Stained Glass Windows

So one painfully obvious terrain feature that I’ve never implemented is stained glass.  I’d love to think that I’m the creative sort that pioneered the idea, but that’s obviously not the case.  Heck, Dwez over at 40k addict did something with stained glass just last year, so perhaps part of my subconscious was just trying to emulate some of his work?

But I’d like to think that it’s been a thought of mine for much longer than a year. I know that GW used to sell a kit called the Chapel of Sanctity (you can see pictures over at Grailslair) which had stained glass incorporated into the piece directly.   Realistically, GW’s “grim dark” feel certainly lends itself to stained glass, and nowhere is that more evident than in the Shrine of the Aquila terrain kit.

wh39kStainedGlass (5)Those massive windows just scream for stained glass behind them. And again, I’m not the first to think of that—there are several links to people that have tried to create the effect to varying degrees of success (including some amazing stained glass window art by Rlyons. I really wanted to steal a template from someone, but try as I might, I couldn’t seem to find one, and though I wanted to use existing art, the best stuff (including Rlyon’s work) wasn’t the right form factor for these particular windows and looked a bit misshapen when I distorted it to fit. Alas, this meant that I was going to have to create my own.

But how do you create stained glass? That was my dilemma. Obviously, I wasn’t going to make actual stained glass, and printing on paper might make pretty art, but it wouldn’t give me that feel of translucent glass. I wound up searching for transparency paper online, but I had trouble finding paper that would work with the high quality printers we have at work (and didn’t want to settle for inkjet quality from home).   So, I wound up calling the local Canon dealer in town, as my office’s copiers are all canons and found out that they do make a special transparency that works specifically in Canon photocopiers. Apparently, the additional heat involved in laser printing requires special plastic so that it doesn’t warp and melt inside the machine.

wh39kStainedGlass (1)Good to know.

The good news is that it was just $.60 per page, but the bad news is that it’s sold in bundles of 100. Frankly, I can’t envision doing enough windows to justify $60 in pages, so I looked for other solutions online, and found a vendor selling one on Amazon for $15 (shipped). While I’m a big fan of buying local, I just can’t justify leaving that much money on the table, so I bit the bullet and ordered online.

When the packet came, they were surprisingly thin (I had hoped for something much thicker/sturdier, but apparently transparencies for Canons only come in one size. While I could’ve bought print-on stickers and then adhered it to some sort of vellum, I thought this would wind up being the better long term solution.

So, now I had an idea, and the “paper,” but just not the artwork.

That left me to scrounge Google for some nice stained glass. Naturally, if you do a search on Google images for stained glass, you’ll come up with a lot of great content, but most of it is the wrong content and all of it is sized wrong. As a side note, it did turn up this fantastic Sisters-of-Battle-esque costume of a woman covered in stained glass. But, I didn’t find anything that was specifically suited to my needs, which meant that I was going to actually have to do work.

Now, I consider myself mildly artistic (some might even say “high functioning artistic”), but I don’t consider myself an artist. I recognize that I have a natural aptitude towards art, and when compared with an average Joe, one might say I’m pretty good—but I don’t think I’m good enough to actually make a living at it. So, while I knew that I could draw something if I had to, I didn’t really want to go through the effort and besides, I was under a bit of a time crunch to get the terrain done for the (then) upcoming Apoc game.

So that begs the question: where do you get a piece of stained glass if it doesn’t already exist and you don’t want to draw it yourself? The answer was simple: figure out how to convert existing art to look like stained glass.

Back to Google, this time to search how to convert existing images to look like stained glass.

At first, I was happy to see that photoshop has an innate filter called “stained glass,” but sadly that just breaks the image into a bunch of like-sized shapes with black outlines. In effect, it pixelates the drawing in very similarly sized shapes, and doesn’t look very convincing to me.

wh39kStainedGlass (4)Next, I dug a little deeper and found a couple of articles that helped me get to my final result.  The first was a page from Digital Arts Online that tried to convert an image of mushrooms into stained glass. He did pretty good work, but even the end result doesn’t really look like stained glass to me. I’m not sure if that’s the colors used in the image, or just the way he drew his lines (stained glass rarely has curved pieces as they’re much harder to cut, and his lines are very organic and not straight like we’re used to seeing).   I did wind up using the Gaussian Blur option a bit in my final art though, as well as the fundamental concept of black-lining, and I wanted to preserve the link for others that might take more from this particular article than I.

