Thursday, July 9, 2020

Swamp Table Project: Objective Markers

The miniature game I play most by far is Infinity.  In most Infinity missions, there are objectives scattered around the table that you have to interact with to score points.  The objective could be a computer console or satellite dish or supply crate or small-arms-vending machine (seriously).  You can just use cardboard tokens to represent these things, but that was going to look out of place given the work I'm putting into the rest of the terrain, so I decided to make some objectives.

I went with a concept that I thought could viably represent any type of Infinity objective.

Here we have the constructed and freshly primed pieces. 

I used clay poker chips as the bases to provide some weight and a solid round base.  The sides of the body is a cardboard tube that I cut up to suit.  This cut was not as clean as I wanted so I used masking take to smooth off the edges.  This wasn't the best plan as the tape was still visible after priming and painting.

I then cut a piece of foamcore to cap the tube.  Both the flat top part and the angled flat part are 1 piece of foamcore that I cut half through and then folded.  I placed pieces of metal hangers in those gaps. 

On top are plastic tubes from dog-poop bag rolls that I cut on an angle and then glued lego satellite dishes to.

Here are a couple pieces after painting with a model for scale.  I left most of each piece the metalic color I primed with although I tried to add a hint of blue to the main bodies. 

Each of the 6 objectives got a different computer readout on the angled flat part.  These were modified from some images that Infinity publishes as the official computer screens for the main factions in the game.  I then highlighted each piece with a different color so I can tell them apart more easily.

Next I wanted a nice way to keep these and (someday) travel with them. 

So I cannibalized a box from a recent purchase of Infinity miniatures.  I cut off the box lid and cut circles in the foam insert that kept the minis sage during shipping.  Next I glued the foam into the box. 

The wholes are slightly smaller than the bases of my new objectives so they fit snugly.

Finally, I wanted a way to track information about objectives during the game.  Some missions care who touched an objective last or who touched it any time during a missions and some missions use more than one kind of objective.

The bottom piece of chipboard has a space for each objective identified both by color and with the same computer screen image.  I also have some arrow markers that can show possession or something else like that.  Finally I have a handful of markers that represent the various types of objectives that I can place near the bottom part to show what it what on the table.

The rest of the set.

Higher resolution images here.

After this side project I built trees.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Swamp Table Project: Shed

To go along with the farm house, I wanted a smaller building.  This time a shed.  My reference material were google searches for sheds in swamps / bayou. 

I used mostly craft sticks for this build.  With some balsa for the corners and door frames.  The base is foamcore and more foamcore for the walls under the eaves in the front and back. 

The roof is decorative paper that is corrugated on one side.

The roof just fits on top and can be removed for easier inside access.

More pictures.

Higher resolution images here.

Trees are the next big thing I tackled.  And I'm super proud of them but before I finished them I had a side quest to build some objectives.  So I did that next.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Swamp Table Project: Ruined Farm House

A couple weeks ago I introduced the work I've been doing on a Swamp Table for my miniature gaming (mostly Infinity).  That was about some alien looking bushes.  This time I want to show off what is one of the main pieces for the table: a ruined farm house.

Sure, farm houses are not very futuristic but I wanted my table to be versatile and maybe this alien world was colonized by people who liked farm houses.  I wanted something reminiscent of a early 1800s southern farm house.  Not a large plantation home, more of a smaller structure.  I ended up finding some good source material online for inspiration and this is what I ended up with.

It is mostly a foam core construction on a foam core base.  This corner is the most intact part of the building.

The small balcony is actually pinned through the front wall and into the second story floor with a couple of toothpicks.  The railing uses balsa for the main support and thin wire for the smaller details.  The floor of the balcony is edged in craft/popsicle  sticks.

The front porch uses larger craft sticks supported by more of the smaller sticks.  Additional craft sticks became shudders and window sills.

A good look at the second floor from the back side.  The stairs and some other bits of that middle section are what I could have done better.  The whole area could have been planned better but I think it came out well enough -- especially for my first serious building construction.

More views of the interior via the backside of the building.  Lets focus more on the chimneys... which are my favorite part of this piece.

I used the technique of striping on side of the foam core off and then carving into the foam innards for the brick work and was really happy with how it came out.  Some of it was a little uneven, but I like it.  The actual flues at the top are my favorite plastic tubes from inside a roll a dog poop bags.

 Higher resolution images here.

The next piece I finished for this table was a small swamp shack.  Pictures of that in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Swamp Table Project: Lantern Bushes

Since Michael and I got into Infinity I've been tinkering around creating paper-craft terrain.  Mostly this was printing out patterns I found on the internet and gluing them to boxes.  It was a fun way to get my feet wet, but the quality was hit or miss and the durability was not great.  So I went down the serious terrain making rabbit hole (the Terrain Tutor to be specific). 

When I came up for air I decided that I was going to put together a scratch-built swamp table suitable for Infinity and maybe other things as well.  I've now made a lot of progress and wanted to share some pictures.

First up are what I like to call Lantern Bushes.  These were the first really interesting piece of terrain I scratch built and were very much inspired by a piece of what would normally have been trash.  I didn't have the swamp table idea yet but these pieces ended up fitting the theme.

Michael had a couple strings of lights under his old loft bed with these really nice paper coverings.  I decided that they would make great alien trees or bushes.  No need for paint.

I used chipboard as a basing material.  Painted it a bluish green and used some blue aquarium stones to give it an alien feel.

Roughly every other lantern was elevated on a plastic tube from the inside of a roll of doggie-poop bags.  I used modeling clay to form the root structures.  Some painting later and I had 4 pieces of larger scatter: Two pieces have two bushes and the other two pieces have 3 bushes.

The chipboard was not my best call.  As you can see in a couple of these pictures, the corners warped up a bit.  I did go back and try to warp it back the other way but couldn't correct it fully.

Below are pictures of the pieces with 3 bushes.  Higher resolution images here.

The next thing I tackled was one of the larger pieces destined for this table -- a ruined farm house.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

WBC 2020 Tracks... assuming that is a thing this year

Indianapolis corner 1 at the end of a 4-wide straight.

Editorial Note: since this posting, WBC 2020 was cancelled.

When I checked BPA's web site last night, they had not yet made a decision about WBC 2020.  Just in case, intrepid steward Chris Long has picked some tracks.

In no particular order, the qualifying tracks will be:

Group 1:
This would be the first time that Indy has appeared at WBC.  Also, 4-wide straight.