Shadowbadger’s Sett

Posted: December 25, 2010 in Introduction
Tags: , , , , ,

Welcome to my log of various modelling projects. I will eventually put some better site graphics up and play with the layout a bit but this is good enough for now. I am a 29 (clinging to it hard) year old fan of GW Specialist Games, the ones that were all the rage when I was younger, two decades ago in the 90′s (eeep). Of course these are now the red headed step children of GW but hey, they kicked out a lot of good games back in the day and below you will find the contents of my blog by game along with links to other great sites.

Necromunda
Death and desperation in a super city factory slum on crack. Necromunda is a great tactical game with the scenery being as much a factor as the models who fight.


Gorkamorka
Crash a hulk full of orks onto a planet, ruining its eco system and buggering the hulk in the process. More fluff, blah blah blah, orks fight each other on vehicles. An awesome tongue in cheek game.


Miscellaneous
Anything that does not fit in just one game.

  • Materials – The materials I use for terrain projects.


Links to other great sites

Good places to go!


I have written a score hider for when watching GamePass. It is a draggable black bar which you can resize and drag on top of GamePass (even in full screen). Just place it over the FOX/CBS score banner they usually have at the bottom of the screen and all you need to do is listen for the announces saying “Lets go for a game break”.

It is written in Java so you will need that installed. Sorry but I do not have time to explain that to you.

I have included the source as well as precompiled stuff.

You should be able to run it by double clicking on BlackBar.class (that works on OSX anyway). In Lion/M-Lion you may need to right click and open as Apple blocks double click of apps from developers not registered with them (which I obviously did not do for this). Otherwise go to the command line and type

Java BlackBar

Once you have run it you can enter the x and y sizes of the black bar and click OK, that will set the size of the bar, work that out for your own monitor / TV. Then just go full screen with Game Pass and drag it about to suit your needs.

This program is provided without warranty or suitability for purpose. If it breaks your computer, eats your children etc etc it is not my fault. Use at your own risk. If you are worried then learn Java, read the code and compile it yourself. To compile it in the command line type:

javac Blackbar.java

http://www65.zippyshare.com/v/91646240/file.html

GamePass Screenshot

When in fullscreen the black bar is still visible but the size controls are not.

A Little About Google Docs

You all know what it is or you would not be reading this. Something to watch out for, Google Docs does not enforce unique file names. You can have two files named ‘really.txt’ in the same folder ‘FacePalm’. Google Docs stores these using a generated number as the unique index. You can get these indexes and work with them from the resource object. But, for the purposes of this example I am going to assume that you are going to make file names globally unique (the delete would just delete the first file of a given name in my code). By this I mean that you are going to enforce it in your code, or just by not doing it.

Hopefully after reading this you will see what I mean. You can handle more than globally unique filenames, it just takes more work. You would need to find the collection, then I think there is a parent attribute in the file resource you can use to check you have the correct file in the correct folder.

Read on to make sense of that.

Hopefully.

Background

I recently had to create a script which backed up files to Google Docs from the command line.  Google have created an API to do this and the language I chose to use for it was Python.  I am not really sure why, probably because I found the already written GoogleCL.  This command line tool uses the gdata-python-client to manage not only Google Docs but things like Calendar and Blogger as well.  I wrote a bash script for my backup logic and got the backup up and running.

I soon discovered a problem however.  When files were being deleted, like daily backups which were only to be kept for so many weeks, they were going into the recycle bin in Google Docs.  Items in the bin are included in the storage quota and I could not find anyway to turn the bin off or set it to empty weekly or something.  I also could not get GoogleCL to bypass the command line with its deletions. So the account maxed out and required manual bin emptying, defeating the whole point of a manual backup.

Reading further into gdata-python I found the appropriate function to bypass the recycle bin.  It was however in version 2.0.16 and GoogleCL uses 2.0.14.  In the end I decided to write my own Python script, using version 2.7.2 and gdata-2.0.16.  See the the links in the first paragraph for the websites for these projects.  They all have pretty simple install instructions.  I tested on OSX 10.6 but deployed on Linux.

Please note I am not an expert on this.  Some of my understanding of the subtleties may be a bit off.  As far as I am aware my code works but it is presented here with no warranty or guarantee of being fit for any purpose.  There were various code snippets and forum posts I found but none gave the kind of basic introduction to doing the basic tasks that I was looking for.  I imported the following.  Some may no longer be required but I do not want to go back and check them all.  They are pretty basic imports anyway, plus gdata.

