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Inside and Out: Shiwen's Terrain Log

Discussion in 'Scenery' started by Shiwen, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    With the looming closure of the old forum, the process of migration must begin, for it would be unconscionable to deprive future generations from access to the annals of my accomplishment. I do this selflessly, not in any way because I used my old thread as a photo storage medium and reference for concerned friends & family when interrogated about why, exactly, I spend so much time and money on dollhouse furniture.

    Silver lining, I've got several actually-new works that are about 90% complete and a new thread is nothing if not a kick in the pants to get off one's butt and actually get things finished.

     
    #1 Shiwen, Jan 6, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
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  2. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    Yu Jing Private Teahouse

    On to something a bit more substantial. I actually picked up the kit here, a building from PlastCraft's Fukei range for samurai skirmish wargaming, a couple of years back, and fiddled with it for awhile before finally getting it completed.

    teahousefloor.JPG

    The fist thing I did to the kit, after taking it apart and figuring out what was what, was to take advantage of the material. Frankly, I love foamed PVC... compared to styrofoam or card or fibreboard, it eagerly embraces detailing. The original piece in the kit was a square of flat, foamed PVC, I added the boards and wood grain by hand with a hobby knife, and I'm quite pleased with the results, particularly once it had a little paint to its name.

    teahouse art.JPG

    Sculpting detail on the interior walls was also an option, but instead I decided to brush up some wall-scrolls, based of traditional Chinese and Japanese art pieces, to serve as decoration.

    The text here is originally based on Chinese poetry, but at this scale getting each character right was resulting in a smudged mess of black, so for the most part it was winged to try and get the appearance of Chinese characters from a distance, with a few of the simpler characters still showing up. Because its nonsense, I haven't been able to track the original source, but I probably veered way to far off-script for that to matter anyhow. A regrettable bit of Orientalism, on my part.

    teahouse pot.JPG

    For the interior, a tearoom needs tea. While the teapot was originally meant to be metal, I think, it seems to work fine painted up as qīng-huā porcelain. Ruler is there to show that those guys are tiny.

    teahouse table.JPG

    To complete the interior decor, the teacups join a couple of bowls of miso soup atop a low table, which got some cattails and a coat of gloss varnish to try and make it seem like lacquer. The technique probably needs to be refined a bit more (the grain of the wood beneath is really showing up, probably needed to properly seal it before painting, a smoother surface would help a lot), but the end result is passable.

    teahouse door.JPG

    Alas, the PlastCraft doors and windows are resin components, with detail on only one side, meant to be glued in place. Wanting to be able to use the building interior and get fire lanes, this wasn't going to work. I played with a few options, one of the reasons getting this thing together took so long: Hinge them? Wont work, they're lipped so cant swing out and back into place properly. Build new window and door and mount them on a rail? Possible, but the engineering of such a system proved beyond me. In the end, the door was solved by using leftover PVC to build up detail on the back side, and then adding a bit of a base so it can stay balanced whether inserted into the door-frame or removed (credit to MicroArts Studios for the District 5 door bases which gave me the idea).

    teahouse firefight.JPG

    This way the door can be popped out and slid to the side. Not exactly the prettiest result, but a playable one.

    teahouse window.JPG

    For the widow on the other side, I abandoned the window entirely and just put together a frame of leftover foamed PVC bits, to allow a model to position itself in the cover of the building. In principle the fire lane here ought be tempting, covering a good approach like an open street or parkland, but its narrow and isolated... it can't cover the building flanks and requires one to face away from the door. Will it be worth it? Will have to play a couple of games and see how things go.

    teahouse interior.JPG

    teahouse interior 2.JPG

    The interior, with its scrolls and table in place. The original intent of the table was to represent a cramped interior, there are room for 28mm bases to stand between table and walls, but nothing bigger. This design was devised before CB gave me the Yan Huo with hyper-rapid magnetic cannon, and now I regret everything.

    teahouse exterior.JPG

    The complete building. The kit's roof is supposed to be glued down, but the ceiling is solid so all it took was a few scrap strips of PVC to make 'tabs' which keep it in place while letting it be lifted on or off as needed.

    Why a small tearoom/gazebo would be sitting in the middle of a standard Infinity urban cityscape I'm not sure, it probably needs a garden and some ponds and bridges scattered around it or something of the sort, the private retreat of an Imperial Agent or Party functionary?
     
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  3. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    Nomad Chop-Shop Garage

    A few more items I've worked on, these were actually finished a little while ago, but a chance to practice photography (a mostly wasted one, alas). Both these pieces were acquired when I caught a sale and wanted to try out buildings from various manufacturers. They're MDF, and their tolerances were very forgiving, glue was definitely needed but there was no struggle to make anything fit together. Despite not being snap-together, I find I prefer it to something like the HDF from MicroArts, where everything is so tightly fitted that it takes cutting and sanding to get things to connect properly, a process that I find incredibly frustrating... which results in eventual application of tools that should never be used in 28mm terrain building, as you'll see when I get around to snapping some shots of that one. But back to the matter at hand.



    Both buildings are in the vein of prefabricated colony pods... basic, easily deployable structures. The first I went with was assembled as a garage.

    nomad garage front.JPG

    Having also obtained the District 5 garage from MicroArts, and holoads which could be mounted on it, I decided to make a distinction between the two. Larger, with its ads and fancier fixtures the District 5 would be put together as a more mainstream commercial business affiliated with PanOceania and Yu Jing. That left me room to turn this one into something a little dirtier, a chop shop for stolen vehicles and street racers or something of the sort, where one can imagine meeting a Nomad contact to obtain illegally supercharged nitro thrusters and that sort of thing. Turns out that's not easy to convey through interior decor, and a giant Nomad logo on the door'd be a little silly, but hopefully a little of that spirit soaked through into the final piece.

    nomad garage rear.JPG

    The back of the garage is pretty open... rather than using the provided door I improvised something from some extra bits. The theme of turning another game's APC into detailing on an Infinity garage is a recurring one for this project. The hatch on the roof can be opened to climb down or perhaps fire at someone inside if the angle is right... after the fact, I haven't been able to figure out a scenario where its likely to come up, and a roof devoid of cover is a deathtrap so taking that position isn't really practical.

