Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Making a cargo elevator platform

Another day, another bit of hard labor on the Manufactorum. I made a little inset today to put behind the door as a raised factory floor. The PVA glue is still a bit wet on this pick, but it will dry up nicely I expect. Also featured on this picture is the grounded and beveled base of the building.

After that I basecoated the entire model in a mixture of PVA, Gresso and a bit of ochre coloring I had lying around (to keep track of where the basecoat was). I also added a few copper pipes to the front of the building (the crooked one is on straight as of now).

As I used up humongous amount of PVA to glue this monster in place I immediately used some of my rougher 'modeling sand' (IKEA sand) to give a first bit of dirty sanding on the floor. The heaps and heaps of sand on this picture will fall off when I turn the model upside down (which I will do after the glue has dried). Underneath the sand you can spot some bigger pieces of rubble I allready glued in place and the corner of the raised area.

The work on the building is getting progressively harder, especially because I'm working to quickly and therefore big parts of the building don't get a proper chance to dry. So I will be taking a day off from this work to give everything a chance to dry up.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Making concrete walls for Warhammer 40K buildings

Today was very productive. I started out getting Gesso, a few new spackle knifes (I forgot to clean the old ones, may the emperor forgive me). I started out by applying a straight layer of filler over the brushed on layer (which is a lot easier that applying filler straight to foamboard). This was the result:

After that I waited for it to dry a bit, applied Gesso and then stippled the entire wall with a brush to this result, which I rather like (so I had a direction for the walls of the Manufactorum):

Then I started on the roof (well actually I started on the little fence around the landing pad but I got so carried away I forgot to take photos. I used my new hacksaw to cut a few bits off wood that will act as the roof support (I love that saw, should have bought it earlier). Then I pinned the wooden beams to each other and to the chimney and wall. As the PVA glue dried enough to take some pressure it feels like a rather sturdy construction. 

After buying brand new corrugated cardboard I found the old bit I had stored (as per Murphy's Law). I cut the bits to size, gave in to my destructive urges to cut away some destroyed parts and then on a whim added a few thin slices of cardboard to give the impression off support struts still in place. To test the look I used a few pins to keep the bits in place for the photo. 

I also used some 1 mm cardboard to add some detail around the door and the bottom front of the structure (I wall add some copper bends I have lying around to these parts). 

As I went through the photographs off the roof supports I actually found a picture that actually shows the little fence around the landing platform.

Finally I was off to my workbench for some serious work with filler. I quickly discovered that trying out techniques on a bit off leftover foamboard may be a good idea, but that this doesn't necessarily translate to a finished building. I finally opted for a combination of my spackling knifes, sponges and my fingers (all the while wondering why I didn't go for roughcoat and why I didn't just start with a small square bunker). The end result will have to be sanded, cleaned off some excess filler and covered in Gesso but I think it works reasonably well (and keeps the level of required detail).

One of the best things about filler is that it covers up all the small gaps and little mistakes I made cutting. The picture doesn't do this full justice but the bottom side forms one piece with the platform itself now. 

Anyway all this filler has to dry. Tomorrow I will start sanding it, cover it in Gesso and then I can start on the base and the interior of the building (and hopefully a bit of painting).

Monday, March 28, 2011

Experimenting with Warhammer 40K concrete

So work is steadily progressing on this building and with a bit of luck I might actually start painting it around Wednesday. Anyway here goes the next bit.

I put in the rear wall section here (on the left side):

I also glued on the trimmings and concrete outside ledge. During the cutting I decided to up the breadth from 1 cm to 2 cm so I could position models on it. It looked bad, so I cut it back to 1 cm.

After the ledge I picked up a plastic L-profile at the local DIY-center and used this to give the corners of the building more character. Tomorrow I will have to pick up a second, broader profile to make the front of the building even more impressive.
Finishing this detail I found the courage to start 'destroying' my project to add battle damage. After that I made the insides of the Windows from wire mesh. It was a bit of an experiment that worked really well I guess:

To finish up, fix the Windows in position and make sure exposed bits of foam board won't start to melt as I ground the building I covered these bits with watered down PVA glue. Next time I do this, I will add a few drops of red paint to the PVA mix to make it easier to see where I have already been (and what better way to remind myself then writing it down).

And the this is where I am right now:

As I'm still not sure how to proceed with the concrete I decided to make a quick test piece and try out filler. This is the test piece. I applied the filler with a very, very bad (and very, very cheap) brush. This is the piece with filler, as soon as it is dry I'm going to try scouring it.


So far so good, until the next update.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Building the walls of the manufactorum

So I have been cutting and pasting another number of hours to get ahead with the manufactorum and got to the first hurdle. Turns out that no matter how much time you (well I) spend in Sketchup reality has a way of catching up. As I was cutting away at the walkway (on the cutting mat here):

I discovered that I forgot to put any supporting walls beneath the end of the walkway holding the staircase. So adjustments are needed. I also did not like the way the wall and balcony would turn out besides the chimney-stack and made a few alterations to the plan (involving some PVC piping) there as well. As for the other end of the building, I still have to cut a broken down rear wall for that part as well.

Finally I won't be putting in the triple staircase on the other end of the building. It is hard to put minis on stairs and I don't think it looks sci-fi enough so I'm going to put in a freight elevator like thingy. 

As for actual building in stead of planning, I finished the landing platform (and slightly altered the way that fits on the building as well (adding a support column so a landing vehicle won't break the entire arm of the building off (personally I blame gravity). Here is the measure of the build as of today. Still in doubt about concrete, I don't really like the look of painted styrofoam and I have had a rather dismal failure with filler on another project, perhaps I'll try some sanded plaster or maybe I'll just default back to roughcoat (it is grey and in a spraycan, making it easier to reach the corners in this building).



(for those keeping track, the slices of foamboard on the last two pics are the front ridges for the building). 

Ah well, back to the PVA and my trusty X-acto knife. I'm pretty close to finishing the basic build and then the fun of wrecking it (I mean applying battle damage) begins.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cutting foamboard for a manufactorum

Today I worked out how to cut the building from 5mm foamboard using some printouts and I adapted the doorway to fit in a leftover 'eagle door' from the Sanctum Imperialis kit. I also cut the major parts and glued what I could. Now to wait for the glue to dry. Here is a short update on the first step including one showing a space marine (to give an indication of the rather massive scale):

Using Sketchup to design a manufactorum

I really like the manufactorum on page 27 of Cities of Death so I'm going to try to build one to use as a centerpiece.

As it is always hard to see the back of a building on a 2D photo (har har) I've started this project on the computer using Google Sketchup. This way I can make a basic plan for cutting my foamboard (it is exact to the millimeter and I have used 5mm and 3mm foamboard as my building blocks, the little perons at the front is scaled to Astartes height). Also it gives me a chance to consider if the building will work on the tabletop. I am still in doubt to be honest, it is rather high so climbing it during a battle will cost allmost the entire battle. On the other hand it will block line of sight and if succesful it will look great. It will also give me a chance to use a lot of pvc piping I have lying around after a major home renovation project. So there we go.

The planning does not show battle damage, small detailing and the large crater at the back that will work to explain the missing rear wall (I will leave that for later). I have tried to model what I can see from pages 27 and 76 from Cities of Death I especially like the freefloating landing platform which should be strong (and big) enough to hold a grav tank.

Anyway the first steps are these sketches in a bit of a 360 view, I will use these today to make cutting plans for the foamboard. It's going to be a fun project I hope.