If you are running this code please backup any data and I take no responsibility for anything you break, damage destroy or incite into a robotic revolution.

#!/usr/bin/python
# Or wherever your python install is, remember to make the script executable as well (chmod +x)

import sys
import os.path
import gdata.data
import gdata.acl.data
import gdata.docs.client
import gdata.docs.service
import gdata.docs.data
import gdata.sample_util
import argparse

 
 


The Client Object

The client object in gdata is the object you use to communicate with Google Docs.  Think of it as Google Docs, you tell it you want to upload something, delete something or do a search.  The following creation code is a slightly modified version of what is in the gdata examples. I have put everything just in one script/function. I split it out into more functions but you can do that as you prefer.

APP_NAME = 'What ever you want to name it'
DEBUG = False
client = gdata.docs.client.DocsClient(source=APP_NAME)
client.http_client.debug = DEBUG

# Authenticate the user with CLientLogin, OAuth, or AuthSub.
try:
  gdata.sample_util.authorize_client(client,
  service=client.auth_service,
  source=client.source,
  scopes=client.auth_scopes
)
except gdata.client.BadAuthentication:
  exit('Invalid user credentials given.')
except gdata.client.Error:
  exit('Login Error')

When you run this code you will be asked three questions.

  • Which authentication type do you want, I chose 1 which is username and password
  • The email address / username of your Google account
  • The password for your Google account

You can pass these are arguments to the command line when you run the script and gdata will pick them up automatically like:

./this_script.py --auth_type=1 --email=you@wherever.com --password=********

 
 


Upload

So now you have a script which can create a client object without you having to enter all the details at the CLI.  You can upload a file using the collowing

# Give the document a title and put the location of the file to be uploaded in LOCAL_FILE
DOC_TITLE='test_file.txt'
LOCAL_FILE='/tmp/test_file.txt'
doc = gdata.docs.data.Resource(type='document', title=DOC_TITLE)
media = gdata.data.MediaSource()
media.SetFileHandle(LOCAL_FILE, 'application/octet-stream')
create_uri = gdata.docs.client.RESOURCE_UPLOAD_URI + '?convert=false'
upload_doc = client.CreateResource(doc, create_uri=create_uri, media=media)

Now, the doc and media lines set the file information and local path. The create_uri variable is just the default setting plus an argument to turn off file conversion. By default when you upload files to Google Docs it will convert the file to its own format. This will ruin your day if you are trying to upload a tar.gz file or something. Unfortunately this only works on a paid Google account, if you have a free one then you can only upload files which you are happy to have converted. Just take the create_uri=create_uri out of the CreateResource function and it will use the default.

 
 


Searching for a collection

To find a collection you need to pass the uri (see the API for more details) telling Google Docs you want collections. Took me a while to find as it is not in the examples that come with gdata (that I could see).

COLLECTION_QUERY_URI 	= '/feeds/default/private/full/-/folder'
# Note that the target_collection is still just a resource object like found_resource
target_collection = None
folder_to_find = 'MyFolder'
for resource in client.GetAllResources(uri=COLLECTION_QUERY_URI):
  if resource.title.text == folder_to_find:
    # target_collection = client.GetResourceById(resource.resource_id.text)
    target_collection = resource

This loops through each resource including folders and gets the one with the target name. I know that the GetResourceById line is pointless, it is just there to show you where you get an ID for these resource objects and how you look it up again.

 
 


Putting the uploaded file in an existing collection

I could not get the file to upload directly to a collection, but I could move it to one.  Make sure you have made the collection in google docs first

client.MoveResource(upload_doc,target_collection)

 
 


Searching for a file

Now to search objects in Google Docs.  This could be refined using specific searches but I just queried all documents and searched for a title match.  You can query just for specific things but this post is intended for people who need to do something quickly and simply

file_to_find = 'test_file.txt.txt'
found_resource = None               # Really, what is wrong with nil or null

# By default this will return all non-collection, non-bin resources
for resource in client.GetAllResources():
  if hasattr(resource.filename, 'text'):
    if resource.filename.text == file_to_find:
      print resource.__dict__ # So you can see all the crap it has
      found_resource = resource
      break

 
 


Deleting

To delete the file you just uploaded you could use the following. This uses the resource object you got when you uploaded above. You could also use a resource object which you have searched for.

