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Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/01 19:23:10

Post by: Largo39

In this sub i built 6 realm of battle style modular terrain tiles with some additional
handmade buildings to go on top of them. Pretty mcuh every detail is covered so you guys can follow along! I eventually transitioned to making a hero "diorama" which sort of encapsulates all the tricks I learned in the process. Enjoy the lengthy read!

Key techniques:
El wire
Blood effects
General rust effects
Paint chipping techniques
making realistic craters
Foamcoat/building sturdy tiles that are still relatively light (IE: not solid. hard plaster coating foam)

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/06 23:44:55

Post by: Largo39

Design Continued: Primus Sector in 3d!

So my design efforts continue, with a first pass at the Primus Sector tile in 3d!

So this is all based on the reference images from the Primus Sector tile on FW:

1. Primus Sector

Given a 2 foot square tile I've determined that the main "squares" are about 4 inches square, and
the smaller floor tiles are probably either 1/2 inch or 5/8 inch in size. This is primarily dictated by
what size you make the “rim” that rings each foundation. If you make it ⅛th thick then the small
floor tiles become 5/8th, if you make it ¼th thick then they become ½ inch tiles.

Currently I'm working with the assumption that they are 5/8th inch sized tiles.

I've also layered it based on how I intend to build it, the bottom layer is the 1/4th inch thick of MDF,
then 3/4th of pink foam, then I'm estimating 1/8th of foam craft plaster stuff on top. Then the foundations
follow a similar pattern.

Attached is the .3ds file so you guys can take this and run with it.

 Filename Primus Sector.3DS [Disk] Download
 Description The tile in 3d
 File size 84 Kbytes

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/10 16:16:49

Post by: Largo39

Design Continued: Concourse Sector in 3d!

and now for the first pass of the concourse sector

2. Concourse Sector

Just chugging along with the next tile, still using 5/8 inch small tile size with 1/8th rims. All rises are 3/4 inch and the only
shorter rise is the first level of the smaller 8x8 section for statues which is 1/2 inch high. 3d file uploaded for you guys!

 Filename Concourse Sector.3DS [Disk] Download
 File size 110 Kbytes

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/10 17:03:35

Post by: madmartykmf

Good luck with this project. I'm excited to see what you can do

Check out Terranscapes on YouTube, you'll thank me later!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/10 18:27:44

Post by: rustproof


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/12 17:42:33

Post by: Largo39

Thanks guys!

Terranscapes is a great site/definitely have bought stuff from him and have been in contact with
him going over my general build ideas. Once I get to building i'll defintiely be reviewing/hightlighting
his youtube videos.

Anyways, shattered plaza first pass!

3. Shattered Plaza

I'm experimenting with 1/4 inch rims with 5/8th tiles to see if it works any better.
So far I'm digging it but we'll see. The walls are 1/2 tall and 3/8 thick and the from wall is 3/4 high.
I need to build a space marine reference to see how that stacks up but for now it seems decent.

 Filename Shattered Plaza.3DS [Disk] Download
 File size 108 Kbytes

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/12 20:38:20

Post by: Largo39

Finally the Generatorum Sector:

4. Generatorum

Now it's time for my own tiles!

A water treatment type tile
A manufacturing type tile/lots of vents

 Filename Generatorum Sector.3DS [Disk] Download
 File size 106 Kbytes

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/12 20:59:54

Post by: Pause Game

What are you using to created the .3DS files ?
Thanks, grabbing a free student version off the Autodesk site. javascript:emoticon('');

Above it was stated 6x boards does mean each square is 2x2, I am assuming a 4x6 table.
I am subscribed and will tag along and hopefully finish a shelved project for once.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/12 21:06:14

Post by: Largo39

I'm using 3ds max to make the files

Yeah I'm going with 6 2x2 boards so a total 6x4 size.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/12 23:12:46

Post by: Largo39

And now for one of my own tiles!

The water processing sector!

Im starting with 2 river tiles for now, one straight and one corner. This lets me cover a
reasonable chunk of the board in river without forcing me to mess up the other tiles. Given that
I also plan on making the rivers glow with EL wire.. 2 tiles seems like just enough for now.
This tile is a bit light on foundations, but given that the river cuts it in half I’m not sure where
I would put them without really crimping where stuff can go.

For the big fans I plan on using 90mm computer case fans. I'd love to plug them and let them
run but I'd have to really undervolt them so they move super slowly otherwise it wouldnt really
match the scale.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
And now for the last tile, the water corner sector!

One thing to note is the pipe/grill section at the end. I designed that to serve as an "endcap"
and wont be permenntly attached. That way I can have these river sections butt up against
no river tiles and it still make sense.

 Filename Water Processing Sector.3DS [Disk] Download
 File size 100 Kbytes

 Filename Water End Insert.3DS [Disk] Download
 File size 49 Kbytes

 Filename Water Corner Sector.3DS [Disk] Download
 File size 69 Kbytes

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/13 19:54:23

Post by: Largo39

Updates: I went ahead and added all my tile designs into the main post to bring it all together
and make it easier to read. Now we get to the part where I showcase what building’s i’m
working with/paint, as well as the extra buildings I intend to make.

Where to get/make buildings!

Games Workshop:
A bit obvious but they really do have great stuff. 2 of the best/most flexible kits are the
manufactorum and sanctum imperialis. One thing I would highly suggest is that, if you do get one
of their kits, DONT assemble it vanilla. These kits have so much extra detail that (as you will see
later), when combined with electrical boxes/cheap dollar store bits you can ususally get 2-3 buildings
out of it instead.

Pegasus Hobbies:
A cheaper version of GW buildings that is sturdy, snaps together, but lacks a smidgeof detail. Still
makes for some great buildings though and would be indistinguishable with a bit of work. Look especially
for their great plastic bridge kit and Gothic City Ruins kit

Gale Force 9: Battlefield in a Box:
More specifically: Hall of Heroes
These guys make some fantastic stuff. It’s cheap, prepainted (o.O) and cast in some sort of solid
heavy resin so they feel fantastic. I cant reccomend them enough!

Hirst Arts:
If you intend on doing a large amount of buildings this is the BEST way of doing it by far. They
offer great silicon molds of a lot of classic bits like pipes/drains/castles/cathedrals/pretty much
anything that you are willing to assemble. The downside, the molds arnt cheap to make (hence
this being best for mass building production/assembly), and you have to cast yourself.

As mentioned earlier Terranscapes is an amazing place to get both painted and unpainted
terrain. Most of the stuff is doen via casting with tuffstone, a stronger plaster that’s more resilient.
He also offers hirst arts cast at 2.50 a cast. A pretty fantastic deal given that his casts come out
flawlessly (he uses a vacumn pump) and you know they are in a tough material/a lot less than the
cost for the molds themselves (in small numbers that is)

Iron Hands
And now we get to what is one of the better DIY building sites I’ve seen! His work has some incredible
detail, is very easy to keep up with, and uses those GW bits all over the place combined with cheap
dollar store bits (see why I told you to save them?). I’m making use of this site extensively for
my custom buildings

Where to get bits

A great place for terrain bits, they have pretty much all the GW kits split up so you can just get
what you need. They also have bits from pegasus hobbies/cliptix/etc so you can get
scaffolding/trusses for cheap too.

Spikey Bits:
Another good store tho they have less in the way of terrain bits, still can find some good stuff
there though for the most part they are liquidating their GW bits, so it’ll be about finding bits from
other companies that you want.

Also dont forget about ebay! One of the best things to search for are “bitz-piles”. They pop up
every once in a while and are a great way to get bits to populate ur ruins. You can also find the
occasional forgeworld cities piece (amazing detail, super solid resin, but tend to go for 150
each since they rae in high demand), or other prepainted terrain.

And now for my buildings! About half just need to be painted, whereas others are going to be designs
Standard Buildings

A collection of the standard buildings I just made straight out of the kit. We have in order a manufactorum (GW), sanctum imperialis (GW), gothic city ruins (Pegasus), Hall of Heroes/Colesium (Battlefield in a box), and some assorted building corners (6 in all, 2 of each shown)

The Fountain

The main central fountain came from Terranscapes, the statues came from ebay. Although
painted I may look to darken them up a bit to match the general theme. I also hope to “infect” the
fountin a bit with some tyranid theming/tentacles to show that they are slowly working their
way on this planet.

Terranscapes Fountain

The Statue

A great piece from GW that will be a great place to try and test out weathering/old bronze
looks. The tyranid piece next to it is an old forgeworld piece you can find on ebay (Forgeworld
OOP nest is a good search tem for it) fairly regularly. About 2 inchs wide by as you can see
tall it goes for about 15 bucks.

Water Processor

My first hirst arts creation! Got the casts from Terranscapes and the design from here:

Transfer Control Pipe

Power Generator

My first handmade building from the Iron Hands how to pages. I ended up making 2
Seen here

Plasma Tower

Another building I plan to make from the how-to pages:
Plasma Tower

Water Tower

The final building from the how-to pages I plan to make. One thing I plan to change is using 2
VHS tapes to make it instead of one. Although it looks amazing it still seems a bit cramped, so
I just want to let it breathe a bit and expand it a bit more.
Water Tower

Flakk Tower

The final building I plan to make is a large military flakk tower similar to the german flakk towers
used in WWII to defend cities from assault. This one will get its' own post, however,
as I have yet to design it!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/13 21:28:25

Post by: GiraffeX

Looks like a very exciting project, ill be watching your journey for sure.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/18 17:39:57

Post by: Largo39

The Flak Tower

So the last building I intend to make is a giant defensive tower modeled after German flak towers from WWII:


These huge structures were meant to defend cities from aerial attack and also house and
keep safe thousands of civilians.They were, on average, about 70 meters high and 45 meters
wide per side, with 3-4 meter thick concrete walls.

I would envision a similar use in the realm of 40k, but in this case they would be used to
defend against orbital attack and thus would be expected to have firepower to engage large
invasive forces. Furthermore they would also need oo be able to fend off ground attacks,
especially infiltrating forces meant to destroy it before the invasion..

Here is my version, currently weaponless (still working on those, will update with weapons later)

On each of the 4 corners I intend to place an icarus lascannon, with a heavy bolter turrent
underneath for ground defense. Also helping ground defense are lots of windwos at an angle
to make them harder to engage but easier to defend the walls. Nearer to the ground will be MMs
for close in heavy firepower.
In the middle on top will be super lascannon from the fortress of redemption kit. I designed the
middle because of the question of how people would get on top. I dont like the bastion design
because if the top is taken any defenders inside would never be able to retake it. with this design
each of those 4 pillars would have a door so any people going to the roof can more easily defend
the doors, and so they exit under roof cover. The central "pillar" will be a semi-open elevator type thing
so the cannon could be raised and lowered to maintain it.

I'll be building this using this:

It's a big metal box for what I believ eto be tissue dispensing, but for my purposes it's a perfect
base to my tower. The hole in the middle will be great for letting me potentially add wiring if I want
to light it up or even get more ambitious and have the super lascannon be motorized.
. Size wise as you can see it's big. About 7.5 inches wide at the base, this thing (before guns)
will reach about 8.5 or so inches high. So all in all it should be a pretty imposing piece
on the battlefield

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/22 17:18:31

Post by: Largo39

As promised here is the flakk tower again with weapons! They should all be about the right size
and give a good sense of the scale of it. Attached again is the 3ds file.

 Filename Flakk Tower.3DS [Disk] Download
 File size 596 Kbytes

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/26 06:26:00

Post by: Largo39

Update Time: Now with built things!

So I'm all done with designing for now and am working on my buildings!

First done is the Water Tower:

As mentioned I tweaked his original design to incorporate 2 vhs tapes to make it a bit bigger.
I also wanted to use my excess pipe bits/electronics bits (take apart any electronics you dont need!
they are full of wonderful little switches and things!)

Scale wise it's about 8x8x9 inches tall, which is about perfect for my tiles. Note the front where all
the pipes are is a little barren of a protective wall, eventually I'll add somethere there but I have yet to
figure out if I want the cities of death type point walls or to make my own, so that's gonna
happen later once I finish the other buildings and take stock of my remaining bits.

Here is the result:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/27 05:46:21

Post by: Largo39

And now for the plasma tower

as before still waiting on more walls to surround the edge of it, and i still have to figure out where i'm putting the ladder, but otherwise it's in pretty good shape.

Plasma Tower

Eventually i'll also add the flicker bulb as per the tutorial to light it up but I have to figure out the wiring. For now it's time to work on the tiles.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/06/28 22:54:39

Post by: Largo39

After some consideration and a couple of outside opiinions we decided that the main control panel had too little detail

So I took it aapart and made it a ltitle denser and am much happier with the result.

Otherwise I went and got both the mdf boards and pink foam necessary to start work on the tiles, so that's next.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/01 05:10:23

Post by: Largo39

quick update: all the mdf boards are cut and the pink foam cut and the initial 4inch grid laid out on top.

I glued one tile down with liquid nails and so far it seems to be holding well with what I would consider
moderate application

Liquid Nails:

A few things I noticed when drawing the grid:

The most helpful thing I found was making a 4 inch square piece of plastic to help draw it all out.
You definitely want this to be as precise as you can because error propogation means that as you
start drawing out your grid you'll suddenly be off by an inch or so. It's best to error on just smaller
than 4 inches than just bigger, especially given the width of whatever you are drawing the lines with.

Initial Layout:

Finally I've also been working with a friend who has been showing me the ropes on casting.
I decided to try and cast a few wall pieces/the main razorback turret stand. I dont intend to cast
any weapons because I have enough and they are too detailed, I just wanted to try casting stuff
where losing a bit of detail here and there/messing it up slightly wouldnt affect it much.

The basic process is relativly simple just lots of steps. The main idea is first you have to secure
half of object to some medium, then cover it in whatever goo you are making the mold in
(in this case a silocon rubber I think). Once that has set flip it over, remove the medium
it was stuck too (without pulling it out of the now set goo!), and do the other half.

Once you have both halves you can start casting away in resin/plastic/what have you.

In our case we embedded the objects in clay like so:

The clay holder:

The Silicone Rubber we used to make the mould:

Then today we went ahead and did the mixing and the initial pouring of the first half of the mould
A key thing to realize is that air bubbles are killer, so we had to use a vacumn chamber to remove
as many as we could from our goo before pouring it into the clay holders. Once that dries tonight
we'll do the other half of the mould making and then actually seehow well they cast (and when
casting we have to again worry about air bubbles in the plastic, though it's mildly less crucial here
since we can always try casting again)

Yay vacumn!

While this method is not the only one (and a bit time consuming), it apparently is the most flexible
and can handle the most types of shapes/materials while still providing a high quality. However it is
NOT really cheaper than buying the bits unless you are doing it en mass (and im talking on the order
of minimum 10 casts). I'm fortunate in that my friend already has all the tools or I wouldnt be able to do this.
That said it's still a great learning experience.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/01 09:45:27

Post by: evildrcheese

This is a great blog. Looking foreard to see how it all turns out.


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/03 22:41:56

Post by: Largo39

Thanks! update time!

Just recieved my foam coat so tonight will be experimenting with that testing.
The primary thing I need to test is whether doing pre-coating detail work in the foam (to carve out the lines/tiles) is worth the effort or not.
Stairs and craters I'll still be carving int he foam, im just wondering how well it retains the tile lines.
I also need to see what the inclusion of the grit does and how I want all that to look

Here's how the foam carving is turning out. A few things I have noticed is that the foam
seems to have a directionality to it, in that carving grid lines one way is easier/smoother
than the other way (which will carve but have lots of mini breaks or snaps int he foam).
While the end result with foam coat should still be smooth, it's something to be aware of.

Concourse Sector:

Water Corner:

Shattered Plaza:

Straight River

Primus Sector

Generatorum Sector

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/05 05:46:44

Post by: Largo39

Quick update:

Although there will be more pictures tomorrow, I wanted post some quick notes with foam coat

As previously mentioned I planned on using this stuff:

to cover my boards. I just got my kit and have been messing with it and have found out the following:

1. It's definitely tough stuff, but a minimum of 2 layers (which seems to be 1/32-1/16th thick?) is a must
2. Very carvable and should be perfectly fine to carve tiles, but DOESNT require pre-carving. Actually adding in
the lines in the foam beforehand seems to weaken the result, my guess is because the foam coat tries to
fillin the gap but doesnt quite well and so it just sorta sits there and crystalizes instead of doing what it needs too.
3. One tip I've seen a lot of is adding some latex paint in the mix to slow down the process and give it a base color
and I have to agree it helps a lot. It also should save on some priming.
4. Always use boost with it, and medium grit makes for a great concrete looking surface.
5. One of the best things about it is that with the long drying time you have a lot of time to, well, mess with it to add
cracks/rough patches/etc. I still need to figure out a way to reliably MAKE cracks but there are a lot of points during
it's drying time (2-3 hours to really work with it, after that it's sandable/carvable. I think technically it takes 12 to fully dry)

Pictures to come tomorrow!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/05 06:29:22

Post by: Chelnov

This is gonna be one awesome looking board. Always been a big fan on Ironhands work, good to see you expanding on his original designs.

Take care.

(Subbed )

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/08 17:06:44

Post by: Largo39

Quick update this morning and then more later tonight:

Some more river work, carving them out and starting to make the pipes in the straight section.

I got the grill from a computer case and the corner/covering was made from the corners from CD cases. It takes a while but should look pretty good painted.
Now i just need to do 3 more (sigh). I also need to go find the CPU fans to fill in that gap/figure out if it's possible to undervolt/amp them to only run at 100 rpm

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/08 17:21:07

Post by: uk_crow

This has great potential and is looking great so far, can't wait for more!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/09 03:32:25

Post by: Largo39

So now that the stairs/foundations are pretty much roughly all cut, it's time to start trying out craters!

THis is pretty much the last main step before starting the coating process, so, of course, we start with a test crater.

The reason for the cork is because it makes for a great "dirt" look, the idea beying that the crater cracks through the street into the dirt below, should provide some nice reasons to give some depth in color for the really deep craters.
I've been using cork in all my basing, so it should help tie that in too:

And this is the test!

Now dried. Texturing was added after about 30-40 minutes with a drybrush. I tried some screws and such to make it but the brush seemed to look the best. I'd like it to be mostly smooth and then occasional pockets of rougher concrete like texture.

I also painted some newspaper with some foam coat with the idea of being able to break it and make fractured pieces out of it

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/09 03:51:20

Post by: Ozymandias

Pretty ambitious, good luck!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/09 08:46:20

Post by: weetyskemian44


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/09 20:28:07

Post by: Largo39

So with the test done for now I've decided to start applying the first layer of foamcoat/digging my craters

As a reference I have been heavily leaning on for craters is this tutorial:

The process I've decided on is this

for each tile
1. Dig out any craters/indents I want to mix it up, most shallow and 1-2 deep enough to punch through to the "cork" dirt layer.
I'm not worrying about debris yet unless it's big enough I have to embed it.
2. Cover the while tile in 1 layer of foamcoat. This will NOT be thick enough to carve but gets a base going. Let it dry
3. Cover the tile in a second layer of foamcoat, and while that is drying embed the big broken crater chips.
4. Sand the top if necessary (i want mostly smooth but some rough patches), carve in the lines,
probably add a third thin layer of foamcoat to the craters for more grid. also some boost on top.
5. Foamcoat my foundations/carve/etc (more detail on this later as i get to it)
6. GLue them down then add surface rubble

So right now we're working on steps 1-2. One thing to note is that this process will use a LOT of foamcoat,
so if you decide to follow along just help yourself and get the 25 pound box/associated 32oz boost with it.
Given that 25 pounds of foamcoat is only 3x as much as 3 pounds of foamcoat... it's a good plan (and shipping aint much more to boot)

Concourse Sector:

Primus Sector:

Generatorum Sector:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/09 20:33:52

Post by: alabamaheretic

wow its shaping up nicely man

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/09 20:35:42

Post by: rigeld2

Largo39 wrote:
I also need to go find the CPU fans to fill in that gap/figure out if it's possible to undervolt/amp them to only run at 100 rpm

You won't be able to get them down to 100 rpm (more than likely) but 500 rpm is probably doable. Find a 3v source (those quarter sized CR2032 batteries http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/CR2032/P189-ND/31939?WT.mc_id=PLA_31939 should work) and try it. If that doesn't work, try spinning it with your finger and then applying the 3v - some fans need more than 3v to start up.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/09 20:39:40

Post by: SilverMK2

Looking good.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/09 21:30:37

Post by: InyokaMadoda

This is excellent work so far and definitely inspirational. I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/09 21:51:44

Post by: CadianXV

Truly incredible work. Looking forward to future updates!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/10 20:07:34

Post by: Largo39

Thanks guys!

Work continues digging stuff to embed and applying the first coat. I ran out of my initital 3 pounds and all told,
without any testing, it probably would have normally covered abouuuut 4.25 tiles in a first coat. Not barring rubble coating and all that.

