Monday, September 5, 2011
Hobby: Tidal Flats Table
Posted by hyv3mynd
This week I was inspired to build terrain. We've been hitting up the pet stores and hobby shops that have been advertising sales and sending us coupons, so I've built up enough supplies to make 4 new tables. If you've been reading long, you're familiar with my snow and jungle tables.
Here's the thing about me and terrain. I want it to look nice while being cheapish to build and functional to play on. No, I don't have the cash to buy 6-8 boxes of GW ruins at $25 a pop. There's enough ruined cities out there anyways. I prefer to create alien planets for my battlescapes. You know by now my armies are painted with unusual schemes and I like my tables to be unique too. In the grim dark of the 41st millennium, there is only war, but all wars aren't fought on the same planets and same battlefields every time. I want my armies to experience the sights and scenes of the planets they conquer.
Anyways, I start with a sheet of fleece fabric which is usually $10/yd and I watch the sales and they're 40% off quite often. The tie-dyed patterns appeal to me the most as they have some interesting patterns that make a more appealing field than flat-colored mats. My first two tables were designed and terrain pieces built before I started shopping for a cheap mat. Recently, I let the fabric patterns and colors inspire my table designs. I bought four new sections of fabric last week and I've been waiting for inspiration. Something came to me this week while lying in bed so I decided to tackle it while the vision was fresh.
I noticed some aquarium plants on sale at Pet Smart and decided to try something new. I wanted to see if I could take the most brightly colored aquarium plants and whip up an alien planet. Thus, Por'cea was born; the ocean moon of Sa'cea, deep within the the Tau empire.
This ocean moon is dwarfed by the planet it orbits. So dramatic are the contrasting forces of gravity, they create tides that shift nearly a dozen meters. Por'cea's orbit and rotation are such that the drastic tide shifts from high to low over the course of 6 months. This has caused the floral life to evolve into an amphibious state, able to survive under meters of water and on dry rock. Many of the plants have developed photosynthetic capabilities in the form of neon chloroplasts adapted to an intense ultraviolet spectrum. Others have evolved toxins and predatory instincts to gather nutrients when light is absent.
So there's the concept, here's the execution. I started with some blue tie-dyed fleece from JoAnne's Fabrics. I cut out a gross amount of 1" thick foam shapes last week, so I chose several and nearly filled a 2'x3' (25% of a table) with different pieces. I also fooled around with Great Stuff spray foam insulation and made some rocks with it. Here is the table with 25% terrain measured out.
Did I mention I did all this in 3 nights? I know it's not the most detailed table, but it's interesting and was quick and affordable. Here's the shopping list:
Blue tie-dyed fleece - 2 yards - $12 on sale
Assorted aquarium plants - 4 large, 4 medium, 4 small - $44
Great Stuff spray foam - 1 can - $5
1" Insulation foam - 1 sheet - $14
Folk Arts Paints - pure black, medium grey, dove grey - $3
$78 and 3 nights for a fun table with lots of materials left over. I have 3.5 tables done now and making this table gave me some great new ideas as I was playing with the foam. Stay tuned for more terrain articles on my final two concepts and a six table showcase before the DaBoyz GT in October.
at 9:12 AM