Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cities of Death - Chicago Style

One of the things that I feel traditional Cities of Death terrain lacks is the truly claustrophobic feel of a city. There aren't actual streets with buildings in blocks, with back alleys to exploit. So a while back I got the idea that I wanted to make movement trays for my buildings. This would allow for neater storage (clean up on Nerd Nights is a complex game of Tetris), and would allow for the terrain to be set up in blocks.

Now the above building was the first one I completed for this project. I had originally tried to get my existing scenery to fit on the trays, but they are so random in sizing that it would just be too much work as is. I'll need to adapt them some other way than how I was initially trying. So I scrapped that approach and built the above as a test for my Chicago inspired city block.

The first thing you'll notice is that the above building is long and narrow. This is very traditional of Chicago City neighborhoods. Most of the buildings are either 2 flats or 3 flats. They will have a door adjacent to a picture window and then 2 sets of windows as you work your way up. On the corners of streets will be larger apartment establishments - sometimes with retail (bodegas) below. In my particular neighborhood there are a lot of vacant lots that will be roughly fenced in. The buildings are really close together with narrow breezeways between them. I tried to capture that with the following buildings.

Vacant lot:
Corner ruins:
Opposing corner ruins:
All of them side by side:
The top-down angle shows the movement tray:
You'll notice the brown square in the lower left hand corner. Spaced around the tray are removable squares where I can put signs, street lights, detritus, etc. All of the buildings are removable and are either on 5" or 6" wide bases currently. I already have a 2nd movement tray and the buildings can be swapped around however I like. The vacant lots allow for less obstructed views of tanks and infantry while targeting through breezeways, etc will allow for those nasty sniping shots.
These are still in the rough stages but I'm really excited by the idea. I think it will make for a really visually stunning game. Hopefully the end result isn't too difficult to play. I think with enough low ruins, parks, and vacant lots it will totally work.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Random Stuff...

Its been a while since I updated the blog. I've been focusing in on other stuff as of late (some productive and some not) but I never completely stop work on my projects. They just get pushed aside. Here's some random crap I've worked on lately:

#1: This is what I SHOULD be working on every day. Adepticon is coming and I haven't put more than a half hour into my tournament army in the last 45 days. As you can see I have a long long way to go - and this is 1 of 3 I absolutely need to complete.

#2: I'm really in more of an Ork mood lately anyway. If it wasn't for Adepticon I'd just work on Orks right now but I'll never get enough points done in time. This Trukk is mostly complete. I've probably got another 8-10 hours to go in order to get the driver and gunner done, and to battle damage and dirty it up a bit.

#3 Scott always complains about this one piece of city scenery I built that is beautiful but extremely difficult to put models in. This is a companion building that I started years ago and just finally put on a base. I deliberately left it more open for Scott.

#4 Here are some CoD plastics being put to use with the combination of some scratch built elements. My friend Christian had talked to me a while back about how he was measuring out bits of foam core to the size of the CoD panels so that he could make his own custom panels. I now have a sheet of foam core that has the lines drawn to turn it entirely into CoD tiles for insertion into whatever project I want. In this case, I didn't do anything fancy - just stuck some CoD bits onto the blank slabs and then added a little gable roof on the top.

#5 One of the terrain elements that gets commented upon when Scott posts pics on his blog is the walkway system often looming in the background (you can see a section of it in the above photo - as usual - looming in the background). Whenever we use the walkway it looks dumb if it doesn't begin and end at a table edge. I need some ruined sections as well as entrance and exit points. After months of contemplation I finally made a ramp a couple of days ago. You can't hide from my bikes up there anymore!

#6 Another Scott Kroll inspiration... We talk about my city terrain pretty frequently and one of the things we agree upon is that it doesn't feel city like enough. The building shapes are too random to make streets and everything is too square. The next piece of scenery is on a base that is deliberately angled to encourage more variety in building placement.

Who knows when any of these projects will be completed. Still, I wanted the world to know I'd still trudging along. Enjoy!