By the way, I should’ve mentioned this earlier, but I had zero photoshop experience when I started this. I wound up getting a trial from a friend to work on this. Because of my lack of experience, many of the non-challant references in the previous article sailed above my head. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t take all that much from it?

The “article” that really helped me was actually this youtube video. Granted, he was using abstract lines to make this work, so you can basically skip the first minute of the video.

After he gets his baseline, at 1:16, he starts using some of the effects. The first he uses is one called “Poster Edges” (found under FILTER > ARTISTIC > POSTER EDGES. There are so many better articles online that delve into what this filter is and the subtle nuances behind it, but essentially, the filter seems to make things look a little more comic book like, making stronger/bolder lines between color variations.

The next trick he used is at 1:40 in the video where he uses a filter called “Oil Paint,” which is apparently a great fitler that comes packaged with Photoshop CS6. Unfortunately, I had CS5 so I had to dig around the interwebs to figure how how to install it for me. The good news is that it comes free with the Pixel Bender plugin for CS5 (And CS4 apparently) and can be downloaded from this page.

And that’s where the magic happened. The filter allows you to vary your brush stroke, intensity, etc. and for each graphic, I played around with the options so that it looked best for each picture. In short, no two settings were the same.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Sure, I applied these filters, but to do that, I had to have art (and art that was the right size, too).

So what I did first was to make a rough size of each of the windows for the Shrine (well, one template for the larger windows and one for the smaller one), and then scanned them into my computer (I think I still have them somewhere if someone needs them, but then again, you can always steal my finished .PNG files if you just wanted to know the sizing).

wh39kStainedGlass (2)After that, I started looking for photos that would work nicely. My first pic was the battle between Uriel Ventris and a Tyranid Warrior (pictured at right). It looked suitably iconic, and fit the theme of Ultramarines and, best yet, it looked good after coloring it (for the record, I did wind up going through A LOT of photos that just didn’t look right after going through the effects, but I never found a simple litmus test to determine whether a photo would make a nice stained glass aside from actually going through the motions.

To recap, those motions were:

  1. Identify the photo. I wound up saving the photo and then placing it as a new layer in my drawing to get an idea of sizing, aspect ratio, and where the bars would line up on the image.
  2. Black-line the photo. In this step, I drew individual black lines all around the image to denote the edges of the pieces of glass. In general, I drew lines wherever there were distinct differences in color, and occasionally, extra lines if the “pieces of glass” were getting too big.
  3. Poster-Edge the drawing. This made the black lines stand out more and blended the other parts of the drawing a little bit extra.
  4. Oil-Paint the drawing. This essentially was the last step.

Another step that I wound up taking on more than one picture was to colorize parts of the image. You can see this is particularly true in the image of Roboute Guilliman (the ultramarine with “Mars” in the background). I found the art online, but then quickly learned that white was going to be a problem when printing on transparencies. This is because standard printers can’t print white (they don’t typically need to as they’re most often printing on white paper). The result is that any areas that are white in a drawing are simply left blank.

That’s fine and dandy on white paper, but on clear paper, “white” simply is transparent. To avoid this, I tried to clear out the white sections of drawings as much as possible. So, with the Roboute drawing, I wound up colorizing his shoulderpad and some of his trinkets to be more in line with the 2nd company (Which is the color of my army anyway). While I was monkeying around with the color anyway, I opted to change up the background as well. The background I wound up using was just a night sky, which distorted fantastically with the “oil paint” effect. And to break up the monotony, I positioned a red planet to line up with the center of the window. In hind sight, I almost wish I’d used a different plant so that I could use Mars with the techmarine drawing from later, but them’s the breaks.

