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Nodri's PHR, UCM, & Terrain: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

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Nodri

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Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostThu Aug 04, 2016 11:27 am

InspGadgt - In that case the best option is probably to contact Hawk for replacements. The details on their metal infantry are by far the best I've ever see in 10mm, so it sounds like you may have gotten a bad batch.
Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.
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InspGadgt

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Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostFri Aug 05, 2016 1:12 am

I haven't worked with 10mm before but mine definitely do not have the detail yours does. Considering I got 1 pack of Praetorians and Praetorian Snipers from a friend who I bought my UCM from initially then bought a 2nd pack of Praetorians and Praetorian Snipers at least 6 months later, probably more, I don't think it is a batch issue.

At any rate I've already based and painted them so I guess I'll just live with it. Too small to notice anyway.
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Nodri

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Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostFri Aug 05, 2016 1:22 am

@ InspGadgt - Post some pics. Maybe somebody on this forum has had the same issue and can give you more info. It's worth a shot.
Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.
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Earthwormben

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Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostTue Sep 27, 2016 1:39 pm

They are excellent, only c&c is if you were to enter a unit into a contest is that I would look at glow from the lava.... although it's very time consuming, even more than what you have put in. Other than that they are perfect.
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Nodri

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Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostThu Oct 20, 2016 8:54 pm

@ Earthwormben - You make a valid point at an excellent time. Object source lighting (OSL) has been on my "to-learn" list for awhile now and I will be experimenting with glowing lava effects when the table is painted. The large scale (and quantity) of the terrain will allow me to practice before risking the final paint job on a competition model.

As always, progress and tutorials will be shared here.
Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.
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Nodri

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Re: Nodri's PHR & UCM: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutorials

PostFri Oct 21, 2016 2:48 am

As seems to be my usual pattern, it's been a few months since the last update and this will be a very long post. All of the buildings for the city have been built (but not primed) and I figured that was is a good milestone to stop, take photos, and to document the progress so far. There will, of course, be lots of pics and a few tutorials. You should expect nothing less from me by now.

I never would've anticipated that just building a city would require three months, but it was a lot more work than I imagined. Not only that, but I was very fortunate that Phase 2 was released before I started any major construction. The additional fluff warranted some major changes to the direction of the project. Most notably, this table will not be a PHR forgeworld but rather Odin's Foundry on Eden Prime. As per the fluff, the PHR machinations will be in the background and the primary design was therefore altered for a more universal sci-fi aesthetic so that it won't look out of place with the UCM (In case you're wondering, I will not be painting my UCM in a lava theme. Once this is done and the new PHR models painted, I'll be done with fire for awhile). The other impact from Phase 2 that delayed construction was the need for additional terrain pieces that work for the new scenarios.

Another thing that delayed construction was the design phase. I wholly appreciate Hawk releasing paper terrain to get people playing at an affordable price in a hurry. That said, I've also found that playing games with rectangle buildings on square tiles gets boring after awhile. So in addition to making terrain that is visually appealing and durable, I have also been obsessed with the idea of pushing the boundaries how terrain can impact the game in unexpected ways.

For example, how does door placement affect troop movement between structures? What if some doors can only be accessed via jump units or dropships? What happens if there are gaps in the building that create unexpected lines of sight for non-troop units? What if there are bits sticking off of the building that can be used as cover for vehicles? How do varying heights change line of site? How can I make the selection and placement of terrain at the beginning of the game every bit as tactical as moving units during the game? Moreover, how can I create terrain that will increase the overall level of interest and enjoyment in the game for both me and my opponent? These are simple questions, but the impact they have on the design are substantial.

These last few months I've been digging through thrift stores, yard sales, hardware stores, and my own home for bits and parts. I've run some crazy stuff through my band saw, jig saw, power drill, Dremel, and other tools with a mixture of successes and failures. There have been moments of frustration when a particular adhesive bonded exceptionally well to one surface and not at all to another or when I just finished a cut only to realize it would've worked better if done differently. Hobby horizons have been expanded to include materials that are normally used only for construction, home repairs, or crafts. Time has been spent learning how to create vector graphics so that I can cut out custom details from card stock and cereal boxes. The most challenging and rewarding accomplishment was learning how to look an any object and to see within it a potential for use on the tabletop.