    nomad garage fuel.JPG

    One side of the garage houses shelves for various tools, as well as fuel tanks.

    nomad garage vent.JPG

    The original design of the building had a side door, but I wasn't a big fan of having so many different points of ingress, so it was modified to turn it into a window and ventilation system of sorts.The building, once the main door is opened, is quite unusual in that one can draw lines of fire all the way through, and even when its closed it is difficult to take up a position where a model can be confident they wont fall into LoF from models outside. Bad if you want to use it as a bunker to hide your Lieutenant, great to house an objective in certain scenarios where it keeps specialists on their toes.

    nomad garage car.JPG

    DISCLAIMER - Eco-Cars is not responsible for damages incurred from user-initiated modifications to the Panjit, including but not limited to: supercharged batteries, fuel injectors, underslung Panzerfausts, cybertronian transformation systems...

    ( @Antenociti's line of vehicles are fantastic, they have an aesthetic that is somehow simultaneously adorable and perfectly 'Infinity'),
     
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  4. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    Frontier Clinic / Medpod

    The next prefab building was put together as some sort of 'medical pod'.

    medpod front.JPG

    While a medical pod is specific enough to give a theme thast can be worked with, it also allows for a great deal of diversity. Is it a frontline medical station on Paradiso? A clinic operated by a charity amongst the atek slums of NeoTerra? A research lab for dissecting and cataloguing antipode physiology on Ariadna? A black market Nomad facility for illegal cybernetic mods or lhosts freed from connection to ALEPH? Drop it in the middle of urban terrain, or jungle terrain, or the blasted Zero-G surface of an asteroid, and it wont be out of place.

    medpod rear.JPG

    For this pod, I learned a few lessons from the garage. Firstly, I didnt glue the ladder in place, nor the two 45o panels at the top connecting roof to walls, allowing easier access to the interior. The roof also got a little more attention: while the rails aren't going to provide cover, a blurry Miyamoto Musashi is up there demonstrating that the fuel tank and ventilation unit offer some protection. The cover isn't circling the whole roof, but I've always been a fan of asymmetric cover here and there, instead of a 'perfect' nest the merits of a position change fluidly with the situation.

    medpod invincible.JPG

    Here, a Shang Ji defends a Zhanshi officer undergoing his convalescence. The interior of the building doesnt make for a great sniper's nest, but correct positioning and you can exchange fire into and out of it, or even through both windows to the other side. You'd have to be a TAG shooting another TAG to do it consistently, though, which won't end well for anyone bedridden inside.

    medpod madscience.JPG

    Here's the layout once disassembled to access the inside, showing the various detachable components and interior decorations. This array of dedicated scientific professionals is on hand to demonstrate the ample space for models to move within. Bits (and miniatures) come from an array of manufacturers, the wall screens and rooftop ventilation unit are definitely from Antenocitis. As someone who is painting everything by hand, the pre-printed screens that came with the former were a godsend.

    medpod picard.JPG

    The doctors and lab techs gather around to study the mad 'Patient P' and record his ravings about the number of lights in the ceiling above him.
     
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  5. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    Police Precinct 99

    Alright, this next structure is a guard tower from MicroArts, and in presenting it I need to discuss the nature of my very much love-hate relationship with MAS' HDF.

    On the one hand, MicroArts makes some really great pieces. I'm not sure who FIRST pioneered the aesthetic (if not them they were certainly in the first wave), but their District 5 range is evocative of Infinity, and while there are a large number of really interesting competitors or private designs out there, each seems to be a variation on the theme MAS has already set. HDF also has a bit of weight to it, which while it isn't heavy enough to make transportation difficult IS sufficient heft for the buildings to be pretty stable on the tabletop even without adding a base to them.

    On the other hand, those tolerance, those narrow unforgiving connections, drive me insane. They just don't FIT together without a lot of dedication to sanding and drawing and analysis while plotting out each connection. Snapping together with no glue is only convenient if you don't spend more time prepping parts to fit together than you would applying glue and waiting for it to dry!

    precinct small front.JPG

    The guard house, next to a lot of MAS District 5, isn't actually much of a tower for guarding... its a two floors, so higher than some structures and scatter terrain but it doesnt get a commanding view of catwalks and sits in the shadows of the 3-level apartment blocks. With 'guard' clearly meaning general security rather than a lookout post, I decided to do the guard tower as a police station. As usual, the effort is to somehow convey this idea without getting too faction-specific, so that this could be a security contractor at a research facility on NeoTerra, a post for Imperial Service investigators on Shentang, a beat precinct in the remnants of once-splendorous New York City, and others.

    The building didn't get much painting attention, just a rattle-can coat of gray and brushing a few different grey shades for frames and panels. Something added on to give the door interior detail, then a passing attempt at a little more colour for lights and ladders. It turned out alright, but unfortunately my struggle with MAS connections came to a head when getting the last corner to connect. I got two corner connectors about 3/4ths of the way in with a little cutting and sanding, but they wouldn't go any further... nor would they come back OUT so I could try to make some more extreme corrections with file and hobby knife. I couldn't get those tools in to correct while things were still connected, and my attempt to apply pressure to force things either the last bit of the way in or to separate had a really bad result: the surface layers of the HDF started to separate instead, all the detail just peeling off. Doing it by hand was spreading the pressure out to broadly, perhaps? In the end, I went with more force over a smaller area: I applied a few quick taps with a hammer. The building came out connected to some definition thereof, but definitely not perfect, and not a tool that ought be applied to linking bits of fiberboard together.

