Mean Streets – Part 2

Undoubtedly the biggest project I’m currently working on is my collection of Underhive terrain. It’s something I discussed at length when I first started this series but to recap, as it’s been a while, I’ve always dreamed of having my own set of terrain but until recently I had neither the space nor the money for it. If I’m honest with myself I probably still don’t but, with a bit of creative storage and careful budgeting I’ve decided to go for it anyway. After all if you’ve been planning something for over a decade it’s probably time you just got on with it right?

I wouldn’t really consider myself a gamer, for me painting and modelling comes first and any dice rolling, if it happens at all, is a very distant second. That said when I do play games I want them to be as evocative and atmospheric as possible. Nice though it would be to create all the landscapes I can imagine games being set (a crumbling dwarven mine infested with Skaven and Night Goblins, the wraithbone spires of an Eldar craftworld, the ever changing madness of a daemon-world within the Eye of Terror, the verdant gardens of Nurgle, a shrine-world covered in statues so vast that tank battles can play out in the Emperor’s cupped hands, a Blood Bowl pitch with cheering crowds, hotdog sellers and a commentator’s box, the inside of a Tyranid bio-vessel, and so on) practicality tells me I can only really have one board for the foreseeable future. Thus, as my predilections lie towards small scale skirmishes in the 41st Millennium (mostly Necromunda but there’s room for some Kill Team/Inq28 shenanigans in my life too), what I need is a slice of decaying industrial hell, layer upon layer of toxic, crumbling factories, a place so rough the apocalypse would improve things and streets so mean even the rats won’t go out after dark.

Needless-to-say, although I’ve painted a huge number of models over the years, terrain is still pretty new to me. I’ve been chipping away on this project for about six months now, and the learning curve has been steep, but Azazel’s latest monthly challenge (which calls, appropriately enough, for terrain) has given me the push to get one of the bigger pieces done at last. (Those unfamiliar with Azazel and his famous challenges – where have you been? – should take a look at his blog, and I urge you to join in – this is a phenomenon not to be missed). Anyway, let’s take a look at the building shall we.

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As might be expected I got a lot of things wrong here, there’s certainly things I won’t do the same way twice, and places where I made a lot of work for myself that I really didn’t need to but on the whole I’m happy enough and hopefully I’ll be able to apply what I’ve learned and things will continue to get easier and smoother.


32 responses to “Mean Streets – Part 2

  • Mikko

    Wonderful stuff! Looks very playable too, which isn’t always a given.

  • Alex

    Very respectable mate – more please!

  • Maurice Micklewhite

    Looking good so far. Terrain is pretty forgiving really and quite easy to rework areas that you don’t feel are up to scratch at a later point.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Yeah, terrain is actually surprisingly forgiving, in many ways most of my mistakes were a result of making extra work for myself that I could have got away without.

      • Maurice Micklewhite

        That’s where practice comes in 🙂 I like terrain that’s been worked on over a few years and added to – gives it character.

  • Faust

    Very nice! I’m not familiar with most of the GW terrain pieces, so I’ll ask the dumb question whether that’s a standard build or did you end up changing it?

    Funny that you mentioned Azazel’s Challenge, I almost passed this one up, but looks like the ‘hobby fairy’ might have pushed me in a direction that will net something for the challenge!

    • Wudugast

      Thank you. It’s not a standard build per-se, but one of the key selling points of the GW industrial terrain is that it doesn’t really have a standard build, more a few “serving suggestions”, and that really it’s a toolkit to do build whatever you feel like. It is amazingly versatile, one of the finest pieces of design work in their entire stable in my opinion. The large ball at the centre of this piece for example is actually two domes stuck together and the pipes come from a different kit all together. However because the pipes are the same length as the legs that support the platforms you can swap them around as you see fit. Now I look at it again the chimney at the back also comes from a different kit, but because all the key heights and joining points are the same size it all fits together neatly.

      Good luck with whatever the hobby fairy has pushed you towards (a very mysterious statement!) – I look forward to seeing the results 🙂

      • Faust

        Oh, that’s pretty cool. I didn’t realize their terrain was so modular. I’m still not crazy about their prices, and the gothic design is not my fave. I like the more straight forward industrial terrain mainly. But hey, it’s good they picked a style that differentiates them a bit, plus they really do make the best terrain bits out there. I’ve been enticed by some of Mantic’s stuff quite often, but it tends to be crap.

