Archive for the ‘Tabletop Gaming’ Category

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

Advertisements

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
Tags: , , , , ,

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 . . . .

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.