    Lesson learned: for all further MAS buildings I've worked on I take no chances and just make generous cuts to give all the connectors some wiggle room... or hand off assembly to someone else in the playgroup, so they can hand it back for the detailing and interior decor stuff that you've probably noticed is what I'm most interested in.

    precinct small corner.JPG

    A poorly-focused picture, but I found some signage stickers that seem to do well to add a little detail to walls. Here a mech-engineer and a bathysphere pilot wait at an evacuatiion point under the eyes of CCTV. Do civilian miniatures count as terrain for the purposes of Arcologies?

    precinct small lower donuts.JPG

    The view through the door, as a lost child reports to reception at the local police precinct.

    precinct small lower interior fore.JPG

    Here's the ground floor interior: reception desk, waiting room couch, and storage lockers. No guns no photos no hoodies, Reverend Custodiers and Kotails will be asked to step outside.

    precinct small back.JPG

    A bit of a stereotype being evoked here with a box of donuts... which might be a little culturally specific. I dont know if Bao troops spend the time between breaking down doors at the local coffee shop chowing down on rings of sugary dough, but lets say they do.

    precinct small cooler.JPG

    Through the upstairs door, two officials of Yu Jing's Party have a water cooler discussion.

    precinct small years later im still having nightmares.JPG

    This photo is here to point out the knobs on those desk drawers. Little tiny beads, needing to be glued in place on each drawer. My respect to the people who do dollhouses as a hobby (the source of these desks and the donuts on the ground floor), compared to doing terrain for wargames that stuff takes some hardcore skill and dedication.

    Why did I spend a lot of time with tweezers positioning little beads that essentially no one playing on this terrain will ever see, but was willing to live with a hammer-mashed crooked corner? Yeah, doesn't make sense to me either, but here we are.

    precinct small insert action cop flick reference.JPG

    Here's the office itself, workspace for an array of detectives. On the left, the eager new recruit and the tired veteran drunk & on the take. On the right, out of shape and a week away from retirement, and maverick Cowboy Cop who hase slammed down his gun and badge. Youll have to forgive the iffy painting towards the top of the walls, at the time the photo was taken I was trying to touch things up to get a better fit on the roof before applying a final coat.

    precinct small halved.JPG

    Convenient thing about MAS buildings is each floor really is its own self-contained unit... lay them out as whole structures, or divide them up as a compound, depending on the needs of the table.

    precinct small this is patently just an excuse to photograph civilian miniatures.JPG

    A lack of walls means the lower floor's roof is a bit of a deathtrap in actual play if the two aren't stacked, but makes a great platform for Party functionaries to address the happy citizenry of the StateEmpire.
     
  6. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    Paifang Gate

    This project was born out of a bit of luck... I'm sure at least some others on this forum grew up with some of those cheap dinosaur skeleton puzzles/models, wooden pieces that you slotted together to assemble, invariably to have a part snap or get lost at some point when you couldn't just leave it on the shelf but had to take it down to play with your other, more durable toys. I'm not sure where I stumbled upon it, but I ran into a similar kit representing a paifang, a traditional Chinese arch/gate structure, and as a Yu Jing player there was no choice but to buy it.

    paifang 1.JPG

    For the lazy, the gate on its own wouldn't look terrible on a tabletop, if everything else was cardboard boxes and soup cans it'd be a veritable centerpiece, and the scale seems to work well with 28mm miniatures. But I figured that I could use it as a frame, a bit of paint to get the stones of the base, some tiling for the roof (thanks to PlastCraft's building above, I knew that corrugated cardboard would be perfect for the job), and new signs to replace the black-on-wood written placards.

    paifang 2.JPG

    The base colours of paint are applied. I was considering mounting the paifang on a larger base of its own, with hex paving, but decided against it: its wide enough not to be unstable, and this way it can be placed as needed either across a street to divide pedestrian and vehicle areas, in front of a building for a more ornamental entrance, or as a proper gate into a walled garden.

    paifang 3.JPG

    Not having a colour printer, I tried to do the new signs by hand. There were two parts to the plan: above each gate would be the name of a world in the StateEmpire (one per side: Earth, Yuntang, Shentang, Svalarheima, Paradiso, and the recessed 'front center' gate bearing Yu Jing itself), and flanking each would be panels bearing propaganda slogans. That took a bit of research, since I didnt want to repeat what I'd done for the tea room and put down scribbled gibberish and try to pass off as Chinese.

    Figuring out the names of worlds was actually tough... we know a few, but are missing a lot of info. This was a reason I started a thread awhile back to check for any information buried in the setting materials we've gotten from CB, alas there wasn't any more out there. By the end of the year, the RPG material may have given us the answers, but hesitation brings disaster as they say. My thoughts on planet and region names are in that thread, and the slogans were equally difficult in that while there are a LOT of examples it was tough to find ones that fit what I wanted without being too specific or overtly communist (or too long to fit in the space I was working with).

    paifang 4.JPG

    The front of the gate. The signs above the gates are Yutang, Yu Jing, and Shentang, while the two characters to either side of the central one are Prosperity and Harmony. From left to right the slogans read:

    Serve the People

    Seek Truth from Facts

    Shining Path Glittering Future

    Maintain Constant Vigilance, Destroy the Invading Enemy (I actually mucked this one up really badly, missed a whole darned character, arg)

    Cooperation for Victory

    We Love Peace

    paifang 5.JPG

    The back of the gate. The top placards read Huangdi (Yu Jing province on Svalarheima), Chung Kuo (Yu Jing province on Earth) and Yingxiang - Daheng (Yu Jing provinces on Paradiso). From left to right the slogans are:

    Peace and Happiness

    The whole garden blossoms in the colours of spring

    Everybody participate; collectively build an harmonious community

    Charge the Enemy till the last breath

    Take pleasure from helping others

    Love Science from an early age

    paifang 6.JPG

    paifang 7.JPG

    paifang 8.JPG

    These last ones are really just me exploiting the piece to take pictures of models even if an open gate isnt going to offer perfect cover in the actual game, its a great frame for shots of Yu Jing models and civilians.

    It has some imperfections, but overall I'm quite pleased with how this one has turned out.
     
