Friday, December 27, 2013

My Pipe Dream - Part 6

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Fly Molo back after a great holiday! I trust you all had the same and I'd love to see what 40k toys you got.
I, for one, received a model I'd been writing to Santa about. I was as giddy as a school boy.

Well, back on topic. The board is coming along nicely, and as you could see from last time, I was only a few steps from completing the main board. I just needed to paint the pipes themselves and finish the "pools." From there it would be all terrain then voila, done.
But I'm going to go a little out of order here. I want to show you guys how I made my sweet matching terrain. I hope you enjoy!
Step one would be planning and rough construction.

Some people don't like the look of stacked tiered hills. I personally love the look when done nicely and especially enjoy them in game play. I can't wrap my head around the realm of battle board with all of its slopes, perfect for having your infantry slide down over and over again while you try to exactly place them in a certain spot. The stepped hills are great for standing your little models on.
The construction, if you've never seen/attempted one before, is rather simple. Start big at the bottom and work smaller to the top. You want to be able to fit a terminator base onto each tier.

The first one would be four inches of foam tall, thus, four layers. The bottom is the biggest and is roughly a large rectangle. I did most of my texturing of the edges here too, with my trusty drywall saw.
White glue does the trick. In order to make this hold even better, I placed multiple toothpicks through each layer, similar to pinning a models limbs in place.

Each layer stacked on top of the next logically. The hill starts to take shape.

This one came out looking like a "classic" stepped hill. It looks like one out of a White Dwarf from 12 years ago. I'm finally living out that dream.
Now, to add a little detail. All of the foam that gets roughly sawn off from the edges make perfect accent boulders and rocks. I put some dabs of glue at seems that look a little off and smear it around with my finger. Then I sprinkled some of the 'saw dust' from earlier and find myself with a ton more character.
The hills would be pretty easy following that simple format. I created two more hills in pretty short order. Up next was my pipe stacks. You may have seen one in the previous posts just hanging out on the board. I made another one pretty quick using my model glue, more pipe and those nifty pipe-cutters. I made them the same height, starting with a layer of five pipes, then stacking four more, then three, then two, then finally the top one. These turned out very sturdy and decently heavy. You wouldn't want to drop one on your foot.
The next idea kind of hit me when I was working with the pipe cutters. I looked down at those extra ends I was cutting off and got to thinking about what could be done with them. Then I noticed all of the board I had left. What if I had an area where we either had a pump explode or a 'well' was abandoned? That would be pretty neat. I had this vision of rusty old corroded pipes that look like they were pretty jacked up coming out of the ground somewhere.
So lets make it happen.

I took one of the little pieces and started just jacking up one end. I took some heat to (by placing it on the wood stove), then started snipping and tearing at the top with my wire cutters and pliers. I ended up making it look pretty chewed up.
Then I made the hill that the pipes were going to be jutting out of. It was a three tier hill but most of the tiers were the same size. That way, it made kind of an impassable piece of terrain as opposed to a hill or area terrain.
I placed three of the chewed up pipes in a row on the top of the hill piece and drew a rectangle about where I wanted the hole to be. Then I scored the top and prepared to dig out my groove.
A near perfect fit but the spacing put the box size a little off. I would just have to dig out a larger section.
While digging, I repeatedly dry fit the pipes into place. When I got them about where I wanted them, I twisted and pressed down firmly into the foam. There was a nice circle then for each of these to fit in, so loaded that circle with glue and shoved them back in. Later, I would dab lots of glue around the pipes to make rock and gravel around the pipes... and to cover up my work ;-).

The constructed terrain. From this point, it would be primed, textured and painted just like the board.... but before, I got a game in!
Sorry about the poor quality AND the crotch shot. Nonetheless, the terrain was perfect in game (other than the looks). Even though it functioned well, I was still pretty handily beaten by Jerren's Tau/Eldar... next time Jerren, next time.

And next time to you too folks! Coming up, pools! Pipes! Terrain! Yeah! Happy Holidays all!



  1. The other advantage of stepped hills is you can claim a 'hill crest' cover save of 4+. Thanks to the sloping hills on the Realm of Battle board I don't think I've ever got that save playing a battle on one of them.

  2. It's coming along great. I love the pipes and hills. A good mix of LOS and area terrain always leads to fair games as well.

  3. the table is definitely coming along nicely. it takes a certain amount of not just dedication, but motivation and perseverance to actually finish a gaming table with the level of detail and terrain needed for a great gaming experience.

    Well done so far sir :) I look forward to seeing the rest!

    1. That's what I was really going for. I've made and played on plenty of half-assed boards. This is my table to end all tables. Thanks for the encouragement!