Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Building Games Workshop's Shadow War: Armageddon terrain

Over Easter weekend I got to play around with the new Shadow War: Armageddon terrain that was released in the boxed set with the same name on April 8th. Insert some griping about lack of stock here and keep it at that. The terrain itself is wonderful stuff, highly detailed, completely modular and easy to integrate with other kits and your own scratch build terrain. GW has announced it will be releasing the contents of this box as separate kits soon and that we can expect more variant that add to this terrain as well (including apparently cranes). Also AoS terrain is to follow soon after. That sounds good, although I have to admit the current range of GW terrain is priced just above what I'm willing to spend. We'll have to wait and see if I'm going to invest in more of these terrain sets. On to the finished building first.

The new terrain will probably turn out to be very expensive as separate sets, but man it looks good.

For this build I stuck to the manual GW offered with the boxed set. Not very creative I know, but why not. It turned out to be slightly harder then expected as the numbering of the railings is off in the manual. I wasted quite a bit of time looking for a bit that wasn't there. I build the platform with the bullet shaped container on a separate MDF board and glued it down so that I can add the walkway with the other platform to it to form a longer whole. The MDF was covered with anti-slip carpet underlay and 1mm cardboard tiles to match the rest of my terrain set.

The new terrain is completely modular and features lots of extra parts that I will happily be using on other projects later on.
The quality of the plastic is better than that of the Baleful Realmgates and varying Chaos Dreadhold kits. The details are much crisper. Also the parts line up properly everywhere without strange gaps (I'm looking at you pointy ribs on the sides of the Chaos Dreadholds!). Games Workshop's newfound talent for producing almost moldline free kits is mostly in evidence here, although I did spend quite a lot of time scraping the sides of the platforms and the tops of the railings. The parts also line up, even when you get creative. As you can see in the picture above I managed to put the top of the bullet shaped building out of joint with the bottom bit and the 'pipe gully' did not line up. I had to take my scalpel to it, and move that bit later on.

Once you figure out how to spray on rust, it becomes rather addictive.
The paint job felt a bit quick and lazy to apply, but I think its effective so who am I to complain. I covered the terrain with a cheap but good black primer and followed up with my collection of brown and orange tinted rattlecans. Now there's an investment that pays itself back.

Rattlecans rule (occasionally).
After the rust colors had had an evening to dry I dry brushed everything with Necron Compound. This is one of the paints from the Games Workshop dry range. I'm still not entirely sold on that range. My Tyrant Skull works like a charm, but most of the others I have feel like dried up pieces of plastic that won't stick to a brush (and felt like that from the day I bought them). Same with the Necron Compound. For now I just rub the plastic on a way too big brush and use it on terrain. I don't think it will every get anywhere near a regular miniature though. Anyway after completing the drybrush stage I picked up a tub of Vallejo luquid rubber mask and applied that to the trim on the storage tanks. This stuff kills brushes, as you can see by the dead brush in the foreground.

Adding liquid masking murders brushes, luckily I have a supply of worn out brushes and a small collection of cheap ones just for the job.
Next step was applying a bit of water and some salt. Yes I'm not tired of the salt weathering technique yet :)

Salt weathering is also turning into a bit of a habit, I should make some fantasy building soon, just to detox.
I then applied a coat of Vallejo Game Air Color Sombre Grey and a quick highlight of Vallejo Model Air Stonewall Grey. I then applied a thined coat of Vallejo Black wash to give the lines a bit more definition. Then I waited for it all to dry, rubbed of the salt and the mask and ended up with this.

Space Wolves bravely defending a worn down storage tank.
As I had a lot of watered down black wash to spare I also took the time to wash down all recessed numbers, Mechanicum skulls and opened electronics, popping it out a bit more.

The devil tends to be in the details. I painted every bolt on this picture (lazily to be sure).
That is basically all I did. I rather like the results in a simple yet effective way. Although it felt like I should do more. To get that nagging sense out of my head I painted anything that looked like a screen with a few layers of green. Like the screens on the left side railing on the far left of the picture and on the center left walkway. I also sponged Ryza Rust on some places to make the rust pop even more. Mental note: with all the rusty terrain I painted I'm almost out of Ryza, should replace that tub soon.

Don't fire until you see the whites of their...BLAM BLAM BLAM...dammit Carl, I was about to add eyes!
Painting all the pipes copper and going wild with Nihilakh Oxide might work, but by the same count it might make the terrain look way to busy causing it to drown out any models walking around on it. So I will not be doing that (for now). I did splocht down some random blobs of black and sepia wash on the bottom plates, feathering them out with a big brush in an attempt to contrast the walkways and the floor a bit more. As of today I'm considering sponging an extra color on the top walkways to put a bit more life to it. Maybe I'll do that later.

Assembling these kits and configuring terrain with them was a seriously nice experience.
I'll be playing my first game of Shadow War: Armageddon this week, so I might want to push the brakes on my painting and actually read the rules now. Then again who am I kidding, there's no time! The Grudge of Drong project has gotten out of hand, but more on that later this week. Now on to a few more pictures of some Space Wolves fighting Necron on this piece of terrain.

Fix! Bayonets!!!! (Sorry I had the 1993 Gettysburg movie on in the background during assembly.
All in all a great terrain set and it give new life to Confrontation/Necromunda (and I'm greybeard enough to actually own the Confrontation White Dwarves :). Now if only Underspire turned out to be the next Mordheim, but from what I see so far it looks more like a one silly game with snap-fit models. Ah well, there is still Adeptus Titanicus to look forward to, isn't there? (and perhaps a real new Mordheim later on?).

I don't now why, but the view from above is quite mesmerizing. 


  1. Excellet set, and a superb painting job. I´m looking forward to get this set and make an industrial scenery set to play W40K and this new armaggedon rules. I was wachting a battle mat from pworkwargames.com called Industrial Ruins, that will be nice to put the scenery on it without making big tiles that are hard to storage.

    1. Thanks. Storage is always a concern I am rather fortunate to have a shed to stick my plastic crates with projects in (and my local club to store even more scenery at).

  2. Lovely bit of kit, and an excellent paint job. Insert moan about lack of supply here.

    Hopefully GW does a massive set for Christmas, or a SW: Someplace-else-where-we-make-enough-to-sell-one-to-everyone.

    1. Incidentally if they wait until Christmas for that, I might actually have a chance to finish a few other projects in the meantime :)

  3. I built my set similarly over the past week as well. Great stuff, and I really want to get more. Looking forward to the last couple of kits getting rolled out next month. Looking at what you get in each one, they come in two varieties, one at US$50 and one at US$75, and the $75 ones are a significantly better deal, coming with roughly twice as much stuff as the $50 ones. Get those from some place that does 20% off, and they're almost as good of a deal as the SW:A box. I do hope they do a big bundle at a nice discount later on, tho. I really want to be able to cover a 4x4 table with this stuff.

    1. Taking a 20% discount into account it looks like it will be around 160 euro ($170) to build the set that came with the boxed game. I think I will revert back to some disposable diaper bag containers, second hand squirt guns, foamboard and polystyrene for now :)