  7. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    Consoles

    A couple of smaller things to share this time: consoles. The use of objectives in ITS has always appealed, something different from the usual 'kill all the enemy dudes' implemented through the wonderful medium that is scenery pieces. Most of the objectives I've got are from Warsenal's line of them, and they're very nice, though I think picking up some of the MAS crash coffins will be a necessity eventually since they evoke 'crashed escape pod' so very well.

    Anyhow, while the commercial objectives are great, the advantage of playing around a little bit is at the very least you've got MORE of them to put on the table,

    console 1.JPG

    An array of console options.

    console 2.JPG

    Here, narrowing down to the ones that were... well, not really 'scratchbuilt' so much as cobbled together from scraps. Third from the left, standing out for looking the best, is of course the commercial Warsenal console. Beside it are consoles derived from one of its peers:

    - 2nd from the left originated with carelesness, as part of the console stem snapped on me. Easy enough to glue back into place, but looking at it I started musing on a broken or battle-damaged console. I didnt actually want to cut up the screen, but luckily there was lots of acrylic left from the sprue they all came on, so it was just a matter of getting the bits to look broken but still like they had been a console. I tried to do some light lines of green and white paint across the screen to give a sense of arcing electricity or surges, which the camera hasn't done a good job of picking up on here (but if I felt I'd done an amazing job of it I'd probably have stopped and tried to take a better shot ^_^)... perhaps one can imagine the console taking a BS9 Flash Pulse ARO at anyone moving into base contact or something silly like that.

    - The one furthest to the right was simple: I had a part (originally the engine nozzle from a Kinder Surprise toy?) that I'd been planning to turn into a sink for a food stall I've been trying to build, but which just didn't look right. Turns out, flipped over, it is suddenly a great fit for a Warsenal console screen, keyboard added to make its 'console' nature more obvious. Still needs a little work in terms of shading and highlights, but it turned out ok for something just thrown together.

    console 4.JPG

    console 3.JPG

    The last console of the four, first from the left, is more 'public phone' than 'computer terminal'. The main body is just the plastic case for a set of hobby knife blades, with a comm dish from a grimdark APC to evoke some sort of long range secured communications (given the prevalence of Maya and personal connectivity in Infinity, the only people who'd seem to need a phone booth are ateks, Ariadnans and the paranoid). I usually like painting content onto screens, but this time tried to do some really thin coats over the clear plastic of the blade case to see if it would leave some sort of sense of depth. It kinda does, but the end result wasn't the best. The base itself is a mess, since it a console built from scraps isn't the most serious piece I used it to try and practice a bit of freehand.

    console 5.JPG

    The last console, off on the side of the first picture, wasn't built for ITS at all, but as an Xmas gift for a friend of mine. What do you get the guy who spends his days diving the depths of the internet? An objective marker that implies he's either been murdered by or sucked into his computer, thats just what good friends do!

    Used in Infinity... well, this is why ALEPH tells us we should be terrified of those rogue AIs.
     
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  8. chromedog

    chromedog Less than significant minion

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    I still love this picture, which I'm still going to call the "there ... are ... four ... lights!" picture. :D
     
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  9. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    Allo again, ni hao, (h)ola! Has been awhile since I last updated things here, and the bad news on that is that it wasn't because I was finally completing an epic terrain project fit to stand as peer to some of the amazing work here in Arcologies... instead, I found much of the spare time I'd had to fiddle around with interior design on 28mm-scale buildings for playing Infinity suddenly got swept up in actually playing Infinity!

    I have a number of things in various states of completion, structures built but not detailed so there would be stuff ready to put on boards. I'd finished one of Warsenal's command bunker/objective rooms, which isn't really worth posting up here since its nothing but a kit and paint (every time I look at it I want to fill it with banks of computer consoles and computer chairs and all sorts of other fixtures that'd likely disrupt its utility for ITS, arg), and have a couple MAS apartment blocks screaming for internal walls and furniture. I've got a second (Yu-Jing-ish) garage nearly detailed, and a 'food court' with a couple of street food stalls. Longer-term, there's the goal of taking the guard house police precinct above and transforming it into part of a larger 3-level facility whose design a friend has termed an example of 'Brutalist architecture', which probably won't actually fit together the way I need it to but now its gotten that label I've got no choice but to find a way.

    What I'm posting today, though, is not so impressive. During my absence, I also suffered a hard drive failure, doubtless the work of Nomads in response to towing the ALEPH line on the trustworthiness of AIs. As someone who likes to photograph a project as it is coming together, and then upload the whole lot in a single post, this was a little devastating... I lost quite a few shots of pieces you just cant get a good angle on now they've been glued down or set in place. HOWEVER, turns out posting things you've done on the internet means they stay on the internet no matter how much smoke billows from your computer tower, which has taught me that sharing work has the fringe benefit of providing me with backups. The Infinity forum, recognizing my scheme, responded with -200 errors for awhile, but has finally given in.

    antenna.jpg

    This piece isn't really complex. At times, ITS needs objectives, and sometimes those objectives are antennae. So what is one to do when one comes up an antenna short? Just use a marker, would be the reasonable answer, but I prefer to improvise. A piece of an MDF sprue, some leftover building supports, some acrylic scraps and pieces left after other projects, and done.

    antenna 2.jpg

    It definitely does the job, though in play, one difference was found with the scrap-built antenna: its actually high & wide enough to provide total cover to a Silhouette 2 model from another Silhouette 2 model, if they're directly in front and behind it. I don't think this is a problem so much as another (minor) tactical consideration, hopefully I won't be proven wrong on that as more games make use of it.
     
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  10. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    Urban Shelter

    shelter 1.JPG

    What is this, you may ask? This is an MDF sprue, from a set of Bandua elevators (which are very finicky to assemble!), atop some stacked roof siding from Micro Arts, along with benches, made from Micro Arts apartment window panels and bits from another MDF sheet (Warsenal, I'm pretty sure).

    shelter 2.JPG

    But that sprue is not just a cast-off piece of MDF, no, not just a sprue emptied of its useful bits. It screams 'I am a trellis, cover me with vines!'