This is my first ever terrain project. I can tell you that for all the reasons listed above and more, scratchbuilding terrain is the most creatively liberating experience I've had in this hobby. I now get why some people who make terrain do nothing else. It's a whole new level of expressive freedom and an enormous amount of fun. If you haven't done it, I strongly encourage you to give it a try.

While I certainly want to paint the new PHR releases and at least one Dropfleet faction (probably Shaltari first, just for something different), there's no rush. I'm enjoying this project for what it is and intend to get the absolute most out of it before moving on. You can expect a number of posts on the table construction before I move on to something different and I see no way that I'll be done before the end of the year. Before painting can even begin, I need to build additional terrain features including hills, forests, destroyed building markers, etc.

I've also been inspired by the tables created other artisans (like Steve's DZC Table and ED-209b's DownTown Terrain Project) to include bridges or overpasses in order to add an additional layer to the board. I've not yet begun to design these yet but will begin work as soon as the other components are made.

So now that you've been brought up to speed on where the project is and where it's headed, I'll take a moment to detail what I'll cover in this post. For a variety of reasons, it isn't practical for me to document how I made every structure. I did complete a photo diary of a typical build and will use that as the primary tutorial in this post. I'll also discuss how I made the doors, since they're absolutely necessary for DzC and scratchbuilding a few hundred doors in a reasonable time frame was no mean feat. I'll then post pics of each building and possibly some notes regarding any unique aspects to that particular build.

It's expected there will be important details left out. Please post any questions you may have and, as always, I will be happy to answer them. I will be checking back regularly at least until construction is complete and I get lost again figuring out how I'm gonna paint all this stuff.

So without further ado, here's



How to Scratchbuild Odin's Foundry on Eden Prime


The first thing I did was to consult my Ruinscape box to figure out how many small, normal, and large structures I would need. I figured that by creating the same number as were in the box, I'd be good for awhile. The next step was to consult the rulebook to see how big each structure was in game terms. With regards to measurements, I only included the actual size of the building itself with no regard for the base or any bits that stick out. As a result, my buildings tend to be a bit on the big side, but not by too much. I also intentionally violated some rules by making individual buildings taller or shorter than detailed in the rulebook as a way of making things more interesting. A few extra buildings were added later due to inspiration during the building phase, scenario requirements in Phase 2, and because there are no tiny structures in the Ruinscape box and I wanted a few.

Here's a breakdown of what I ended up making:
Objective - 1. I made a custom underground hangar with four communications stations for use in Phase 2.
Micro - 0. These are shed-sized and just too small for practical use. If I discover a need later, I'll make some.
Tiny - 6.
Small - 9.
Normal - 9.
Large - 9. Two of these are much larger than the Hawk standard and could be classified as Huge. They will be used as centerpieces.

All that will easily cover a 4' x 6' table and I've yet to build hills, forests, etc. For this reason I'm considering making an additional table at some point in the future. Whether or not this actually happens will directly depend on how many regular players join my gaming group and if any of them make their own table. For now at least, 4' x 6' is plenty.


The first step in construction was to lay out the component parts, including the base. In essence, I made my own model kit. Note that I did change my mind regarding some of the parts during construction, so not everything in the photo below appears on the final model. That's just part of the creative process.

For an example, here is how I built a large factory. While the component parts vary from building to building, they're all pretty much made the same way.

The factory body is made from a plastic electrical box that I picked up at Home Depot. The mounting brackets have been removed with a band saw. The base is made from 1/8" acrylic (I was lucky enough to get my hands on a fair amount of scrap acrylic some time ago and have used almost all of it to make bases for this city). The pipe sticking out the back is a PVA pipe bend.

It is important that all parts are sanded and washed before construction begins to give your adhesives the best possible chance of working. I settled on Loctite GO2 Glue and Liquid Nails construction adhesive for major structural bonds, and good old-fashioned Tacky Glue, CA Glue, and PVA glue for detail parts.