Just so you guys know, each first layer has taken abouuut a 1/2 cup ratio to do. So in other words:
1 cup of foamcoat, 1/2 cup grit/sand, 1/4th cup boost, 1/4th cup water, 1/8th cup (2 tablespoons) of latex paint.
Takes about 1-2 hours to really dry and harden, and there ususally is about 10% extra on the bottom,w hich i've been using to
start coating rubble to hopefully make that chip/fracture ina cool and realistic way:

I also got a cheap bottle of expanding foam to try out. I'm hoping to use it near the areas where my tyranid infestation is.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/11 20:27:22

Post by: Largo39

After a push last night to get everything coating we have all 6 tiles now with a first coat.. which means it's time for the second (and hopefully final) coating!

There is no more grit here, I want this coat to be much smoother in the bulk of the tile. One thing to note is that removing the grit-part has the effect of making
the overall solution more watery, which for my case is the plan since I wanted it to smooth out and be more likely to auto-level.

This is also the coat where I start adding the extra rubble chips ive been making and all in all I'm really pleased with the result:

FOr the bigger crater i did it in 2 stages to try and layer it more. I still intend to add more surface/crash debris behind it but that's the general idea:

To generate my craters here is the kind of rubble i've been using/saving:

1. First and formost is obviously all foam chips that have been cut/sawed off in this process. I try to mix
in both coated chips (more sandy/rocky but less crack/hole detail) with uncoated ones (the opposite)
It's best to TEAR the foam chips instead of snapping or cutting them, this provides the best cracks/rough edges.

2. Cork! make sure to also tear it to again get rough edges, again these all come from me storing all small bits
that i've cut/torn from making my bases for the rest of my army.

3. Sand, lots of different grits

4. Do a lot of pinning? WHen you drill keep all those small plastic shavings. Also bits of wire you cut
to get the pins the right length

5. any cut plastic from sprues/forgeworld resin/those forgeworld stands that look like concrete slabs

6. Electronics! take them apart and cut the crap out of the boards evertyghing is mounted on

7. Mesh

8. The final bits have been small shavings of foam generated with this bad boy:


One of my now favorite tooles, the rough jagged side is great for roughening edges and when
applied to foam produces this:

Now the last step.. well i gotta glue all that down! My current plan is a watered down elmers sprayed/
dropped down, we'll see how well that works once the foamcoat finishes drying.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/13 18:38:10

Post by: Largo39

quick update, i'll make the post more organized later

finished with the second coat on all the tiles, also done most of the crater rubble passes. I'll still likely go through the smaller ones again to do hero detail like pipes/wire mesh/etc but this is where it all is right now:

(note: im saving shattered plaza craters for later because they will have marble rubble, i'll explain later!)

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/13 23:45:37

Post by: alabamaheretic

looking really slick mankeep up the awesome work. I am intrigued about the shattered marble that you are making. at any rate looking forward to more.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/13 23:47:19

Post by: Ratius

Really awesome, keep us updated

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/18 03:04:37

Post by: Largo39

sorry for the long delay, work started back up which has slowed me down.

anyways now i'm working on carving the main lines, they definitely help add some structure to the boards.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
The next river section carved out.

You can also see the beginnings of plans for the piping/ventilator area, though I think I might cut a section off of them to make them shorter

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/21 02:26:42

Post by: Largo39

Update: all the big carves are now done!

A note about carving the lines: it DEFINITELY wears out your tools. expect to go through 1-2 \
exacto blades/similar ilk and wear down at lest 1 file/sawblade

So now I finally get to start working on coating up the foundations. Now the reason why I didnt glue/coat
them along with everything else is because of tha tfact that I plan to paint them more a marble, so my
base/mixing color is white instead of black for everything else. THe inspiration for this scheme comes from this:


An incredible paintjob that I think works quite well (tho possibly just a touch of too much contrast, but
I can easily fix that with drybrushing), and mirrors my ambition to learn how to paint marble.

Do I expect to be able to paint it all up this well? no, but i'll sure give it a shot and you guys can learn along with me!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/07/30 06:21:36

Post by: Largo39

SOrry for the long delay guys! I've been busy just doing lots of the same thing.

Casting the foundations!

Each foundation, as with everything else, takes about 2 coats of foamcoat before
it really gets thick enough to get a decent carve out of (about 1/6th of an inch thick?)
As a result numbers wise I have all the foundations casted except the biggest and I've
burned through 32oz of boost or about 10 more pounds of foam coat.

ALl told the damage is:
40oz boost
10-13 pounds foam coat, with another 3-5 in sand. Why the discrepency? moslty because
all the foundations are sandless to provide a smoother more marbly/finished texture,
whereas the base of the tiles has lots of sand for more breakup.

not bad, and amaaazing stuff, but just go straight for 1 gallon of boost and 25 pounds of foamcoat
to really set yourself up for your own projects (easily 1 city/coating intensive table and another
flat/desert table or a couple of bigger pieces)

aside from that the next step has been drawing all the lines to carve mimicking the FW ones
to give it extra detail and then carving them out.

A HUGE note on carving: this takes FOREVER without the right tools. I initially tried to do this
by hand, but as previously mentioned foamcoat with boost is extremly tough, which means
it succcks for carving into. I was resorting to exacto blades for the initial lines (and thus a scratch
on using it for anything else afterwords) and then nails to just get it deeper so that it's a legit carving.
I was looking at 1 hour for the initial drawing and another 3-4 for the carving PER foundation.
So in other words a whole week of nights of carving.

AFter the first tile, however, I found our best tool ever: the dremel diamond wheel point engraver


This takes a week project and reduced to.. a couple ofhours. It chews through the foamcoat like
butter and is super easy to work with. you might say TOO easy because you keeping it straight is
a PITA (since you cant really use any guides or it'll just go through those as well), but with some
precutting to give it a groove to follow you can help it out. Furthermore with the time you save
in carving I can make those wobbly lines more broken/cracked or just coat them in sand or
something to break it up a bit.

WARNING: you MUST use a mask though if you decide to use electrical tools to engrave.
It spits up a HUGE amount of super fine dust that just seems like a super bad idea. Furthermore
you can't just stick with chinsy cheapo filter masks. ALthough I dont have a heavy duty mask, i did
spring for one of these:


Which is about twice as thick as a normal filter mask and adheres to your face firmly so you have to breath through it
It's also a lot cooler than the normal mask so I feel much safer using it.

Finally once engrave it's time to mount it to the boards! First thing's first is pinning!
Pinning is crucial here because with the amount of glue needed here the more efficent option
is wood glue.. which in the end is kinda weak. Thus we help it out by using 8-10 pins per
foundation to really just nail it down. Once pinned and glue they seem super solid
(honestly i probably should have pinned my 1 inch foam to the MDF as well, and may still yet,
i've noticed that the liquid nails can fail just as well as it holds, ive reglued a couple of my boards
back down to the MDF in a few corners more than once)

Also along with that we can finally start cracking and fracturing the foundations along the edges,
and let me tell you once it's carved it fractures in excellent ways, the carved "tiles" break off
realistically and you get a fantastic mix of big and little pieces that break off the foamcore.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/08/02 06:55:52

Post by: Largo39

Hello again!

Carving/mounting continues, with every foundation now being mounted except the biggest one.

I took a break and started a bit on some of the detail work designed to bring the foundations
together with tiles and I think it's shaping up well.

Painting wise Im thinking that any exposed pink foam in the foundations will be a different color, so my current scheme is possibly:

about the same darks as currently for the base of the tile.
A rich brown for exposed dirt/cork

a whitish/salmon type marble for the tile on top.
a more standard concrete "grey" for exposed foundation

Im also finally starting to take a stab at integrating the embedded aquila into my base tile. It's tricky because
it's all broken up, so some pieces go below my base and others above, so it's hard to figure out just what exactly
caused this type of destruction and how best to break up the ground around it naturally.

My first step however is to start blurring the lines between the aqulia and ground next to it, so i basically just stabbed the foamcoat/foam
and just broek it up and pulled it into the line of the aquila. This allowes me to also push it down to match where that piece of the aquila
is height wise. Im hoping then by laying ont he slabs i have and bigger ones i can start to get a realistic breakup (with foamcoat on top of the
slabs of course)

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/08/06 12:37:24

Post by: Pause Game

Your making progress. This table looks nasty!!
Any progress on the standalone buildings?

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/08/09 06:43:29

Post by: Largo39


Ithink the sandalones are in quite good shape (barring the flak tower)


The first page has some alternate angles.

THis week's progress:

The statue foundation mounted:

I also started to coat up the sides of the boards. I did this primarily because as i was moving them around I kept banging them on
door frames. ALthough nothing had yet bent or chipped, i figured the edges and corners could use some buttrassing. It was also
a good excuseto coat up the base of the rivers.

and get in some more of my crashed aquila bits:

Work is now pretty much focused solely on the last foundation, which is almost ready to be mounted.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/08/09 18:19:42

Post by: Moltar

This is looking really good so far. Keep on at it.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/08/12 00:25:55

Post by: Largo39


The main update is that the last foundation has been mounted to the board and all sides coated! woot!

As a result I now deem the table playable! Pretty exciting, and although I still only estimate i'm maayyybe
70% done with construction, it's still a nice milestone to hit. The table is looking great and im super pleased
with it. Next up is mostly to just integrate all the foundations with the base board with rubble piles/cracked tiles
and so forth, and finish off all the lights/fans If you look at the pics closely you can see the start of where im going
with that with the coated up archways which i'll shatter and break up in those relevent areas.

THe important thing though is that my mass foamcoating days should be over so i spent a lot of time just CLEANING,
although i love the stuff boy is it messy, especially coating the sides (definitely drips). So it's nice to have a living room
again, though the ikea rug may now be dead (yay for cheap disposable rugs)

Schedule wise i estimate another 3 weeks to really get the details in and glued down (there's still a lot of loose
stuff with my craters i gotta pin and glue down), at which point i'll reorganize all the main milestones onto the main page
and probably not really update the blog as frequently. My plan is to learn rust/paint chips/marble/large scale painting
techniques on some of my other smaller/test pieces before painting the board, so there will likely be smaller blogs
for a while to learn all that before I get back to this one.

until then though, more building!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/08/15 20:33:41

Post by: Largo39

Starting on the detail work, fairly happy with how it's turning out i just might need more "big" chunks of rubble.

Also actually gluing it all down is tricky, so far it's a giant pool of woodglue on bottom which i just start piling "base" rubble into
and then a layer of plaster chips/adding my "hero" rubble and holding that down with an elmers/water spray and more wood glue.

Works but can leave chips behind, which alas just have to be glued by hand.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/08/15 22:38:54

Post by: __othersoldier

The attention to detail you are putting in is inspirational.

Question though, what are the struts sticking out of all of the flak towers for? they all seem to have them below the top parapet but what purpose do they serve, theyre not supporting anything . . .

Deffo inspired me to add a flak tower to my terrain collection!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/08/16 02:17:32

Post by: Largo39

so those struts sticking out my reference of the geman flak towers, honestly im not entirely sure why they are there, maybe to stop really big ladders/grappling hooks and the like?


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/08/20 04:08:52

Post by: Largo39

Quick update:

not a whole lot of progress this weekend, mostly because of other chores/things in the way

I did however finally get to finish up the casting process and get some casts done i had started so long ago.

To recap the idea was to take a few terrain platsic pieces and see if i couldnt make molds of them and do some casts.
As a general note, were you to be doing this yourself I wouldnt actually suggest it unless you are planning on producing
in bulk (like 10-20 casts of it), because you have to buy not only the plastic (10-20 bucks ish for a lot of it) but ALSO
the casting material (another 10-20 bucks priobably), along with some sort of clay/whiteboard/etc.

The process I used was one which produced detailed casts, and is material cost wise cheaper but requires more tools to do,
I mainly did this because that's what my friend knew and he was the one showing me all this.

so step 1: embed the plastic halfway in clay (this takes a while), the plastic needs to be clean of any clay on the surface, but
your edges need to be met up with clay so no mold material sneaks under. The holes are "keys" so that the 2 mold
halves fit together uniquly later. the clay must always be kept slightly damp so it doesnt crack, as the cast will fill those cracks.

step 2: get out yer silcon rubber and make the first half of the cast:
2a: first take ur damp clay and fill it with rice, the goal is to get a volume estimate of material using something that
wont stick to the clay too much, hence rice. You want 1/2-3/4 or so inch of mold material above ur highest and
lowest points in the plastic so it holds together well (hence the super high walls abov ethe clay)
2b: split the rice into 2 clear cups and mark those halfway lines, empty rice.
2c: pour the first part into 1 cup, second part in the other.
2d: when ready.. mix away! we did a double pour type mix, which is you pour cup A into cup B,
mix as best as you can (getting all the walls mixed), then poiur the total contents of B back into and mix more.
2e: next we take our mixture and put it into a vacumn chamber to get rid of bubbles, as it pressurizes it all sort of
bubbles up so you may have to release pressure so it doesnt boil over. at a certain point it "froths" and then falls back down,
that's when we start our timer (i believe 12 minutes)

2f: one done take our our nice bubble free cup and start pouring into the mould. The way to do it is you pour VERY slowly
in longgg thinn strands in one corner of the mold. The idea is to let it slowly flow over the plastic. The reason for the long thin
strands is that as the silcon falls it releases still more bubbles, so the longer and thinner if falls the less bubbly it will be.
NEVER switch corners once you start pouring.
2g: now wait! our molds took like 12 hours to cure NO TOUCHY until then.

Cleanup note: when closing back up ur plastic/silocon rubber containers, apparently putting just a hint of a blast of nitrogen (you can get the stuff in a can) makes it last a lot longer.

step 3: the other half. basically just remove our walls, remove clay carefully so you dont pop the plastic bits out of the mold, clean up plastic, make new walls, do step 2 again.

and now for the results of that!

ohhhhhh ahhhhh, so pretty! so clean! THey were pretty much perfect molds. But we have a few steps left before making things.

Basically now we to poke holes in our mold (u know those attach points on sprues? yeah those). 1 of those holes is where we stick the syringe to actually fill this with plastic.
The other holes are for air. Baiscally we need to find those random crevasses where we expect air to get trapped and poke a hole there to stop that.

the bigger "craters" are the holes for the syringe, both so we know where to put it and so that it's easier to seat.

Once that's done we can now actually cast things!

step 4: casting
4a: first we gotta lightly coat our molds in talcum powder (baby powder), pretty much you coat it on, jigger it around then blow it off. SUPER light coating is enough.
4b: now we measure out our 2 part plastic in again 2 cups. since we're dealing with very little plastic precision is SUPER PLUS IMPORTANT. We used a 3 minute
setting plastic and one the first try I got the proportions about 1mm off and instead of setting in 3 minutes it set in about 30 seconds.

I now ahve a syringe of plastic as a memento of why precision matters.

4c: anyhoo, once measured, again do the double pour, mix it up (in my case really fast! but it requires less mixing because its a lot thinner),
pour it in the back of the syringe (holding down the front with my finger), add the plunger, FLIP it over and sloowwwly push the air out with the plunger.
once it's all liquid just jam it into the hole and push slowly but forcefully until plastic pours out of all your air holes and then move on.

These were some of my results:

ALl in all im happy. There were air bubbles introduced by using 3 minute plastic, but that's why I picked terrain stuff to copy, because some damage here and there
is a good thing. Furthermore I now have lots more wall sections and posts to play with and break.

Is it cost effective? probably not unless again ur doing a lot of casts for a huge project, but it's a good skill to know, especially when there is something
that cant be made anymore or is unique and real world you want to cast. Also dont sell casts of GW stuff because that woould be illegal. Dont sell molds
of their stuff either.. yadda yadda yadda, be smart guys.

Finaly notes: if this is intimidating yeah sorry it's a lot of steps! But I have been told there are other ways of doing this that doesnt require vacumn chambers
or anything of that sort, there are plenty of at home casting materials that are easy peasy to work with.
The downside is that they just cost more (material cost higher for less tools cost), but it can be done.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/08/20 04:30:27

Post by: Galorn

An easy way to not over talc is to use a talc sock.

1 Old pillow case or a small square (6in by 6in) of fine woven fabric.
2 one rubber band
3 Talc

To make a talc sock
1take an old pillow case or some other tight woven fabric, Either cut off a corner of the old pillow case about 5-6 inches up to make a rough cone, or cut a rough square of fabric.
2a (if you have an old pillow case to donate to the cause...) Fill the cone with about 3-4 tablspoons of talc.
2b (If you just have fabric) Mound 3-4 tablespoons of talc in the center of the square.
3 Using a rubber band Seal the cone/square leaving a snug lump of fabric containing the talc, and a "tail" above.
4 Gently slap the talc sock against your mold and note the fine even amount of talc left behind.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/08/30 17:22:04

Post by: Largo39

Ohh nice call! Hadnt thought of that.

anyhoo sorry again for the long delay guys, just doing more detail work.

I've now done an initial detail pass on all 4 of the main FW tiles, the river tiles were already
in pretty good shape (still need to work on the intact fan section tho)

One thing that was suggested is for some of the craters/collapsed areas I go back over
it with another layer of foamcoat to "blend" the edge between rubble and intact,
which I think will help (especially the aquila area)

U can also start seeing my casted pieces in action!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/08/30 20:31:11

Post by: Warboss_Waaazag

I really love your stuff. Your creative use of everyday items as scifi detail, you varied mix of media, and you explicit tutorials. It's all really inspiring! Great work!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/08/30 22:07:29

Post by: HoeJarris

I'm loving this so far! Keep it up!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/03 11:19:33

Post by: Largo39

Thanks guys! Keeping this blog has definitely helped me stay motivated to get this all done.

Anyways it’s time for an update, now with some lighting!

I found these flickering tealights at michaels and upon taking them apart realized they would be a perfect way to add some led lighting to the city of death lamps that you get with every purchase. Although these particular lights on amazon arnt necessarily the same (i cant find them on the michaels site at the moment), the principles should hopefully still be there.


Step 1: Taking apart the tea light you get a nice plastic cylindrical case, the plastic flame, and this guy:

Our basic goal will be to cut off the LED, cut off the plastic bit the LED is attached too, and then glue down the lamp to the base, then re-hook it all up.

Step 1a: When cutting off the led make SURE not to cut off these black little specs/chips embedded in the wire. i’m farily certain these are what make the light flicker. Once you cut off the LED cut off the plastic peg it’s attached too.

Step 2: Make some cuts to the lamp, saving all the peices (but especially the point bototm bit, we’ll reglue that back on later, the middle is just potentially useful elsewhere). Then glue it onto the base

Step 3: If you had been following the building tutorials, you’ve already taken apart some VHS tapes, and if you were a good person you saved everything! More specifically this little translucent white plastic tube, which, as it turns out, perfectly fits over our LED and makes a great covering for it.

Step 4: Now we need to start hooking up the wire. Get 2 wires and solder them to the respective wire on the LED, being careful nto to solder too carefully to those tiny black chips embedded in the wire. If you dont know/arnt able to solder you should be able to instead twist botht he wire and the LED wires into little hooks and hook them together, though you might want to wait to do that until step 5. (In either case make sure to test all your connections first by hooking up the wire to the battery and light to make sure it, well, lights. Sometimes with wire, expecially solid core wire, you have to actually scrap the wire itself in order to make a solid connection). Note that I only shrinkwrapped one side, if you shrinkwrap both it can be very very difficult to get it thru the hole we will drill in a second.

Step 5: Drill a hole through the top of the lamp and feed the wires through it. Although not the cleanest method for doing this, it does make it pretty secure. I intend to cover up the hole a bit with moss/viney type stuff to show that the light is being grown over.

Step 6: after testing to make sure everything is working, solder the wire to the emptry terminal of the switch, and the other end to where the battery was making contact, glue up the clear plastic tube over the led and the pointy endcap on bottom and done!

I also applie the same techniques to the side lights on my buildings, though I have yet to figure out what to make the shade out of.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/03 11:48:00

Post by: Coldsnap

This is great stuff!! I love what you did with the Honoured Imperium Aquila, I'm definitely taking some of these ideas with me to my own table project!


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/03 12:00:58

Post by: alabamaheretic

thats pretty clever thing you did there man. looks really good and seems simple enough to replicate.

thanks for the minitut to try

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/03 18:32:51

Post by: Largo39

Thanks! It's also given me an idea for a custom scenario you can only see by the glow of the LED lights.

Im currently thinking that anything within radius 12 of an LED light is treated as being in nightfighting.

If a unit is outside that radius tho they cant shoot at all, and can only move d6 (essentially they are stumbling around in a dense fog) and all difficult terrain is treated as dangerous.

Barrage weapons could shoot tho, though with range guessing.

Could be interesting and make for a much tighter battle.

Anyhoo when I get back tonight I'll show a picture with all them lit up, really adds to the atmosphere of the board.