With two Ultramarine Icons in place, I decided to use the Emperor as one of my other windows. The tricky part there was trying to find a suitable image of him that would translate well to the stained glass effect. Like the rest of the drawings, I started at a Google image search, but then I eventually dove into Deviant Art to find some selections. I wound up using a pretty generic picture for the window—after trying many other options. The background was rather plain, so I photoshopped in a picture of the eye of terror instead.

wh39kStainedGlass (3)The eye itself was a little amorphous and doesn’t lend itself to stark lines, but I think the end result worked out decently. There was a rather large blob of white in it that I tried to get rid of, but it just never looked right when I colorized it.

For the last big window, I just wound up searching based upon color. I’d already had predominately yellow, blue and purple windows, so I wanted another color from the other side of the spectrum. For this, I did some searches for green 40k artwork and came up with this. His background was rather short, so I wound up extending it and using that Gaussian blur filter to make it look right (keeping in mind that I didn’t have to make it look perfect, as the other effects I would be applying would help smooth the transitions. Granted, it was a bit busier of a piece, but I think it works. I wound up adding a thunderhawk to the sky to give it a little extra color, and a focal point for the circle at the top of the window (but I’d later cut it out almost completely from the finished piece).

With the last window, I wound up going with a Calgar picture that everyone probably knows by now. I went ahead and colorized his shoulders/buckle to be the old-school yellow and his “cinculum militaire” in a more purple scheme.

For those of you wondering, a cinculum militaire is his studded leather belt with the hanging leather strips. I know this because it was on some website I came up with when I searched for “Roman dangling leather.” I’ve used the internet to make me seem smarter than I am, and then immediately pulled back the curtain to ensure you know how dumb I really am.

But I digress…

So, after coming up with all of the images, I printed them on the transparency paper I’d purchased.  The good news was that they came out looking rather well, but the bad news was that the paper looks different from either side.  Like many photo paper, it had a glossy side and a dull side, and I preferred the glossy side.  In addition, the colors look washed out on the transparency (which was due to the fact that the colors didn’t have that vibrant white background behind them).

At that point, I tried to come up with a solution to make the white stand out.  My first attempt involved thinning down some white paint into a wash-like consistency and then painting that on the back of the window.  It helped the colors pop tremendously, but the brush strokes stood out in the background.  It should be noted that it wasn’t an altogether unpleasant effect though.  The brush strokes gave some texture to the windows and might have passed for just part of the stained glass effect, but I kept trying.

Another test I tried was to simply print out two version of each window (with the images reversed on one).  That would help me with the glossy/matt issue, and it ultimately wound up being the solution to the white issue as well.  I guess the build-up of sheets of plastic (along with a coat of clear crafting glue to keep them stuck together) was enough to help make those clear areas appear white.  You can get a good idea of this by looking at the pictures, particularly of the whites in Marneus Calgar’s photo and a bit in the Emperor’s Eye of Chaos background.

Wh39kBuildings (32)So yeah, I wound up printing them out at full scale and gluing them together with some leftover craft glue from Michael’s.  The important part here was to use glue that not only dries clear, but also goes on clear–that way I could properly line up both sides of the same image.  I then let them dry by taping them up to a window in one of the last waning days of the Alaskan sunlight.

After they “dried” (and I use the term loosely because they still shifted relatively easily against each other), I cut them out with a pair of sharp scissors and then lined them up against the windows to see how they’d look.  At that point, I toyed around with layout, deciding on the final window configuration based upon a series of factors including:

  • Aesthetics of the figures next to each other
  • The mix of colors featured in each window
  • The position of each figure in the given window (knowing that I would be cutting some of the picture out of at least two windows)

Once I had that determined, I taped then in place with blue tape to confirm that it looked good, and when I was finally pleased with the layout, I set to cutting up the windows with an exacto blade so that they would appear broken.  At first, I just did the two windows on the edges whose frames had clearly been broken, but I also wound up “breaking” all of the windows (except Calgar’s), by cutting spider-web patterned holes in them–though I kept those holes to a minimum, since my plan was to use this as a predominantly LoS blocking piece of terrain.

Wh39kBuildings (33)As a final step, I took some of the scraps I had cut out and glued them around the floor beneath the window to make it a little more realistic and extend that “broken glass” effect into the rest of the model.  It’s rather subtle (because it didn’t stick all that well to the plastic of the model, and I didn’t want it to prevent people from actually placing models).