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Next I traced out the position of the factory and PVA pipe onto the base. The circles in the middle are holes for the later addition of gap-filling construction foam (Great Stuff). These later proved to be woefully insufficient, but more on that later.
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The base was then cut out on a band saw and holes drilled. Go slow or you will break blades, trust me (wear your safety glasses!). The hole in the back of the factory allows the foam to fill both the pipe and the main body, which will improve durability.
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I then glued the main body and PVA pipe to the base with one of my chosen structural adhesives.
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For flavor purposes, every building has something unique about it. In this case, I decided to attach old sample bottles I picked up someplace. Holes were drilled out of the top of the factory and the caps were glued in with a structural adhesive. This allows me to remove the bottles even after construction is complete, which is useful since I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to finish them. :lol:
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Next I used structural adhesive for the major details. The part opposite the bottle is a King from a chess set that I picked up at a thrift store for a few dollars. You'll see the other pieces throughout this project because it was definitely most important find of the entire build. The other bits are from old 40k kits.
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I then added flavor details. The hex pattern on the roof is a scratch-drawn vector graphic that I cut out of card stock with a Silhouette Portrait. If there's any interest in knowing how that part was done, let me now. It's such a niche tool that I don't see the need to go into any details here without a request.

The other panels were cut out of food packaging to cover up the cut marks caused by removing the mounting brackets with a band saw. Nothing special here, just a pen, scissors, and Tacky Glue. Acrylic rod was then used to finish off around the doors.

I will detail door construction immediately following this part of the post. Doing so here would just derail my own tutorial.
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I then used spray foam (Great Stuff) to make an internal skeleton for the factory. This stuff is incredibly sticky and very strong when dry, so it's perfect for making sure the building will stand up to many games. I do have a few words of warning, first, though.

To begin, I started by using the Window and Door variety (pictured below) and found that was not ideal because it remains flexible when dry and I wanted a hard internal skeleton. I settled on the Big Gap Filler and that seemed to work very well. Keep in mind that will get everywhere, so do it outside with gloves on.

The big thing to remember is that construction foam needs air to cure. It is not designed for use inside of confined spaces (like inside terrain). The foam will dry at the holes first and will remain uncured inside the terrain for days or even week afterwords. This is why my few holes were not enough. I ended up ruining a few drill bits by constantly drilling into the foam as the terrain pieces were curing in front of a fan. The process was tedious and messy. It would've been much smarter to cut away as much of the acrylic base as possible and then just spray the foam in. Even when not confined to the interior of a structure, it takes a good day or so to expand completely and dry. The dry foam that's proud of the base is easily removed with a knife or saw and sands flat with coarse grit sandpaper pretty easily.

I thought I could do the foam in weekend, but it proved to be one of the post challenging parts of the build and it was over a week before I worked out all the kinks in the project. I also used it to fill some food packaging (clear, thin plastic) and because the vent holes dried first, the terrain literally exploded overnight. Gaps in the construction allowed air into inner parts which caused the foam to expand as it dried when it had nowhere to go. Thankfully they were outside, but I did have to redo the buildings which cost me two days' extra work by the time everything was remade and the glues dried.

The hassle was worth it because my terrain is now so strong enough that it could probably be used to bludgeon a burglar to death (explain that one to the cops...). The learning curve, however, was very steep.

This image shows the first can of spray foam that I used. The straws were attached to the nozzle to allow the foam to get into deep recesses of some of the terrain pieces (yes, a tube that long was needed - I told you that this has been a fun project :mrgreen:). It worked very well, but I would suggest that you apply a small amount of foam, wait a few hours for it to dry in front of a fan, and then apply another layer. It will cure much better. The second photo is a stock image of the spray foam that I settled on using.
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Here the foam has been cleaned off the bottom and a magnet has been added to the bottom. The piece is heavy enough that the magnet probably isn't necessary (remember that the top of my table is made of sheet metal) but I like magnets so in it goes. You can see that despite the hassles with the foam, it cleaned up very well.
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I then glued some pumice stones to the base (just like in the display board) and glued a bit of scrap spray foam to the pipe at the back. For the record, I saved all of the dried spray foam that came out of the drying holes for use on hills later.
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Acrylic painter's caulk was then applied around all of the stones to fill in gaps. It was also stippled over the acrylic base to add texture and to improve adhesion of later materials. This was one of the big wins of this experiment. Painter's caulk is about $3/tube, has good adhesion properties to a variety of materials, dries fairly quickly, and it's acrylic so it works with all hobby paints. There's lots of potential in this stuff and I will definitely be experimenting further.
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Ground up sheet cork was then soaked in watered down PVA glue and applied to the bases with an old brush. I found an old coffee bean grinder at a thrift store and it's great for grinding cork. Just make sure that the pieces are broken down into about finger-tip sized beforehand or the motor will overheat.
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Coarse Texture Gel was then applied liberally to the bases and drybrushed over the cork & rocks for texture. Two coats over flat areas may be necessary.