client.DeleteResource(upload_doc, True, force=True)

The True and force=True make the deletion bypass the recycle bin, this little line is the whole reason I started this in the first place. The rest is just because I did not want to be using this for some things and Google CLI for others, even though it has more features and is likely more robust. Hopefully they will add something like this if/when they move to gdata-2.0.16

To make sure this works I have put it all in one file and tested it, you can find it here.  I think I got all the mistakes that were in as I typed this (should have done it in the file first).  If there are any discrepancies then the file is correct.  When run, provided you have a /tmp/test_file.txt file (or have changed the code for your own test file) and have a MyFolder ‘Collection’ setup in Google Docs the script should upload your file, find the MyFolder collection, move your file to MyFolder then delete your file.

Hopefully this will help somebody.  A document explaining a way to do some simple operations in Google Docs was something I was struggling to find.  If there are better ways to do this let me know.  I realise it could be more robust but it is meant just to show the basic workings.

Seems WordPress will not let me save a .py file, so here is the full code for ease of copying:

 

#!/usr/bin/python
# Or wherever your python install is, remember to make the script executable as well (chmod +x)

import sys
import os.path
import gdata.data
import gdata.acl.data
import gdata.docs.client
import gdata.docs.service
import gdata.docs.data
import gdata.sample_util
import argparse

APP_NAME = 'What ever you want to name it'
DEBUG = False
client = gdata.docs.client.DocsClient(source=APP_NAME)
client.http_client.debug = DEBUG

# Authenticate the user with CLientLogin, OAuth, or AuthSub.
try:
  gdata.sample_util.authorize_client(client,
  service=client.auth_service,
  source=client.source,
  scopes=client.auth_scopes
)
except gdata.client.BadAuthentication:
  exit('Invalid user credentials given.')
except gdata.client.Error:
  exit('Login Error')
  
# Give the document a title and put the location of the file to be uploaded in LOCAL_FILE
DOC_TITLE='test_file.txt'
LOCAL_FILE='/tmp/test_file.txt'
doc = gdata.docs.data.Resource(type='document', title=DOC_TITLE)
media = gdata.data.MediaSource()
media.SetFileHandle(LOCAL_FILE, 'application/octet-stream')
create_uri = gdata.docs.client.RESOURCE_UPLOAD_URI + '?convert=false'
upload_doc = client.CreateResource(doc, create_uri=create_uri, media=media)

COLLECTION_QUERY_URI 	= '/feeds/default/private/full/-/folder'
# Note that the target_collection is still just a resource object like found_resource
target_collection = None
folder_to_find = 'MyFolder'
for resource in client.GetAllResources(uri=COLLECTION_QUERY_URI):
  if resource.title.text == folder_to_find:
    # target_collection = client.GetResourceById(resource.resource_id.text)
    target_collection = resource
  
client.MoveResource(upload_doc,target_collection)

file_to_find = 'test_file.txt'  # Make a file of this name in the script directory, or pass a full path to whatever file.
found_resource = None         # Really, what is wrong with nil or null

# By default this will return all non-collection, non-bin resources
for resource in client.GetAllResources():
	if hasattr(resource.filename, 'text'):
		if resource.filename.text == file_to_find:
			print resource.__dict__ # So you can see all the crap it has
			found_resource = resource
			break

client.DeleteResource(upload_doc, True, force=True)

 
/badger

We can conquer worlds . . . quench suns . . . and use teeny tiny magnets.

Update: I am now trying to use 2mm magnets wherever possible as they do hold much better

In this article I will document my effort to magnetise my Dark Eldar infantry. This all came about when I opened my first box of Kabalite warriors. I was very impressed by the number of different options you get in the box, more weapons than bodies allowing you to create the unit that you want. It is a shame for all of these excellent sculpts to go to waste I thought and decided to use magnets to make things interchangeable. I was going to magnetise the feet anyway as I wanted to be able to swap to different types of base (desert, grass, arctic etc). I then decided to do the weapons, heads and backpacks as well.  In the box you get:

  • 10 fronts with 5 variants
  • 10 backs with 5 variants
  • 10 legs with 5 variants
  • 15 Head variants (10 helmet, 5 face)
  • 10 Splinter rifles
  • 1 Dark Lance
  • 1 Splinter Cannon
  • 1 Blaster
  • 1 Shredder
  • 2 Splinter Pistols
  • 1 Blast Pistol
  • 1 Agoniser
  • 1 Sword
  • 1 Phantasm Grenade Launcher (backpack)
  • 1 Back mounted banner
  • 1 Back mounted trophy rack
  • 2 Backpacks (for the heavy weapons)
  • Lots of spiky bitz