Also been doing some experimenting with fans and that's also looking pretty promising!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/03 18:34:19

Post by: Ratius

Awesome stuff, love the light idea

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/03 18:49:07

Post by: ghostmaker

Awesome keep it up!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/03 20:16:58

Post by: alabamaheretic

im interested in seeing the fan idea that sounds really cool...(sorry for the bad pun) but the lights on the board so far are my favorite

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/03 22:29:25

Post by: Largo39

A quick note on painting:

So I hadn't really started to think about how I planned on painting all this up yet. I'm most comfortable with just brushwork, so was planning on shying away from airbrushing (although the goal of this was to learn a lot i didnt need to add yet another unknown to this!) because it's relativly easy to hit a large area with brushwork.

My main concern was primering, and I wasnt sure if iw anted to start with just a flat latex paint or what.. because i would quickly burn through all my acrylics trying to just do a basecoat.

Then I stumbled upon this little beauty of a kickstarter:


And that pretty much solves that. overall looks like a great way to get a good solid basecoat in, which is exactly the kind of problem I was having, where to get en masse cheap paint for basecoating without needing to primer first. My current color idea is to go with the "cavern stone kit" for the darker tiles and then the "fieldstone kit" for all the foundations that arnt going to be marble (aka: all of the sides/side smaller tiles that arnt the main face of the foudnation), but honestly I'll just get all 4 kits and then play around with the color schemes (would let me vary the foundation colors too, which could look pretty nice)

Automatically Appended Next Post:
as promised the board just lit with the leds!

We also ahve the fan i've been tinkering with:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/05 22:36:26

Post by: Largo39

Quick update:

mostly just working now to blend the craters a bit more along the edges. So far i think
it's working well and definitely helping make them feel a bit more attached to the ground
I dont want to go too far though because I do like the concept that the crater shattered and threw
around whole plates/chunks of concrete, but in general it definitely helps, especially for the aquila. '

also the elmers spray adhesive has been invaluable here at getting everything to stick down

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/09 18:33:13

Post by: Largo39

Finally have a plan for the fan section, so I took a break from smoothing out my edges to work on that

the basic form is there, still need to add some details/control panelling and figure out how im going to do the corners, but the basic idea is there.
Also the fans to work and can go nice and slwoly, ill show that circuit and do a tut for it next.

The pillars are there mostly for stability/able to work on it outside of the container.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/11 09:09:59

Post by: The Guern

Dear Sir,

I hope you will accept my compliments on your work. It is truly inspiring. Your dedication to your vision, your use of electronics and your realism are all things to which I find myself aspiring.

With Breathless admiration

The Guern

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/11 16:34:05

Post by: Largo39

Thanks a lot! Now i just need to get it all done lol.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/17 03:39:00

Post by: Largo39

Heya guys so i got the circuit for the fans working and they very very slowly move!

Im pretty happy about it tho there is one, tiny flaw.. the 3 3volt penny batteries i got for them lasted abouuuut 10 minutes.

To be fair i had been testing with them so i probably was shorting them a lot, but it was still somewhat sad to see how fast it died.

A 9v might have more juice or something bigger/rechargable. Either way here is the basic tut of how do do your own:

The fans i got were these:

They're small, look good for their size (they look like how a real fan would at that scale instead of most 60mm fans which ahve larger motors)
and go at a low rpm. More impotantly they can go suppppper slow.

Thru testing I figured out that they run perfectly fine off of 9 volts and have a resistance of something along the lines of 500 ohms at that.
Thus by getting a 500 ohm potentiometer I could, in theory, completely control how fast the fan moved (which turned out to be the case).

Furthermore I would also want a switch so I could turn the whole thing on or off at a whime. Ideally id also add some LEDs to this circuit
to make it all glow but that will have to be for revision 2.

The basic circuit diagram for this is thus:

Note that this is missing a switch but you can just put it anwhere next to the potentiometer (squiggly line) or on the opposite side.

And this is our result on the board:

The batteries are all wired in series to stack up to 9 volts, the potentometer is on one side of the circuit (the wierd little circle thing with a minus side in the middle.
To adjust it you take a flat head, stick it in the middle and twist) and the switch on the other.
One CRITICAL thing is to test all this while you are doing it. THere is nothing worse than soldering something down and realizing that the act of doing so
just broke the ocnnection. make sure that every wire is twisted together and holds fast before soldering so that when you do it doesnt come apart from the
act of soldering. Also note that the fans do need to be in the right polarity to move, and also while testing always make sure ur POT is zeroed out so you dont
accidentally have it so high nothing moves (i did this often and kept fearing i broke the circuit)

The next step is to pair up the fans

then if you hoook up the 2 ends of the board to the 2 ends of the fans and watch it spin!

yay spinning! (this is a lot faster than I wouldnormally do but it's easier to see that it's moving on camera)

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/17 09:35:51

Post by: Coldsnap

Nice circuit work, but won't the batteries still be drained in no time? Wouldn't a 9V wall adapter be better?

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/17 12:39:26

Post by: rigeld2

I definitely wouldn't use coin batteries for this - as you've noticed they drain too fast.
I'd try a 9v battery and see if that lasts for a few hours. If not, use the wall adapter (or more 9v batteries).

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/17 16:13:56

Post by: Largo39

Yeah 9vs may have to be the way to go. I was hoping that the fans wouldnt really take much pwoer to keep going, and thus the coin batteries would last a bit longer. I was also originally concerned about space so I opted for the coin batteries.

Now that i realize I have more room for revision 2 (to happen later lol) will likely try 9vs instead.

I want to try an avoid a wall outlet if I can because it doesnt really work with the whole tile concept and forces the fans to always be on the edge of the board if i wanted to run them, dunno.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/19 16:42:15

Post by: Largo39

Hey guys I updated the first page to show a picture set of the latest of the board. Mos tprogress now will be a lot smaller and a bit slower, I need a bit of a break from this before I start basecoating and whatnot, and I need to start learning rust and whatnot as well.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/09/19 20:59:02

Post by: Skalk Bloodaxe

Wow. Really enjoying this thread so far. Excellent use of alternative material (Legos, fans, etc) and since I really like Hurst casts it's cool to see them as well.

Great stuff, looking forward to seeing more.


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/10/01 04:14:26

Post by: Largo39

So although I am mostly focused on coding, Im still slowly going back and starting to green stuff all the various seams in my buildings/foundations.

I also went ahead and started doing the same grime treatment to the buildings as I have been the foundations.
This shoudl help add a bit of realism while also covering up any gaping holes in the buildings.

My basic plan of attack for adding the grit was to use a very watered down mixture of elmers,
pick a side, and pretty much just coat somewhat haphhazardly the elmers all over the side.
I would then shake it about and let it drip down to the crevaces, and then pretty much just throw
sand everywhere and let it stick where it wants to stick. The idea being to let all the grime pool in
places you'd expect it to pool. It's rather messy, and glue gets everywhere,
but you can use the gluey/sandy slurry that acucmulates to get bigger chunks of grit.

You'll notice the white wall segment as what I used to complete the break, this is again
one of my casted walls, and one benefit of that is that the plastic is a lot more brittle than GW plastic,
so it fractures SUPER well and in a very realistic way.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/10/01 11:24:38

Post by: weetyskemian44

That looks gnarly. Its going to be grime-tastic.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/10/15 16:31:59

Post by: Largo39

lol, thanks!

Some more grime. It definitely helps hide a lot of sins/blend it all together.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/10/19 19:24:02

Post by: Largo39

More grime:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/10/21 09:03:03

Post by: Coldsnap

Looks great! Adding all that texture really helps in taking the pre-fab look away!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2013/10/21 20:41:27

Post by: Largo39

Yeah it definietly helps break it up! I may have gone overboard but it's easy enought o just scrape some off.

my paintworks kickstarter finally started going so i ordered all my paints and hopefully next month i can start getting the base coat in!

now for the real challenge.. figuring out what to color my "foundations"

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/01/31 18:01:22

Post by: Largo39

Hey guys! So I'm back! Mostly.

Alas I still have yet to get my kickstarter paints (damn cold weather!), but I did finally get all of my initial set of buildings cruddified/primered, and I've been slowly starting to paint buildings.

I also have done a few experiments with paint chipping methods and using that to generate a pretty convincing rust effect.

There will be pictures later tonight but it's exciting just to have something to post here again!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/01 00:24:15

Post by: Big H

Great to see you back mate !

Like your table a lot.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/01 06:42:20

Post by: Largo39

Thanks! There has been a lot of experimenting and figuring out the building scheme is handy because it does at least start determining other colors on the board.

First up is rust/paint chipping, and for that I present you guys.. this stuff!


The basic idea is you put down your base "rust" underlayer. In my case just blobs of burnt umber type colors, browns, and occasional splashes of a straight up orange. Also maybe some drybrushing of leadbelcher.

Then you put down a layer of some sort of finish to protect it (in my case ardcoat), then a layer of the chipping fluid,, and then finally your "beauty" layer of whatever paint/metal color you are chipping away with.

When ur done with that layer, jsut start coating it with water and scrubbing with a toothbrush/toothpicks/etc and watch the other layer chip off. It works pretty fantastically:

There are, however, a few things Ive figured out.

First of all you really do need your beauty layer to have a HIGH contrast with the under layer. I tried like a somewhat olive camo green on top and it just.. doesnt really show up at all. One of the key problems i did is after I chipped it off I coated the whole thing in a nuln oil wash and it just really blended it all together. As a result I highly reccomend you do any sort of washes on the beauty layer BEFORE you chip, just to preserve the maximum amount of contrast. It reaallly helps. I'll have examples of sucesses and failures tomorrow when there's more light, but yeah there is definitely such a thing as too subtle.

The plus side tho is that if it's too subtle.. just put another ardcoat/chip coat/beauty layer on top and voila start over, just more complexity to your final result! no harm done (it's all pretty thin so gonna be a while before you really start losing detail).

The second KEY point to this you MUST let it all fully dry before you do this. Each layer in all this MUST be fully dry before you put on the next layer, otherwise it starts to chip early and just sorta ends up blending together.

Next up is doing a old bronze look! With the recent release of nihilakh oxide old bronze is easier than ever, and I decided to test it on my statue to pretty satisfactory results I have to say.

Finally comes a building. This is where, well, you just gotta do it and try it out. I generally am an "overthinker" when it comes to building colors, and as a result spend days thinking about how something is going to look before i work upt eh courage to try it. I'm just too afriad of messing it up the first time and doing another coat/potentially losing detail or something.

But I figured if i started with my pegasus hobbies ruins I could mess up the least expensive/least complicated ruins I had, and furthermore I figured id color it in somewhat of a "standard" way with a basecoat of stormraven fur, various patches of browns and greens, and then a drybrush of dawnstone on top. For the flooring id get a bit more compcliated and continue experimenting with marble effects.

This is the result:

And, well, I was kinda bored. None of the detail really popped, and more dawnstone really wasnt helping either. I could have gone even whiter but i just, didnt really like the grey. It's one of those things where I knew that a majority of the board would be straight grey, with the exception fo the foundations. So the idea of grey tiles with whiter foundations and then.. grey buildings on top again just.. didnt appeal. Sure I have plans to make the mechanicum buildings wilder colors, but I wasnt thrilled with where the church was going, especially since it dictated the colors of a few other buildings as well (i want some consistency between like the cathedral/administrtion building and the colesium)

so then I found this color scheme which was al ot more exciting:


that to me works a lot better. Higher contrast, using the bronze (which I can make look aged super well), and a better template to get marble effects as well. So I went over to my GW and picked up these gems:

Baneblade brown (darker)
Rakarth Flesh (my base marble/limestone/etc color)
pallid wych flesh (highlights)

and went to town one the other half of the church.

which im MUCH happier with. It pops more, I see all the details, and it looks more like limestone. It's not perfect, I still need to add the dripping effect and I am nto quite certain about the colors of the "rough" stones that are darker, they still seem a bit off (i might just need to add more variety there between the stones), and I may yet tone down some of the darkening of the pillars so they are less contrasty, but overally it's just a lot more effective to me. (I still also need to figure out just what colors the grime would be). What do you guys think?

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/01 10:46:34

Post by: SilverMK2

Love the colours on the buildings. And love the vines etc... too many people have dead metalic buildings - fantastic work.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/01 14:19:42

Post by: whalemusic360

Hot damn, thats some nice looking terrain. Would love to play on something that looks like that.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/01 22:51:04

Post by: Big H

As above , the pale coloured stone looks awesome , and so much more realistic if my town centre is to be believed i.e. all tan stone no grey !

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/01 23:35:59

Post by: Bruticus

First rate stuff, I love the very solid buildings and the painting is great too (although I also liked the grey). My only suggestion is to add some more vegetation using clumps of static grass - quite sparingly - to give some variety. Oh and maybe some hanging wiring under the floors.

Really looks so much better than the pre-fab GW terrain kits, I can't stand how flimsy they tend to look. I'd love to redo my scenery with this sort of detail.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/02 20:19:21

Post by: Largo39

Heya thanks!

RE: vegetation, that's defintiely a great idea and in the cards, im still working out the rubble colors too but yeah definitely planning on at least adding clumps of moss in places.

As promised here is some more testing of the chipping process:

So first up we have the successful barrels:

I'm pretty happy with these, and they look great. Then we get to the problem children:

And this is why you really need a pretty saturated/bright paint color, especially if you are planning on doing washes afterwords, because otherwise it just dulls out and becomes supppper hard to tell what's going on. While I generally like the camo green, and may still try to make it work, it's super super key to just do any sort of washes BEFORE you chip so that it's still in the end over rust/undercolor. Although you can see the detail in the light, in general it's just not at all there.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/02 22:52:27

Post by: Littletower

Good to see the project back on the move!

Awesome palette, colour scheme looks great.

The crates don't look bad at all IMHO, they just, as you say, keep a low key. Higher contrast tones, like those on the barrels, do help bring the pieces out more. Both would be good additions to any piece!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/05 07:52:07

Post by: Coldsnap

Great to see you're back on the project!
As for those crates, I think they look great! They do seem a bit low-contrast, but with the gritty, realistic-looking color scheme you're going for I don't think it hurts the model at all. (I often find that colors behave very differently depending on what kind of light you play under. Sunlight tends to bounce into recesses, lowering contrast and making colors appear washed out, while lamp-light often gives the colors a little extra pop, increasing saturation and contrast. )

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/05 08:41:45

Post by: MagosBiff90

Some really inspirational ideas going on in here! Those craters are looking great and the cathedral / basilica pieces are great!

Darn you...... i want to do one now!!


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/05 21:30:11

Post by: Largo39

Thanks guys!

I agree that the lighting can very much dictate how the ammo crates look, and in the right lighting they do look okay, but for my lighting at least they are a bit.. low contrast, especially compared to how the barrels turned out. So for my situation i just want to amp up their contrast a bit and try again with brighter camo colors.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/08 17:02:58

Post by: Largo39

Some more things painted and chipped up:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/19 16:45:31

Post by: Largo39

Another building which im pretty happy where the coloring has gone.

Still todo is green up the walls, make some things more marbley, and generally just clean up the windows and add some drippings.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/20 02:02:34

Post by: Littletower

Beautiful palette! Really inspiring, all around

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/20 10:26:16

Post by: WolfSmerf

These are amazing, really inspirational scenery

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/20 10:31:35

Post by: MagosBiff90

This thing blows my mind!

the grimey and dirty / broken wasted feel is awesome! REALLY convincing as the dark future!!

Love it!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/20 17:54:37

Post by: Largo39

Thanks guys! i'll probably have a couple of more final pics tomorrow. I made some of the front grime more green and generally have been working to clean up the windows and things, and more washes.

Once i get the lights/ladder done i'll probably stop for now and move onto something else

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/24 16:31:07

Post by: Largo39

Quick update: i took a break from the big guy to go ahed and move the other half of my gothic ruins to the new scheme.

I also drybrushed over my coliseum into the new colors as well. I still may try marbling up the floors but it still is great to see the scheme working for the different buildings.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/02/25 20:29:25

Post by: MagosBiff90

Colour choices here are spot on!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/03/27 03:39:15

Post by: Largo39

I promise i havent been idle! it's just i switched over to working on some bikes and i have yet to figure out a good way to poist pictures. the idea was a carpaint blue which transitions from blue to turqoise that's shiny and metallic, surrounded by very steampunky brass and copper bits.

so once if igure out how to take the picture ill post it lol

either way ive also been working on my buildings, and quality images aside (ugh they suck too, i promise better ones soon) im really happy with how it's turning out. it really looks like it is 500 years old and just barely holding on.

obv there are still a lot of details yet but that's the general idea

the undercoat for the undone side:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/03/29 07:18:48

Post by: Largo39

Some better images, including getting in the giant fuse detail things!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/03/29 07:54:47

Post by: Big H

Cool colour scheme mate , robbing some ideas (particularly like the fuse's ) for my Zone Mortalis !

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/04/21 08:23:46

Post by: Largo39

Okay so these are better pictures, a bit more color accurate. Not quite right yet but someday i'll figure out a good way to do this. Mostl yjust a better camera and possibly a lightbox.

One thing I think i want to do is un corrode up the top half ot he building a bit. Its so corroded that we're losing contrast and a sense of the original color of it. so i want to simplify it a bit so it forms more of agradient of clean at the top (where there wouldnt be much damage anyways) and then suuupper dense corrsion at the bottom near all the pipes/generators/etc.

Either way i havent been idle! just been working on other things other than the board. I had to get some storm talons ready for the monthly event at game empire so focused on that a bit. My original scheme is complicated but jlets just say for more elite vehicles it's highly tin bitz based, and now im experimenting with some old brass highlights as well and other rusting. The idea behind is is that it's seen heavy combat and use over the centuries. In order to enhance the corrosion i took the technique from the buildings of first adding the finest grain sand i have as part of the dripping. It helps give that "crusty" feel without being too overwhelming i think. Then it's jsut a matter of the Vigris wash that GW has along witha are ust wash and orange and yellow washes as well. Finally I highlight with some richer jade green at the "source" of the corrsion. So far Im pretty happy with the result. As always I may have gone a bit much with it on the other first plane but i think this one is fairl ywell balanced and makes sense. we'll see how i feel over tiem!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/04/21 08:45:17

Post by: MagosBiff90

Mmmmmm crustyness!!

that last terrain piece looks brilliant! as if there has been an acidic atmosphere raining on the building for about a millenia!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/04/22 00:04:26

Post by: Largo39

thanks! i may still clean it up on the top have justtt a smidge for more contrast, but overall im really happy with how they turned out. they really do just look OLD.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/04/22 01:11:15

Post by: Warboss_Waaazag

Your corrosion work is truly inspiring. I also really dig the the two riveted pillars stuck together as a support for the balcony/walkway. I might just loot that idea.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/04/22 05:41:23

Post by: Darth Bob

I have to agree. The weathering looks spot on and stunningly realistic. Fantastic job.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/04/25 04:43:41

Post by: Largo39

Thanks guys! And here is blurry sneak peak of something else i've been working on! Bikes!

the basic idea is a steampunk type coloring with brass/tin bitz/etc, and then a carpaint type dual color scheme for the bike/armour.

Once if igure out hwo to take a picture of it you'll get a non blurry version but the two tone works preetty well.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/04/28 21:45:41

Post by: Largo39

Yeah still trying to figure out how to do decent pictures of it. On the plus side finally got in my terrain paints! So I can finally start basecaoting the tiles!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/04/29 23:00:14

Post by: Largo39

I have terrain paints! So exciting:

Somewhat better picture sof the bike. Once i get my new camera there will be new sets of everything, but this is the best i got for now:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/05/05 05:07:47

Post by: Largo39

Yay basecoating!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/05/05 05:19:11

Post by: Phutarf


This is what I want my cathedral to look like when it's done - am in awe of you Largo!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/05/06 17:11:07

Post by: Largo39


More basecoatingggg

I promise the blue isnt that strong in the light lol, its just how this stupid phone camera decides to whitebalance things.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/05/06 17:31:58

Post by: YourIntestines

How much does that cost compared to the standard Forge World board?

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/05/06 18:18:22

Post by: Largo39

If you know what you are doing... it's gonna be a lot cheaper. If you dont.. probably comparable. On the flip side tho making it yourself gives you the freedom to really explore the depths of the tiles.

The forgeworld tiles are gorgeous, but dont really have a lot of DEEP craters, or exploded tanks/impacted planes/etc,
Furthermore there were for a while only 4 of them, and no tile has any sort of river system. So while the costs are this point are probably about the same, Im getting a lot more of the stuff that i wanted to see in my tiles.

IN general though here are the costs you're looking at:

6 2x2 MDF tiles ~ 25 bucks

1 4x8 sheet of 1 inch corning foam ("pink foam") - this for me at the time was 75, which suddenly made the costs more comparable. However they seem to be on for general sale again, which drops the price down to like 20, so this is a big area where it gets more or less expensive than the FW tiles.

A whole lot of foamcoat . - i wanna say about 100? You need 25lbs of it, with 12 lbs of superfine sand/grit/whatever (they sell a grit that works well, otherwise just get superfine sand) and then the foamcoat strengthener stuff and a lot of latex paint.