The model is now ready for primer. While there are variances between models, this has been the basic construction process for all of my terrain.
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How to Scratchbuild Doors for Dropzone Commander



Making doors was one of the more intimidating aspects of this project simply due to the quantity needed. While it ended up being fairly easy in the end, it took a lot of thought and planning to make something that would look good, stick out enough to be visible, and could be replicated a couple hundred times without wanting to scoop out my eyeballs with a spoon. Here's what I came up with.

First off, get a bag of zip ties, some 1/16" acrylic rod, a sharp hobby knife, and a sanding block (or sandpaper). I also used a hobby mitre box, but you could make something custom pretty easily.

It is not necessary to cut through the zip ties or the rod. All you need to do is press firmly and then snap them off. Using this method the process will go pretty quickly.
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I then made the jig by clamping the mitre box to my workbench. Scraps of 1/8" acrylic were clamped in place to serve as the end of the jig. I wanted to make the pieces about 10mm long that so they were in scale. The idea is to slide the zip tie into the mitre, press down with the hobby knife to score it, pull it out, snap off the piece, and repeat as quickly as possible. You need two zip tie pieces for each door.

Here's an overview of the setup.
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And here's a detail of the jig with a zip tie inserted.
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Here's a cut zip tie.
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And the pile of them I made. Probably about half an hour's work.
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Once all of the zip ties were cut, I need to make a header to finish off the look. I moved the scrap acrylic around in the jig so that it was now exactly two zip ties' length between the hobby knife and the end of the jig. With this in place, I can mass produce the headers out of 1/16" acrylic rod just as fast as I made the doors. Only one is needed per door.
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Here's a complete door in the jig to show you just how everything should be placed.
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The acrylic rod in the jig ready for cutting..
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And a pile of cut headers.
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Here's a complete door. I attached them to the buildings with Tacky Glue and left them in front of a fan to dry. Note that the pieces do have a top and bottom due to the pattern of the ridges. If you hold them up to a light, you can see it pretty clearly and I made sure that each piece was correctly oriented before gluing it in place. I know this is incredibly nitpicky, but after all this work I don't want any surprises later.

Once dry, I smoothed a bead of undiluted PVA around each door to make sure they were secure and to smooth out any rough edges.
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And now what a reward for sticking with me while I ramble on. Seriously, if you've made it this far, you deserve a medal. Thank you.



Photo Gallery of Odin's Foundry (Unpainted)



Objective Marker


Underground Hangar with Communications Stations
Hangar was made with three layers of card stock cut on the Silhouette and glued to a piece of hardboard.
Communications stations are 40k bits glued to shelf-mounting hardware that's attached to 40k bases.
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Tiny Buildings



Laboratories
Made out of computer chip boxes with 40k bits and pins from locks (IC format core) with acrylic tube chimneys.
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Gardens Under Forcefields
A clear acrylic Christmas ornament currently sitting on a 1/16" acrylic sheet base. The inside will be finished with turf/flock. I imagined that the forcefield is semi-permeable, so no doors were needed. A fun little side project done purely for flavor and visual interest.
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Small Buildings



Cooling Stations
A small Tupperware container cut into three pieces on the band saw. Acrylic rods across the tops connect curtain rings. The disks in the middle of the curtain rings are game pieces for checkers that came with the chess set I mentioned earlier. The sides were finished with card stock cut by hand.
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[img]Pump%20Houses[/img]
Made from electrical wiring hardware with PVA pipes attached the the ends and checkers on top. The roofs are finished with finished with card stock cut by hand.
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Terrestrial Communications Buildings
Electrical boxes with the mounting brackets cut off. Clear acrylic rod antennae finished with a modified rook on the roof. Panels are card stock cut by hand.
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IT/AI Building
Electric box topped with a disposable mount used to hold paper towels in a commercial dispenser. The center is a small sample bottle with a cone-shaped interior (I have no idea what it's for, but it looks neat). The large door is a 40k bit and the panels are card stock cut by hand.
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Executive Hab Unit
A very old electrical box flipped upside down. The hole at the top was covered in foam core and half of a clear acrylic Christmas ornament was mounted on top. Like the gardens, the inside will be finished with foam/flock. The panels are sheet acrylic. The windows are two layers of card stock that was created on the Silhouette (lots of buildings will have these). The roof around the dome is finished the same as the bases, which I figured would make it look like a garden from the air (reasonable camo in a Dropfleet era). This natural roof texture is also a recurring (but not universal) theme. Acrylic tubing was used in the deep recesses on the side. Other bits are from 40k.
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Normal Buildings



