Monday, August 10, 2015

Burnt Wood: A love story involving Warsenal terrain

The hobby bug has bitten me in a massive way.  I've fallen head over heels in love with Infinity from Corvus Belli.  In addition to lovely models, lots of terrain is required to play this game.  There are quite a few various manufacturers of MDF Laser cut / etched terrain out there.  I recently attended Gencon and saw a bunch of the Warsenal terrain painted in person which quickly led to me purchasing a few pieces.

The Finished Piece!

Like many of you fellow gamers, I've recently dabbled in numerous other miniature game systems.  I started in the miniature hobby with Necromunda so it was only a matter of time before I fell deeply in love with Infinity.  But that love story is a tale of its own.  Infinity is a game which requires a significant amount of terrain to play. 
Infinity Demo table from Gencon!

One of the many companies that make this terrain is Warsenal and they laser cut / etch terrain from MDF.  While at Gencon, I acquired a few pieces of this terrain so I could try it before I invested further.  I had a big concern when it came to painting and that was about how to keep the etched lines from filling in with paint.  I did ask a guy at the booth, who happened to be a previous Golden Demon Slayer Sword winner - Tom Schadle, about this.  He gave me a tip to simply keep the airbrush moving when you paint these pieces and the lines will not fill with color.

My Gencon Haul!
I know a bunch of fellow gamers have recently dove into Infinity, and Warsenal terrain as well and I was asked to make a blog post with stuff I have learned.  So, here is what I have learned about this terrain.

1.  Download the instructions from the Warsenal website for each piece.  Very helpful PDF
     instructions.  The bigger pieces have to be built in stages and it might have similar pieces.
     The instructions also indicate which pieces to glue and which NOT to glue.
     This terrain is not only modular but easily re-configurable as long as you don't glue those
      pieces!!  (*Note some pieces may have youtube videos as well / instead.  There are not currently
      instructions for the Lmtd Ed Van Zant Grotto from Gencon but they say those are coming.)

2.  Be careful punching out the terrain.
    *this stuff comes in sheets of MDF that is laser cut but the pieces need punched out like
      board game pieces would.  It's easy to break some of the smaller pieces if not careful.
      I'm also keeping all of the unused pieces from the sheets.  There has to be a use for this yet..

3.  Assembly - Use PVA or Wood Glue.  I used good old Elmers glue and have had 0 issues.
     It may be possible to paint this stuff before assembly but I've decided that's unnecessary.
     More on this later.  I also recommend test fitting each piece before using the glue.  Helpful to keep
     some paper towel on hand to wipe any excess.

4.  Test fit - Very Important step here folks.  The Black Eagle Landing pad that I assembled had a bunch of fence pieces that did not get glued.  This allows for connectivity with ramps, mantlets, etc.. It is very important that you test fit each piece in each possible opening.  I had bought the mantlets so I test fit them as well.  The pieces should fit snugly bug not be super tight to put in place.  If the fit is tight hit em with some light sanding or scrape them with a knife like you would a mold line.  (*I scraped but will sand moving forward to keep a nicer finish)

5.  Light sanding - Some of the pieces had some "fur" from the cutting process that needed removed and was easily done with a bit of light sanding.  (*this was not on the flat surfaces but on the edges typically of the angle cuts)

6.  Priming - Warsenal recommends using a spray Enamel primer on their terrain.  I did a normal primer coat as I would a miniature and had no issue filling in the lines. (*I primed after assembly)  I also hit the pieces with a light coat of Vallejo Surface Primer for added coverage.
This is specifically what I used.

7.  Painting - Airbrush is the only way to go.  Keep the airbrush moving over the piece to prevent color from filling in the etched lines.  I started with a singular mantlet to learn and then changed my mind on colors a few times.  Below are some pics I took of the finished pieces (not very many wips sorry). 

8.  Masking - On the pieces above I painted all of the greens first complete with shading and then highlights.  To paint the silver side bars I did mask off all of the green first to prevent overspray.  I simply used regular old masking tape (what I had on hand) and it worked fine.  As I started painting the Landing pad however I did all of the silver first and then masked it off to spray the green. 

Additionally, the top of the fence had numerous little tabs that needed to stay gray.  I painted these with Liquid mask (Vallejo) after masking with tape but before I started spraying any color. (*You will notice them black in the pics below) 

And last but not least, the finished piece...

I am head over heels in love with this terrain.  It painted up pretty simply and I learned a lot about highlighting / shading with an airbrush as I went through the process.  I really think it turned out great and am still pretty stunned by how great it looks.  I didn't veer too much from the website color scheme but I'm going to play USAriadna so really wanted to stick with that theme.  I plan to be add more rust and weathering in the near future.  I may yet brave a freehand symbol on my piece similar to what Warsenal did with theirs.  I've placed a rather large order with Warsenal and it's currently in transit on its way to my house.  I will be knee deep in this stuff soon and plan to start knocking it out ASAP.  Of course once my USAriadna starter set arrives I may switch gears to paint it...  who knows...

Happy to be hobbying again and super excited for the future.



Gigawatts said...

I am loving seeing Infinity on this site. Keep it coming.

Ryan said...

Domus - thanks for taking the time to put this post together. I build my command bunker last night and wish I would have read this first. Broke one piece in half and bent another. As strong as it is there are some spots that are very weak.

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