Sunday, 21 October 2012

Danger on Outpost 32 - Custom Terrain Features

Once I had finished painting all the figures from the USE ME Danger on Outpost 32 box set, the time had come to take a close look at the scenarios. The first game in the campaign is a plan shoot-'em-up, with teams of Zeta Reticulans entering the Outpost's domes through airlocks. The scenario page includes this suggested setup map, designed for a 2' x 4' table:

My tables are mostly 2' x 2', and I chose my badlands-style table for this campaign. I figured the smaller size would be fine with the low figure count, as long as the terrain density increased just a bit. Finding terrain to represent the two airlocks on the Zeta Reticulan table edge were simple enough - I knocked together some IMEX Cyberclicks bits leftover from my 40K days to build two of these:

The doorway is obviously designed for 28mm figures, but works fine as part of a larger (invisible) structure. So that took care of the airlocks. I already had plenty of hills, but the water features posed a bit of a problem for me. The only decent water feature in my terrain collection is a swamp for my Red Planet board... not really useful for this scenario. So why not take the opportunity to build a quick water feature for my badlands board, and use it for the Outpost 32 campaign?

The scenario fluff describes the two water features as tourist beaches. My version of Outpost 32 feels more like a refugee colony, so I decided to make them simple lakefronts instead. Then I had the idea... if I made two lakefronts that were identical in width, they could combine to be a single small lake in other games. 

So I found a good-size scrap of MDF out in my garage and traced a basic lake shape. Then I drew a straight line right through the middle, cut out the two pieces with a jigsaw, and cleaned the rough-cut edges with a sanding sponge. Once they were clean, I borrowed one of my wife's spray paint cans... a blue pastel to give me an easy basecoat for the water.

Once the spray paint had dried, I found an appropriate-size scrap of packing styrofoam to form the "shoreline." To get the right shape, I flipped the lake pieces upside-down and clamped them to the styrofoam. Then I just used a hot-wire cutter to trace the lake piece, removed the lake piece, cut the inside,  and then shaped the ground texture. A few cheap craft paints, a bit of white glue, and the water features were ready for the tabletop. And since the foam and MDF were already in my garage, I was able to add to my terrain collection without spending a penny on extra materials.

Here's my final interpretation of the Scenario One setup map:

Up next: Scenario One AAR. 


1 comment:

  1. That is lovely Chris. Just what I had in mind with that set up map.