1 4x4 or so sheet of 1/2 corning foam - agian like 15 in theory
some normal 1/4 thick foamboard - 20 bucks?

all the paints to cover this - 50 bucks
the "intangibles" like tank bits/rocks/broken things/plane bits/etc. Uhh ebay is ur friend here, look for bits piules, or just have a colelction already. Also scour hardware stores for stuff you like and then break it! lets say 50

so all told that's what, 300 or so? Then factor in the "oops im new at this" factor and say more like $450-500. vssss 75lbs per city tile and then an additional 90 pounds each for 2 more of the new tiles or about $800, say $850 for similar "oops im new at this" and also paint and whatnot costs, since you still have to spraypaint it all and whatnot.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/05/09 16:42:12

Post by: Largo39

So still just working on the basecoat and some initial layering. Overall the terrain coat paint is working quite well, and really is a good balance of paint consistencies. A few things i've noticed:

The bulk of the inital work is just gluing down those last pieces of rubble, and brushing off the pieces you dont care about. I covered the whole table in multiple coats of a glue wash, and spray on adhesive, and i still had about 10% loose when i started to brush on it

The relative delicacy of the rubble piles means you have to dab on the paint as well, instead of brushing. Otherwise even if it is glued down the hairs of the brush can get caught in the rubble and just rip bits straight off. As a result painting these tables are brush killers! You're brush will end up poof and.... pretty much only good for drybrushing (but it'll be amazing for drybrushing!)

So get el cheapo brushes! use those 50 second 1 inch brushes from home depot, dont using anything nice here until much later!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/05/11 20:49:33

Post by: Largo39

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/05/12 17:15:54

Post by: Largo39

Some more closeups of the current progress, after a wash pass.

The dark brown lins are sorta to represent the dirt underneath the slabs, they''ll likely get a touch greyer tho in the end.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/05/12 18:07:56

Post by: OneManNoodles

Coming along really nicely.
If you plan to make it all look as good as that little corroded building, it's going to look really awesome.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/05/12 18:46:33

Post by: Largo39

that's the plan! first up is getting the marble effect on all the white areas, and then detailing up the wreckages

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/05/13 16:20:10

Post by: Largo39

The first of the marbles! It's definitely coming together now. The veins/detailing is a bit off scale but im still happy with the result.

Also sponges! sponges. Seriously the key to this. That and it's rpetty easy to redo if you mess up (if i really feel like i need to rescale it it's not a big deal for example). You just hit it with a wash of your white and do over.

But yeah get one of those natural art sponges made of real spong, then rip it up to make it jagged, and use that to dab the washes on. Then just find some of the natural lines the spone made after it all dries and hit it harder with your wash color of choice, followed by touches of blue ink. Black would also work well too.

This tutorial has been invaluable:


One thing i have been doing on top of it tho is to do a very diluted wash of my initial cream color over the whole thing after i do the veining. While I love those bases on this scale it gets a bit too dark and contrasty, so by doing a light cream wash over everything it just tones it back a bit. Then Im adding ard-coat and high-closs varnish on top to really seal the polished marble deal.

Colors I've been using for my wash stains (think all those flesh washes):

so a yellow flesh wash (coat d'arms 133 ink wash flesh)
ogryn flesh
seraphim sepia
a brown middier wash i mix up from black ink and a rust color game ink.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/06/21 02:20:02

Post by: Largo39

And we're back! sorry for the delay but I've moved! yay for moving! boo for how long it takes.

Either way i've mostly been working on the BAO and painting up more marble

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/06/25 00:12:11

Post by: Big H

Great job there buddy, made me interested in building a urban table !

Good to see you back !

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/06/25 19:07:32

Post by: Warboss_Waaazag

I love the way those stairs came out.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/08/06 06:56:52

Post by: Largo39

Hey all, sorry for the lack of updates, i spent the last few weeks painting madly for the BAO, so in lieu of something new fo rthe table i bring you the results of that.

First up is a sicaran!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/09/19 15:23:01

Post by: Largo39

Gah! So i've been terrible about updating this thing but i havent been idle.

Aside from the new sicaran we also have sternguard, wyverns, and a lot of bikes that i've been madly painting for BAO. All will be shown in time once i figure out better ways of making pictures. Ill have a post about the difficulty of such a process in a bit but for now im looking at trying a photo tent to see if that calms down my lighting difficulties.

In the meantime though one of my co-40kers had a brilliant idea of using legos to make the attachments for the bridges so i had to test it out.

A few notes:

it actually works quite well and the attach points seem reasonably solid. It's also very flexible and with the gears should be able to handle a full level transition, as long as the bridge is long enough. Most bridge legnths would be longer, with more in the middle, but i just made a 3 length for now, though even that's not actually set in stone, as each piece detaches from the other just fine.

It can also rotate! so you can attach from any angle.

Some thoughts on the connections:

i think the bigger connection plate actually works better, as it makes more sense as a walkway that would hafe been made to keep the bridgfe usable. Obviously when finalized id cut off the studs and probably remake the connection studs to make it just that much more flush, but the concept seems to work quite well.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
What else i've been working on! More angles (and figures) later once i get my light box!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/09/29 16:26:03

Post by: Largo39

So some progress on new construction, we have more bridges!

The basic formula is 2 ends, each of 2 tiles (where a tile is one of those floor things from the cities of death kits) llong. And then a variable "middle" length. Thus the bridge lenghs are a minimum of 4 tiles wide up to however long i've made a middle.

So far i've made a 3 length brridge (the only one with "inflexible" length), a 5 and a 7 lenght. It seems that these odd numbered lengths tend to work best across my board, as any 2 tiles equals about 1 square of board, so having 1 tile extra in length gives me the wiggle room to make the bridges work.

A few other notes:

the system overall works really well but it's going to be vital to either pin down the connection points or switch to beefy magnets. If they break off the whole thing will collapse.

Otherwise though the bridge itself is very sturdy, and all the legos hold up very very well.

One thing i have noticed though is that the buildings need to be weighed down. Adding the bridges basically also links the buildings together, so just trying to add on additional bridges can start tipping over the buildings if i'm not careful. Thus I need to focus on adding some weight to each so they are less likely to fall over.

So far i have enough bits for 4 total bridges, though given how effective they are at adding more life to the board i think eventualyl i want something like 3 5 length bridges, 2 7 lengths, and 1 3 length. Or possible a T intersection bridge.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/09/30 16:54:02

Post by: Largo39

So along with bridgemaking I hit upon this bad boy:


It's gigantor and awesome, but also has bridges! which got me thinking about those standalone flak turrets. They look great and, with a few modifications, would actually fill in a few holes in my current terrain loadout.

In the new era of bridges and "second layers", i definitely need tall towers that have multiple bridge points that also serve as LOS blockers but dont take up a lot of room. From a necromunda/city perspective it would make sense that you'd have the open aired type towers which served as defense and just key linkages throughout the city for people to walk on.

Thus the flak towers are perfect candidates, i just need to add more walkways to floors 1 and 2.

So my current design is more like this:

With the icarus gun and such on top.

It's nice and tall, and has a full 3 floors of usable space to put people on (i'm envisioning a parapet around level 2). It also has a LOT of bridge points for me to use.

Not that the floor 1 section would have panels down, they just arnt glued yet.

The main trick here is the use of lego. It's great! I just need some more finishing pieces so ic an add some better architectual details, so that's something of a concern at present.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/10/01 17:38:00

Post by: Largo39

More work refining the towers.

Just adding deteail work and figuring out how it all fits together.

So far I like the bottom base size a lot, but i think the support struts from floor 1-2 are too thick, so I'll probably be replacing those with non-legos here pretty quickly.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/10/03 18:06:48

Post by: Largo39

More building!

The support columns seemed just a touch too big so i shrunk them a bit, and yeah, just trucking along adding more details really.

Also building the other one as well, I figure this one can be more "normal" symmetrically.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/10/05 07:30:22

Post by: Largo39

More progress, coming along well! just need the second floor walkway and top guns.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/10/06 15:39:32

Post by: Largo39

Time to add the second floor parapet!

while happy with the mesh.. it's defintiely hard to make sturdy, hence the wire. I might have to add some more though at each of the triangular sides though, im concerned it's not quite sturdy enough to attach bridges onto jsut yet. In the final stages now just need to add the gun on top and clean up various seams and such. Also note that the third floor is loose so that i can actually paint up under there.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/10/08 04:17:29

Post by: Largo39

So while attempting to add the walkway to the other building I ran into an interesting lesson with this whole DIY thing: be careful with your plastics, and be prepared for when they dont react quite right.

The backstory is that at some point somewhere i picked up a sheet of this plastic grating and am now finally using it. This is all well and good and im sure it was cheap, but as it turns out it's not the same as GW plastic, which means that it just peels right off of superglue. So while i was adding the second walkway and adding some more metal wire underneath it to strengthen it.. bits would just start peeling off the existing wire and plastic edge they were glued too.

This is a pretty serious problem because i need these walkways to be rock solid for when i start to attach bridges to them. While it normally wouldnt be such a hgue deal if they were only lightly attached to the wire, since attaching the bridges ususally involves verticle motion as well to get all the legos in there, it means it has to be a LOT sturdier. Soo.. basically i have to also tie it down to the metal and thats.. just frustrating. To avoid doing that i also started thinking/laying otu the final turret section:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/10/08 15:34:43

Post by: Malika2

Curious how that turret will work out. So far the building looks really interesting!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/10/10 16:59:12

Post by: Largo39

It looks like.. this! I think they look pretty good, and not bad for my first green stuff tentacles from the tentacle maker. The joints, admittedly, tend to be where it fails, as there is a definitely max length that the maker does for any one tentacle. However between touchup post work and adding rust/grit/etc to those areas, i think it'll turn out just fine. Just note that when working with green stuff give it some time to harden, part of my problem is i would make the tentacles too soon after mixing up the green stuff, so just the act of getting it on the structure tended to smoosh it a bit, but if i let it sit for a bit like with some of th eother tentacles it was a lot more sucessful.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/10/13 18:36:41

Post by: Largo39

So ill have some pictures tonight but i'm basically done with the work i wanted to do on these guys for now. A few notes:

I rejiggered the second floor mesh walkways a LOT and basically redid all the wire. The problem, as always, is that the support wires tended to pop off as i was bending and fenagling them to attach to the mesh. Thus in order to really make it work i had to take all the wires that were falling off and pin them in the structure. That made it a lot sturdier and meant i could actually tie the mesh down.

Speaking of which i tied it all down and it works great! more or less. The problem is still that the mesh isnt yet sturdy enough to actually support a bridge. Sure it could hold the wieght and be fine there, but the act of actually attaching a bridge causes enough stress in enough directions to make it still not something i feel comfortable doing. But I came up with a solution where i basically just extend out supports on each side specifically for bridges and then attach to that. it's super strong, all pinned down, and even helped the mesh even more because i have to poke one of those lego things thro the mesh to make it all work.

I also added pins for the third floor sot hat way even i had a relatively sturdy way to attach it without having to glue it down.

All in all im very happy with these guys, they stand out, make sense as defense towers in a city, but add just a tremendous amount of bridging opportunities. They will have 8 bridge points across 2 floors for maximal modularity. They look good to boot, though i think i may add a smidge more bulk to the bottom colums somehow. They just seem a bit too sharp and skinny to make sense. I cant disassemble the legos to add some unfortunately, but we'll see what i can come up with.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2014/10/14 17:11:48

Post by: Largo39

General note, the lego pieces attaching the bridges are DEFINITELY temporary. They shall be replaced with something a lot more final later. they're just used for testing purposes right now. Ideally the planks would be wider and nibless, so we'll see what i can come up with.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/04 22:29:52

Post by: Largo39

I'm back! Hello!

So aside from regular life stuff I've been super busy painting up for my army for LVO/BAO, which is why there has been such little progress here. I'll have pictures up of that progress in a bit.

However at the recent BAO I was made saddened by the fact that part of my paint score came fom the fact that my board.. sucked. I've used one of my big tiles before but boy is that bulky and heavy at a tournament. For a while I've had shelves which I put some of my models on that also served as baords but they had no detail at all, so I figured it was time to fix that.

Originally I was going for some sort of "muddy" look with an SM base, but given that I've needed a 7th blank tile anyways, it seemed the perfect tiem to just make my boards city themed as well.

Unfortunately there was a problem, the shelves at something like 14 x 31 1/2 in size, which doesnt really line up with 4 inch squares. So what ive done is basically make the shelves breakable so that within that 14/32 I have a 12/24 half tile, and then I just have a broder of extra detail to spruce it up a bit.

The first shelf is the more destroyed/non military shelf. Welcome to zinge industries (they make awesome bits and some of their resin blocks had their name on it so i just stuck with that for the whole tile)

As you can see the general idea is to have this particular complex surrounded by an electric fence (the psots are up, the wire fence isnt yet) ala jurrassic park, which the nids are in the process of overrunning.

The first side of hero detail: old school old one eye vs dreadnought. Dreadnought just lost his arm (hard to see but it looks great)

Hero detail 2: terminators vs genestealers! Im hoping to (when this is painted) have lots of scorch marks on the nid side to represent the terminators attempting to burn away the corruption. This is also just the first "dead" layer of stealers, when this is all painted ill add on 4-5 more living stealers just to reall sell the impending doooom

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/05 17:08:19

Post by: Largo39

Electric fence work!

But before we get there I just wanted to point out one thing: there is a lot of pinning in this board. With some of the pictures you will notice blocks that have cracked very nciely, I'm using leftover plaster cast blocks that I had from all the other tile work. THey smash great, look very convincing, but after you smash them they tend to completely fall apart. So it helps having a nice strong steel wire in there to keep it together/have something to glue it all back too.

Furthermore in order for this at all to be sturdy (the general idea with this wall is to also serve as a barrier to prevent my models from falling off in the event of earthquack) pretty much every block has at least 1 if not 2 pins into the board as deep as i can go, and each fence beam is also pinned into their respective blocks (the goal is to bend the CRAP out of the electric fence afterwords, based on where the nids are attacking, so I wanted it fairly structural so that I could get more realistic damage)

ANyways, back to the electric fence work!

my reference:


First part is getting those nice small loops, this is (more or less) what im doing for that:

1/16th drill bit for the looop size, and gauge 24 wire to wrap around it. Works pretty well (the wire shown is a bit too big but it's just an example)

Then I need those spacers/stress reliefs you see in the picture. For that I wound as tightly as I could some 20 guage wire around a core which I can remove easily:

Leaving me with this:

It's sticking out the other side so i can potentialyl reinforce the joint as needed, i really dont want these pulling out when I start pushing/pulling on my cables to bend the beams.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/06 22:01:37

Post by: Largo39

More work, I added some base detail for the lower rings, it helps "set" it into the base/concrete and doesnt look as wierd. I was hoping to do it all the way up the posts but the gear things i got (cheap things from home depot) dont bend easily, so i cant "wrap" them around the posts.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/08 18:20:24

Post by: Largo39

The board is pretty much ready for paint now! still got a few details to work out of course but painting is definitely a go. I might want to add LEDs on the top ala jurrassic park again just to seal them off, and i need to figure out some sort of backing to my wire posts.

Also I did a quick test of the fence and it seemed to work great! Clearly i need to straighten out the wire better, and i need to figure out some way of clamping it down to keep tension, but aside from that its all working well.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/11 00:59:29

Post by: Largo39

Time to paint it up!

So we're starting up painting, and first Ifigure I hitt he hardest part to figure out: the waves of nids.

The goal is to create a beetle like back with all that 2 tone goodness.

Some reference:


So that's the goal. Paint wise we're working with some pearlesent paints, inks, and a dual color intereference CT paint.


for a while dual color paints were strictly spray only but the CT intereference does work via brush, and works quite well.

The basic premise is from this tutorial:


you paint ur highlight green, ur darker violet, and then the middle range you reserve for the dual color paint of choice (with like 8 layers of it). At first I stuck to the traditional nid painting method where all the armour edges are highlighted and the results are this:

And its.. ok. It's very standard nid, the dual color (hard to see with the lighting) does work. BUt man it doesnt work well for the smaller armour plates, just gets kinda.. wierd.

So i switched it up and went for a more "reaslistic" lighting look and gave it a green hotspot with this result:

which looks SIGNIFIGANTLY more realistic, and even better in sunlight/bright lights let me tell you. I still ened to add some of that blue from the references, it gets a little TOO violety, but overally its a GREAT start. Now to strip the shell/legs!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/11 16:39:03

Post by: SilverMK2

Awesome work on the fence and board in general. I think the realistic nid scheme is looking much better than the edge highlights as well.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/11 18:00:38

Post by: Largo39


More progress:

in general i like the blue but the posts on that side arnt working, i think because the middle posts have too much sand on them, so its unclear if they are concrete or a painted metal pillar. So Im gonna sand off some of it to clear it up.

The 2 right ones are the oens to which i refer, their base is wierd/needs to be smoother.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/12 21:24:45

Post by: Largo39

Just painting up the other side. The rubble piles are turning out pretty well I think, now just gotta fix up the front and finish off the hero models.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/13 02:01:29

Post by: Warboss_Waaazag

Excellent weathering. Looks great so far.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/13 08:49:03

Post by: Singleton Mosby

Great job. Can't wait to see it all painted up. Simply wow!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/13 18:23:09

Post by: Largo39


Took a break from the board to work on the hero Old One Eye detail, I think the green-puple is working quite nicely.

FOr the other side though I think i MIght go with green-blue for the gene-stealers. I dont need as much contrast given that there will be a hoard of them and blue-green feels a bit more "sneaky" anyways. The black/pinkish flesh colors should remain the same though. Not sure what colors to go with the tyranid infetation though but we'll see, something bright to really show off the burned look (probably a lot of th epink color)

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/14 02:50:07

Post by: EyeamRai

I'm really digging the shiny tyranids.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/14 03:56:44

Post by: Largo39

Thanks! the effect looks signifigantly better than the pictures show to boot. It looks best in "normal indoor" type lighting, which is where we are typically playing to begin with, its just hard to capture said lighting without the phone picing up a giant specular highlight as well that ruins the look. I have a lightbox i just need to set it up and mess with it, and it wouldnt fit the board as it stands anyways. But someday...

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/14 20:33:26

Post by: Largo39

More progress. the colurmns are white because I want to marbleize them. Its fun anddd good practice.

the only downside to the cracked concrete look is.. good grief is it hard to get it all dark. There are little white crevices everywhere.

He stands! with lots of rubble underneath him to ease the transition (and hide the 4 pins holding him down)

Definitely gonna need to make those stealers a different bug color set, this is working nciely but the stealrs will get lost in it.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/16 16:24:45

Post by: Largo39

Working on the front sign/marble pillars.

I have to say i dont know what it is but th emarble turned out jus about perfectly, including the vein lines! I'm excited now to paint up more of the marble on the main board again (*and hell maybe even redo some patches)

I think a bit part of it was getting a blue ink that naturally wasnt too deep/opaque. I remember alot of my problems ended up being that I would paint a line that was way too opaque and have to wipe it off, which got the surface damp and thus made subsequent lines spread out and get sadder.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/17 15:56:40

Post by: SilverMK2

That marble looks excellent. With the damage it also looks kind of like a marble facing adhered to a cheaper stone as well which is a great look

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/17 19:01:41

Post by: Largo39

Thanks! I'm super happy with it. I casted that piece myself with some legos as my mould and just straight up foamcoat on it's own. I embedded a couple of thin wires in the mould to hopefully give it a bit more tensile strength too, in addition the pinning wire to attach it to it's base.

We now have some beetle genestealers! As mentioned I decided to not make every nid the same beetle transition. I think it helps distinguish role and keeps the contrast up. Thus the stealers are more blue-green vs the old oen eye/infestation's more truly alien "purple/green" look.

We also have orange green nids as a final option that I havent decided yet who get to be. In either respect the idea is to keep the flesh tone the same/black non armour non flesh bits the same and just vary the shell.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/17 19:38:52

Post by: EyeamRai

I'm pretty sure I said it before but I will say it again, I really like the iridescent 'nids.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/18 16:49:44

Post by: Largo39


Here is just more stealers. Im making about 6ish to flood that corner, hopefully it's enough. There are a couple i might need to go back and pose to mroe properly fit on the board but it should be tooo bad.

So on the left you can see just the straight blue, middle is blue + the blue-green transition, and then the one on the right is the one you've already seen, with the extra green highlights.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/19 18:22:37

Post by: Largo39

So the set of 6 stealers is almost done, but you guys dont really need those pics.

Instead how about some work on the fence!

A few notes:

Basically the idea was to get some crimping beads from michaels to set this up. Now I always intended to crimp it down at each post, to maintain some tension even when i start cutting/bending the lins at the corners.

Unfortunately as you can see the first row of tubes did.. not hold well (it ALREADY had slipped just by putting on the second row of line wieth alternate beads). The second row holds much better but they are a touch big which is sad. I'm going to try again at michaels to see if i can get slightly smaller beads that work, but if not i'll stick with the second set. At this point keeping tension is way better than beads that are a bit too big. I can always paint them black and they wont be as notivable.

