zondag 1 januari 2012

The start of a city

 So, now we get to the start of thing. Let's get this blog rolling!

Like I said in my introductory post, I game* a variety of settings and have several genres of miniatures in some state of preparation.. Several of these (Rioters and Riot Cops, Zombies, Appleseed, etc.) are traditionally associated with an urban enviroment.
Guess what I don't have, scenery-wise...
*: Or rather, "build stuff for", seeing how rarely I actually get to play....

So, a city needs to get built. Problem is: Zombies and Rioters are (mostly) contemporary, Appleseed and such isn't. And them I'm not even factoring in things like Warmachine....
My city will need to be flexible.

Here's the plan:
The buildings will be a mix of (somewhat) old-timey and current day brick buildings and more modern/sci-fi "slick"/concrete buildings. That way, by varying the ratio of "brick to slick" I use when setting up the table, I can slide from a bit in the past to the (near-ish) future.
I'm doing this because I also have some Appleseed miniatures in the works, and they require a more "future" city: Leave out the brick, and use only the slick buildings: Instant Olympus!

Somewhere in the future, when the city is far enough along, I could consider adding some typical Warmachine style buildings to complement the brick buildings. But, as I have enough alternatives for Warmachine terrain, that won't be necessary for some time.

The buildings:
Each building will be on a base with an integrated sidewalk.
Because I want the buildings to remain as flexible as possible, I can't have any "street furniture" permanently attached. But I don't like the look of street signs and lampposts with massive bases...
Plus, with permanently attached items or items on larger bases, there is the risk of damage if someone nudges them too hard while moving a miniature.
The solution? Magnets!
I'm painting the sidewalks with so called magnetic paint (paint with ferrous particles mixed in). I painted a set of test-bases and built a street sign and some lampposts (from Fenris Games) and glued magnets to the base of the poles:
Originally I had hoped to use magnets with the same diameter as the poles themselves.
Sadly the magnetic paint didn't have enough pull for that. That is why you see the larger diameter magnets under the lampposts.
Still a lot less intrusive than mounting the lampposts on bases, don't you think?
The street sign turned out to be secure enough with a double stack of magnets.
If anyone nudges them while playing, they will simply move out of the way, or fall over, without being damaged. :D

Last year (the day before yesterday ;) ) I painted the magnetic paint on the majority of sidewalks. Here are the building bases with the magnetic paint drying:

I intend to have all buildings have an accessible interior. Mostly this will mean no more than some interior walls and stairs. I want to keep the interiors as uncluttered and useable as possible. The more I put inside, the less room for miniatures, and the more I pin myself down to a particular era or setting.
Plus, I like to have some of my sanity remain intact.... ;D

So I'm ready to start on the next phase: the buildings themselves.
I've got enough sturdy card and depron for the brick buildings. I still need to get the foamboard and/or foamed PVC for the slicker buildings, so those will come later.
That also gives me the time to work out shapes and layout for a couple of Appleseed landmarks: Onimal Coffee house and Akechi motors. I really like the idea of building these. I may build them with replaceable signage,though, so I can use the buildings themselves for other settings as well.

I couldn't help setting up a quick "proof of concept" with some of the stopgap scenery I'd been using so far:

Preliminary conclusion: Yeah, this is gonna work. :D I need more corners, though...

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