Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yu Jing Tutorialoject Terrain

This week, we'll learn how to make Plutonium out of common household items. No, wait... that's from UHF.

This week, we'll look at the progress I've made on an idea that has been bouncing around my noggin for a while now: cheap Infinity walls. Look- we all know that when it comes down to it our tabletop wargaming hobby is all about cost vs. time. Most hobbies do. In other words, do you have the money to buy what you can't spend the time to build, or do you have enough time to build what you can't afford. Or something in between. It's an odd sort of balancing act. In my case, I probably could afford to buy a lot of the aftermarket parts for models and wargaming projects (dear God, somebody please stop me...), but sometimes I just want to brush up on my scratchbuilding skills. Or, as my long time friends would say, I'm a cheap bastard. Whatever.

Anyway, this is the latest attempt to mass-produce some terrain for a gaming system I play. This time I think I may have hit upon success. These wall segments are loseley based on a type of resin wall section available from a European source, which shall remain nameless (but will get my business for other stuffs soon enough). I like how their product looks, but I don't really want to spend the equivalent of $24 per foot. My solution? Here are the basics:

Primed Pine Case Moulding $1.14/ft
Vinyl Electrical Tape (3/4in x 60ft) $1
Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Filler $2
Gray Spray Paint $5
Gorilla Glue $5
Elmer's Wood Glue $5
Sandpaper $1

Plastic Miter Box $5
Fine tooth Miter Saw $10

The process is simple. Measure out lengths of moulding about 13" long and Gorilla glue together pairs back to back. Make sure they're securely clamped together. Wait at least 3 hours. Cut the lengths of moulding down to 4" segments (or whatever you prefer). If you want to get fancy, you can make 45 degree cuts and create corner pieces. Once you've cut the lenghts to size, fill any seams with the wood filler. When that's dry, sand it down smooth and clean up the wall segments with a damp cloth to remove dust. Take the vinyl tape and add vertical relief details. I doubled up the tape on mine to increase the height of the relief. Final step is to paint the walls with gray spray paint as primer.

Before I paint these sections, I'm going to add a bit of extra detail- maybe some piping or lamps. The next set I build will try to emulate force-field walls and holo-displays. Those elements will add to the cost and complexity, but I'm game.


  1. Those are pretty nice. Break out your airbrush and see what you can do to bring them to life. must say, those are pretty inspired.

  2. Where do I get primer pine case mounding? I mean what is it?

  3. Home Depot or any DIY store should carry pre-primed wood molding. The fact that it is pre-primed means it won't absorb the first layer of paint you put on there.

    Kevin, these look great can't wait to see them on the table.

  4. I actuall linked the Primed Pine Moulding text in the list, and it will take you to the Home Depot page where you can get a few ideas.

  5. Simple and easy, consider it stolen. I think I might actually just buy the holoboard sections and forcefield gate sections from A Certain European Source (gawd damn it - Micro Art Studios ;) )instead of gettin' all complicated with making them. But purchasing plain wall sections for 6 Euros a pop is simply too expensive.

  6. If there's a way to complicate something simple, I won't be able to resist. The Walls article will have a second part, but not till next week, probably. I was hoping to prime the walls but the humidity around here has been close to 100% and shows no sign of lessening. The extra time has lead to more detailing by using self-adhesive plastic gems from a craft store as well as standard size staples. So far, so good. Once you've created your own walls, be sure to share the results!

  7. Humidity high? Solution:

    I will try to pick up some case moulding this weekend.