    Well, if you insist...

    shelter 3.JPG shelter 3.JPG

    The finished piece has a bit of greenery to it, serving as an urban shelter. Perhaps a stop for public transit, but more likely a form of tiny park.... on a planet, where residents might catch some shade from the sun as they break from work to take lunch, on an orbital station where they can catch a breath of naturally-freshened oxygen seeping from the clinging vegetation.

    The roof growth has been set up to allow easy placement of bases without crushing the foliage, mostly for S2 models, though there is some room for larger... here, the spacing is demonstrated by detective Galbraith, resident of the precinct posted above, tired jaded and definitely on the take.

    shelter 4.JPG

    The Invincible Army takes over demonstration duties here, though the idea of placing a Yan Huo in an elevated position without cover is probably pushing a little too far... to make it more realistic, there ought be a Prone marker.

    The horticulturalists amongst you will by now be frowning and wondering 'what sort of plant looks like some English ivy had unnatural relations with a shrub and hangs like a grape vine?' Well, dont look at me, this certainly wasn't some amateur slapping greenery onto a structure with no regard to realism or biology, this is obviously Hedera Pneuma, a prized achievement of Haqqislam bioengineering and terraforming, a fruiting vine with peerless efficiency at converting CO2 to oxygen, perfect for worlds undergoing transformation or ships and stations seeking to reduce needs for oxygen imports!

    shelter 5.JPG

    Closeup on the 'light effects', whose design reveals my painting origins with GW High Elves. Main color, light stroke, dark stroke, white 'glare' dot. These also got a watery surround of 'glow'... I'm not entirely happy with the result, but if you stay far enough away it looks ok.

    shelter 6.JPG

    To conclude, a (blurry) demonstration of light passing through the lattice of the urban shelter roof, A perfect effect for an Invincible of the ascendant StateEmpire to challenge the decadent agent of a faltering regime.

    [Credit for the Knight of the Holy Sepulchre to a friend of mine, whose painted models are lesser in quantity but greater in quality... how can you highlight BLACK, Alexei, it takes more patience than humanly possible!]


    If you'll forgive me, I can't resist one more photo of the shelter, to catch the interior... the missile launcher Yan Huo is not a small model, and while the average TAG certainly won't be passing through you can see how the shelter is very accommodating for anything up to Silhouette 6 in both height and width. You can actually drive a bike through it, which wasn't an intentional design feature, just a happy coincidence of Bandua's sprue size.

    shelter wallpaper.JPG

    The design intent of the piece is to be a midpoint for cautious movement, something that can be in the middle of an open area between two buildings and provide total cover along one axis, or be placed right at a building entry to cover models moving into and out of a door. I'm a little concerned about it letting bikers/Su Jians Cautious Move too easily, but the length of it was designed with the idea that a model needs 3 orders to use it properly... one Cautious entire order to move in, one short move skill to cross it, and another entire order Cautious Move to leave for the next full cover position. I'll have to see how it gets used in several games before drawing conclusions.

    Regardless, it looks pretty neat, and creates a corridor for framing dramatic shots of miniatures where a postcard can be placed behind it to give illusion of a deeper urban landscape.
     
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  11. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    Food Court: an Introduction


    If there is one thing I love as much as miniatures wargaming and oblique nerd references, its food... and while I certainly won't deny the amazing productions of molecular gastronomers nor the perfected flavours listed by a certain automobile tire company, I've found that the best food comes from more humble sources: food carts, stalls, holes-in-the-wall. There is nothing quite like hunching over the counter of a little stand slurping noodles, or basking in the intermingling voices and aromas of a hawker centre... I guess spending a good chunk of my disposable income on little metal models is probably the only thing standing between me and obesity.

    But of course, what are obsessions for if not to be mixed together, and while trying to employ miniatures and paints as some sort of culinary decor was an option, it seemed easier to go the other way: my table needed a food court.

    The goal here was to have a set of 3 or 4 pieces: a central eating area with tables, surrounded by a few small food stalls. Probably best to go piece by piece on this one.

    Where better to begin than the beginning. The first stall was actually conceived before the overall food court idea itself: Cuppa Cakes, your friendly neighbourhood cupcake stand.




    Food Court Part I: Cuppa Cakes

    cuppa cakes 1.jpg

    The idea of a cupcake stand actually originated when I was involved in the grim darkness of a very different wargame, as an in-joke with some friends of mine, one of whom dreamed of a cupcake stand. The thought of one standing amidst the blasted rubble of There-Is-Only-War seemed so incongruous that it couldn't be ignored, but at the time I didn't construct anything beyong a few little bits of posters and graffiti amidst some ruins, pointing to its existence. When my wargaming migrated to better spheres, the idea came along with it, and finally became reality. A cupcake stand is a far less unusual thing in the consumer culture that is the Human Sphere, where a wealthy jaded populace is certainly hungry for artisanal baked goods, so I suppose its technically a better fit.

    cuppa cakes 2.jpg

    This piece, as you can probably tell from the unevenness, was scratch built... almost everything was assembled from leftover sprue that had accumulated when I built the Plastcraft Fukei building seen as a teahouse in previous posts. The curved shape of two pieces dictated the half-teardrop form of the building itself, which in the end left the structure with a pretty unique shape I rather like.

    cuppa cakes 3.jpg

    cuppa cakes 4.jpg

    As usual, I'm a fan of interior furnishings and details. In this case, I did a bit of exploration of dollhouse ovens but given the roof wouldnt be removable for a good look and the available options were either extremely costly or not particularly nice I scrtatchbuilt one out of scrap card, adding some painted details and a cut-down toothpick for the oven door handle. The door to the shop itself was assembled from scraps, with a lip to allow it to fit snugly in place but be removable so models could be placed within the building.

    cuppa cakes 5.jpg

    There were also some cupcakes (dollhouse furniture, as none of my greenstuff efforts came out looking anywhere near passable), and a poster menu showing the array of available flavours.

    cuppacakes 55.jpg

    Quite a popular place, all told,

    cuppa cakes 6.jpg

    As an addendum, whenever I try to bring together a piece of scenery, I like to envision the people who live or work there, and if possible give them representation on the tabletop... this results in a miscellany of civilians, which seemed excessive until Corvus Belli blessed me with the Rescue scenario in ITS.

