Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A city in eight years... or whatever. Malifaux / Mordheim WIP sewer table

The board's humble beginnings, spring 2012
It's been a long time since I wrote this post, but the project was long overdue for an update.

It also turns out that I don't think I ever posted any WIP shots here, so this one's going to be a bit of a pic-heavy post, since I already have the pics.

To recap the above post, I (since I started playing Mordheim, actually) wanted to make some sort of insane, elaborate table (and actually did manage to make a bunch of buildings, some of which have survived for the above shot, along with a rough cobblestone board that didn't, and a sewer system that never got past some poorly cut PVC pipes).

When, years later, I started playing Malifaux, it was the perfect opportunity to start again. I decided to make a double-decker modular table, with 8 core elements.

McMourning waves "hello" from his plaster-frosted sewer palace.
The above first tile became the photo to the right. Those nails were a terrible idea, and I've since stripped out most of the details.

Since I have the opportunity to look back at this, a few notes for any future aspiring miniature city planners:

Make things 1x1' wherever possible. I did 18" because I wanted a little more flexibility to do bigger things, but it ended up limiting things a lot, since I couldn't make small things. Instead, I'd recommend 1x1' squares, where some were mostly taken up by elaborate things and some were pretty generic. I plan to do that if I ever get around to making the above ground level.

An example of the basic concept
Don't use plaster (actually, spackel). While it came out nicely, it weighs like 3 times as much as the foam. Instead, I'd more carefully cut everything and throw on some textured paint.

Don'e get fancy. Those rounded edges that look so nice? They took ages, don't line up perfectly, and make it slightly harder to play on. I'm happy with how they turned out, but I'd never recommend someone try that on their first large project. I think it would have cut out maybe 1/4+ of the time if I had just gone with some sloped edges.
What I'm actually happy with was the amount of planning I put into this. It mostly worked and mostly paid off. I think that if I hadn't sketched so much, it could have been a pretty serious mess.

I decided just recently to scrap the metal grate gantry setup, but, now that I look at it, I realize that I actually had basically finished the tile's grates (which is conveniently the one I haven't started adding new details to), so I might put these back.

I took them off for painting, so hadn't looked at this in a long time...

A couple bird's eye shots of the modular board at early stages, which just refuse to not stack.

And another after a bit more work:

...and then there's this gap where I apparently decided it would be a good idea to not take any more photos. I finished plastering everything like the grey tile, which took ages, and then got bored and played other game systems and generally forgot about this project until Malifaux's second edition was announced, at which point I jumped back in with the last of the plaster and then added the walkways.

The upper left tile's walkways are mostly done; the bottom left one is about halfway done; the top right is just starting; the bottom left is conveniently not started at all (remember that comment about the grating I abandoned?) so I might theme that section with the grating, if it doesn't look too out of place.

A closer shot of the sewer on the mostly complete half. That bridge is probably going to get a railing on one side, since the Belle seems rather upset about the gusts down there.

Another angle of the board, showing off the more complete section.

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