The good news is that even with just 2 lines on the fence is.. very strong. Very realistic so far. The bad news is that bending it at ALL could prove to be very difficult, at least in ways such that it breaks normally. Thankfaully I only really expect to bend the fence on the carnifex side (the stealer side will be more cut wirse, not bend poles), but yeah, very interesting.

This picture really highlights the diffierence in holding power:

Maintaining tension across the corner is tricky. the first row of bead types really just did not hold well at all, very dissapointing.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/20 17:23:36

Post by: Largo39

So a second trip to michaels and we got different beads and.. wow what a difference. Not only were these beads a better size than either of what I had before, but they are much, much stronger (and much tougher to crimp to boot). Somehow I stumbled onto higher quality beads without realizing it (the only thing on the packaging was that they were silver plated?)

Either way it's made a big difference on keeping some amount of tension on these lines, and as such we have the first side! I've also put in the rear backplugs which also look great too.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/21 18:12:51

Post by: Largo39

And now fo rthe carnifex side of the fence! Unlike the stealer side the fex.. pretty much broke everything when he came charging in.

We also have some preliminary aging and coloring of the wires to boot.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/23 06:16:48

Post by: SilverMK2

Wow, looks fantastic. Don't suppose you can show the packet for the beads?

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/23 21:41:22

Post by: Largo39

Yep! the beads I ended up using were these:


More specifically size #3. For the twisted wire i basically just used cable for hanging pictures, i'll post that up later. Either way you basically want picture frame cable that's not sleeved (so there isnt a plastic coating around it, you get a nicer texture that way)

all the other cheaper beads/tubes they have michaels are.. exactly that. terrible. they didnt hold at all. These beads at least mostly held up when i was pulling and pushing on the carnifex side. Ther ewere some slippages here and there but it was easy enough to fix.

ANyways unfortunately these pictures are a day and a half old but there has been so much progress this weekend. Unfortunately I probably wont meet my original goal of being done by the weekend, but that's mostly due to the fact that I decided I want to amp up the detail in the terminators a bit and give them more heroic arms and such.

The pictures below are the PLANNED position for the stealers, not their final pose. The final set of poictures will come about soon im just so busy trying to finsih it all. It required some pretty serious chopping and reposing of their arms but fortuantely that's not *too* bad to do for the stealers, and the result I think is really dynamic and gives a good "those terminators are screwed" vibe.

The flamerthrower effect also turned out really well, and (as you'll see soon) I even maanged to get a reasonable "after flamer ember" look to all the nooks not covered in black. The basic technique I did was (let each step dry before you go onto the next step. Very very dry or very sad mixing of the black/color into mud)

1. paint the model as normal. It sucks, but you get better movments of color peeking out from areas not hit with flamer. Its hard to plan that in advance.
2. Using the fctual flamer template drybrush the appropriate area black heavily.
3. In allt he little nooks/crannys not hit with black, flood them with a red wash and then yellow wash.
4. Using a small brush add dabs of specific color to the nooks. Oranges, reds, finally bright golden yellows (i suggest normal size GW brush cause they are cheaper to rebuy. Generally you need a decently small brush for this work, but because you end up dabbing a lot it will start to look more like a drybrush at the end, so dont use ur fine detail here. Normal is good neough, or better yet something from a paint store thats not hella expensive)
5. Orange wash
6. finally re-dry brush black over the whole area.

Remember, the black really wont reach around the entire surface. So if you are shooting flame onto a pillar, the back side wont be nearly as charred. This is here I tried to put more ember colors, as it would still get super hot.. just not dead black.

It might be worth it for me to go back later with an ash pass right in the beginning of the flame, just to really show how hot it got.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/25 18:48:04

Post by: Largo39

More pictures, these wont be the last i promise! (they are kinda crappy/wierdly contrasty for how much detail there is, i need to figure out my lighting and spend a good few hours taking better pics, I just keep ending up doing this in the morning before work so am always a bit rushed, apologies!)

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/25 21:53:06

Post by: Januine

I am loving this!!! Dios for the win!! Really lovely work.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/26 07:54:17

Post by: Largo39

Thanks! tonight I'm finishing up the dreadnought body, and I pulled out my lighting tent I havent experimented with yet.

Im hoping to take some pics of the body tomm morning to see if I can get some better pic quality overall.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/27 06:26:18

Post by: Largo39

Some closeups on the dreadnought, working with my photo booth setup. its getting there but the sharpness is lacking for what i'd expect.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/08/31 07:22:08

Post by: Largo39

First terminator pics! I'm still missing the shoulderpads which will be adding more blue (to match the dread/the rest of my army) buuttt i don't have any terminator shoulders on hand soo ill worry about that later.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
And the other terminator with impaled genestealer. Again expect a blue shoulderpad to match the dreadnought i just generally lack them at present.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/03 20:10:13

Post by: Largo39

So updates!

With the first board basically 95% done I needed a break to work on the rest of my army.

Basically my goal is to get my army finish painted and super pretty for LVO. The goal being going for renaissance man or at least getting a respectable paint score. The orange/blue looks super good now but i just gotta finish all the ltitle fiddly bits I've been leaving off (tank hatches, etc).

My army is a straight up battle company. Straightforward, very TAC.

That means I have to do this:

1. Chapter detailing, some sort of symbol to use across my whole army
a. CHoose a symbol (done! explain in a bit)
b. Make a custom transfer sheet for the troops
c. Sculpt out of green stuff some bigger symbols for tanks.

2. Finish all the other little fiddly bits for my army
a. some missing heads (done!)
b. missing guns
c. hatches
d. 2 more legion rhinos
e. razorback turrets.
i: 2 assault cannon turrets
ii: 2 undecided turrets
iii: 1 bolter turret (done!0
iv: i flamer turret

3. Custom 32 mm bases for everyone.
a. Marble bases for my command squad guys
b. Potentially some "walkway style" bases for my devastator squads
c. normal bases for my tactical marines.

4. Custom diorama style display board.
a. as backup, make a more normal board with electirc fence/tyranid incursion, etc (done!)
b. build the main board.

So now to detail the plans for those steps:

1a: symbols.

FInally found one.. As it turns out I happen to have worked on how to train your dragon 2 so the tail symbol is a perfect fit for my army!
It's also a double reference since that would make my army Dragon Army which ties to enders game (which also happens to have orange coloring! woot)


So i just have to make and print the transfer sheet, and for the larger detail block i plan on sculpting out the wing + symbol on the side doors of my rhinos (similar to those amazing forgeworld lregion door details)

3. Bases

Now that my display boards are city themed its' time to finally base my army. Since we've just swithed to 32mm and thickness is a concern, i figure it's easier to just make bases from scratch starting from a properly sized metal disc. This will give me weight and lets me maximize the amount of foam I can use to give these bases depth/craters/etc. The total height I'm aiming for is about 1/4th thick for the base. thicker than a normal base but about the right size for something senic.

I was originally worried about the foam sticking to the metal but using a 2 part epoxy and wow they are held on there. No longer worried. For good measure I scratched up the discs first for an even stronger bond.

4. 2nd board design:

as mentioned, since I am a battel company the basic idea for this board is a walled fortress with a large area dedicated to the repair of rhinos, which is under heavy tyranid attack.

So the row of rhinos you will see will basically be carports, with tools/fuelcans/engine blocks/etc scattered around. They will be on stands and suh to raise them up a bit and I indend to have some workers working on them (likely orks cause its super fun). Above them will be a walkway where some of my SM will be standing ready to get in the rhinos in an emergency.

Then bastion will probably be raised up a bit and widened at the top to add room for a bigger turret, but it stands as the main barracks.

The while square is my formal "marble" entrance to the bastion, where the command squads sits.

The rest of the space is just empty for bodies/tanks and the other wall is on the edge and under attack from a swarm. The mawloc just having breached one orner of it.

Basically this board is meant to be the big brother of the other board in every way. Instead of a carni attacking its a mawloc, and in addition to stealers we have lictors and things climbing the walls. I'll have more pictures and drawings of the concept as i make them.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/03 22:01:53

Post by: Januine

this is really coming together beautifully! Love the happy panda looking in on the progress!!!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/06 18:53:21

Post by: Largo39

Work continues on all fronts!

First we have the wings. To clarify, I am a total green stuff novice. Im vaguely aware of sculpting and did some stuff with clay way back when but nothing ever this small or detailed. Futhermore the properites of green stuff are unique so im basically at square 0.

A few things ive learned (BIG HUGE NOTE: this is all using a 50/50 ratio of green stuff. After some research it seems that had I used more hardener: the blue part, i might have had more luck)

1. green stuff is sticky.
2. Very, very sticky.
3. takes about 3 hours to really dry, during that time it's always sticky and at no point can you really easily "cookie cutter" it into shape. IE: take an existing template and cut excess green stuff into that hsape. More often than not after about 30 seconds it stuck to my outline and i had to wreck the peice to get it out again.
4. It holds detail forever.
5. can be sifficult to sand off details.
6. your eally need the right tools before you start working.

So if you recall this is my reference:


(i found image of a it flat and move it to PS to get it the right size)

We first got this:

Not particulrly successful. Getting the precision was just impossible for me and while i could eventually carve it down into a better piece (which ims ure is the more standard way they do things), that would take me forever.

Instead I thought of a plan B: make it how Hiccup would have made it. So I got a sheet of the thinnest clear plastic i could find at my local art store (which, if you arnt as lucky as me to have a swains, you could isntead simple get one of those clear plsatic cups touse instead. Just cut it up and flatten it out. The idea being I cut out the shape to a stencil, and then lay down wires for the spines. I then drape over the green stuff on top to get a much more natural look at the crispness I want.

The result:

Works super well, and all my pointy bits are now strong and not made out of green stuff/wont snap at the first opportunity. But there are still some problems. You can see that I used a small round file to try and push down the green stuff between the main skeleton to give it that webbed look.. and the green stuff also kept the impression of the file. Whoops! Definitely an instance where I needed actual carving tools which have smooth things that serve such a purpose. I tried filing off that detail but they are still around, albeit faintly.

Now i just gotta figure out a good red to match the tail but still stand out.

Next we have mass base construction. Now that I've determine the general base idea will work it's time to mass produce. Im generally not worried about embedding surface detail because unlike a normal dirt/rock base where you'd expect such a thing, for me it's a hard concerete like surface. So all my debris/bits of tyranid/etc will be, liek with the borad, laying on top of my foamcoat layer. Furthermore I can also ad cracks and post effects like craters more easily then too.

To glue the metal to the foam I am using a 2 part epoxy from locitite, though gorilla glue would also work. Im making sure to rough up the metal first though before gluing to ensure maximum results. Let me tell you it holds like a champ.

Once cut and glued you gotta make sure to clamp them down and wait a few hours:

Horray a whole bunch of bases:

Now cut off the excess and sand it down. I tapered it a bit to make the basis feel a bit smaller and tigher to the underlying model, just like GW does (just with a thinner base)

Simultaneously I also worked on the marble section of my 2nd board. The reason being is that I have to line up about 15 of these bases to the marble for my commnd squads. So even though I am no where started on the 2nd board detail wise I had to at the very least cut out and make the marble section.

Finally the foam coat step! bring on the messy!

Next ill show the more polish reslts and begin painting upt he marble!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/08 17:25:12

Post by: Largo39

Now onto the marble stuff.

First step. carve out the pattern in both the bases and the underlying marble!

Blotching and the beginning of the blue lins:

And then the final results. Im super happy with them but there is still some blue lines that ended up being a bit too thick and dark. For this set of marble at least waiting 30 minutes for the blue layer to dry wasnt quite long enough: as soon as I would add the gloss coat layer the blue lines would start to spread out. A bit frustrating but pretty fixable, just needs some touchup here and there with the cream/dark spot colors.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/09 23:07:08

Post by: Largo39

Starting work on the other bases. Just getting the brown in the grooves before i lay on my grey basecoat.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/10 18:26:50

Post by: Largo39

the base base coat is done (say that 10 times fast):

Now to get started on the detail work! Here is the general plan on detailing:

I have 6x5 man squads to detail up. FOr any given squad they will have a seargent (might change, but will be rare for all but 1-2 squads) and 0-1 speacial weapons (definitely will swap out more often)

That leaves 3 core bolter bodies that will never change, and that's the basis for any sort of posed base sets I have. So it becomes:

2x3 squads of hero detailing
4x4 squads of hero detailing (ie: 3 man bolter + seargent that wont change)

4x1 special weapons with generic detailing
2x1 seargents with generic detailing
2x1 bolter bodies with generic detailing

Now it gets even more complicated when you consider the possibility of moving to 10 man squads in the future. As such it makes sense for some of the hero detailing to broadly be similar. Fortunately as there are 2 3 man squads and 4 4 man squads i can do this relatively easily.

So my hero detailing now comes down to this:

2 sets of impact craters.
2 sets of the "hormagaunt attack": ie hormagaunts popping up out of the ground
1 set of mawloc attack specific detailing (ie: bits from the broken flying defense wall)
generic detailing (normal rubble, debris, etc)

I figured id start with the hardest of the lot which is the hormagaunt attack. This is mostly because Im a crazy person but also because it will have the most restrictions on pose.

So here we get started!

you can see the general idea. Gaunt popping up out of the ground and either the marine or his buddy shooting at him. In this instance the base where the gaunt is actually coming out of would be oblivious to his impending doom. The guy shooting would have already dealt with his gaunt. I also figure to have a seargent with sword in another 5 man squad in CC with a gaunt directly.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/11 17:25:27

Post by: Largo39

Turns out i dont have hormagaunts, so that priority has to wait a bit. Instead I worked on some craters and random piping/sewery detailing. Turned out fun, cant explain it or what it does, but its fun! Still need to surround it with dirt and such but hey. The craters are tough since the bases are so shallow but im still pretty happ with the result. There is another crater set ill show tomm, my pic just didnt turn out sadly.


Piping detail:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/16 21:06:22

Post by: Largo39

Bit of a gap over the weekend as I did other things, but I'm back and working on hormagaunt attack bases!

and you can see i found a set of rippers too (there are like 20 more), so next up is a ripper set! these arnt fully done of course, im just trying to get them painted enough to embed and then i'll go back and finish all the details.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/17 18:50:18

Post by: Largo39

And now it's the rippers turn to attack!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/18 17:21:46

Post by: Largo39

So after a night of many broken backs and other limbs (first had to take the marins off their old bases which they were pinnd into. Sigh. ) We have marines that work on the new bases! yay!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/18 17:35:28

Post by: StarDrop

Largo39 wrote:
So after a night of many broken backs and other limbs (first had to take the marins off their old bases which they were pinnd into. Sigh. ) We have marines that work on the new bases! yay!

Sick Bro!

Other bases look preety sweet as well!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/18 23:51:43

Post by: Bash the Bosh

Amazing work. Consider me subscribed!


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/21 18:55:59

Post by: Largo39

Thanks guys! Sto this weekend was all about bases:

yay! lots done. ALl the blank ones are the generics I have to do (ie: rubble but no heroing that has to line up with something).

I'll have more closeups tomorrow but we'f finished out the gaunt attacks and the ripper attackas bases, and the ripper attacks is a full 5 guys, with the seargent squishing one! it's super fun.

ANyways here is some paint on the piping, pre chipped!

dont open the red door...

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/22 17:08:28

Post by: SilverMK2

Looking good!

My only comment is the bases look quite chunky.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/22 18:27:50

Post by: Largo39

Thanks! Yeah so I need to eventually cut back the pipes to fit the base. On th one hand its fun to line them all up precisely but cutting at least some of it back should help a bit with the chunky width wise.

Height wise the bases are 1/4th thick, so they're not too heinous: about standard for a scenic base with extra detailing and such.

ANyways I roughed up some pipes and put on some guys! I also went back a bit on my crater set after I realized I couldnt actually tell apart my 4 set of crater dudes from my 3 set of crater dudes. So now the 4 set has some piping added in that will be burst and (eventually) ill experiment a bit adding gushing water in there to start playing with that technique.

Crater Set (now with burst pipes)

Pipe set closeups/with chipping:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/23 18:18:21

Post by: Largo39

Lotta new pics, ill update this post as the day goes on/i have time.

First, working on my generic base set. Remember that for any given group of 5 marines, 1-2 will need to be swapped out potentially for different special/heavy weapon marine bodies along with different seargents. Thus if the body im swapping out for was part of a base theme.. it wouldnt look right, so they need to be generic. Right now I have 5 sets of 5 "done" so that leaves me with 5 generic bases to make (4 special weapons guys and 1 seargent)

Once I figure out the 6th base set Ill have another 1-2 generics to figure out.

Still need to do some washes/highlighting/blood ink pass but they're getting there:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/24 15:11:16

Post by: Largo39

Sorry about that, busy day. Anyways.

Hormagaunts attack set:

Get ready for a surprise!

Ripper Swarm attack:

Dont let them get through! (he's totally letting them get through)

Squish! (GoT Style)

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/24 16:47:05

Post by: Warboss_Waaazag

Beautiful custom bases! Very action packed.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/25 05:47:30

Post by: Largo39


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/25 06:05:45

Post by: evildrcheese

Wow. There's some real talent in this thread.

Excellent work.


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/28 22:35:56

Post by: Largo39


Now we get to the mesh bases/mesh walkway.

First of all, i found some mesh! I went to my local electronics junk shop (Apex Electronics) and they had, among many many other things (zomg pictures to come. best store ever for mechanicum/city terrain) these great speaker mesh chunks for super cheap. Instead of 15 bucks for a 2"x4" brass square I got that whole thing for 2 bucks.

Of course now i have to cut it. I have metal snips so I started with that and.. well.. you have to bend half of it to get the other half. Ergh.

so then I realized I could just bend the whole thing along the crease over and over to cause metal fatigue and break it that way. Much easier, produces fewer metal splinters, and leaves me with less bent metal in the end. I even managed to keep a nice finished edge too!

Next we take some of my scrap i cut off and start cutting out little circles.

3 down.. 7 to go.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/29 20:27:49

Post by: Knightley

Some very inventive conversions on the bases for those marines, I like it

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/09/30 21:23:08

Post by: Largo39

Quick update, working on the last of the marble bases, the 10th guy "stepping off" as it were.

It's coming along but the one part thats wierd to me is the step itself. I tried i ta bit bigger and that looked off, but having the step both on the base AND the marble "underslab" is wierd because it makes the base tilted when everything is in scenic position. So its a bit.. hrm.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/10/01 20:48:00

Post by: Largo39

And now onto the dilemma!

First we have the final 10th marble base:

it works fine, needs a bit more white dust drybrush and mroe gloss but aside from that I think it works fine.

The problem is, as before, attaching it to the underbase:

So one option is to just have it stick on the end

Downside of that though is, unlike all the other marble bases, there is nothing to line it up with, so it's not quite as cool an effect.

Option B is having the same step on the marble as well:

This looks nice, and I could even mirror the look on the step above it to really sell it, but then we hit the problem:


So i dunno, for now I'll leave it off i guess but neither solution is perfect.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/10/20 18:32:35

Post by: Largo39

Im back! there was abit of a break there to do some army painting, mostly painting some special weapons, fixing up a couple of guys, doing other projects, etc. Nothing really noteworthy or worth showing but we're back to terrain/base stuff!

First we have the change in pace. Originally I was going to do my second shelf tile where i have a "military" base that has the flak tower/a rhino workshop and more nids attacking. I still want to do this of course but the wall I want to use (made by quantum gothic) isnt yet available, nor can I really afford it in the lengths I ned it to bem (and I dont have time to do it all in given my other projects)... so yeah, that plan's something of a bust right now. . Furthermore the flak tower is also a pretty.. hefty build. But i still need some extra details on this tile and the extra room the garage will provide, so I figure I just make that standalone and as time goes on build the other pieces as i get to them. After all the garage will work fine on my completed shelf tile, so as long as I make it tile detachable im good.

And after some consultation magnets should be strong enough to do just that! In fact It may lead me to magnetize the entire board so I have regular positions I can securely put buildings but we'll get to htat later.

First the garage design:

Fairly basic. it's ending up around 6 inches deep, 20.5 wide and 4.5-5 tall. It's.. bigger than I would have originally thought but I need the extra room for all the greebling. I want to have shelves with stuff on them, tools scattered about, random engins, cranes holding engins, etc.

As you can see for the "roof" I intend to have the walkway already cut up. It's technically a bit odd of course, you'd expect it to be a solid roof buttt it will help with lighting and preventing it from getting too dark in the garage. I can always cahnge my mind later.

The pillars will be cast just like the marble ones on the zinge sign.

So first we start with the floor and.. this is where it's already getting tricky: I cant use foamcore. I need this building to be standalone and pretty sturdy, its big and isnt going to have a lot of cross supports (necessarily). Ideally id make a skeletonized version of the structure in erector sets, but those arnt cheap to find and there is no "generic" kit that has lots of flat pieces. So instead I bought pipe hanging material which has the holes and a 1/8th acrylic sheet and drilled it in there. I had to cut off some tips but that wasnt too bad with my dremel.

The mesh you see is to give the foamcoat something to hold onto, otherwise it would just slide right off the acrylic.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/10/21 21:06:38

Post by: Largo39

Okay so now we're casting!