    Here are the proprietors of the establishment, Angelika who designs and decorates with love, fretting to ensure all comers enjoy her creations, and Griff who tends the dishes and the oven, keeping a protective eye on things in case the hungry crowds dare become unruly. .
     
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  12. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    Food Court Part II: Goyas Shawarma Stand

    After a night out, there are lots of options as one makes one's way home to beat the dawn: a greasy slice of pizza, burgers or a breakfast plate from a local diner, the crisp-and-soggy paradox that is poutine. Each has their time and has their place, but none can quite match the perfection of the Lebansese shawarma or the Halifax donair (or Greek gyro, or Turkish doner kebab, or Arjuf spun wrap, or one of a dozen other regional names and variations),meat and veggies and sauce all wrapped together in a flatbread. It is a beautiful thing, and it needed presence on my tabletop.

    For the next food stall, I decided to take advantage of one of the many fantastic MDF kits out there so I could see how that compared to my scratchbuilding efforts from Cuppa Cakes, settling on one from Zen Terrain.

    goyas 1.jpg

    goyas menu.jpg

    The first step was interior detailing, before the roof canopy rendered things inaccessible. Though my heart yearned for ovens and counters and a vertical-spit rotisserie, I'd learned from making a cupcake kitchen that at 28mm scale there just isn't all that much room. In the earlier case, there was really only one position a model could stand inside so I could fit a stove into the space under the roof slope where no model could be positioned anyway, but here things were much more open, and I wanted miniatures to be able to stand anywhere along the length of the stall.

    To try and substitute for real kitchen equipment, I added in some perhaps-familiar bits to try and represent food and kitchen utensils, plus a menu and some stains along the floor.

    Finding 28mm/32mm scale Levantine sandwich wraps was, I assumed, unlikely, so I had to try my hand at green stuff. The results (seen here in the middle of the painting process) are actually pretty awful up close, but at least it meant getting a bit of practice working with the stuff.

    goyas shawarma.jpg

    A fuel can was connected to the side of the building, where it can provide Cover to S1 & S2 models coming along the side. This side still feels a little empty, though, it seems to demand some graffiti or posters or something along those lines.

    goyas fuel.jpg

    goyas front.jpg

    goyas 6.jpg

    Here everything came together for a passable result... the shawarma got a proper wrapping in tin foil, and while there remained some detailing and touching up to be done it was set for the tabletop. The one thing I wish I'd been able to include was a jar of beet-pickled turnips, but while there seem a few ways to obtain a jar the colour of my test mixtures never seemed right. Regardless, if you haven't tried them and see a sandwich shop offering up sticks or slices of concerningly-bright-fuchsia vegetable to add to your wrap, throw caution to the wind and you will have no regrets.

    goyas 7.jpg

    One notable thing here, for those familiar with the Zen stall kit, is that I've butchered the whole front opening. The kit has a very nicely designed system which has two pieces making up a shutter/rolling gate, with a third signboard piece that can slide up or down to open the counter for service or lock it up for the night, and while I really liked it I decided to forgo it for two reasons: the first was that I'd need to customize the signboard part to get the shawarma stall I wanted, and the second was that to keep the stall practical for placing miniatures I wanted to be able to insert and remove a model on a 25mm base through the front opening without scratching paintjobs, rather than having to slide everything in through the door.

    goyas 8.jpg

    The end result (though the internal sign is a little off-kilter as it had yet to be fixed in place). Even members of the Tactical Reconnaissance Section need a snack every once and awhile.

    This one actually references a boneheaded move I made in a game a couple of months back. Facing Caledonians, their HVT within 8", Espionage classified objective in hand, Daofei assault hacker in my list. The plan seemed obvious: I'd built this stall for just such a circumstance: infiltrate a prone camo marker into Goyas, force them to try and flush it out and hopefully score some objective points in the process.

    Then I looked away for a moment to consider another deployment, and when I came back I'd forgotten completely that the food stall I myself had built explicitly to be internally accessible was internally accessible, and placed the poor Daofei outside in an indefensible corner where he was Discovered by a T2 Rifle round to the face and then got beaten to death by McMurrough. Not my finest hour, let me tell you.
     
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  13. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    Food Court III :The Court of Food

    Food trucks and carts, by their nature, do not demand the table-and-chair infrastructure of sit-down dining establishments, but with the concept of a miniature hawker center in mind I definitely wanted some sort of central piece around which I could arrange the stalls I was putting together (and hopefully more besides).

    The kit I used for this one comes from Warsenal, a pretty simple little park with a pair of picnic tables and a pair of planters.

    food court 1 usagi.jpg

    In what seems to be a constant trend for me, however, I decided I wanted to change things up again: rather than two planters providing partial cover on either side I went with a single tall planter. This opened up one side to make positioning multiple food stalls easier, while also making the planter itself able to fully block lines of sight to models could Cautious Move their way up the board.

    food court 2 iso.jpg

    food court 3 wall.jpg

    With that extra height, the planter became wall-like enough to support a little bit of ivy hanging/creeping down the sides. The tables received a little decoration through food... cupcakes and shawarma, to match the stalls, while the connector holes left for the missing planter were filled by a drainage grate and garbage can.


    Food Court Part IV: All Coming Together

    With two stalls and the eating area itself ready, it was time to see everything come together.

    food court 4 overhead.jpg

    Here you can see the concept from above: a stall along each long edge. While the planter means that two of the edges are a little shorter, Cuppa Cakes actually fits well there as its takeout window is quite small, and Red Veil gave me an unexpected gift: the noodle hut may be simplistic, but that little cube also seems set to fit well, which means I'll be able to free up a long edge for one more food stall or truck in the same vein as the Goyas one.

    food court 5 variety.jpg

    (As an aside, it may be flat but Lo Pan's isn't a bad bit of scenery, the closed windows + folded seats mean someone properly thought out a plausible explanation for its two-dimensional surfaces. Plus, it makes up for me being a Yu Jing player raving about Singaporean food stalls and yet having my two stalls serve American baked goods and Levantine wraps).

    food court 6 customers.jpg

    food court 7 gratuitous.jpg

    food court 8 i just wont stop.jpg

    food court 9 yeesh finally.jpg

    A bustling food court, full of happy people eating delicious food... what an Infinity table looks like before everyone flees as the shooting starts.
     
