Monday, 2 March 2015

Modern city terrain build part 1: Tool and materials

I've been building a lot  of terrain recently for a modern city board, it's a project I've actually been really fired up about.  I will be using the board to play Pulp City currently (my Kickstarter has arrived, and it looks great) as well as Batman Miniatures Game in the future.  They'd be nothing to stop me using it for a zombie game or something but I've no plans to do that yet.  Here's some pictures of the first 2 buildings, an abandoned block and an auto-repair shop:

I've shared the pictures on Twitter and on the "Citizen of Pulp City" FB group, and a few people have said they were interested in a tutorial on how I built them.  It's a fairly simple method (if I can do it, anyone can).  This will be the first part of the tutorial, where I will cover materials used, tools and paints.


This is most of the stuff I used I think in the photo:

-Pencil - Marking up foam core, cork and marking for freehand work.
-Rulers - Steel one for cutting against, plastic one for just measuring
-Square - Useful for getting straight lines when you're cutting
-Heavy blade- I use a heavy Stanley knife with a fixed blade for cutting foam core, cork, card etc.  Whatever your preferred knife is, it needs to be strong and sharp.
-Hobby knife - General blade for lighter cutting and scoring
-Green stuff - Used for making details like the bin bags, Coke can etc.
-Clay shapers - Used for green stuff sculpting.
-Superglue - For small scale gluing when I need something to stick quickly.  I use Loctite Ultra Gel by preference, but just use whatever your favourite brand is.
-General glue - This is the UHU stuff here, I've been using it to stick walls together as it dries a bit quicker than PVA and holds things together when drying.  Could easily use superglue, PVA or a hot glue gun here though.
-PVA glue - Large scale sticking of stuff and sealing surfaces.  Mine's from Poundland, works fine.

Not shown in the photo (as I forgot them):
-All purpose household filler - Poundland again.  I believe they call this spackle in the US.
-Fine point pen - 0.5mm tip black ink pen, I use this for marking the pavements.
-PC and printer
-Matt varnish - Sealing weathering powders
-Gloss varnish - For the bin bags
-Philips screwdriver - Used this for scoring the cracks into the buildings.


-5mm Foam core - This is what I used for the walls in all the buildings.  A1 sheet from Hobbycraft is £4 and you can get pretty much a whole table of terrain from it.
-Artist mount board - It's thick card basically.  £3 from Hobbycraft for an A1 sheet.  I use this for roofs mainly.
-5mm Cork floor tiles - These are used for basing mostly to give the foam core walls more strength from a solid base.  The only ones I can find in shops are sealed on one side, and unsealed on the other.  I haven't found a modelling difference between the two sides yet, I'm still experimenting on that.  These are £9 for 9 12"x12" tiles from Wickes, should be enough to do my whole board.
-Wire mesh - I used this for the windows on the repair shop.  Mine's from a peanut feeder for birds, Poundland purchased.
-Thin card - Cereal box.  This is used for doors and that kind thing.
-Coffee stirrers - Used for wood panelling and for making palettes.  Also useful for smoothing filler.  Easily borrowed from your favourite coffee chain.  I bought 1000 in fact, for the price of a coffee in Starbucks, on eBay.
-Match sticks - Window ledges and frames.  Got these on eBay for very little.

Not shown in the picture:
-Printer paper - For printing posters, signs etc.
-Self adhesive paving stones - Mine are from eBay and labelled as "OO Self Adhesive Stone Paving Slabs" by Metcalfe.  Not strictly required, you could use card instead, but I used these for the stone work on the buildings.

Paints and brushes:
-Grey spray paint - I'm using Plasticoat grey matt spray for this, but use your preferred brand.  I like the Plasticoat one as it's a fairly mid-tone grey, it covers well and it's very matt.  Foam core takes paint well so I think one can should be enough for the 7 building I have planned.
-Various greys - Some grey tones for drybrushing the sprayed building.  I use Dulux testor pots in 3 shades (mid-grey, light grey, white) for this as it is more economical to use household paint than model paint for terrain.
-Selection of model paints and washes - Your usual miniature paints for various details.
-Weathering powder - Used for soot effects, dirt round the building bases and the pavements.  I use Forge World Dark Earth and Black Soot, but lots of others are available.
-Selection of brushes - I used everything from a 000 point brush to a 1" paint brush.


Most of this stuff I already had.  I would estimate I've spent about £25 so far on materials, which should be enough to cover me for the whole table.

So that's part 1, I'll post a part 2 soon covering the build.

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