First I foamcoated up the floor tile. As you can see i might even need a bit more, the inner section really filled out (which is good! the more crevasses it fills the better)

Next up is beginning pillar work. Now while I made the pillers for the zinge sign out of foam coat, that wont work here for one main reason: i'm running out and have to save it for more bases (bike bases to be exact)

So i went by my kraft store and picked up hydrostone, a super hard version of plaster. I also made some casts out of lego. Notice that wall has to be inserted.. tahts because hydrostone isnt nearly as fluid as foamcoat and so cant be poured into a mould, you sorta have to pack it in there and close it up behind it.

at the top and bottom are threaded rods that I am running down the length of the cast so i can screw this into the board.

The results: first not that hydrostone is TOUGH, man it's awesome to feel and play with without worrying abotu cracking. I deliberatly cracked the last pillar because of a miscast (it had a lot of residue from my other casts so it set up REALLY fast and i didnt get time to press it into shape so it was too thick, i may throw it out.. havent decided yet, having a cracked wall section would be fun as always)

It also captures detail pretty well BUT does go pretty smooth, as you can see the one pillar that has awesome "aged but not too damaged" detail was lucky, the others came out extremely clean. So i need to try and rough up my lego blocks a bit more to add in some extra weathering detail, or glue down some sand. we'll see. Still all in all im happy and will make my side walls otu of the same stuff. its' super fun

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/10/22 06:03:15

Post by: evildrcheese

Nice pillars. Looking forward to seeing how the garage turns out.


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/10/22 21:12:17

Post by: Largo39

Thanks! here's 5 more:

Im getting better at adding details too with these 5 (which will clearly end up being the front 5/the ones you notice more). The key was adding dabs of wood glue coated in sand into the pillar mould before putting in the hydrostone. I could, of course, let the glue set and so forth but that would just mean i have 5 identical pillars. THis way if I pull the pillar out just as it sets but not after I can pick out the gooey sand and get a relief of the texture.

Finergrand sand looks good but doesnt pick out as well, so the right most pillars probably wont be as neat looking once they are painted, most of the snd is still stuck in there. Still some washes might bring some of it back.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/10/23 23:26:19

Post by: Largo39

Okayyy well now we're into the pillar attachment phase. The downside of the metal bands is drilling throught he board becomes difficult. The upsides is that the pillars just screw right in, so they are suppper sturdy. Still took some doing getting them mostly striaght though, the walls inbetween will become crucial.

Speaking of which this is the mould for the sidewalls (about 5.5 inches or so, the backwalls are more like 4)

It'll be 1 lego unit thin and thats the pattern, a mix of 4 blocks and 2 blocks. Doing just 2 blocks got a bit busy and i didnt have that many, even if the scale is more accurate. But doing all 4 blocks also looked a bit off, hence this hybrid pattern.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/10/24 01:53:35

Post by: Warboss_Waaazag

Nice work on those pillars. I was thinking of doing something along those lines myself.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/10/25 03:12:02

Post by: Largo39

Thanks! yeah they turn out great, super realistic, super tough, and they are pretty easy. It helps having legos around, the make casting a snap (so to speak).

Downside is the legos arnt really going to be good fo ranything but casting, they get COVERED in plaster coats. But hey. still woth it.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/10/25 23:15:44

Post by: Largo39

The first wall is done!

Turned out well, fairly standard. This is the "inner" wall of the garage. So its the side of the garage that will be closest to the flak tower/recieves the least amount of damage. One thing I forgot to mention is all of these walls have rebar int hem for extra strength and for otpional destruction. The downside of this is it basically forces me to take apart the moulds almots completely between casts.

Next up is wall 2. You can see the rebar (i even added extra wire wrap detail for this wall specitically.) Now since this wall is on the outer side of the garage iw ant it WRECKED. Like shell/carnifex/etc just rammed into it wrecked. The reason being is that if I can have some holes/sense of falling apart then i get some extra window space into the interior and more light. The more light the better.

Unfortunately what you dont see is what I did to get this effect, which is PACK this mould with wood glue. Basically the idea is for a given mould you coat the areas you want to be 'war torn" with wood glue, and then cover that with cork bits an big sand granules. it is UNECESSARY to let this dry Then do the cast as normal and when you pull the wall off the wood glue is still wet (even if it was dry before it's made wet again by the heat/moisture of the reaction) and you can pick our the cork and sand. This leaves a perfect texture in the concrete and makes for a very realistic effect.

The other half: (again pre-glue, sadlyt, didnt get a pic of that)

If you build your cork/sand/wood glue slurry up tot he rebar layer than yo uwill have rebar showing when you eventually pick it all out, veyr cool.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/10/27 18:10:37

Post by: Largo39

So there are some consequences to using materials so sturdy: tough to drill through them.

So remember a few things:

Each wall segment has a rebar running through it horitzontally and vertically. The vertical section of rebar is ment to hold the evnetual roof and also firmly attach it to the floor (just punch a hole and bend the rebar around into hole, voila done)

The beams then screw into the bottom to further anchro it down.

The bottom is made up of an acrylic sheet with 2 bands of steel pipe strap screwed into it.

Then the horizontal wall rebar needs to pin into their beams, so we're drilling holes there as well.

Okay with that re-explained, the construction process has been so far: get the corner sections up and then figure out the middle. Basically yyou have to line up the rebar with it's holes in both the verticle beam and horizontal steel reinforced floor and just slowly pull it into place. Its tough since you're doing both axis at once. A better solution would probably have been to first drill/glue all the walls/beams to each other and then to the floor, removing an axis in each step. But hen it would force me to line up 30 odd holes into the floor which would be.. also problematic given that drilling a hole in the floor involves a LOT of walking of the drill bit and has broken 3 so far (halting my progress last night).

FInally the other problem is somehow through all this i ended up 3/8ths off. Somehow the casting + measuring + walking drill bits + legos having a strict size per next "unit" process led to the middle wall sections needing to be pretty signifigantly smaller than other wall sections. It's symmetric so not a huge deal look wise, but ZOMG A GIANT PAIN IN THE BUTT TO SAND DOWN. (remember when i said hydrostone was super duper tough? yeah.. thatst he one problem. Worth it, of coruse, but be sure to constantly keep checking yourself)

Sorry, this has ended up a bit of a rant post, but needless to say it's never too late to check your measuring once more, because mistakes have led to you not seeing a pretty picture of the all the walls up, and instead me tired of 4 hours of sanding/grinding/drilling trying to get all this to line up and fit properly. And a broken drill bit instead of holes into my floorplate.

Still here are some pictures of the wall that are up, and you can see the super broken wall that im happy about. Note that the orange are natural rust stains! apparently the rebar in my moulds rusted quite quickly (at leasst the other later) so im getting this fun stain for free where the rebar is.

The outer sidewall of the outer corner:

THe back wall of the inner corner:

The other side of that back wall:

I dont remember which wall this is but it's an outer wall (all the partially exposed rebar will be on an outer wall, since that's what would take the most damage over time)

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/10/28 03:12:50

Post by: Warboss_Waaazag

I really like your rebar effect.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/10/28 20:40:22

Post by: Largo39

Thanks! the fact that it naturally rusts was a pretty neat added bonus.

Itr's also keep to keeping it all together, the uber cracked one would never have held together (or been re-assemblable) without the rebar. Once you pick out th esand/cork from the drying cast you still need to hit it with a hammer to get the final impact cracks, and thats where it would have compeltely just fallen apart without the rebar.

I finally got through the remaining holes into the lfoorplate. It cost yet another bit meant to drill through metal, but I finally did it with slightly thicker bit. In the end that proved key, as they had the strength to survive the slippages and whatnot drilling through the metal. Having bigger than necessary holes also ended up being fruitful as it helped wiggle in that last wall.

I'll have pictures later tonight, forgot to take them this morning.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/10/29 08:49:14

Post by: Largo39

Pictures of the overall:




Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/10/29 09:43:34

Post by: SilverMK2

Looks awesome. Really interesting to hear your techniques and then see the results!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/10/30 22:33:50

Post by: Largo39

So now its time to think about the roof! and.. recent bit aquisitions.

Due to fortuitous orders and friends with spare knight parts, I managed to snag some magera claws.

For reference:


they make for some great cranes and would be excellent additions to the garage. The idea being id have 1 magera holding a turret id sacrifice to the cause (hello heavy bolter turret) with cables and stuff strewing from the bottom of said turret as if it was mid install or uninstall.

Then for the other claw I was thinking it would be in a corner holding a half dissasembled dreadnought (sensing a trend? I had 2.. never used!).

Getting a bit more height would also let me build in a "top shelf" of fun parts like knight heads and so forth, epic weapons, etc.

The downside is that this thing would be nearly as tall as it is deep, and requires more casting. Boo. The ratio bothers me a bit less once I looked up some reference and saw that car shops have ceilings that are more like 3x the height of a car, which matches well with my rhinos.


The casting part is more troublesome but i *think* i can cast in place. Just build bricks around each pillar and cast 2 more bricks on top.

ANother benefit of the height is that I can have tanks that are up on the stands as well and stll be comfortable, as you can see by the chimera raised up.

The proposed height/look:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/03 20:29:33

Post by: Largo39

Sorry! work on lots of non wall things.

First we have the bits trade of epicness. I trade some stuff with a friend (mostly other bigger terrain bits I had been collecting) to get som edetail bits. This also brings up a bit of a mini rant: why do titans have all the good stuff? Seriously there were titan shelf bits, computer stations.. I'll give pictures of it all later but for now just check these babies out:

Those are perfect for holding books/stuff in between my pillars! I have 4 so 2 sets of 2 each leaving some space in the areas with the cranes for bigger stuff. fW has all this PERFECT terrain pieces just holed up in random sprues for giant casts like titans that few can afford. It's nonsensical.

Anyways the main work i've been doing is lots of little BC things. For example, lasplas turrets (note: still needs a wash)

Next we have the heavy flamer turret. Now sadly FW doesnt make one of these, but I happened to have some spare ones for the LR redeemer so I just used those and they work perfectly (and look super cool)

Finally we have the deimos rhinos. They are still a WIP, needing some work on the tracks and washes in certain places/various cleanup of paint marks. But Im pretty happy and it's only taken me a week or so to get all 3 here, which is great (for me) givne the amount of detail they have.

The darker blue left side:

And the lighter/greener right side:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/14 01:43:58

Post by: Largo39

So I took a brief vacation and am now back with some work on raising the walls.

As previously discussed i kinda.. changed my mind about how tall I wanted this garage to be. Once I saw how cool the cranes were, and got my ideas for hanging dread/turret it just.. all kinda went downhill from there.

So cranes it is, which means I need about another inch of height to really fit in on there. Downside is that this means casting IN place. Welcome to lego fun and fragility!

So now you get to see my moulding process and my thinking for it. I went ahead and built out as much moulds as possible first so any excess material would immediatly go into another mould. Turns out im running out! (i've BURNED through 5 lbs of it doing all this, i should end up with JUST enough to finish the extensions)

Now we need to make sure that the pillars are broadly even with each other so I attached some helper legos between them to try and ensure this, with reasonable sucess:

Next up was the first sidewall. Now I had 2 options here. One option was to just extend the 2 pillars and the inner wall seperatly. But Look wise if it didnt line up perfectly it would.. look wierd. Instead I figure (and realistically this seemed the better option anyways/what theyd actually do) i do one giant slab across the whole surface as a capstone. This seems to match actual construction techniques and would be much easier to sand smooth. Thus notice that im actually casting with an overhang over the thin wall/need the smooth pieces.

Also notice more rebar! So now the entire thing will be even MORE interconnected and strong. I really like terrain that wont fall apart. Have i mentioned that?

I sense a lot of sanding in my future:

Finally we have the looonngg back wall. This is where things get interesting. In keeping with the "big slab" idea I figured I would just cast the entire thing at once. But this is also the wall that had allt he shortening/measuring/oh god why did the bit slip issues. So it's not straight as an arrow like legos are. Welcome to lego jiggering! where each section is straight and mostly held to the other section with lego tension! it worked.. barely. But fell apart more than a few times in trying to get it all together.

First we, of course, rebar it up:

Lego madness!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/16 02:48:48

Post by: Largo39

Sorry! got a few days behind. Its been supper busy trying to work on this thing.

Anyways here's the result from my "in place" casting process.

One result you can see here was leaking. The legos didnt quite seal with the bottom and so in one section a whole bunch of hydrostone leaked out and covered over previous work. Kinda lame but not the end of the world. In the future I should use blu-tak to fill in those gaps or just cover everything else in tape to prevent such a result. For this i just sanded it down to create an edge defining the upper beam and ill coat the "leakage" in sand and paint it to look like aging of some kind.

These pictures clearly indicate another problem that can happen: holes/patches in the cast. This is the result of just not being able to pack in the hydrostone well/its not particularly fluid. So sometimes it doesnt fill all the cracks. Not a huge deal, easy enough to just mix up a small batch and fill in the holes.

Finally the interior look. Im very happy with how this this out, it really anchors the structure by having it hang over a bit. Very pleased.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/16 21:43:04

Post by: Largo39

Cleaning up the top slabs:

You can also begin to see my metal roof frame. The basis for this frame came from this square metal tubing I got from an ikea lamp i dissasembled

Light and sturdy it seemed like it would be a good material to make the frame out of, as a lot of stuff will be hanging off of this thing. Unfortunately I had to drill a few holes in it to get it to line up with all my posts and therein lied the problem. Drilling in it took.. forever. I dunno why, but even with a cobalt drill bit (theoretically meant for steel) drilling 8 pilot holes took something like an hour and a half to do with my dremel + press.

Maybe I wasnt lubricating enough or wasnt putting enough pressure (i had lost enough bits already), but man alive that took a while. Once i had the pilot hole going up in size went quickly enough, but that first hole was a doozey. Cutting it was easy though so thats a relief i guess, and its done with now.

to secure the frame to itself I used gorilla glue on top of lego inserts (NOT superglue) which is this super sticky expanding stuff and lego sliders. It's neat, and effective, and very strong, but not quite as hard as superglue (though i suppose that makes it less brittle). As a result in some areas I either missapplied or didnt use enough water to catalyze it and the frame could bend. Annoying but something I can stiffen later. Either way its good stuff because the expansion helps fill in holes and stuff and you get a looott more of it for the cost of superglue. VERY VERY sticky though, my hands are STILL coated in it.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/17 22:10:58

Post by: Largo39

Now its tiem for the finishing on the frame. As you can see the frame isnt as big as the pillars/walls around it. But I figure i glue I-beams on either side to thicken it up and it'll work just fine.

Furthermore I can hide wire on the glue side of each i-beam on each side to further strengthe this and make it more resistent to bending/fix my earlier mistake.

Downside is that since I'm using the expanding gorilla glue (the ideal glue for this tyupe of thing, I WANT to fill in all the cracks) i have to wait.. a long time. It took all day to do all 4 sides. But the result is suppper strong and looks good (the corners need work but thats easy enough to do later)

The finished product:

Now onto the fun part, defailing! and cranes!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/18 22:44:43

Post by: Largo39

Now we're getting to the fun part!

So we have 4 bays total and here's how I envision it going down:

2 bays with tank lifts to get underneath the tanks, this would alos be where tools and stuff for standard repairs are. I figure I have a couple of robot arms hanging down to assist with welding and such, ala iron man type of deal.

2 bays with big cranes to install/fix bigger ticket things on the tank. One crane would be holding a razorback turret ring with cables and such hanging down and the other would be carrying a dissasembled dreadnought to be worked on the the corner (have i mentioend the rules for dreads arnt worth it? this be why they show up in my dioramas lol)

so for the tank lift bays the ceiling is then composed of some ibeams and mostly piping and such, to match a real car bay. Here is the start of that:

and now for the cranes:

These took a while to figure out but im very happy with the result, they look pretty realistic and while Istill need to add the wheel for them onto the ibeam the effect is nice. The only downside is they are big enough that the distance between them and the tank is less than id like. They arnt so much hanging over it as barely out of its' way. Still the effect is cool enough that it works. At some point ill cap the legos to hide the fact that the other tracked part is legos but i havent figure out with what to cap it yet, and it would be super hard to see anywayss... so we'll see.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/19 08:21:00

Post by: StarDrop

Largo39 wrote:
Now we're getting to the fun part!

So we have 4 bays total and here's how I envision it going down:

2 bays with tank lifts to get underneath the tanks, this would alos be where tools and stuff for standard repairs are. I figure I have a couple of robot arms hanging down to assist with welding and such, ala iron man type of deal.

2 bays with big cranes to install/fix bigger ticket things on the tank. One crane would be holding a razorback turret ring with cables and such hanging down and the other would be carrying a dissasembled dreadnought to be worked on the the corner (have i mentioend the rules for dreads arnt worth it? this be why they show up in my dioramas lol)

so for the tank lift bays the ceiling is then composed of some ibeams and mostly piping and such, to match a real car bay. Here is the start of that:

and now for the cranes:

These took a while to figure out but im very happy with the result, they look pretty realistic and while Istill need to add the wheel for them onto the ibeam the effect is nice. The only downside is they are big enough that the distance between them and the tank is less than id like. They arnt so much hanging over it as barely out of its' way. Still the effect is cool enough that it works. At some point ill cap the legos to hide the fact that the other tracked part is legos but i havent figure out with what to cap it yet, and it would be super hard to see anywayss... so we'll see.

Amazing. I'm really impressed!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/19 23:48:02

Post by: Largo39

Thanks! they took a bit to figure out at first. Thats always the problem with this sort of thing, you have a pile of bits that you are trying to figure out which you need that will fit, and you have to make sure you have enough bits to make the quanitity needed. So you gotta hold all these bit images in your head while you piece it together. But the result is one that i think is both realistic and very greebly.

Next up tonight I try to make 2 tank lifst for the other 2 bays! I just gotta buy yet more i-beams...

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/21 12:31:43

Post by: GamesEtc

This project is coming along quite well. I will want to keep up with your progress! =D

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/21 13:37:36

Post by: evildrcheese

Looks really great. I hope you continue to blow my mind!


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/21 19:29:42

Post by: Largo39

Bit of a gap because I took apart my table! Woot. It had served its' time well but was big, bulky, and very immobile. So we're replacing it with fold out 2x4 tables that I intend to stich togethe,r but that'll be another post once I finish a few pieces (mainly a little wooden tile holder so I only need 2 tables up at any one time)

Anyways back in garage land I've been working on the first tank lift! It's coming along well

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/22 21:51:30

Post by: Largo39

First up I got in more detailing in for the first tank lift. Im happy, it looks realistic and hainve the lift be on both sides of the ibeam added a lot to it. Also the tracks on the inner ibeam look great! hooray lego

Next was mocking up the second tank lift. Unfortuantely I'm basically out of the bits i need to compelte the lift, but it was important to at the very least get the frame structure in place so I can figure out where these things are going. As you can see the answer is: in the middle. I had to change my plans a bit because they just didnt fit side by side on the end they were originally slated for.

This meant my ceilings had to change:

But was otherwise not a big deal.

With all the big hero pieces figured out its time for final layout figuring out. The last piece to allt his were the computer terminals I snagged. These babies are pefect and, more importantly, will sell the ceiling even more. I have 4 computers for 4 bays/machines, and the top input to the computer will be the cabling from the machine. Cabling isnt necessarily sexy but I think it'll really sell thsi and add free "greebling" to my ceiling that's logical as I i string it all up and hook it to hte computer.

The bottom cables of the computer will run across the floor (protected by some plate) to the back wall where they dissappear into the "power" ether. Outlets of some kind or just the back of the bookshelves I have.

What this means is that it's finally time to start painting! I've reached the point where all freestanding structures are built or (in the case of the second tank lift) outlined, and as such to start finishing this thing off I need to paint the concrete up so that I can start attaching painted pieces to it (I still have a shelf to make full of "hero" pieces, lights to add, cables to string up, posters to add ,etc)

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/23 23:23:24

Post by: Largo39

So this post will be longer than normal to show my painting progression, because.. this was hard. Starting with white made things.. very interesting.

Okay so here we have my basic source material:

So a nice amber/oil soaked concrete floor and then whiter concrete for the walls/pillars. You get some contrast, but are still relatively muted and looks realistic. So I started with what I thought would be a fairly diluted wash of black and mud (something like 1 part in 10) wash to start getting darks in the crevasses. What I got was this:

Holy crap we got dirty fast! That was super diluted too! Basically the white took ANYTHING and got super dark. I should have antiicpated this but it was hard to see just how it'd react on this level, and once you get one patch it of anywhere you kinda have to keep going so you dont get obvious brush marks permenently stuck on the white.

Yuck, so I kept add itand started drybrushing back on some white and cream colors: More specifically I focused on the upper third of the wall to try and get a gradient. One of the big lessons from the void shield generators is that they are a bit TOO dirty. There is no "clean" area from which to generate contrast, and im bordering on hitting that here too. SO i wanted that uppe rthird to feel cleaner.

