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How big should buildings be?

Discussion in 'Scenery' started by Cannon Fodder, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. Cannon Fodder

    Cannon Fodder Well-Known Member

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    I'm getting access to a laser cutter and looking at designing some custom terrain. I've got a basic design figured out for modular components. But I'm not sure of the scale I want to use. I want to design the building with panels in mind. Where a building could be 1 panel by 2 panels. then in each panel I would have a door\window\garage door\blank. The question is how big should each panel be. Originally I was thinking of using 3 inch panels, with walls being 3,6,9 or 12 inches long. I know 3 inches is too small for a full building side, but I was keeping that for L shaped building or second story component. I'm having second thoughts on this and might move up to 4 inch panels. The problem is that my current design does not allow 2 building the same size to stack properly. I think 4 inch panels would limit some options.

    In my last table had lots of small building that needed to touch to make larger building, I want to make a set of larger buildings that have interiors this time.

    So I'm asking everyone how big should I make the panels 3 or 4 inches. Are 4 and 8 inch building better or worse than 6,9 inch buildings.
     
  2. Errhile

    Errhile A traveller on the Silk Road

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    First, I'd say avoid measurements equal to weapon range bands.

    Then, I'd say it is better to have a mjority of buldings larger than 10x10cm / 4"x4". A few of such smal one are OK, but I was rather satisified with my 10x20cm / 4x8" standard.

    Objective Room standard (20x20cm / 8x8"), either square or L-shaped, is OK for a few buildings, but not for majority of them on a table.

    I did some 10x30cm / 4x12", but they turned out ot be a little awkward in use.

    In my experience, 10x20cm / 4x8" is the sweet spot for the majority of bulidings.

    It doesn't hurt to have a really big one or two (I have a warehouse that nests buildings inside, it holds 2 of the 10x30cm on each of two levels), but that's it.

    Also: mind storage problems!
     
    timberfox likes this.
  3. Cannon Fodder

    Cannon Fodder Well-Known Member

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    @Errhile for you 4x12 did it have an interior? I know larger buildings without interiors are problematic. One of the larger ones I'm thinking of is going to 12x12 with most of the interior being open (warehouse trucks back into, large open doors to outside and a couple interior rooms). I figure since the interior is a valid battle ground it would not be too big.

    As for storage, my old terrain storage boxes were bankers boxes (8.5x11x17) which would be terrible for this terrain. I currently use a Costco bag for my current table. I also makes transporting it easy. I'll look for a good box that has 12.5 x 12.5 dimension for long term storage.

    Note: I'm looking at using architectural board instead of MDF. Its holds up fairly well, lighter, and cheaper. The MC studio stuff our LGS has is beginning to show its age after 3-4 years of regular use in an LGS. For private use it should be fine.
     
  4. Errhile

    Errhile A traveller on the Silk Road

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    I did removable, self-supported (thanks to their zig-zag shape) walls that can be put inside, across the building (i.e. pararell to the shorter wall). Some shorter, L-shaped corners, too.

    Without these inside, 8" long is about okay, 12" feels a bit too long as a single room.
    I guess less than 8" long would be too cramped if you put internal walls in it. 4" defintiely is.

    My largest warehouse is big enough to fit those 2 4x12"'s inside, so I'd say, 4x12"+ (you need some wiggle room to put the buildings inside).
    We tend to drop some scatter terrain inside, otherise it turns into just that: big empty warehouse. Also, I did a loft / upper story office in it, removable as well (simply a set of supports along the walls, a floor for the office, and a wall separating it from the warehouse's main area, along with matching guide rails on the interior of the warehouse) - putting it together is just a matter of placing two sheets oc material in their place.

    As for storage - I made my terrain set as (mostly) a system, with smaller elemnts nesting inisde of the larger ones. you know, Russian Doll-style.

    Oh, and one obvious thing I'll however mention: think about accessing, especially upper floors and rooftops. These are popular places to have your models at, but using basic Climb skill is pretty boring.
     
  5. Cannon Fodder

    Cannon Fodder Well-Known Member

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    Another Question: Should rooftop railing be designed to give S5 profiles cover?

    I just finished my first test pieces and made it a little short for S5 models. I'm trying to decide if I redesign it.
     
  6. Errhile

    Errhile A traveller on the Silk Road

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    I'd say, it should be high enough to provide proportionally sound barrier for S2.
    If that covers enough of a S5, or even S7, shiny.

    Also - you could just as well do two types of a roof: with and wihout cover-providing railing.
    Makes life more interesting :)
     
    Pen-dragon likes this.
  7. Cannon Fodder

    Cannon Fodder Well-Known Member

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    I think I'll up the railing to 14mm to give S5 cover, not S7... Tags can use the building.

    My current design has the walls go up to the top, and the roof is inlaid. So the roof piece is just a single flat piece and non interchangeable. I've got ideas for some buildings that have no railing. I figure small food kiosk\buildings won't have railing on the side and backs. They are relatively small and not a cargo container (I see to many of them). It wouldn't look odd for a park to have 2-3 them in a semi circle. Have 1 side with roof cover and serving window, and the back solid with a removable door. 3x6 inches should be a decent size.

    I'm hoping to have my first real building done in a week. The makerspace I use is closed Sunday - Tues. I won't have the design finished by today, So next week is the best I can do. I'm being a little ambitious with my first building, but after my first set of tests I feel confident I can do it. Large L shaped warehouse building 12x12 (9x9 + 12x3 shape), with interior walls and stairs to second story which is probably going to be 6x6, and roof access. Removable doors and windows.
     
  8. Errhile

    Errhile A traveller on the Silk Road

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    I'd advise against inlaid roofs.
    If you have a model on the roof, you'll have a problem picking it up to get access to the inside.

    My solution was having the entire roof, together with balustrades, as a separate piece, and the same for every story. If you make the stairs as external, separate peices, this allows you to mix and match the modules - single-story (ground floor) or two story (ground floor + first floor) however you like them.

    In my experience, buildings that are higher than that aren't practical, as scaling them (even with a ladder) eats up too many Orders.
     
    chromedog, Section9 and jherazob like this.
  9. Cannon Fodder

    Cannon Fodder Well-Known Member

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    @Errhile I'll keep that in mind. Unfortunately my basic design doesn't factor that in. I'm trying to design more of a digital kit, where you
    1. Pick the shape of the building and the size of each wall.
    2. Click a button to add the door and windows you want, then assemble the core of the building.
    3. Print the modules (stairs or predefined wall section)
    4. Printer the door & window frames. I'm hoping to get around to multiple options, and theme them (Industrial, military, sci-fi)
    5. Create custom (Flat) floors and roofs based on the need.
    Once I have the Kit done, future building will be very quick. I can just work on making unique accents and future modules.

    My first building is having the second story be a smaller building and that is going to be entirely removable and act as the roof of 30% of the first floor. The internal stairwell is going to lead into the floor of the second story. The rest of the first story roof will be in 2 parts to allow different areas the accessible without the roof being completely removed. May last table had tons of smaller building, this one will have larger more intricate buildings.

    I rarely go over 2 stories, and agree anything taller gets in the way. Mostly because they are a pain to see around on the table.
     
    Errhile likes this.