I’m really pleased with the end result.  I’ve gotten a few compliments on it as well, so that makes me think that my pride isn’t altogether unfounded.  Hopefully my trials in this process can prove helpful to someone else that’s looking to incorporate some stained glass into their Warhammer 40,000 terrain project.

Oh, and if you’re interested in the original PNG files I was working with, I’m posting them below for your use.  Feel free to use/change them as you want.  If you’d like, you can thank me by linking to this post, but it’s not strictly necessary.

As always, thanks for stopping by.



Wh39kBuildings (25)I wanted to come up with a snappier title than that—I truly did. But whenever I hear the word, I immediately think of Jack Johnson’s song by the name and I got lost bopping around to the music in my head. For those of you who haven’t had the privilege, you can find a link to the song on youtube here.

But the intent of this post isn’t to focus so much on the smooth acoustic stylings of Big Hats, but rather to talk about posters in 40k.

I’m not referring to full size posters that you might hang in your garage or your bedroom or 40k motivational posters, though those might also be cool to have. Rather, I’m talking about miniature sized posters scaled down for use in terrain.

If you can’t tell, this is a continuation of my terrain theme that I’ve been on as of late where I go over the buildings I completed recently.

Wh39kBuildings (4)Years ago, I stumbled upon some clever ideas for posters to be used in building terrain and wound up saving them off to a folder on my computer that I use for inspiration for future projects. Honestly, I have no idea how long these have been collecting dust in that folder, but I’d say it’s easily been a decade—as I’ve long since dreamed about owning nice terrain, but I only recently got off my arse and did something about it.

So, when I did finally get my terrain assembled and painted, I went right to that folder and dug up the posters. Sadly, I didn’t have as many as I thought I’d did, but lucky for me Google has grown by leaps and bounds since I originally saved them, and a search for 40k scale posters came up with some great ones. I won’t bother collecting them all and posting them here for fear of claims of copyright infringement, but I have all of the ones I managed to find saved in an email for future use should they somehow disappear off the interwebz one day.

It looks like the posters break down into a few categories:

  1. WW1/WW2 era posters reimagined for the 41st millennium
  2. Generic safety/caution signs (eg. “Bomb shelter)
  3. Imperial notices/proclaimations
  4. Humorous Notices (not to say the ones above can’t be humorous, but this includes references to completely other genres of games or pop culture)

Wh39kBuildings (54)I tried to include all these different facets in my posts. Sadly, there are far too many good posters available on the Internet for me to use them all without covering my models in them. So, I wound up using them sparingly so that they added a little effect, but not so much that they dominated the terrain.

As a whole, I find that I prefer the WW2 propaganda style posters the best. Not the ones where they’ve simply scaled down the original posters, but the ones where they tweak them a bit to work in the grimdark universe that is 40k. Things like “Farm scrap builds DESTROYERS” or “He fights for Mcragge!”

Damn, even now I’m finding pictures that I would’ve loved to have used. Recruitment posters for the “Brotherhood of Ymgarl,” man that’s genius! I may have to go back and add some of these to my buildings.

But I digress…

Wh39kBuildings (56)I did wind up throwing a few purely humorous images in the terrain. The ones I can think of offhand were:

  • A recruitment poster for COBRA (featuring a hooded commander in the classic “Uncle Sam” pose with the phrase “COBRA wants you!”)
  • An advertisement for the real-life Ultramarines movie (though I’m not sure this made the final cut)
  • An advertisement for Rekall (The futuristic “vacation” provider from the movie Total Recall)
  • A recruitment poster for the forces of NOD (which is probably lost to any of you whippersnappers out there, but in the original versions of the video game “Command & Conquer, NOD was the name of the bad guys—before we decided to just call them Russians).
  • Some Gork/Mork ’08 campaign bumper stickers

Once I had the posters I wanted identified, the process was rather simple. I just sized them up within a Word document and printed them out. One thing I noticed was that if I printed them on photo paper, they came out looking a bit nicer and I’m hoping that they’ll hold up a little better to the abuse that terrain will inevitably face.