This is better but has it's own problem: this wierd grey/warm patchiness. The drybrushing would make that area of the concrete seem grey, but then right next to it would be this warmer look from the previous washing. THi was heavily exaerbated by the fact that the cast itself is SUPPER smooth in certain places so washes would roll right off ot it, creating those patches. Still it was better, but I wasnt quite happy. Then my wife had the idea of trying trying washes of white instead.

It took a good hour or 2, and very very diluted washes, but I was able to get to this result, which im very happy with.

Now the floor it turns out was a lot easier, just add more layers. Also rotate every once in a while because you never know when paint is going to dry funny. I just sstarted wiht grey then did patche so fyellow/brick red and just started throwing on washes of grey, brown, red, yellows etc until it worked. Since I was doing this at the same time as the walls id be tilting everything and id get these wiered stain patterns on the floor which were cool and just.. wash wash wash layer layer layer of stuff. Sometimes it'd get too grey so id dab on some yellow and keep going. One key thing was the removal technique. I havent done this a lot but normally i just sponge on and go. But in this instance i would sponge/dab brush on and then actually use a paper towel to smooth it out and remove a lot of it. Sometimes it would also take out previous still drying layers too which worked. I dunno, i feel like i got to it via luck but either way it looks great. ANd then hit it with lots of gloss coats for that final sheen (fun fact gloss coat also dries funky too, so that became another layer. I just poured it on and spready it around and the execess gloss "clumpged" together into another fractal pattern, when that dried yo ucould peel it off to leave this whitish residue that looked great.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/24 07:51:06

Post by: Mymearan

That looks brilliant! The weathering is amazingly realistic.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/24 23:47:35

Post by: Largo39


Now we get started on some detailing! First up are shelves which.. i dont have pictures for cause i forgot But basically think large ibeam shelves that will hold random garagey bits. 3.5 or so inches off the ground. It should let me keep the ground fairly clear but have realistic amounts of greebling as well.

Next up are some straps to help define the pillars and give some more detailing to the concrete.

So far its... okay. I started with the "standard" paint scheme for dark metal: tin bitz with gunmetal type drubrushed on it. Sure I could then add a rust pass and cover it up.. but i just dont like the base yet. I want that raw dark unfinished steel look, potentiallt then coated in chipping paint. Sure there would be some rust but not enough to cover it up.. so i dunno. It needs some experimentation

My ideal:





Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/24 23:51:41

Post by: GamesEtc

The painting is going great and looks realistic to me.

Keep it up! Love how this is turning out.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/25 19:27:54

Post by: Largo39

Thanks! Yeah i'm just mildly obsessive which is why i worry about the metal coloring.

Case in point.. I redid the cranes. lol. THey were just too low! Sigh. I know it's silly but when I put in the shelves I realized the cranes could never actually interact with the shelves, which seemed.. not useful.

But I flipped the beam and made it level with it's horizaontal axis. Giving me like 3/8ths of an inch back and now the crane is a t a good height so it could actually pick something off the shelf.

I also did a quick test of putting in the tank lifst and that informed where i needed those shelves to be.. which is much higher. So now they are my "top" shelves that are rarely used and hold trophies/fun things/etc. So if they ever come out with say a mini-warlord, or some knight heads, etc. Just fun little knick knacks to put up there. I might also make them a touch thinner

The current latest layout. Expect the other side to have a similar corner just one that's been a bit more messed up by the impact hit. Moving the shelves to the corner works pretty well as well. The tank lift area I have to keep clear since it's already pretty cluttered and I still intend to potentially have the beta garage bits in there for more tool greebling.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/27 22:13:20

Post by: Largo39

The walkways are painted and isntalled! I ended up going with the chipping painted metal look because I figure all walkway type metals would be painted. Otherwise on the roof Id have a mass of raw metal walkway on top of a corrugated metal roof. Lotta the same look there.... Instead the painted metal sits a little back, but still has some ncie hi density detail. And then it'll match the tank lifts and other things which would also be a similar look (though potentailly different color)


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/28 22:42:16

Post by: Largo39

So I went back and added more detail to the cranes. Iw asnt originally intending to but as I kept doing these layouts I would test having the crane gripping the dreadnought/turret. And each time it would prove to be.. very difficult and the tips would typically not be helping grip at all. This combined with the fact that the crane shelves are justtt cresting the tips (intentionally, it looked better slightly higher up) It made sense logically taht they would also pivot. So I added some piston pivot thigns and now everything pivots! it looks great so it was worth the time.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/29 05:26:42

Post by: GamesEtc

Walkways looking good, but maybe add some rust stains on the walls where they meet a rusty area of walkway? Kinda running down the wall like?

And the details on the crane are looking great!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/30 18:32:30

Post by: Largo39

Yeah there definitely needs to be a pass to incorporoate the walkways onto the walls. Good point.

ANd here is the crane painted! The basic idea is that from research the crane/important bits are all painted in bright colors that stand out. So i figured that would follow here as well. Unfortunately I'm not a huge yellow (the common color chosen) so i went with electric blue instead. It's wierd painting in such a primary color but it works and i think it'll set in the overall garage pretty well.

Note the coloring is a touch bluer than this, my camera's awhite balance was off. But this is basically just straight electric blue.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/11/30 22:57:50

Post by: GamesEtc

Wear and tear with the blue looks great.

Metals look really good, good amount of darkening in the crevices.

Might want to clean up the yellow and black caution lines a tad.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/01 22:04:48

Post by: Largo39

Yeah for sure. THey just took a while so i was pretty tired of them by the end. Getting it to wrap all the way around was.. annoying haha. But you're definitely right htey could stand to be a bit cleaner in spots.

Anyways now for the tank lift! One thing you may notice is my grey blue is.. less blue and brighter than before, for both the lift and the walkways. And thats because I'm a crazy person who cant make up his mind. I kept looking at all this together and once my wife pointed out that the blue grey didnt really gel well with the sky blue on the tank lift.. it seemed like the blue grey in general was just too blue. THe rest of the concrete is fairly warm so being THAT blue seemed a bit much. So 3 hours later last night I decided to (SO SLOWLTY. sigh. so many different shades of blue grey tried) try and rectify it with tese results:

it's definitely better. I may still go warmer grey but for now I just need to move on and see the whole picture. Also painting extra layers on top of something that's been chipped is.. problematic and easy to look "patchy" as you want to avoid painting over the chips. I almost certainly lost some detail but it's not the end of the world. Worst case I can scrape some off (though with difficulty, it is tough to get chips back well, but if you scrape to the metal you can start there with SOMETHING anyways) and being more neutral is helping.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/02 21:28:59

Post by: Largo39

Working on laying out/planning out the shelves.

The first 2 are such. Havnet figured out what goes in the middle yet, some big gun haha.

You can see the metal rails I put in so the guns have something to rest on.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/03 06:20:27

Post by: GamesEtc

Looking good!

Maybe these will give you some ideas what to do with empty spaces....

With the last one, maybe hang up some welding masks?

You could also hang some extra tank tracks, smoke launchers, etc....

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/03 21:36:38

Post by: Largo39

Oh hey fantastic reference! I love it. Those things are definitely on my wish list, along with like mini manuals and posters (posters I'm definitely going to find room for, those schematic posters of tanks would be perfect in miniature).
The one problem with tank treads is you'd expect them to be flexible, hanging more balled up, which is a lot of work. I was thinking though of a hanging rack of dozer blades would be appropriate and be a good use of ceiling space.

There is still the beta tool kit I hop eto buy which will give me a set of tools at the very least. http://www.tsm-models.com/tsm/public/images/products/tsm13ac26/big/01.jpg

I was also thinking of converting a flamer into a welder to have laying around. Still for now I'm focuson on the bays and contents of the upper shelves.

First up we have a rack of hunter killer missiles! This is just fun and well i wasng going to use them anyways, so something good for shelves I thought.

Next we have what I think would be a cool display: broken down power armour. I'm still working it out but I figure I use the power armour you get from pilots (straight legs, those mechanicum like gears adorning the armour, etc), and it makes sense that sets of those would be in the garage ready to put on and load up into the vehicles. I figure for the right 2 bays there would be low shelves where the shoulder pads/powerfist sat on (maybe I make some sort of quick cloth in green stuff to spice up the pfist shelf)

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/04 00:00:41

Post by: Warboss_Waaazag

This project just keeps getting better and better.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/04 06:17:20

Post by: GamesEtc

I like how you made that rack. Looks really good, and time consuming. =P

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/04 06:53:55

Post by: Largo39

Yeahh... yeah... lets not talk about that (it definitely took a while)

One flaw of that white plastic, boy does it not glue well (or primer well, as previously mentioned. Ugh.) So making that was particularly painful since i was gluing white plsatic to itself and trying to get it all to line up as well. Still the result is nice and realistic so it should look good painted.

If i havent mentione this paint is a beauty. It's part of my quest to replace all my GW metallic paints with ones that dont split/are consistetly named/look WAY better/are hella cheaper. Tin bitz so far is the only one left and some remaining gold pots I havent finished off yet. Anyways I picked this one up as part of my quest to make dark uncoated metal and it works well


It's a great dark metal, AND has a texture to it, so it seems to hold better to the plastic than primer. It's not that much better but when ur tryign to scrape your paint job to make chips ever little bit of hold helps.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/04 06:54:30

Post by: evildrcheese

Amazing! I think your attention to details is extremely commendable.

It's gonna look totally boss when its finished.


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/04 22:22:09

Post by: Largo39

Thanks! I'm not looking forward to PAINTING all the detailing but hey one step at a time lol.

Anyways progress! first up i finished (minus the lego gearing) the other tank lift. Yay!

AND even better (and picture wrothy) is the first of 2 power armour racks I made fo rthe other shelves! I'm super happy with how they turned out, the offset floating look works well. The shoulderpads are sadly a bit awwkard since they are such a tight fit buttt everything else works so well im not sure what i'd do to change it.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/05 06:39:01

Post by: GamesEtc

Good job separating the armor. Looks nice and clean.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/05 08:36:56

Post by: SilverMK2

Wow, amazing work since I last checked in! Love the tank lifts and all the detailing of the garage and PA rack. The paint effects you get on the walls are also just amazing.

To be honest, I think you could probably cast all the bits up and make a reasonable amount selling them

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/05 08:47:28

Post by: evildrcheese

Sweet. The armour rack is a work of art itself.


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/06 09:19:05

Post by: Largo39

Thanks all! it's all coming together well so far. Now it's just about.. painting it! ugh. Still tomorrow there shall be pics of the beginnings of painted things! and yet another change in my grey (the back wall of the shelves i intend to be grey to help pop out everything else and keep it all light and well the blue just wasnt working then. so i gave up and switched to re-grey and you'll see the results)

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/08 01:15:34

Post by: Largo39

Painted results! as mentioned earlier this is the new (and FINAL, i really mean it! anybody want a peanut?) grey. It's a LOT redder and more akin to the marble color I typically use for the rest of the board. Why I didnt just start here well.. no one knows but the turqoise blue stands out better and the grey itself blends better with the rest of the garage. So i think it's a winner and i can finally stop painting over/trying not to paint on my already made chipping.

The rack of hks is also coming along and nearly done, just gotta finish off the skulls.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/09 05:58:45

Post by: GamesEtc

that rack looks really good. Appears to even have all the welds on it. =D

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/09 06:42:58

Post by: evildrcheese

Painted armour rack looks brilliant.

I love the HK missile rack, looks amazing.


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/11 19:24:09

Post by: Largo39

Thanks guys!

THe "welds" are ahh.. liberal application of glue haha. The white plastic does NOT glue well (it doesnt seem to react to acetone, so superglue doesnt work as well, and neither does primer) so it basically came about as id glue it down, then try to get on another piece and the first piece broke so more glue.. and so on. But hey it worked out

there is more coming soon i promise! just been a bit swamped with non painting things and havent had a chance to take pictures as well, but there is a lot more work on the shelves and i finally got in the lego pieces to finish off the other tank lift.

These pieces, while brilliant, are less common and less cheap. But only needed like 15 or so so it wasnt so bad.


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/13 21:09:11

Post by: Largo39

It's all coming together! Still some touchup work to do here and there (i generally stop at 90% lately, let sme move on and get a clearer look at problems when i revisit it)

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/15 19:41:21

Post by: Largo39

Computer consoles are up. I was concerned about the screens but i think it turned out pretty well! Also note the yellow light! I think it works, basically its either "off" or in the dark position or "on", and they're on when a crane is moving. I might need 1 more "on" but i'm not sure, it might seem a bit too on the nose then too.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/15 20:04:23

Post by: shasolenzabi

For polystyrene like the white plastic the local Wal-Mart in their model section should have Testor's plastic cement,(Blue is non-toxic and lemony scented), and does a good job for all of my minis from scratch or if they are plastics like GW or Dreanmforge, it just takes a bit to do it's plastic-to-plastic welding act.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/16 22:14:32

Post by: Largo39

I'll keep that in mind, thanks! I just like superglue haha. its easy and works for everything theoretically.

Anyways a brief break to talk about the table! SO this was my table before:

It was nice, had served me well but.. was a bear to move. And it's bulky and takes up ALL the room. Unfortunately that balcony is like 4 inches shy of being 6 foot wide, so it's just awkward enough to make everything difficult. Adding on top of that a giant heavy table was something that needed to be replaced. So I decided to buy 3 2x4 foldeing tables instead. They still hold like 1000 lbs each, are sturdy (at the medium height. The "gaming" height is.. not so sturdy, which is smoething i need to fix by bolting them all to each other) and can be used in multiple ways.

Unfortunately because my balcony isnt 6 feet wide if i wanted to actually free up space I needed to figure out a tile holder. Enter tile holder 1.0!

Pretty straightforward construction, just a frame and a lot of shelves out of wood to hold tiles. I was trying to be compact so i figured tiles would be no more than 3 inches tall buttt.. i was wrong, so i need to rebuilt it. Right now it can only fit 4 out of hte 6 which is pretty lame given how much room it takes up. But still im pleased and it gives me a lot more storage back:

In other news I'm just painting up the other crane/lift/etc.

Notice i DIDNT paint up the danger stripes on the upper grip areas, originally because i needed a break but as i look at it it's a lot less busy and helps hihglight the stripes on the tips of the crane, so I'll probably paint over the other crane's stripes as well moving forward.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/17 07:03:56

Post by: evildrcheese

Good progress. I really like the on/off light on the consoles.


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/17 21:04:57

Post by: Largo39

Last night was about doing some more integration work on the existing platforms, getting them grey, etc. Also integrating in my T-brackets a bit more and experimenting with the raw metal look i've been doing for my missile racks on a wider scale.

So far I think it's working well, i just might need to lower the contrasta bit for the main beam, some of the brights get just a touch hot and i think just a little more subtle would help set it n abit better. THe brackets for me work really well though, and getting in some staining on the concrete around them really helped sell that. I also did the same for the walkways, darkening them as they go further back and also darkening the conrete around them. It's like "age exposure". Ie anywhere where the metal would be touching the concrete rust and stuff are slowly leeching in there.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/19 07:50:15

Post by: GamesEtc

Excellent work man! Excellent work!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/22 02:32:33

Post by: Largo39


So I wanted to just show this one when it was done butitrs been taking a while so I figured id come out with an update.

Orignally my thought for one of the 2 crane contents was a dissasembled dreadnought. Unfortunately the only dread i have remeining was a snap together and thus not really something I could take apart. However I do happen to have a full centurion box I was never going to use (not a fan of centurions all together, but their exoskeletons rock). So it's time for centurion armour racks!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/22 06:54:05

Post by: evildrcheese

Looks good. It's all those little details that are making this piece of terrain a masterpiece.

Love how you've weathered the main building, it's just mind blowing.


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2015/12/24 00:00:31

Post by: Largo39

First side of the armour racks! Pretty happy with how these turned out. ALso did some more turrets as well to finish off my razorback needs.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/02 22:02:30

Post by: Largo39

Happy New year! new year, new things! I'm back from xmas festivities with more work on my centurion racks.

First up the other side of the armour racks!

Seceondly I was pondering just how I wanted to connect these to the shelf. The drop pod had such lovely cabling alreasdy stretched out from the back, so it seemed a shame to waste it.

I figure then that the racks would have stations they hooked up too for power and such, and came up with these:

which worked nicely. However upon previewing it all together there still is one nagging issue:

The darn crane is still not really situated to be able to tack them off their stations! its just a touch too low. I cant really fix this at this point by adding more hneight, so I had to get creative. That's when I hit upon the idea of each station having a small lifter arm to lower the whole rack down a bit and let the crane take over.

This actually made even more sense because the crane just sets it on the arm afterwords, so the crane/operator doesnt have to worry about lining up precisely with all the power connection points. So it solved my height problem and makes the overall system more complete (it also provides a way of holding the racks onto the shelfes more securely, so another plus!)

This is what ive come up with, the 4th is donw because thats the piece on the crane!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/04 06:21:33

Post by: StarDrop

So much fine work and detail. I envy it (and you.)

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/04 07:28:57

Post by: evildrcheese

Nice racks

Really though the attention to detail is stunning. The razor back turrets look great too.


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/04 21:03:31

Post by: Largo39

Thanks all! I just regret how long it all takes. Im just slow haha. I get distracted by the internet easily so i paint slowly. Le sigh. Still progress is progress, even if its not as fast as i'd like.

Anyways we have the lifter arms painted up and installed! I actually later changed my mind about the part that holds onto the rack, it needed more contrast/the grey blended in a bit too much. So when you see this with all the centurion racks install it'll be a bit more noticible.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/06 01:26:42

Post by: Largo39

It's all comin together now! Unfortunately it all coming together highlights one important thing: man it's going to be cool if the roof comes off. There is just a lot of detail that's going to be lost once that roof is in place, so keeping it detachable is definitely ideal. This messes with the lighting up aspect a bit but I think I can make it work via adding connectors at that point so i can detach easily.

Note that the 4th armour rack isnt yet glued down. Im deciding where it should go (crane or on the rack). On the one hand it's nice on the rack because it clearly shows what the rack does and keeps the crane clear a bit (putting the rack on the crane might start to impact tanks below, we'll see), but it would be cool to have on the crane too and see the naked lifter... dunno. We'll see.

Whoops there is a second missile rack i made btw! Didnt actually show you guys yet i dont think, i'll post pics soon of closeups.

Test of the computer terminal with cabling! looking fun. The purple is.. unfortunate but fixable. The problem is that these are lego tubing so the primer didnt stick, so when i went to glue it the barest hint of glue on my hands just ripped off chunks. An easy repaint though

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/06 08:24:23

Post by: carlos13th

This looks awesome

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/06 19:39:04

Post by: Makarios

Loving all the work on this table

I'm in the planning / learning stages of trying to make a few larger terrain pieces myself, previously only having built small piecemeal sections of fencing and barbwire and small corner / straight wall sections, etc... basic stuff

a thought i had recently was trying to scratch build some random common scenery elements that I dont see used elsewhere

box's and barrels and fencing i see everywhere, but i wanted to make a list of more rarely seen elements I thought i thought i could find or scratch build to give more life to the terrain

so hoping you'll find any of the ideas useful here's what I've come up with and my thoughts and list of reference pics

dumpsters: *i'm pretty sure i could build the body out of plasticard, was going to hunt for a better material for lids but was thinking it may be possible with plasticard+putty to round the top with a couple strips of wire run down the length to give that familiar ridged look -maybe a heavy coat of elmers over it to blend the pieces together a bit




freight cargo containers: was thinking the ribbed center sections of cardboard for the main walls and plasticard or even cardboard for the edges, I really dont think these would be difficult to make



pallets: I would prefer the plastic ones for my urban scenery (largely cause they would let me throw out splashes of color, blues and oranges) but either work, i've seen really nice scale wood pallets made of coffee stirs and I'm going to be making some platic ones out of... you guessed it plasticard



benches: they gotta sit sometime, i actually got lucky and had some at the perfect scale that went with a christmas train set that went bad this year, snipped them right off the base and set to resin casting but i've seen them for sale elsewhere and dont think they'd be terribly difficult to scratch build if needed, lots of long thin planks and something fancier for the arm/leg pieces, maybe with something decorative made of floral wire


as a side note, i recently found these little guys http://g03.a.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1P0b0JVXXXXbiXFXXq6xXFXXXU/T191-Pixar-Cars-2-Pixar-Planes-Forklift-1-55-Scale-Diecast-Metal-Alloy-Modle-Toys-For.jpg

on a clearance rack for a couple bucks each... there were 4 left so i took them all... a little bit of filing off of the face elements, and filling in the mouth with a small bit of putty... followed by a decent paint job, they make amazing scenery props...

moral of that story, always check the clearance racks

once again, loving all the details your putting into your table, been checking your progress for a couple weeks now, excited to see the finished product

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/07 21:54:37

Post by: Largo39

Oh wow great reference! yeah those would all be fun additions. I really like the fumpsters with trash in it. Be a fun piece because you could make it big enough to climb into/give a minor cover save.

Cargo containers are definitely classic.

