Barely 24 hours after my last post, I got an email from Scott at S6 Engineering telling me that he’s shutting the business down. Apart from being sorry for Scott who has probably been forced to do this against his wishes, I am personally very disappointed, as I had just placed an order for the last few pieces that I needed to complete my first city board, and had already started planning the second.
Now I’m forced to consider my options. Should I redesign the board so the city doesn’t cover it entirely? Should I not glue the road sections down so I can create smaller urban areas a la carte? Should I use them to create a 15mm town instead?
Two years ago, I had the idea of creating a modular city gaming board, that was compatible with the Ziterdes boards that I’ve used for many years. I made a few forays into building this board, using large sheets of plasticard with holes for removable plates, upon which I’d mount buildings and other terrain.
Progress was slow: I wasn’t entirely happy with the design, and didn’t want to commit materials to something I wasn’t 100% sure of. So last year I was very happy to discover S6 Engineering and their small-scale (6, 10 and 15mm) road system. very quickly I junked my old design and began planning a new system, mounted on 18mm MDF boards.
I’ve just recently started laying out the city. Here are some photos of the initial design:
The road and junction sections will be glued to the board and will be permanent. The block sections will be removable; each one will have a different building or terrain piece mounted on it, so that while the basic layout won’t change, the city will be different for each game. This also means that we can replace destroyed buildings with ruins.
One thing I’m quite pleased about is an idea I had to put a small piece of plasticard under the block sections: this will raise them slightly above the roads, creating a raised pavement which is quite effective (and also makes the plates easier to remove):
The design has two “hard edges” where the roads end, and two “soft edges” with junctions that stick out over the edge of the board. I will be putting a defensible city wall along the hard edges: if another board is placed next to these edges, then they will be interesting terrain features, but if not, then the walls will prevent the city just stopping, which looks a bit weird. The soft edges will allow for another board to be linked in to the city on those edges, so we can have a sprawling metropolis over several board sections, which will be pretty awesome!
I realised that they are perfect for both 40k and Epic scale games. Unfortunately they’re extremely hard to get hold of! It took me a while but I finally tracked down a box of them on the Marquee Models website (they’re now out of stock on there as well).
I decided that I wanted to base them so that they’d be more stable on the gaming table. Taking my trusty compass cutter I made some based from 1mm plasticard and glued them on. All I needed to do then was apply some Basetex textured paint, some Devlan Mud, and then the same flock that I use to base my Epic necron models. Here’s the result:
Every now and then you have one of those days when a load of stuff that seems to have been work-in-progress for months all gets finished in one day. Today has been one of those days for me!
First up is the large tomb structure that I’ve featured in the last two posts. It was initially sprayed black. I tried a number of different techniques to give it an aged stone appearance, including stippling and airbrushing, and I even got out my old airbrush to give that a try! In the end I used an old bath sponge to apply successively lighter shades of gray. Then I just needed to texture and flock the base and apply some decals from Games Workshop’s Necron Transfer Sheet.
At Cavalier last year I picked up some resin Egyptian obelisks. I necron-ified them by filling in the hieroglyphic writing on the sides, and then sanding them smooth. They got the same paint job as the Necropolis, and some decals as well:
I met Tom Webb of Steel Crown at Salute earlier this month and he’s a very nice chap. Go buy his stuff!
Lastly there’s the board I used to take these photos with. This is one of six Ziterdes modular gaming table modules that I bought a few years ago and use for Epic games. They were originally painted using car body sprays, but I’ve never been very keen on the shiny finish that they picked up, so I made up a texture paint using brown craft paint, aquatic sand and PVA glue (similar to the “concoction” used by Beasts Of War), which gives a nice flat muddy finish, and is flexible as well. I then applied some of the same flock I use on my Epic necron model’s bases.