Thursday, September 15, 2011

Malifaux Terrain: The Mansion Part 1

This is a project that got under my skin. The first piece of gaming terrain I ever did was inspired by Warhammer Quest. I wanted an interior space with 1" squares that could be used in a special scenario for that game. I took a large cardboard box, marked out a grid, and added interior walls made out of cardboard. It had two levels, with a series of rooms, a stairwell, and a balcony. I still have memories of a group of orks busting out of the second floor rooms, raining arrows on the adventurers and charging down the stairs to beat the ever-living crap out of them as they ran for cover and took up positions behind doorways. It was just about the coolest thing I ever did. However, after a few games I ended up throwing it away. Why, O why did I do that? Ever since then (probably seventh grade or so) I have wanted to recreate that same scene. Unfortunately, most of the games I played, Warhammer in particular, did not suit themselves to skirmish type encounters.

Malifaux changed things. I determined to build a new house. A mansion in fact. A haunted mansion.

 My first step was to make a cardboard mock-up to get the scale right. I wanted four stories, with a roof and tower.
Each storey needed to be removable with a series of rooms on each level.

I can't tell you how important it was to plan out each level. The main staircase had to match up exactly, as did the rooms that would be two storeys tall themselves. Each floor had to interlock, so the exterior dimensions had to be exact. Each floor was made out of foamcore glued to a piece of MDF. I cut out most of the doors and windows before putting them together. Further, I calculated that the building would fit completely in a 3'x3' board when "exploded."

Each storey is about 2.5" with each storey sightly shorter than the one before. Keep some models around to make sure scale of windows and doors look right

Now we're talking. Total height from base to the top of the finished tower is 22". The floorplan is about 24" by 16".

Here is a top view of the roofing. Each roof is removable and reinforced underneath. With large pieces like the top one, I like to add some weight by cutting down and bending the foamcore before gluing on the shingles.

I cut some thin strips of card and started finishing off the exterior. I added a big bay window to the front and gave it the usual treatment. In order to get the levels to lock together, I glued a thich strip of card to the bottom of each level with a 1/4" overhang that would fit over the level below it.

I added a wrap-around porch at this point and started putting on some paint with a brush.

Next step is to work on the interior.


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