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  14. Melchior

    Melchior Well-Known Member

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    Great work!
     
  15. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    Pan-Oceanian Moto.Tronica Garage

    Structurally, the next couple of posts are not particularly impressive, just a pair of MicroArts Studio District 5 Garages. But my constant refrain is that my main concern is filling buildings up with little things, so after slapping some paint on (well, half-slapping, touchup is still ongoing in some areas) I took a bit of time to play around with interior details. The results are passable, at least... playable, with a little visual interest. They're both finally finished up now.

    The theme for the two was a set of competing garages and remote/vehicle dealerships, one PanOceanian and one Yu Jing... similar in general terms, as the two powers are wont to be, but with some differences. I'l start the posting with PanO, being the Hyperpower ought have its privileges.

    pano garage 1.jpg

    Here we have the Moto.Tronica Garage, the Awesomeness Starts Here as they (apparently) say. The large MAS billboards actually spend most of their time making sure 3-level apartment blocks aren't optimal sniper posts, this one having been moved in to make sure the factional affiliation was clear, if the blue and white doors weren't obvious enough.

    pano garage 1b.jpg

    One of the doors was decorated with a pattern meant to evoke stained glass, an aesthetically-pleasing announcement of religious faith without covering one's business in ikons and saintly statuary. To make sure no one accidentally gives me credit for my freehand, all I did was the panes, the outline is actually from a stamp (shown here, sourced from mandarin-duck. They're actually really neat, though intended for papercrafts and polymer clay rather than miniatures. A friend of mine who plays Haqqislam picked some up as both me and he were dreading having to try and freehand Islamic geometric art on Bourak scenery since our hands tend to shake like we're stuck in an earthquake).

    pano garage 2.jpg

    If you ever doubt the utility of collecting little bits of refuse for scenery, take a look at this electric box. Looks pretty great, actually, quite simple but I certainly feel it conveys 'this box is full of fuses and wiring'. It came from the tags attached to a new shirt.

    pano garage 3.jpg

    Some PanO citizens pose at the other side of the building. In case of fire, the Sepulcher Knight will DEUS VULT, and anything that still catches fire shouldve spent more time in confession.

    pano garage 4.jpg

    I assume the Knight gets the bill waived on his car repair... no one wants to negotiate a DA CCW-based payment plan.

    Insert another 'DEUS VULT' joke for me here too, if you will, I can't help but imagine the Holy Sepulchre are like pokemon and communicate entirely through varying the intonation on that single phrase.

    pano garage 5.jpg

    And now, that thing I say is what matters, the interior. Lots of little things strewn about, lots of posters. Even now, I look at it and think 'where is the desk, where are the wrecked cars, where are the other work benches?'. They are somewhere else, because if they were here, models wouldnt be able to move around inside and then why did you bother doing all this work Shiwen...

    ... yes, the reason those workbenches are uneven is that they were sawed from an MDF sprue by hand with a scalpel. One works with the tools one has, not the tools one should.

    pano garage 6.jpg

    One side of the interior. Here we see more of the any-resemblance-to-a-real-oil-company-with-a-mollusc-based-logo-is-entirely-coincidental fuel cans which are the unifying element across my scenery projects, plus an over-sexualized poster drawing everyone's attention to putting Safety First.

    pano garage 7.jpg

    The other side of the interior. Here, we can see all the things an auto mechanic needs, if we assume an auto mechanic needs a Hollywood stereotype. Posters of various cars? check. Pin-up of woman in short shorts on a motorcycle? check. Ratty oil-stained couch? check. An assortment of various tools? check. Coffee* and donuts (or rather a Boston creme and an eclair)? check. That was some subtle, nuanced artistry right there.

    * Yeah, that thing is a mug. I didn't have a mug in 28mm. I tried to make one out of a little pinch of greenstuff. It is... slightly reminiscent of a postmodern interpretation of a mug. Fortunately, in play I'm confident there will be a guy in power armour screaming "DEUS VULT!" at a couple of emaciated prisoners stuck in explosive collars, so I think I can get away with it as long as I don't do something dumb like take a picture focusing right at it...

    pano garage 8.jpg

    THIS customer won't avoid paying HIS bill... spotlight illumination lacks the murdering power of the DA CCW.
     
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  16. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    Yu Jing Gang Tie Garage

    I did say the PanO garage was half of a set, so I should probably follow up with the second of the pair.

    gang tie 1.jpg

    Here we have the Gang Tie Garage, beachhead for the economic ascendancy of the glorious StateEmpire. The autobody workshops of the Human Sphere shall soon be uplifted by the rightful and righteous leadership of this proud and powerful Yu Jing enterprise, whose victory over the corrupt and faltering Moto.Tronica dealership across the road is guaranteed!