Pallets I actually made some more or less as bases for my missile racks. You just take square plastic tubing, cut it in half lengthwise (so its short like pallets are) and then make your structure. you can then cover the bottom again with plasticard or in my case i used tongue depressors and just cut them down quickly.

I'm still looking to maybe pick upt he tool kit I had linked too earlier, it should be the right size. I just havent yet gotten around to that, getting all the 40k details in has been top priority, and then if there is room left i pick up a tool kit set.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/13 00:25:46

Post by: Largo39

Back again! So there was a brief break there to do some touchup work on those rhinos I painted earlier, but now we're back with garage work!

First up we have an alternate view of the secodn missile rack I made

Next we have installs for the tank lifts. Notice that there is wiring too! it stops and at that end point i plan to add a magnet so i can magnetically attach the roof's cables but still leave it all detachable

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/13 07:03:04

Post by: evildrcheese

Nice missile rack. It's really coming together now.


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/15 01:12:40

Post by: Largo39

Now for the next fun/not fun part, wiring things!

So installing stuff has been halted so I could add in lighting. Once the roof is down this will also get.. very dark, so lights are key. Unfortunately i need about 14 of them so powering all this could get interetingbut for now i'm sticking with 4 AAs and hoping that it lasts a few hours.

THe leds I chose for the shelves are this very bright white lights, so i needed to diffuse them a bit, enter soda cups! those little button things you push are a perfect size and you just stack 2 on top of each other to get a nice diffused look. I then did a light yellow wash to tint my light.

Yay lots of loose wires..

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/20 00:44:43

Post by: Largo39

Woo big weekend for progress.

First up we have shelf installs! Yay!

I soldered up some leds I got and added my little copper tubing to help snazz up the wiring. One thing to note is that I was originally using lego tubing for this purpose but it was too small for these wires. Fortunately shrink tubing fit just fine and was actually a LOT easier to work with to boot (lego plastic is no bueno with paint as we've already discussed, so the act of cutting up and threading the lego tubing ususally stripped it as well. Not fun)

Next up I wanted to add a door for the marble. Given that the flak tower is a ways away I needed someplace logical to put my marble landing. While it's a bit wierd for a garage to have such a thing it wont be a permement install and I can just make up some stairs when it's no longer an issue.

To do it i figured id just cut a bastion door in half and use both side.. BIG HUGE MISTAKE. the toleranec is SO fine you end up with holes and it took me an hour just to get what i got. Just buy 2 and shave off each side. Seriously.

Still with some green stuff it'l get usable again. I also intend to add some LEDs here too to light them up cause.. why not!

Finally it was time to work on my wall lights. I Wanted lights all along the walls to just help light it up but also stay out of the way of the cranes. I stared by modelling the lights themslves andI'm happy wth the result:

Then there was the leds. these were much trickier to solder because they were so close together and I eneded a strong connection point between them so I can more reliable attach/detach the roof from them.

The base idea is this:

Originally I was hoping to have the wires themselves be clean enough to display but... the soldering was messy and very finicky.

Ugh, so i decided to cove rit up with more of the ribbed tubing i was using elsewhere.

Much better. Tomorow we'll have them installed and with their light covers glued down too!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/21 00:59:00

Post by: Largo39


Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/21 05:46:04

Post by: Clyde Frog

Wonderful! The amont of detail on all of this is amazing!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/22 20:54:42

Post by: Largo39


So next up i switched gears a bit to work ont he roof. I was doing some boring cleanup work and added in the inner door which.. the pictures turned out blurry so you'll see it eventually. Buuttt I really wanted to nail down the roof situation.

The thing is i want it detachable but where is the question. my original thought was do to the ibeam frame, but that is not something that's been coming on and off particularly well lets just say. One of my trusses broke and I have to fix it and all my concrete pillars get a lot less stable with the frame off.

So the new thinking is i just glue the frame down and have just the roof/walkways be removable instead. But I wanted to make sure THEY could be strong enough to do that so i figured it was time to just stop with the small picture stuff to finish it off and figure it out.

So here we go. I started with just corrugated plastic you can get from kitkraft. Pretty simple, cheap, looks good. Then on top im just working out the walkways. These ended up being a touch wider than i'd have liked but given the new base size + the size of railings it seemed that this would work best for model comfort/placement. It's going to make the eventual walkway bases somewhat interesting to make but i'll cross that bridge whe ni get to it.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/25 21:30:18

Post by: Largo39

Busy weekend, not a lot of pictures because I was working on so many things!

Basically it was about plotting exactly what was going on with the roof. After seeing the corurgated panels on the roof i.. really wanted them to be tilted. So then it became about just how to do that and so forth. I also finally figured out the final pieces for my frame so I can glue that down, as all the roof is dependent on that being glued and set.

So first up we have railing and edging work for the walkways:

I also had to repair this mess:


And then it was about adding in sprinklers! I figure that piping would be the sprinkler system, so I fashened up some spriklers and went with that as ma plans:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/26 22:10:04

Post by: Largo39

So we have the sprinklers finished and installed. Note that they go up! this is to avoid the crane in space and works really well becasuuuuseeeee

The ceiling is slanted! woo! I'm happy, now i just gotta add windows and such to the open gaps and paint it all.

We also have the beginnings of my offset turret platform. Still working on this but the size is there. Id love to make it octagonal though, we'll see.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/29 22:32:04

Post by: Largo39

Now with railings!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/30 09:38:55

Post by: Ruglud

Glorious work, simply glorious. Next update please...

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/31 00:10:37

Post by: I-bounty-hunt-the-elderly

Great looking terrain! Can I ask what you made the floor of those walkways from? The black mesh stuff.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/01/31 16:50:51

Post by: Largo39

Oof, slow day yesterday. Not as much progress as I would have liked but it was all about wiring.

This was getting to the halfway point, getting the wires neater and such

And then getting them clean, glued, and headers attached to the ends was th eother half.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/02/02 21:32:32

Post by: Largo39

Lotta painting work focusing on the roof:

First up we have the underlying roof:

I may go back and localize some of the streaks a bit more, so that there arnt as many big ones, btu for now it works pretty well and i have to make ti to LVO lol.

Next up we have the scaffolding. Now first I started with the same grey I've been using for the internals. Unfortunately i apparently hit a patch of white or something In my custom mix so it got.. a lot whiter than I wanted.

After some adjustments I darkened it down and reddened it up a bit and.. its beter? its really hard to tell from these pictures alas but oh well

It definitely stll needs a little something something. It's now just kinda boring, which isnt bad. the lightness will contrast well with my minis and so forth, but it just needs a touch of color. I think the answer will be some extra hero detailing (spotlights and so forth on the rails, with their associated cabling), but we'll see.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/02/02 23:13:53

Post by: Briancj

Safety posters.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/02/03 00:08:34

Post by: Largo39

what do you mean? I have been tinkering with the idea of printing out mini posters before but where would that go on the fence? might look a bit wierd draped over the railings.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/02/03 12:18:58

Post by: Ruglud

Hazard stripes, bright yellow railings (weathered of course...). For signage, you could go with 'this way' type arrows painted on the walkways or metal signs hanging off the railings...

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/02/03 13:39:07

Post by: Briancj

On the back wall outside, and some small splashes of color on the pillars to the bays. Maybe safety striping.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/02/03 20:40:07

Post by: I-bounty-hunt-the-elderly

I would really like to know where you get the materials for that scaffolding/how you make it!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/02/04 05:09:05

Post by: Largo39

I'll give a better breakdown in a bit but in brief:

The posts are made from brass tubing that i cut (painful process, but not too bad)

The railing is from plastic.

the mesh is from speaker mesh that I found at a scrapyard.

Pictures to follow in a bit! Right now I'm prepping for LVO so some of my tutorial stuff has gone by the wayside. I promise that next week you willg et a more thorough explanation of it all.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/02/04 05:24:19

Post by: Warboss_Waaazag

This project is coming along brilliantly. Really great work.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/02/06 18:18:12

Post by: I-bounty-hunt-the-elderly

Speaker mesh - bloody interesting! Good scavenging, that.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/02/06 18:48:00

Post by: Perkustin

That brickwork is stunning, complemented with the lighting it looks uncannily real. Also liking the the weathering on the corrugated iron roofing. Overall i love the density of detail you've created so much to enjoy, like a really well made level in a computer game. I shall be keeping my eye on this

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/02/06 19:08:49

Post by: Alaricuk

The quality of workmanship and detail here is stunning, top stuff all nicely finished

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/02/15 16:56:45

Post by: Largo39

Aloha! so its been a bit but i needed a break.

ANyhoo LVO came and went and it was fun! everything was on display and people seemed to enjoy it. Also the lights lasted a fair bit too and is still kicking, so it looks like I can get at least 3.5 or so hours out of a set of batteries, more than I was hoping.

I plan to have pretty pictures of everything all together in a bit, but for now the last major piece you guys havent seen eyt, the gun!

First I painted it more like the rest of my terrain, marble/cream with tin bitz

It was very pretty but as someone pointed out it didnt exactly match the rest of the army, and that particular scheme was no where else n the display tile. So while it might match the main board, there was no way to know that. So i made it orange nad. its still pretty! Id love to put in a dash of blue somewhere but i'll worry aboiut that later.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/02/21 00:49:27

Post by: Largo39

As promised here is a more in-depth walkway tutorial.

We start with the speaker grill. I found mine at an electronic scrapyard, you're going to want the grill for bigger speakers because the spacing then more matches what you'd expect. It's pretty cheap (like 5 bucks per grille) and each grill is something like 20x30 inches. MOre than enough for what you'll need for walkways.

Cutting it down takes metal snips, no way around that. for long cuts it's actually easier to snip as far as you can on each end, and then bend it in the middle back and forth to cause it to stress-fail. As long as you have those initial cuts it'll fail nice and straight.

Ususally you end up with something like this:

A bit wobbly but walkway width. Best fix for that is find a nice isolated spot on the sidewalk and hammer the crap out of it. It wont end up perfectly flat but it'll be close, and then you use ibeams as pictured to give it a nice finishing edge and also hide any remaining irregularities in your edges.

Downside is that gluing the ibeam to to the edge of the mesh is.. well tough.

So what you do is take more ibeam plastic (or really any straight bit you want that has some thicknetss) and add bottom support struts under your walkway:

that way you have attach points to glue your ibeam too.

Next up is the posts for the fence .

This is a bit time consuming but wellll worth it. The problem is twofold:

A: not a lot of surface area to attach a post too
B: superglue doesnt really bond particularly strongly to the metal.

So you need to use wire, sturdy wire. I use steel wire for everything and it really came in handy here.

The first way I tried was just make an L of wire, stick in a hole in the walkway and glue the length of the horizontal part to the mesh. Of course if you torque the wire at all perpendicular to that L (where it has no real tensile strength) it immediatly breaks and you get a loosey goosey wire which falls out.

Plan B is what i ended up with:

you make a small loop in the wire and loop it into 2 holes and use that to make tension/keep the post stiff.

The downside is you get a littl ebump on the underside of your walkway but since it'll be regular it works out just fine.

Then just thread your posts (ie: tubes) on top and you're good to go. In my case i went with metal brass tubes that I cut with a little tube cutter like so:


which cuts very cleanly. It took a bit but the fence posts are suppppper durable.

For the top you just get straight plastic in the size you want, and cut it along the lengths. The best part is that since you already have wires at each post you can just drill and pin it into place!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/02/25 00:38:34

Post by: Largo39

Okay so still on a bit of a break but I figure I show you guys the whole deal altogether. Unfortunately I didnt really nab any pictures of it at lvo, was oto busy trying not to drop it (it's a wee bit heavy), nor have i really found ANY lvo pictures after the fact, there arnt even many of the painjob winners!

So I decided to finally try and get a decent set myself and I think I mostly succeeded. As always I just need brighter lights and white balance is still difficult but i corrected a bit after the fact and i think it's closer at least. So here it is all together! super fun to see it, though it makes me want to add even MORE tyranids attack. I do, after all, have more things to base and the nid bases are by far the most fun.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/04/15 22:07:16

Post by: Largo39

Heya! So Ihavent had a whole lot of time to work on new shiny things but I've managed to sneak in a couple of blocks to slowly work on a few things.

First up was something thats been bugging me, the interior of the garage was hard to see. Especially seeing it at LVO/any sort of setting with strong overhead lighting the LEDs werent quite cutting it.

So i figured i'd add some skylights. Its simple, gives more windows to look in, and makes it clearer why you cant just walk on the roof. Pretty straightforward process too:

First make the frame out of an ibeam:

cutting the holes actually took a bit longer than i thought. Since the frame is an ibeam it's not as simple as just the interior or the exterior edge of the square, you sorta have to try and build in the middle of both. So there was a lot of trial and error to get the squares the right size.

Unfortunately doing so (i started with the interior perimeter and then would cut out as needed to get it to fit) meant that my holes didnt quite center up with the trailing. But.. oh well.

and yeah! almost there already. Ill have painted pics tomm but it definitely helps.

Secondarily its time to think about.. expanding. So seeing all the adepticon tiles i was jealous of the fact that they are all huge! 2x2 tiles at least! I want that, my tile is definitely a touch cramped. But i cant really expand easily. Sure i have another shelf ready to go but no way of holding both at the same time. So its time to make a cart! this part is tricky because.. well i may have to weld it (not something i know how to do), but it will be worth it. Design wise at least it's fairly straightforward...

the idea is that the top two shelves are one piece, so they could hold both tiles in my car. ANd then the poles/bottom pop off so this cart is transportable. Should be pretty doable again aside from the potential requirement of welding (i want this to be very very sturdy. I expect almost 100 points of jsut terrain/army, let alone people leaning on it on accident).

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/04/15 22:19:55

Post by: Veteran Sergeant

Such a cool project. The attention to the small details is awesome.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/04/18 03:45:17

Post by: Largo39


With skylights!

Very dramatic:

Now for something different! So as mentioned i currently run a BC, and as part of that I needed a chaplain. I didnt have one already so I figured i'd use this guy:


It's a pretty model and pretty pose. But, of course, I want him fighting a tyranid, because that sthe theme of my army and it looks cool. Unfortunately because I'm a dumb dumb I didnt really take many picture so fthis process so I'll just have to explain it post and show some of the scrapes.

First, WIP of the figure:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/04/23 21:04:16

Post by: Largo39

So, finished model time!

Now remember that in the original pose he's stabbing down. But since he's a chaplain/named character, I wanted to have him fighting something a bit bigger than just a gaunt. Broadly speaking there is something of hierarchy in these fights.

Scouts are fighting rippers/skyslashers/etc.
Marines are fighting rippers/gaunts/ganging up on something bigger (or standing on the corpse of something bigger)

captains/chaplains/etc are fighting big guys. Lictors, warriors, raveners, neurothropes. Something that would be a relatively even contest and.. fit on their somewhat bigger base to boot.

so that meant he had to be fighting someone warrior like. But how to do it? I figure he's fighting HALF a warrior, more sepcifically the torso. think of this as the warrior thats taken 2.5 wounds and barely holding on trying to take something down with it. So that means we need some guts and innards! time for green stuff experimentation (im noti very good at green stuff)

First i upgrade one of my tools to get a sculping pokey stick, very handy, and then i made myself a spinal column. I wanted it bound to wire for strength and to make bending it into shape easier later. I also wanted some guts and so used the handy tentacle maker for that.

For blood i acquired and am now in love with all things tamiya clear, more specificalyl smoke and tamiya clear red! it COAGULATES!@ and is lovely and thick and amazing.

And.. the finished thing! cause i suck at taking pictures in progress sometimes when i get really focused.

Automatically Appended Next Post:

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/04/24 17:50:30

Post by: Largo39

Now lets do some bike bases!

This first set is bikes vs spore mines.

1st we have Bike vs exploded acid mine. The idea is to have the bike in the vicinity of an acid mine that went off, and a poor (melting) marine in the way that blocked most of the blast.

for the marine I started with one of my spare snap together DA marines i have lying around and ripped him in half. I then took a crappy soldering iron cranked all the way up and went to town on him. THe soldering iron went through him like butter and its a lot of fun melting him with it. not gonna lie:

However this first attempt actuall wasnt really satisfactory, he wasnt melted enough! it looks more like pocked marks, not full on Indiana Jones dissolving. So after i attached him to the base i decided to add some more melting. It helps just sticking the soldering iron into the plastic and let it sit there, just makes thing start to oose a bit more.

Next up we have the "OH CRAP" scout bike in training who isnt quite wise yet. He's about to hit 2 exploding mines. Will he stop in timeee...?

Finally we have the sarge who is getting too old for this crap .Now I had 7 mines total which leaves 4 for him.. and he's already killed three. I plan on having a nice guts pile that you can see the beginnings of, and I want to cut off his arm and replace it with an aimed bolt pistol as he's about to tak eout the last mine.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/04/25 22:49:03

Post by: Largo39

And now the done versions!

First up we have the OH CRAP scout;

the coloring of the spore mins I did the orange-green 2 tone paint. I really struggled with the under color for this. I started with gold and it just.. looked like slightly orange/green gold when looked at from an angle. I then tried the pearlx green underneath and then it was green with orange on angles.

Finally I went with what worked with the green purple/green blue: a flat dark of one of the 2 main colors. In this case I picked orange so we had a brown undertone. And it turned out great, really natural subtle effect. Maybe not quie as beetle like as the other 2 tonal shifts but one that really feels real. Having dark cracks helps too though thats hard to maintain because apparently the metal spore mines have very shallow cracks, so its really easy to fill them in and lose the effect. Either way i'm still happy.

Next up we have the sarge and his pile of corpses/almost dead 4th mine. Lotta fun to make this, yay more guts!

Finally the acid mine! this im probably happiest with, the acid effet on the ground turned out really well, and the melting marine is pretty gruesome to boot.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/04/28 18:47:32

Post by: Largo39

Next up, bikes vs gaunts!

We have the sarge chainswording down one guy:

while also standing on the corpse of another:

and we have 2 closing in:

Irognically enough i have to expand my nid collection for this! In both of these cases i need... nids on sprue. These bases, while larger, are tight for having both nids AND a bike on, so i need full articulation to get this pose just right, so a brand new box of gaunts it is!
I also havent yet figured out the third base and what i wnat, but, its a start.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/04/29 09:55:43

Post by: LancsHotpot

Absolutely fantastic work there mate I'm blown away by the level of detail!

Your use of colours is mind blowing at how realistic it makes everything! Any chance of a list of paints that you use? I've started my own board recently and would love to have a cracking at this kind of wear and tear

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/04/29 20:33:28

Post by: Largo39

Oh geez uh, most of the paints are mentioend throughout the post but from memory lets see:


Metals/colors where possibly:
golden acrylic fluid paint. It doesnt pslit liek GW paint, its professional artist paint, and its still way cheaper.

an example (ALWAYS BUY FLUID. same consistency as GW paint that way)

My favorite dark basecoat metal, has a fun texture:


a mixture of places, but lately my devlan mud standin is.. golden acrylic again! more specifically:

raw umber high flow. Pretty much the perfect mud color.


also the transparent oxides (red, brown, yellow), are PERFECT for light staining. Just a little shade or yelloe/red/brown.



Tamiya clear red
Tamiya Smoke
Tamiya Green

Paint Chips:

ill update once i remember the name, its a specific middle layer fluid.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/04/29 20:48:13

Post by: corpuschain

Oh wow, there is nothing about this I don't love. The colours are so rich, and the modelling is so intricate! Thank you for bringing this into my life!

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/04/30 00:01:33

Post by: LancsHotpot

Thanks very much for taking the them to put in all the links, much appreciated!

Keep up the amazing work mate I'll definitely be following this thread with interest

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/05/01 15:16:31

Post by: Largo39

Thanks all and No problemo about the links!

Anyhoo, painting wise work continues on! Now to try and be smart about this i decided to paint the gaunts on the sprue, and even remembered to drill in the feet BEFORE htey were all painted.

This was a very good thing because drilling into those teeny little feet was.. monstrous. The bit slipped quite often, and even after I attempted to leave ltitle stubs of plastic to give me better entry points. Generally just unpleasent all around.

I also decided to primer them grey, even though the bulk of their bodies is black, to help make sure i see all the details. It.. maybe worked? i dunno, i later did the arms as black and its unclear which method was faster, they both involved a lot of repainting as painting pink the crevaces/fleshy bits is always messy.

Once a body was done I would go ahed and install it in a relevent base, even before I installed the marine! that way I wouldnt have to keep touching gaunt body, and because it didnt really reduce optiojs, it just helped finalize the pose but let me be able to still move around the head as needed and figure out the arms.

Marines vs Nids Diorama New Pics (12/30) @ 2016/05/05 22:37:11

Post by: Largo39

So the bike bases area ctually done, i just didnt take any pictures because i.. ran out of time.

So in the meantime here is whats next. gaunts vs marines! I figure this is what i use for the last 5 bases that dont have something, and it should work pretty well for a nice CC action. Downside is.. ugh the marines had some flash lines still, and i had to break them apart to get pins in there and figure out poses, so there is a LOT of cleanup work. ugh.