Worker Hab Units
Clear grocery packaging reinforced with spray foam. The tops were covered acrylic sheet and the edges caulked and finished in the same way as the base. A clear acrylic Christmas ornament was used for the dome that will be finished with (you guessed it) foam and flock in a garden theme. Windows are two layers of card stock cut with the Silhouette.
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Water Treatment Facilities
Assuming you've been with me this whole time and aren't just skimming (which is okay!), you may remember I mentioned having to redo two buildings that exploded when they filled with foam. These are those buildings. For reasons I can't explain, they're some of my favorites and I was not going to have a table without them.

They're made from a single clear grocery package that was cut in half, which is why they mirror each other. The side was created with cardboard from a food package, a clear bottle that was cut in half on the band saw, and some plastic tubing. The roof details are knights from the chess set with freehand card stock panels.
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Orbital Communications Center
Definitely one of the more unusual pieces. It is an old hairdryer that had its guts removed and met its demise on my band saw. The vent on one side was filled in with Milliput rolled into a sheet. It will be painted as windows. The antenna in the middle is an old Dremel collet with an acrylic rod glued in the middle. The orange ball is a dog toy. Part of a small product container was used as the water tank at the end. Another one of my favorites.
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Power Plants
Powdered drink containers glued to a base opposite a small Tupperware. This format was experimental because I imagined that the two parts are connected underground which allowed for lines of site & cover between them. The drink container has pawns from the chess set on the sides and is topped with piece of PVA & acrylic pipe. It's been finished to look like the base. The window is two layers of card stock cut on the Silhouette. It's been finished to look like the base. PVA pipe also sticks out the side and is ringed with dried spray foam. The green Tupperware is topped with a checker with a 40k bit on the side.
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Factories
Two electrical power boxes glued to the same base with bits from 40k, the knights from the chess set, dispensing tubes from glue bottles (the blue things on the roofs), various acrylic rods, PVA pipes coming out of the back and card stock panels cut by hand. I like them because the remind me of steam engines, which seems appropriate.
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Large Buildings



Large Factories
No real need to go into much detail here, since I used these as the tutorial sample earlier. I could, however, use some ideas on how to finish off the bottles on the roofs.
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Large Power Stations
Another fun experiment with line of sight. Similar to the regular power plants, but the green Tupperware was replaced with a small electrical box finished off with 40k bits, tubing & piping, card stock cut on the Silhouette, and the queens from the chess set (with clear acrylic rods drilled into them so that they look like small kings).
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Solar Arrays
Another one of my favorites and directly inspired by the impressive base work of L. Sabia Byrne's Tron PHR. Thank you for the inspiration! The clear acrylic panels will be used as large canvasses to experiment with the technique on whole new scale.

The arrays are held up with the bishops from the chess set which are connected underground to a Tupperware container that's topped with a checker and finished with 40k bits and a PVA pipe. The hatch in the corner will be used as door to access the underground area. As with the power plants, this is another design that plays with the idea of vehicles & infantry sharing the same space.
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Centerpiece Buildings



Mega Factory
An electrical box with the mounting hardware removed with a band saw. Topped with a checker and two modified rooks from the chess set. It's connected to a now-familiar tower in the back via tubing and finished off with 40 bits and PVA pipe. Side panels are food packaging cut by hand. This thing is a monster!
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PHR Headquarters
This is the one piece that had been designed in full before Phase 2 was released and was set to be something of a template for everything else. Elements have been shared, but I obviously didn't use certain features like the three dots elsewhere.