Before you start (no really)

Now before you start cutting things out of the sprues take a look at the instructions that came in the box. There are different left arms to go with different right arm weapons. Personally I think the Dark Eldar would have been more sinister left handed but they missed that trick. Like parts are numbered on the sprues with the weapon being numbered say 45 and the opposite arm 45A. It is also worth noting that whilst you can mix and match the front and back torso parts, the leg parts come in matching front and back pairs. Anything back mounted like the grenade launcher, power packs and banner only fit in certain torso sections which have a groove to take the pack. If you do not want packs on any of the squad then it looks perfectly fine as it has been modelled as part of the armour, not like some models with blatantly obvious holes or smoothed sections.  Or if you prefer there is an ornamental banner and trophy rack.

Neodymium

These are commonly available and quite cheap (a few pounds for 100 on ebay).  They are very strong for their size and larger ones may break your fingers or cause metal objects to jump at them (like knife blades).  The magnets can also be quite brittle, again not so much a problem with the really little ones but my friend Frobes broke one by sticking it on the inside and one on the outside of a coffee cup.  It broke itself because of the curvature of the mug.  You also really do not want to eat them (some people are thick as mince) because they can attract eachother in your intestines and cause potentially fatal ruptures.  More on magnet safety here: Magnet Safety. I take no responsibility for any injury or other problems caused by your use of magnets or any other tools mentioned in this article.

Example Assembly

For this example I have chosen one of the torso sections which will take backpacks. I have also taken two heads, a splinter pistol and sword, a splinter rifle and supporting arm, the phantasm grenade launcher and the dark lance. These models are very delicate so I suggest using a pair of clippers to take them off the sprues, a sharp knife may work but it can be hard to get the part flat on the table and just twisting them out is bound to break something. I then shaved off any mould lines or bulges where the item was cut from the sprue with a sharp craft knife.

Assembling the fixed parts

I will not go into detail for this as I assume that if you are trying to magnetise the army then you have some practice in model assembly already, if not I suggest you do not go any further and go find a model assembly article before you ruin your Dark Eldar. What I did find though was that to get the front and back sections of the shoulder pads to line up correctly you need to really push the front section of the torso in and up to the back. I shaved a little plastic from the joining faces on the inside to help with this and also used Humbrol model filler to fill the gaps. This adds a bit of drying time as you need to let the filler dry before you can shave or file it.  I then glued the torso to the legs.  I did not base the model at this time as I plan on magnetising the feet as well once my 2mm magnets arrive.

Polarity

At this point it is worth thinking about polarity.  Magnets will attract each other in one direction only, they will force each other appart in the other.  The latter is somewhat counter productive to what we are trying to accomplish.  I suggest you come up with a polarity scheme and stick to it for every model.  Most parts do not matter provided you do the same for all heads for example but if two magnets are very close together you may want to think of the force the second one will exert on any match you have for the first one.  Putting the original two in the same direction will resolve this although I did not have any such problems on the dark eldar as the arms, head and back are suitably far apart.  That is not to say there will not be some repelling force but the attractive force was enough to overcome it and still support the weight.

I also decided to make my left arms and right arms attract each other.  This way you can keep matching pairs together in your box or foam case.  This means that left arms will repel right sockets which is fine but just remember to get them the right way round.

The Head

The first part I magnetically attached was the head.  I filed down the ball joint under the head ever so slightly although you can judge on your own models if it is a good fit or not.  I then found the most prominent part of the ball joint and dabbed a little paint on it with my fine detail brush.  I then placed the head in the torso and took it out again, leaving a mark on the torso where the point you have chosen on the head touches the torso.

I then slowly drilled up into the head making sure the drill was at right angles to the head, watch here because the head and the ball joint are not always completely in line.  To measure the depth of holes I cut a tooth pick shaped sliver of plastic card and painted 1mm of the end with dark blue and another 1mm with light blue.  You can use this to measure 1mm and 2mm deep holes.  Always however test the fit of the actual magnet you will put in the whole.  Ideally the magnet will fit in exactly but if not I prefer a slight recess than having the magnet stick slightly out.  We are talking fractions of a millimetre here but if the magnet is raised the attached part may wobble a bit whereas if it is recessed you may lose a fraction of the magnetic force but the surface around the magnet is all flat making a good join.

