Modular Terrain

Discussion in 'Gaming & Toys' started by Tirick, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. Tirick

    Tirick Member

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    I'm not certain exactly where this belongs, as I could have easily been put into the Diorama area as well. I just finished the prototypes for a design I've struggled with for the few years or so.

    The original concept was a set of fully modular boards for use with wargaming, but there is opportunity to use it for roleplaying scenarios as well as diorama layout (or just shelf displays of models not in use). Each board will be textured, and the entire set is designed to interlock into whatever layout you would like. I will be releasing various 'terrain' sets as each terrain type will demand different texturing methods and detail. Note that as this is a prototype, I've not touched up the seams as of yet.

    The design is such that it will support fairly deep depressions as well as heights, and will have larger modular-hill and valley sections, all made from cardstock. I've shown this here with some 40K models for scale. Each board is 30cm x 30cm.

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    Enjoy!
    Sean
  2. Hats

    Hats New Member

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    Oh I am certainly looking forward to getting my hands on your designs. How much paper would you say you use in an average 30x30 section?
  3. Tirick

    Tirick Member

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    It depends on the height of the hill I imagine, although I've only laid out two thus far. The 'flat' section was 11 pages, the hill 16. Thus you could guess that a 4'x4' table would be about 240 pages (assuming 15 pages average per section); the printing cost alone is high I suppose (~$20 in cardstock at the prices I pay here in Canada), but still cheaper than foam(this came of a project I'd tried wherein I wanted modualr foam sections). My biggest concern after first print was the size of the color-coding sections; I've diminished those and dulled them to keep unnecessary color printing (and cost) down.
  4. Hats

    Hats New Member

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    Oh yes, color coding would increase the cost by quite a bit. I would replace it all with letter/texture coding. With all black and white the cost for printing all that could be almost negligible, depending on how much line work is on each page. For me a 250 pack of paper is about $8 American, of course you may be using a thicker paper or larger page size.
  5. Tirick

    Tirick Member

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    Cardstock is definitely required, 120 lb Likely the best for it, although 60 lb works(what I've been using). I use color coding as I can apply it in my model program (Blender) without reverting to UV. I've kept the coding simple so the impact is negligible, less than 10% of the support structure is actually 'textured' with color. I'll send pics of the support build once I've printed the second prototype set.

    I'll likely release these in .pdo format with basic textures, similar to flock/ballast results. In this way really creative builders are free to modify to their tastes (and apply in Pepakura before printing) and I can (if driven to) make an upgraded texture set. It'll take a few months to get in order as I want to ensure each section is constructable before I release. The first 'set' will be 16 unique panels, enough to cover a 4' x 4' table, and grass, sand and snow textures. Future sets will include more complex forms/textures (like rivers), as well as potentially integrated buildings/ruins.

    The .pdo option will also afford me the chance to release without complex instructions for each panel, as some of the sections will likely be complicated concave/convex structures.
  6. Sarduci

    Sarduci New Member

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    How well does it handle abuse? It is something that would transport well?
  7. Tirick

    Tirick Member

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    I've not transported it yet, but I'd have to say a box is likely the best way. They are super-light, so the biggest consideration is volume. Like all things paper, the corners are susceptible to damage. They are light, and reasonably durable aside from that.

    A sample (flat) will be available within the week. I'll let you know once it is. I've a few tweaks to make before rolling it out.

    Thank you,
    Sean
  8. Tirick

    Tirick Member

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    The first release in this set, a sampler containing instructions, the flat panel section, and the texture pack is now available. See my sig for the link.

    Enjoy!
    Sean
  9. Lord Red Dragon

    Lord Red Dragon E.V.I. ltd CEO

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    Nice terrain, will try with FOW or CBT.
  10. Tirick

    Tirick Member

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    :oops: Simple Geometry oops.

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    I think I have a solution, but I will be testing it before I release the files.

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    Sorry 'bout that. I've taken the download out of service until fixed. The braces are not strictly required in order to use the panels (my prototypes don't have them for example), but the corner edges require some better support. It's a tricky area to support because of the overlapping flaps.

    Sean
  11. Tirick

    Tirick Member

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    Gah! bloody no-editing. The pictures were moved, but I cannot recalibrate their location now....

    So, in between some other projects (and playing ME2) I've put together two more panels, leaving but one more prototype before I'm ready to release the first set of panels.

    I had a number of setbacks, the first you've 'seen' above, related to the support structure (the redesign works brilliantly), tested at length on the four assembled panels that I have. The second I've not mentioned before now (it was fixed in the original sample file, soon to return to my site), but put me back at square one with regards to the textures (and thus the layouts) of the panels I'd already done. The problem was a limit to the texture size in Pepakura, preset (without my knowledge) to 1024x1024. The first texture I'd used was a 3072x3072 (to get about 96 px per cm), thinking I was clever in having one texture (and thus making modification easier). To my chagrin I discovered this was not the case. As such, the textures were reapplied (at 1024) to each of the four corners, This reduces the overall px/cm to about 64 pixels (each panel is 16 cm), but greatly improves over the prototypes at 32. All that said, I now have to redo all of the Pepakura layouts, which I plan to target for this week. I can then move on to other projects waiting in the wings, namely the B-Wing and the Stormtrooper.

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    The tanks in the pics are all paper; the Baneblade and LeMan Russ from Flarebaffled's design, the two Chimera's (WIP) from Patoroch. The figures are standard plastic GW Cadians.

    Enjoy!
    Sean
  12. Tirick

    Tirick Member

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    The first set in the Modular Terrain series is now available for purchase in my store. It comes with 4 different panels that may be assembled in a variety of ways, and combined with the Sample pack (and future sets) to create a virtually limitless array of gaming scenery.

    Check out the link in my sig for more details!

    Thank you!
    Sean

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