Monday, September 12, 2011

Malifaux Terrain: The Slum Part 1

Last year I put together a bunch of terrain for Malifaux. My goal was to make it as cheaply as possible but still nice. It also had to have options like walls, objective markers, and elevations while also fitting in one small carboard box.

I started by going around the house where I live and collecting random bits of garbage, wire, and cardboard. This is what I came up with after an afternoon of scrounging.

 Notice that I have heavy cardboard boxes of various shapes and sizes. I only selected ones that were not warped or damaged. Cereal boxes are helpful for making shingles and detail on the building. The tubes and cups would be useful for pipes and the like, and the odd bit of whatever always comes in useful. For tools, all I needed was a ruler and pencil, a razor blade, and some white glue. I would need paint later. Some pins and masking tape came in handy to hold things together while they dried. Altogether, materials should not cost more than about $20.
 My first step was to draw out a basic plan for the board and decide on scale for my buildings. A typical Malifaux model is supposed to represent someone six feet tall. The are a little more than an inch tall themselves. If a typical storey in a building is twelve feet, then each storey of your Malifaux building should be the height of two models (not counting bases) or about 2.5" tall. I basically stuck to this math for the entire project with a little fudging here and there to make sure the buldings would fit in their container. I cut up my cardboard bokes into a bunch of rectangles (make sure to plan out the size of your buildings carefully before doing any cutting). The walls and floors were constructed by simply gluing two pieces of cardboard together and letting them dry under a heavy book. Don't use too much glue! It will warp the cardboard! Once the individual pieces were dry I constructed the buildings by setting down the floor piece and gluing the walls to it one at a time. Be sure to account for the thickness of the front and back walls when measuring the side pieces out or they will be too short. Some pins and tape held the pieces together while they dried.
 Once the glue set I attacked the cereal boxes and used some thin strips to dress up the facade of the building. I used wider pieces to cover up the join on the corner and layered other strips to make doors and window frames. This building is pretty rudimentary, but once you get some practice you can make some pretty ornate pieces. I like to cut long thin strips with a razor blade and then cut them down to the proper length with scissors. I always mark out my cuts with a pencil and straight edge first so they are uniform. I usually cut a set of 1/8th and 1/4" strips for different applications. If you use scissors you will find that the pieces curl and fall out of shape. Again, don't use too much glue and always put the colored side down.
 Here is the slum in its infancy. I made three whole buildings with removable roofs, one ruined bulding, one sewer outlet using the cardboard tubes, and a rubble pile made from a handful of cardboard scraps. To achieve the pile effect, I put down a layer of glue, mashed some scrap on top and repeated after that layer was dry until it was the height I wanted. I put the first coat of paint on the first building at this point as well. I will go over painting it in a future article.



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