Using a 0.5mm cutting or wire as a “brush” I coated the inside of the hole with glue and put a little on the end of the magnet which I had stuck to my craft knife.  I then placed the magnet in the hole and gently slid the knife off to the side.  Using the other end of my dipper stick I pushed the magnet in fully.  On some of the parts I put a little bit of glue on top of the magnet once it was on to make sure it stayed there.  Make sure and wipe over the surface with a cotton bud or something though so you just get a little glue in any cracks and no more.  You also do not want to put a thick layer of anything on the magnet as it will reduce the force it exerts in its match.

I then drilled the matching hole in the torso.  You need to be careful as parts of the torso are hollow so your 1mm hole can suddenly become much deeper.  You could fill the torso halves before you assemble them or you could stick more magnets or some kind of rod down the hole.  I found though that as long as I was careful and did not push down two hard that the superglue held the magnet in by the sides.  To place the magnet in the torso I first stuck the magnet to the head (with the magnetic force not superglue).  Once on I could then glue the sides of the hole as before and place a little dab on the end of the magnet.  I then put the head on the torso with the magnet going down the hole.  I waited for the glue to take hold then pulled the head off.  It helps if you wipe any superglue clean from the surface before you do this so that most of the glue is in the hole and the tiny bit on the surface is easily pulled free.

And there you have it, one magnetised head.  It can be posted from side to side although do not lift the model by the head.  Some of them hold but not all of them and I find it best to lift delicate and painted models by the base anyway or at least the legs.

Image of the magnetised parts

Arms

Note that for the arms I have since started pinning alongside of the magnet to hold better and stop rotation. Also note that the special weapons do not fit so well on the female bodies because their breasts are too big, good ole Jes. Doing the arms is pretty much the same as doing the head.  Mark the holes with paint, drill them out then glue in the magnets.  Make sure you do all your same sided arms with the same polarity.  I also made the left and right arms stick to each other for storage.  Most of the guns do not turn round the join because they are very light and also the torso stops them.  The exceptions to this are some of the left arms, particularly the one with the dark lance.  If you pick this model up and shake it a little the dark lance will wobble a bit before resetting to fixed position when you stop shaking it.  This can move the left arm down and because they are wide of the torso it does not stop them.  You can to counter this glue the hand to where it holds the weapon under the barrel.  Do this when the arms are on the torso to ensure you get it in the correct place.

I did this example with 1mm magnets but I may start putting 2mm ones on the torso side of the join since there is room.  I would still be worried about the drill coming out the side of the hole if I put 2mm on the arm side though and the head and backpack do need the 1mm magnets because of the curvature and small size.

Back mounted items

These are quite straightforward.  Just make sure your polarities are correct.  You may want to take extra care placing the magnet in the torso because it is hollow in places and also because if you choose to not have a backpack on the model it will be well hidden.  The slot where the backpack would go does not look like such an obvious hole as on some ranges and if you want to fill it with something there is a banner and a trophy rack in each set which can fill both of the holed torsos.

Fixing an incorrect hole

With 1mm magnets on models as fine as these the chances are you will get a hole at some point that is not quite where you would want it.  This is however easy to fix.  First using your craft knife scrape away on the inside of the hole in the direction you want it to move.  You do not have to scrape all the way into the hole just enough on the surface that you could guide the drill into the new hole.  Then take a sliver of plastic card probably smaller than 1mm and glue it in the hole at the oposite side from the direction you scraped.  Use a long piece to do this then trim any excess off, much easier than trying to get a short piece in.  Now drill out the new hole using what is there from your knife cuts as a guide, just do this the same way as you drilled holes above.  You can see in the picture below the white next to the hole, that is the filler plastic.

A picture of a hole which has been fixed.

Getting a magnet out

Not easy.  I do not have a way to do this but I can say that I had a magnet that went too deep into one of the arms.  I managed to push it further into the hollow part of the chest then put another magnet in its place.  Best just to be careful and get it right though.  I would probably just glue arms onto one that was broken in some way and have it as a fixed one.  This is not so good if it is one of the ones with a backpack mount as those are the ones you tend to want to swap arms on.