      • Alexis West

        Ray Dranfeld, the lead designer on both the Sector Mechanicus and (new) Sector Imperialis lines, has a ton of suggestions and examples of cool stuff you can do with them on his twitter. Pretty sure I could make five or six tables worth of this stuff and still have more ideas I wanted to try.

      • Wudugast

        Yeah, his twitter has stacks of good ideas, it really is amazing what the kit can do. I’m not so convinced by the Sector Imperialis, it’s not nearly as forgiving as the Mechanicus range, but I need to have more of a play with it and I’m sure I’ll get some milage out of it in time.

      • Alexis West

        The Sector Imperialis stuff definitely requires more planning ahead, and isn’t as good for just throwing together on the fly, or leaving modular and just clipping together. The big thing about it, tho, is that it’s very compatible with the Mechanicus range, both are entirely based on multiples of 5″ height, 2.5″ widths, and 45 or 90 degree angles. The floor/walkway tiles are interchangeable, the vents on the SI kits line up perfectly with the Mechanicus pipelines, lots of cool stuff like that.

        Now that we’ve got the Manufactorum kit, I think that’s really going to help blend the two together. And then there’s an expansion to the Ryza Pattern stuff coming in a new Killzone, including parts for non-ruined buildings. It’s definitely a cool time to be messing around with GW terrain.

  • James

    May i reccomend the sector munitorum killzone. You get a load of containers, cranes and scatter terrain for about half the price of getting them separately i think

    • Wudugast

      Good suggestion. I did look at it but I’d already got myself the cranes and vehicles and decided I didn’t need more. I did nab one of the Industrial Sector kill zones though, some of which went into building this – an absolute gift for this project and a real bargain too.

  • Alexis West

    Looks great! I wish those dome parts came in more of the Sector Mechanicus kits. There are so many cool things to do with them, but they’re expensive to get hold of.

    I second James’s recommendation above, and would actually expand it. All the Killzone boxes are great deals. If you can find them. Only the Death World one is listed as available on GW’s website.

    • Wudugast

      I know, those domes seem to be like hen’s teeth – dunno why. The Killzones are amazing, and they came out at just the right time. I’d plotted and planned this for years, I saved up my pennies to get some terrain, and just at the right moment (and not a week or two after I’d bought everything like normally happens) GW released a set of bargain boxes covering everything I needed – a real strike of luck 😀

      • Alexis West

        I was thinking maybe it’s because they take up a ton of sprue for relatively little table coverage, but the same is true of the tank/smokestack sprue that’s the other half of the Alchomite Stack kit, and that one’s in over half of them.

  • Pete S/ SP

    That is a great bit of terrain. I know what you mean about collecting so many dfifferent types… It is the hardest thing to store.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers Pete. Don’t get me started on storing it though, especially half-built when it seems to take up the most space of all. Our guest room looks like the aftermath of one of those monster movies where some giant beast smashes through a city, except instead of Godzilla there’s just me swimming desperately against a rip-tide of sprues. Luckily once each piece is built it condenses somewhat.

  • davekay

    I love what you’ve done with that scenery. Putting the two domes together like that looks great!

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! It’s the real joy of these kits, you can just mess around with things and it’s all so versatile that a lot of the time even wacky ideas like that will click.

  • vongutenboom

    Holy Gorka I want to loot the crap out of this Idea!? thank you for sharing this is a good way to put hard cover on the second level! Very inspired design

  • Azazel

    That looks awesome mate – my first WIP forays into these kits are far more modest, but eventually, I’ll work myself into some cooler stuff like what you’ve got here!

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Yeah, I planned to do something straightforward to begin with but in the end I just dumped all the sprues I’d ended up with in a heap and just started kitbashing 😀

  • Terrain & Centrepiece Models Paint Challenge January 2019 – Community Round-Up | Azazel's Bitz Box.

    […] from Convert or Die has built and painted this large and rather impressive looking piece of Sector Mechanicus terrain, as part of his own ongoing “Mean Streets” terrain […]

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