It's made from an inverted electrical box, topped with a scrap of 1/8" acrylic sheet, topped with a plastic drinking cup, topped with the lid from an iced tea bottle, topped with the metal grate from the now-dismembered hairdryer that was filled in with Milliput to look like windows. The ends are an insert from a Keurig coffee maker that was cut in half. Finished with all manner of card stock panels and 40k and other scale model bits. The prominent architectural detail overlooking the landing pad is the handle to a disposable razor that's finished on the end with a PHR walker waist, machine gun, and flamer. The PHR flourish details on the side of the glass are made from scrap wood and swear words.
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Remember seeing two feet of drinking straws attached to can of spray foam and wondering "what did that clown build"? Me either. Anyways, here it is.

Standing in at over 29 inches tall, it's an

Orbital Defense Gun
This thing is just crazy big and was a direct result of a comment in the Phase 2 book where somebody with Hawk found it necessary to say something to the effect that guns measuring feet high could be made and it was just the sort of thing that 10mm gaming was good for. I had nothing taller than the model above at the time and that comment made me feel understandably inadequate, so I did something about it and decided to be the first person crazy enough (that I know of) to make something this big.

It's made out of various forms of food packaging, the tube from a roll of aluminum foil reinforced with bamboo skewers, some Tupperware containers, customized 40k bits, card stock cut on the Silhouette for panels & windows, various electrical bits, and just an incredible amount of spray foam and expletives. The hardest part by far was keeping the thing straight during construction. This one piece is took an entire weekend to build not counting foam and basing, which was another weekend. Despite the time, hassle, and frustration, three words describe the result: Effing worth it :D

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I hope that makes up for being gone for a few months. Thanks for taking the time to get through all this. I hope you had as much fun reading it as I have had building it. Please share your thoughts and I promise I'll be around enough to get back to you.

There's still much more to come.
Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.
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stevefamine

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Re: Nodri's PHR, UCM, & Terrain: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutor

PostFri Oct 21, 2016 6:04 pm

Saw these on the Dakka Dakka Gallery actually! Your army is the most recognizable PHR I've seen when I browse around online

edit: reading the rest of your post now! I'm nearly a year into my table. This scale/time commitment is ABSURD in comparison to normal terrain
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stevefamine

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Re: Nodri's PHR, UCM, & Terrain: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutor

PostFri Oct 21, 2016 6:11 pm

ZIP TIES FOR FENCES

OH WHY DIDNT I THINK OF THAT ITS GENIUS
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stevefamine

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Re: Nodri's PHR, UCM, & Terrain: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutor

PostFri Oct 21, 2016 6:11 pm

stevefamine wrote:ZIP TIES FOR FENCES DOORS AND METAL SHEETS

OH WHY DIDNT I THINK OF THAT ITS GENIUS
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Nodri

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Re: Nodri's PHR, UCM, & Terrain: Ramblings, Photos, & Tutor

PostSat Oct 22, 2016 1:58 am

Steve - Thank you.

It's also a huge weight off my shoulders to know that you're already a year into your table, because I can easily see this project taking that long or more. The volume of terrain that comes with creating a proper 10mm urban table is staggering. There's still at least another month or so of construction ahead of me (hills, bridges, destroyed markers, and various other random geographic features).

The real challenge will be painting it. Although it's all bright colors now, I really want a weathered look in the end that shows a fair amount of wear without looking run down. One of the reasons I'm following your build so closely is that your weathering goes farther than mine will, which helps me figure out where the middle ground lies. The theme will probably be "very much used but properly maintained."

There are also lots more techniques that I want to learn (OSL, modulation, OPR, mapping, filtering, rust/grease/dust, and many more) in the effort to tell the story of the landscape and the individual buildings. That's a tall order, but it's worth practicing at least the basics of most of those methods on terrain before moving on to the next army. Practicing on large terrain pieces will provide a better understanding of the techniques and will reduce the frustration later when I try to apply them to UCM models.

Thinking about it a little more, I don't think there's any point in taking on a project unless it's also a really good learning experience. My PHR army is, after all, nothing more than obscene amounts of practice with the basic skills of blending, masking, paint thinning, and (air)brush control. It's not the slightest bit technically difficult but I've learned a lot. With that in mind, then, it's become clear that the majority of my time is not spent on the building or the painting of any given project.

The majority of my time is spent learning - which is why I love this hobby. :D
Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.
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