile points.  I have held off attaching all the walls and hanging down bits of cables and cranes. I want to be sure I'm settled on the buildings before finalizing their decoration.

Sector Mechanicus Terrain

The tile above is an experiment, so nothing is glued down yet. This is random cover with some elevation options provided by climbing the crates onto the containers.  Good objective possibilities on this tile as well, I thought!  Not sure how it will come out in the end as I'm still bouncing around ideas.  I have three remaining crates to consider and lots more promethium pipes and barrels...

Void Shield Generator

I'm not one to play much with terrain models as part of my army selection, despite the available rules.  I prefer these pieces as themed terrain in my collection.  To that end, I began fleshing out a piece using the Void Shield generator.  This is another tile that could be used for objectives, or just plain fun as a themed piece in the cityscape.  As seen above, I'm exploring a possible use for the Secret Weapons Miniatures power generator pieces I've had forever.  They have been waiting for that "perfect" project. Hah!

Here are some shots of everything I have in my latest terrain set for the table top in one possible configuration.  I have been very much looking forward to a table with a mix of Manufatorum/Mechanicus elements at  the edge of, or even mixed in with more standard administratum buildings or ecclesiastic buildings.

40K Terrain

40K Terrain

40K Terrain

40K Terrain

40K Terrain.

A bit of a hodge-podge at this point, but starting to come together!  With everything based and primed black, things will look for uniform.  The bare areas will be treated to an appropriate amount of ruble and debris, while still leaving them open for model placement. I am hoping for some fun Shadow War games using a portion of the terrain set up more densely in a 4'x4' area on the table. 

Then, of course, there will be some epic painting to get this looking more suitable for games.  The standard I wish to reach for all the tiles can be seen in the photo above with the small piece in the upper right.  I will be relying heavily on the airbrush and various layers of dry brushing! 

I hope you have enjoyed this WIP preview of my progress.  This table of terrain has been a vision that has taken me years to realize.  I am so thankful that GW has produced the kits they have, which so coincidentally matched what I wanted to do!  The advent of the new 40K rules has been the perfect opportunity to step back from other 40K projects and continue to ready a stunning table for any games I manage to get in with the new rules.

Stay tuned for more progress as I finalize the tiles and get everything primed up for some paint! I like what I'm seeing form the early releases of upcoming rules, and the Shadow War rules look very fun as well.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!