Necromunda Modular Scenery

Posted: November 10, 2010 in Necromunda, Tabletop Gaming

Introduction
This project is my reason for starting this blog in the first place and it should provide an easy place to record my progress.  Anyone who is crazy enough in the head will also be able to download or otherwise request any design documents which I will create.  The project started after myself and my friend Frobes started getting back into Games Workshop Specialist Games such as Space Hulk (1st edition) and Necromunda.  I will at some point put some links to good specialist games sites on this page instead of just the wiki entries and the graveyard that I have linked there.

An image of Modular scenery

We had been discussing scenery projects like the excellent Project Hulk and trying to think what could be done for Necromunda.  One thought had been to make a set of scenery which could be used at least in part to make terrain for both games since Space Hulk corridor and Necromunda walkway are quite similar.  With further thought however this would over complicate things so the project focusing on Necromunda was born.

Requirements

  1. The scenery should be relatively inexpensive.  I do not mind spending money on scenery but if you do not watch these things then they can get really out of hand
  2. There should be a common set of pieces which connect together to for complex structures, there should be as few of these as possible.  More complex one-off pieces can then be made in future so long as they have points to connect to the modular set.
  3. The scenery should be fairly sturdy.  The scenery in the Necromunda game box is OK but I would prefer something a little more solid.
  4. It should be possible to add things like terminals, barrels and ladders easily.

Materials
Not the best place to start but since I wanted the set to be quite sturdy I thought about this first.  For the main floors of the walkways I wanted something quite thick and decided on 9.5mm plasterboard, mostly because it is cheap and easy to cut.

I have liked plastic card as a materials ever since I scratch built an Imperials Guard Shadowsword for 40k with it way back when.  I still remember the grumbles when I turned up to a GW store event with it and the Citadel Journal rules in hand and it was allowed.  Nobody else had thought to bring Wargear cards which were also allowed and did not help my case.  In fairness the other side had a Thunderhawk Gunship but I am rambling now.

To connect the sections together Frobes suggest embedding magnets such as the type he had recently purchased for a conversion project.  After looking at the cost these were a bit much to use allover the place but I did find magnetic and ferrous sheet.  I have not tested this stuff fully yet but the A4 magnetic sheet does hold the A4 ferrous sheet in the air when only 1/30th of their surface areas are touching.

As a finishing touch I wanted some model wire mesh or gauze for some or all of the floor sections.  I had used this for a prototype space hulk section a long time ago and it worked well.

The paint will be textured on pretty much all surfaces either to represent concrete or rusted metal.  I am not sure as of yet what type of glue to use although I will need to find something other than miniature bottles of super glue which are all I have at the moment.  I quite like the class Necromunda yellow and black stripes so I have decided to put that anywhere there is a magnetic strip edge.

The main materials list is as follows:

  • 1mm plastic card (comes in A4 sheets)
  • 1.5mm plastic card (comes in A4 sheets)
  • 0.85mm magnetic strip (comes in A4 sheets)
  • 1mm ferrous strip (comes in A4 sheets)
  • 9.5mm plasterboard (oddly enough comes in wall sized sheets)
  • 1mm * 2mm holed mesh (best I have found is a 500mm * 3000mm roll)

SketchUp
I have only used SketchUp a couple of times but I really like it and have found it very useful in putting together some prototype models for this project.  I have at this point completed 4 different components which can be used to create more complex structures.  These components were a square floor, a long thin walkway, a wall corner/pillar and a support to connect the floor to the walkway.  I started with the floor and then proceeded to draw the others round it in a way that looked OK.  It took a bit of refining to get the sizes right but here are the final pieces.

In SketchUp I have gone as accurate as 0.5mm although I realise this will not be entirely possible in practice.  A lot of my materials and in particular the walls are however in 0.5mm increments.  The magnetic strip for example is 9.5mm wide which is just the same thickness as the plasterboard it will sit below.  The magnetic strip will possibly be painted to match the rest of the structure although I have left it black in the diagrams so it can be seen.

An image of the Square Floor section

The Square Floor section is quite simple and is made from a 100mm * 100mm piece of 9.5mm plasterboard with 9.5mm of magnetic sheet round the outside on the top and ferrous sheet in the same place on the bottom.  The wire mesh of 81mm * 81mm is then placed in the middle.  I may on some pieces dig out some plasterboard and model in some pipes and other detail visible through the wire but this will be custom work on a part by part basis.  For the first few parts I will make simple ones.

 

An image of the Wall Corner / Pillar component

The Wall Corner / Pillar section is just a corner wall made from two pieces of plasterboard.  With a footprint of 20mm * 20mm it is 75mm high and the walls are as thick at any point as the magnetic strip on the floor sections.  On top of the wall is some magnetic strip and there is ferrous strip on the bottom.  Eventually I will create standard wall sections to fill any gaps but these are enough to start.  There will also be the option of barrier railings which can be seen at the end of this post

 

An image of the Walkway component

The Walkway section is 200mm long and 59mm wide (40mm within the magnetic strip) and is enough for any based Necromunda miniature which I think should sensibly be on a walkway.  It is made in the same way as the Square Floor section but with the addition of two hollow I-Beam sections underneath it.  These will be made from 1mm and 1.5mm plastic card and sit 1.5mm back from each end for a length of 197mm

 

An image of the Walkway Support End component

The Walkway Support End section is made from 1mm and 1.5mm plastic card.  The two prongs sticking out from it to the left go inside of the hollow I-Beam on the Walkway section and the T-shaped tab to the right sits on top of either the Square Floor or another Walkway section.  Ferrous strip may be embedded in the stalk of the T although that is too complex for this drawing and the top is best represented as a solid sheet for now.

The following 3 images show an assembled structure.  The first image shows the entire structure, the second shows an I-Beam join and the third shows some railings.  I have not yet completed the railing component set drawings and these are only for me to get a rough idea of what they might look like:

A complete structure

A complete structure

A connected I-Beam

A connected I-Beam

An example railing

An example railing

To be continued . . . .
That is about everything I have done so far that is in a publishable state.  I now have to do some testing and make a prototype consisting of one side of one level.  First however I need to locate a suitable workspace and get the rest of the materials, they are all in the post except those which can be sourced locally like the plasterboard.

All comments and suggestions welcome.

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Comments
  1. Ben says:

    Shadowbadger, did you ever get further with this modular terrain. I love your terrain blogs on Yakromunda BTW.

    • shadowbadger says:

      I did not I am afraid. As you have seen I have switched to scenery as I am doing on Yaktribe. The reason I gave up on the modular stuff was firstly that plasterboard turned out to be too difficult a material for anything but rocks and ruins, and at that time I have not found a cheap supply of extruded poly which I now have (link for that should be on the Yak Post).

      The magnet strip sheet was also not quite strong enough and buying enough Neo-Magnets would be expensive. The biggest reason I dropped it though was that it would take so long to setup. So, I am going with my large building bases with buttressed alleyways (again see Yak) which I will arrange on the table quickly. I will then have all kinds of modular walkways, barrels, crates, slime pools etc to make each map different.

      Thanks for the interest and sorry for the delayed response.

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