    Another oh-so-subtle use of colour to mark out factional affiliation here, the doors are orange and green to gently guide the mind to thoughts of Yu Jing. The graffiti on the door is a decal/transfer from Micro Arts Studio... those things are frankly awesome, even the little patches where things tore away when removing the final protective layer look like paint chipping or wearing away. There was only one issue, in that the hair on the woman depicted wanted to tear away almost entirely... rather than lose so much, I cut the layer out and glued it down in that specific area, which I was worried would be obvious but ended up hardly noticeable.

    gang tie 2.jpg

    The overhead view here betrays me, if the propagandistic statements above did not: I'm a Yu Jing player, and the Yu Jing garage probably benefitted at least a little from that. It also gained from the fact it came second, and so I'd learned a little from laying out its PanO counterpart: to make the interiors more unique I placed a workbench more directly along the centerline, with enough room to place a model in the gap with the wall, using up more space centrally but not enough to make the garage unplayable.

    gang tie 3.jpg

    I remembered to take a number of work in progress pictures on this one, so if you'll indulge me lets go for a little ride. For the PanO garage I'd decided to go with coffee and donuts (you can see that terrible mug forming on the right here, along with a croissant and baguette-ish thing), and I wanted a similar snack for this one. I decided on Baozi, Chinese steamed buns that are usually stuffed with pork. Another excuse to play with greenstuff, if nothing else.

    gang tie 4.jpg

    More WIP work. The garage, with various odds and ends atop it: the ladder I'd completely forgotten exited until two minutes before I took this photo, a couple of screens from Antenocitis (which are really great for 'tech-ing up' scenery without eating up floor space), an odd modernist-design couch I'd gotten from Shapeways, some MAS window panels that were destined to become the sides for a shelving unit, the baozi, a Watilla by Waticorp Geist of some sort which is serving as a Yan Huo's Tinbot C.

    Also Sun Tze's arm,whose presence is not completely random at all, but rather to have some Strategos in case I needed to redeploy internal furnishings once they'd already been glued down.

    gang tie 5.jpg

    The baozi again, along with other internal furnishings. I'm going to spend some more time photographing that workbench, because I really like that workbench.

    gang tie 6.jpg

    Nothing too complicated here... work surface, legs, one end cut out so the garage doors dont scrape and dislodge it on their way up and down. Atop it, a set of tools, some sort of hex container (I dare anyone to figure out the source THAT), and the project currently being worked on at the garage.

    gang tie 7.jpg

    Yes, its the leg of a Yu Jing remote. Not long ago, I bought a box of them and, opening it up, found something terrible: I had two copies of one set of legs, and none of the other. CB was amazingly quick at sending me out the missing part, which left me with one completed remote and one extra set of legs. One such leg, and a little wrench, let me add a bit of Infinity character into this garage.

    gang tie 8.jpg

    The shelving unit is a little crooked but turned out alright. It also taught me that I dont need all my little boxes labelled and detailed on a bottom shelf that is nearly impossible to see properly, I can just paint up some little cubes from MDF sprues and call it a day, with the result being definitely passable.

    gang tie 10.jpg

    Here, some Yu Jing Party officials gather to discuss the finer points of REM leg repair, next to a socialist-realism poster calling for international solidarity.

    In keeping with the trend established on my other two garages, every workshop needs a poster advising workers to put Safety First. PanO had gotten a scantily-clad woman, the Nomad chopshop a couple of scantily-clad men. Yu Jing gets a chibi/superdeformed cartoon woman who is, on reflection, also arguably scantily-clad but hopefully more adorable than sexual?

    gang tie 11.jpg

    A couple of fuel cans, a car poster, and on the back of the door a poster for everyone's favourite cult-classic predecessor to Aristeia, where gladiator TAGs battle generically-engineered Kaiju: MECH V MON.

    gang tie 12.jpg

    Unlike the backwards zealots of the Military Orders, officials of the Party always pay their repair bills.

    gang tie 13.jpg

    Some might tremble at the thought of Tatenokai terrorism, but these members of the Yan Huo Regiment stand ready to heed the call of the Shentang Tourism.Committee.
     
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  17. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    And that is that, an account of past projects moved from one forum to another, leaving me with the responsibility of completing the shelf-full of projects currently sitting idle. There's three sets of 3-floor MicroArts District 5 apartments which I've been filling with interior furnishings and which I thought were almost done until realizing I still have several part-of-the-actual-kit parts on the OUTSIDE to file and fix in place, that's really just a matter of finding the time to sit down and get it done, then on to other projects which have been a little more difficult.
     
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  18. Nincoreween

    Nincoreween Macross Frontier Commander

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    Ha Ha I like the Star Trek reference in the medical building post. Nice work and very good detail.

     
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  19. Shiwen

    Shiwen Commissar, Yu Jing General Political Department

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    Thank you all for the compliments and encouragement, now I've got to deliver more than just migrations to merit it.

    Holoads - (modified MicroArts & 'scratchbuilt' Geisha)

    Infinity has prompted some really great terrain production when it comes to holographic advertisements, with commercial stuff like that from MicroArts adding both line-of-sight blocking and immersive character to a board. I've also seen some people out there who have done amazing things printing their own holographic advertisements.

    This is neither of those.

    This emerges from wanting to have both sides of a given add provide some visual interest and trying to solve that problem through hacking together bits of text and sticker images in a mechanical version of Photoshop, and then finding out to one's surprise that the label on a certain bottle of spiced rum provides a transparent sticker whose true purpose escapes me but which demanded to appear in ad form.

    refusethevoid.JPG
    Here you can see the ads on the back facings of three Microarts holoads, The middle one is still pending some work with some posted bills and graffiti but it was needed for actual play before it was done and never got back to the workbench. Upper is an ad for Shentang tourism, below for a holographic pop sensation.

    IMG_1249.JPG
    Another thing that emerged from the need to have terrain pieces ready for play was this improvised standalone billboard, which was made to block line of sight from elevated positions like rooftops while leaving them open between units on the ground. It worked out alright, so I've left it that way.

    IMG_1581.JPG
    Its back follows an approach similar to the others. Everything is crooked because it hadn't been properly fixed down. It is now... still crooked, but in a different direction. A sign of quality craftsmanship.

    And now we come to the 'scratchbuilt' section, and the aforementioned rum bottle sticker.

    P1020083.JPG
    With the freestanding billboard not needing the frame pieces, I had a few MicroArts bits to let me try and create a frame for my own purposes. Affixing the sticker to some clear plastic packaging, accenting the edges with some coloured acrylic scrap cut from a sprue, and the result is something that works out ok.

    P1020084.JPG Here, alongside the MicroArts pieces you can see its flaws, but it does the job.
     
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  20. snikch

    snikch Active Member

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    wtf!
    I have a single word to say....
    unbelivable!

    Enviado desde mi ZTE Blade L5 Plus mediante Tapatalk