Friday, August 31, 2012

Temple City

Temple City

Flexibility on the gaming table, both in terms of how it could be arranged and the races with which it could be used, and the space it would take up when stored, were important factors when Therry van der Burgt ('Sergeant T' on the forum) made this ancient temple city for a non-specific alien race.
Ever since reading about a temple city as alternative cityfight terrain in the Games Workshop Cityfight codex I've wanted to build ruined temples which could be combined with my jungle scenery pieces. To keep things simple I went for Inca/Aztec like angular architecture. Since its primary use would be with Warhammer 40k the buildings are meant to look like they've been built by a non-specific (alien) race using technology from their distant past. This way it can also be used as Lizardmen structures in a Warhammer Fantasy Battle game.
To a large extent, the shape and size of many of the buildings was determined by the shape of the polystyrene packaging material that I'd managed to collect. The larger temples are more or less intact and are based on a foam cube (which avoids having linear seams at the edges).
The block patterns were made by marking them out with a pencil and then using a craft knife to cut V-shaped grooves. Note that this is much easier to do before the components of the building are joined together with PVA. I also removed a few pieces of Styrofoam at the edges with my fingers to create a crumbling stone look.
The ruins of less important buildings were made by using Styrofoam sheets (about 1 cm = 0.5 inch thick). Individual blocks were cut out at the corners to avoid having linear seams.
Each piece was base-coated with grey. When dry, I used a felt tip pen to draw a black line in all of the V-shaped joints to add depth before drybrushing with lighter tones of grey and white.
Markings, friezes and wall paintings were added using a felt-tipped pen. To keep things non specific I chose geometrical patterns and angular hieroglyphs.
Sand and small pebbles were applied to some sections of the terraces and floors, painted brown and drybrushed. I also drybrushed shades of green onto the lower parts of the walls near the ground to resemble moss growth. Some sections of the terraces/floors and walls were then covered with static grass, flock, dried herbs, lichen and plastic plant bits to create an overgrown look. The obelisk show here for example uses dried herbs.
To keep the city as non-specific as possible I avoided details like statues, discarded weapons, skeletons, furniture, etc.
Storage was also a factor so I kept the pieces as separate as possible. This not only allows greater flexibility when arranging them on the gaming table but also means that pretty much all of the city fits into a single cardboard storage box.

(Click images to see larger versions)
Piles of crumbled stone were created using a CD-ROM and plastic card (expired automobile association membership cards), cut into irregular shapes for the bases, with Styrofoam 'stones', sand, small pebbles, and plastic plants, attached using hot glue.
The floating water plants in the pond (see below) were made by putting some DAS clay into a beer bottle cap and carving a leaf pattern in the clay. After drying the bottle caps were painted green. The areas of water that are covered by a 'carpet' of tiny leaves were made by gluing down very fine sand, painting it dark green and drybrushing with bright green. The water itself is dark green high gloss (leftover) car paint on a grey base, drybrushed with lighter tones of green and covered with several layers of high gloss varnish. Note that celulose based car paint will melt the Styrofoam unless you seal it first with PVA or other paint.

(Click images to see larger versions)

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