Other things to hink about

So that you do not mix up which left and right arms go together you could paint matching coloured dots over the magnets so you do not have to try and work it out each time.  You could also use 2mm magnets for some of the joins although you would struggle for the backpack and the head.  Even the arms would need to be done very carefully so that you do not break out the side wall with the drill.  For me the force of 1mm magnets is enough for these models.  When reading another article on magnetising models I read someone suggesting you do not place the models closer than 2 inches apart or they can fly together.  These magnets are not powerful enough to do that and if the ones you are using do that then you probably put in magnets that were too large and powerful.  Another thought I had is that I may not magnetise all the heads, just five out of ten including the two with back mounts.  That way you can swap helmets for faces but leave five helmets glued as there is not much point swapping helmet for helmet.  I would quite like to use all faces for a unit of trueborn for example.

I have decided now to add 0.5mm pins as well as the magnets to stop them rotating.

The finished article

Once you have done one it is quite easy to do the others.  Just repeat the same steps and you will end up with multiple options for your Kabalite warriors with which to enslave the lesser races.  If you got all the magnets in flush then you should not be able to see them either and once painted you will not know to look at them that the parts are attached this way.

multiple component options

Ork Workshop

Posted: December 31, 2010 in Gorkamorka, Scenery, Tabletop Gaming
Tags: , , , , ,

For my Gorkamorka board I will not need that much scenery, what with it being a barren world and all. I did like the idea of having a couple of buildings though, occupying 1/6 to 1/4 of the board or at least making it appear filled. All that would then be required would be some rocks and perhaps a hill for vehicles to bound over.

My first building was a Small Ork Hut with a Squigg pen. It would perhaps be a mobs ammo or weapons store as well as their food store. I wanted the second building to be larger than the first so I came upon the idea of having a garage or workshop with an adjoining smaller building for hammocks, bunks or just for the orks to sleep on the floor. I wanted this building to be a kind of square within a square, with two squares overlapping 1/4 of their area. The workshop half would be the complete half and slightly taller than the bunk room.

Both squares were to be 150mm by 150mm which is the same as the long side of the smaller building. This gives an effective 225mm by 225mm footprint versus the 150mm by 150mm footprint of the smaller building. The walls on the bunk room were to be the same height (75mm) as the smaller building with the workshop being 150mm tall but with a sloping roof going down to 100mm. I cut the 150mm by 150mm section then just drew on it until I saw a slope which looked about right. I was going to make this building big enough to park my Trukk but even the one out of the box would have needed a workshop 200mm by 180mm and the custom one I planned would have been even bigger. I therefore decided just to make it a workshop as apposed to a garage with car ramps etc. The first cut pieces are shown below:

First Cut

From the basic wall shapes I cut the two 150mm square walls of the garage to have the sloping roof down to 100m tall at its low point. I then used a stanley knife to cut out the windows and the doors. On the smaller windows which are completely enclosed by wall this can be quite difficult. If I had some kind of say it would be easier but I had to just cut as best I can then poke the blade through at various points to that I could see the line on the other side then cut back the other way. Fortunately ork buildings are meant to be a bit rough so I took advantage of this and purposefully made a bit of a bad job of it.

Windows

For the workshop door I cut a slant to match the roof slope. I then as with the small hut glued the parts together using No More Nails then let it set over night. You can see the square within a square design in the pictures below:

Workshop

The sloping roof is going to be made of patchwork pieces of metal and mesh, as will the hut and workshop doors. As a base for the roof I stretched a piece of mesh over it and pinned it in place with drawing pins. I then covered the sections above the walls with No More Nails and rubbed it in through the mesh. The idea here is that it will dry and hold the mesh down to the top of the walls. Sheets of plastic card will then placed in an ad hoc fashion on to the roof to complete it. There will be some small parts of mesh visible through the cracks in the plastic card which should be a nice effect. The pins will be removed once the glue dries.

Mesh Roof

On top of the mesh I wanted a patchwork kind of roof, showing some of the supporting mesh underneath and with a couple of windows. Plasticard is your friend, you can do so much with it. I made the panels and the rivets for the roof. On the panels I added a lot of dents and made sure the lines were not straight. I found that sharp corners and straight lines made the panels look too well made and not orky.

Roof Panels

I am really happy with how this building is turning out:

Whole Building

Materials

Posted: December 24, 2010 in Scenery

These are the materials that I have been using for my various scenery project, along with some ideas I have for how they can be used.

For large structures I have been using plasterboard. It is just the kind used to make house interior walls but at 9.5mm it is the thinnest that I could find. I think standard stuff is 12.5mm or something which may be too thick for some things. Plasterboard is easy to cut, just mark out the pieces you need then score on the line 2 or 3 times. The board can then be cracked along the cut just by tapping it lightly. The cut is not always clean or entirely straight on the z-axis (i.e. into the board) but you can sand it down easily, cutting the original parts a little large to start with if required. Plasterboard is also very easy to sand and gaps, breaks or joins can easily be filled with standard wall plaster or anything similar you can get your hands on. It can get quite messy though and create a lot of dust so make sure you cover things and do not do it near anything a wife / mother could get annoyed about.

To stick the sections together I use “No More Nails” because it is good, designed for things like plasterboard and quite cheap. This 300ml or so tube cost me just £2 although I had to borrow the gun thing from my dad.

No More Nails

I bought some wire mesh originally to make wire fencing but it can be used for all kinds of things from flooring to razor-wire. It is easy to cut with scissors and with holes approximately 1mm by 2mm diamonds it is great for 28mm scale. I bought a big roll as it worked out cheaper although you can get A4 sheets at big hardware stores like Halfords for a couple of pounds each. The only tricky thing with this stuff is the edges stick to everything like your fingers, fabric, itself. To make razor-wire just cut long lengths of it about 3mm or 1 and a bit diamonds then wrap it round a pen or pencil tightly but not overlapping. When you take it off the pencil it opens up a little and the edges look good and spiky.

Wire Mesh

As a standard materials for all kinds of uses I like plastic card. It is easy to work with, quite cheap and comes in all kinds of thicknesses. I bought in a supply of 0.25mm, 0.75mm, 1mm, 1.5mm and some 3mm although that is a little harder to cut with just a knife. By cutting the right shapes and using different layers you can construct all kinds of things.

Plastic Card

You also get transparant plastic card. The picture below shows it with its protective sheet on all but one corner, but it is transparant. The edges when cut also have a kind of layered effect which makes it look like broken glass so it is great for glass topped walls or broken windows.

Transparant Plastic Card

You get plastic in various other forms as well like square, round or hexagonal ended rods. The plastic sheets also are available from some hobby stores (particularly the model railroad kind) with textures on them. I bought several sheets of industrial tread plate, the anti-slip surface you get on metal floors. This is great for Necromunda and other sci-fi scenery. It is however a lot more expensive than plain plastic card. The photo below shows the card zoomed in, there are probably over a hundred of the little bumps on each square inch so it is quite fine. You do get bigger stuff but this right for 28mm scale.

Kick Plate

My Necromunda Scenery is going to have a modular design with sections connected via magnetics. For this I bought sheets of magnetic strip (like an A4 fridge magnet that can be cut up). I also bought some ferrous sheet which is about the same thickness except that instead of being magnetic it contains lots of metal which the magnet is attracted to and holds very well. Like the tread plate however this stuff is a bit more expensive, coming in at a couple of pounds per sheet. I do not need that much of it though as it is only for certain edges.

Magnetic Sheet

Since my usual Citadel paints would not cover the area required I went looking for other paint. What I found were emulsion paint testers. There are many brands of these, the ones I found had the colours I wanted at the best value were the Crown Ultimate ones. They come in 75ml pots (some of the others were 40ml or less) and cost £1.30 each. I got a light and dark grey to do rocks ane concrete buildings as well as 2 shades of beige to do my Ork huts. I will likely get a couple more for my Necromunda and Gorkamorka surfaces.

Crown Ultimate Paint

Ork Buildings

Posted: December 24, 2010 in Gorkamorka, Scenery
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To test the suitability of plasterboard and other materials I have been making some Ork buildings for Gorkamorka. I have yet to play the game but it looks very interesting, I am making a Goff Gorker Mob for it. One good thing about Necromunda is that it requires much less scenery than Necromunda does, the vehicles need room to move. This means it may be a good game to play whilst I am making Necromunda scenery.

For Ork buildings I like the sand wall coloured huts like ones I remember the GW studio had in epic scale in the early 90s. With coloured details in green / red, or black and white check or triangle patterned bands. I thought plasterboard would be a good material for the base shape of these given its thickness. The only thing I did not know was how easily it would cut and sand as well as whether it would crumble or crack.

To start with I measured out the out wall sections on the plasterboard. The walls were to be 75mm or approximately 3 inches high, this is both about the right height and makes it easy just knowing that it is in whole inches for movement purposes up the ladders. The first building was to be 200mm by 100m so since the plasterboard is 9.5mm think I cut two 200mm sections and 2 80mm sections (well I had Frobes cut them as I have arthritis like trouble in my hands which slows me down when doing such things). I then glued them together with “No More Nails” which was only £2 for the giant tube (minus the spring gun thing which I borrowed from my dad). It is the same kind of gun commonly used for silicone sealant in bathrooms etc.

The glued structure together structure

I then cut and sanded the roof to fit. It went in so snuggly that it does not need glue to hold it up although I will glue blocks in place underneath it as even a small movement could cause paint to crack on the finished hut. To explain the one problem with plasterboard first I will explain how to cut it. If you were to cut it with a saw it would be very messy and would break all over the place, it would also be very hard going and is too thick to cut all the way through with a sharp knife. How to cut it is to mark your sections out then score a line with a sharp stanley or craft knife. Repeat the score line two or three times, you do not need to go that deep and the extra cuts just make sure you cut some plaster and not just the card, just use the same force as you would use to cut a bit of card. Once you have done this move the board so that your section (or the rest of the piece if that is smaller) is over the table edge then with the score side up give your section a little tab with your fist, again this does not need to be hard. The plasterboard will crack right through and you can then take your knife and cut free the card on the other side.

Hut with model on top

With the roof in place the hut is starting to look good but there are some problems that need addressed. Firstly plasterboard does not always crack straight down when you cut it. Because of this it needs sanded if you want all the faces to line up. There are also gaps where the join is like in the photo below.

A crack where the join is on the corner

You can also see that in places the cardboard has become scuffed or torn. To fix this just use a little plaster, the kind used on real walls. The stuff I had was a bit old but it waters down OK and can then be spread over any bit that is recessed in any way. It can then be easily sanded for a good finish. For the Ork hut it does not matter if it is completely even since it will be covered in textured paint later anyway and it of Ork construction. I also put plaster where the roof meets the walls so that is is a smooth transition and not a crack.

Hut when plastered

By this point I had decided I wanted the hut to have a Squig pen on the back of it. To do this I made a smaller walled structure, slightly lower and glued it on to the back of the hut. This will have a roof placed on it just like the main structure.

Squig pen walls

The idea is that this is the Squig shed. It will have a little Squig flap on the bottom of the right hand wall. There will be a door on the wall facing the camera, kind of a barn door but metal and patched together ork style. There will also be a wire mesh fence with knocked together metal fence posts. I will damage the mesh a little bit with frayed edges etc and perhaps wash it with a little brown to rust it. Below are some terrible sketches but you should be able to see what I mean, they are just as a reminder for me really as to what I want to do as I am quite forgetful.

Sketches

For the roof of the Squig pen I had to put some stoppers on the underside to stopp it falling through, I also cut it a little too short but that will be fillable with plaster.

Sketches

For the fence I cut some pieces of plastic card and plastic tread plate and then glued them together to make patchwork fence posts. I then cut the wire mesh sections and punched a few holes in them and tattered the edges. Superglue did not stick very well to the wire mesh at all so I used no more nails such that it filled the holes in the mesh and then I placed some plastic card on the other side from the post. This meant that the the mesh was kind of held with the glue acting as a filler and the plastic is glued to the filler on either side meaning it does not matter if the metal does not stick.

Fence

I had seen a lot of people putting metal patchwork plate on the side of their ork buildings (and vehicles) and thought it looked really good. I decided to do the same using 1mm plastic card and tread plate. I tried to keep it quite simple but not a neatly cut shape. I also added the little teeth edges on the left just to make it look tuff.

Corner Plate

To let orks get on top of the squigg pen I made a little ladder out of 1mm plastic card and tread plate. Since it is quite a small ladder I just made it simple, I may on the larger side ladder add more detail and make it look a bit more dangerous.

Ladder

I really like the Ork gun symbol that I remember from Battle for Armageddon, the board game from the mid 90′s with counters instead of miniatures. I played that quite recently and it was good. Anyway, using plastic card I have made a hatch on the roof which does not open but would be a way for the orks to get in the building. I also put a big un symbol on the side of it. The building is going to be the store house for weapons, ammo and squigs (food) for my Gorker Mob.

Gun Motif

I will update this as I go . . . .