Wh39kBuildings (58)When they were printed, I went ahead and loaded my airbrush with black paint and went over the edges of most of the posters to give them the effect of wear. Now, many of the posters you’ll find online already have this effect applied, so I don’t know how necessary this step really is, but it did help on the finished product. Part of why I did this was that I avoided many of the pre-weathered posters because they had rips and tears (or burn-marks in them) which would’ve made cutting them out all the more difficult—and, in some cases, it might look weird to see the weathering on the posters but not in the surrounding area of the building (particularly in the case of blood or spray paint).

I let those dry and then cut them out and sorted them into categories from “these must be included” to “not a chance.” And then I started affixing them (with super glue). When possible I took from the more desirable piles, but substituted in more appropriately shaped posters for tight fits later.

Like I said, I was quite happy with the overall effect, though I may still go back and add a few more. There’s got to be some spaces there that I can squeeze some more into without getting things too cluttered…


Apocalypse Terrain Prep: Painting Buildings

So, I’ve had some buildings assembled for a while now that have been crying out for paint, but I just haven’t made them a priority.  If you asked me how long I’ve had these buildings, I would’ve guessed years, but thanks to a quick search of the blog, I can see that I never got around to assembling them until September of 2013.  Granted, they sat languishing in a box prior to that since December 2010, but I’ve already paid the penance for that sin.

wh39kRustedBuildings (2)Now that I think about it, these models haven’t been neglected for even a full year–what the heck am I doing, painting them?  They still need time to ripen!

Oh yeah, I wanted our upcoming Apocalypse game to look good–that’s why.

Anywho, we forwent our normal weekly game night and instead I put out a request for help painting these guys and, much to my surprise, Brandon and Brian both volunteered to help.  So, for the lowly price of a few chili cheese dogs, I enlisted the help of two able bodied airbrushers to work on the terrain with me.  I want to throw out a big shout out to both of them, though the progress doesn’t seem like it, they were a big help–both in the actual painting, and helping me to understand more about using an airbrush (which I successfully used for the first time this weekend).

So, we parsed out the buildings and debated a bit on the color schemes, and then opted to use a rusting effect undercoat (which really ate up about all of the evening).  I found a tutorial online about salt-weathering (one of many, I’m sure) and tweaked it a bit based upon other suggestions we had seen, and a bit of trial and error.  The basic gidst of the process was:

  1. Spray the models with Rustoleum “Rusty metal primer”
  2. Let it dry
  3. Stipple a “darker” orange (Apple Barrel “Harvest Orange”)
  4. Stipple a lighter orange on (Apple Barrel “Jack-o-lantern)
  5. Let it dry
  6. Apply a wash of water to the area (lightly)
  7. Apply a coat of salt to the area
  8. Paint the entire model
  9. Wash/brush/scrape the salt off

The last two steps worked on a test model (though we had been using the salt sparingly on them, and determined we need to be a little heavier-handed with it on the buildings), but we haven’t really tested it on the buildings because I haven’t finished the painting stages.  I’m also running into some confusion on the order of operations when it comes to airbrushing as well.  I’m still learning that, so I’m sure it will come to me eventually.  I’m guessing the entire process should be something like:

  1. wh39kRustedBuildings (1)Salting undercoat
  2. Paint building with airbrush
  3. Hand-paint details
  4. Remove Salt
  5. Paint Black shading
  6. Paint lighting effects

I think that’s basically how it’s supposed to work.  The problem is that we got through step 1 on Friday, and then I started proceeding without thinking through the plan entirely.  So I accomplished much of step 2, and then skipped to step 5 (and in one instance, did a little of step 4).  So I have to go back and do the process in order.

No bother.. it’s a learning experience, and I’m quite happy with how things are progressing (if they are a bit sluggish).

You can see a couple pictures of work in progress pieces that are on my table throughout this blog post.  The one that’s most complete is the “rusted out” building.  I had been playing around with rust undercoating, but I also wanted to try a building that was almost completely rusted.  The effect looks good, but it’s a little too one-note to me, and could definitely use a bit of color variation.   Oddly enough, that building we hadn’t even touched on Friday, and I did it all from scratch after the guys had left.  It was just a nice little practice piece, and while it’s not perfect, I’m pleased enough that it will work for my needs.

wh39kRustedBuildings (3)The others are both much more raw.  One shows some weathering applied to a “stone” building, and it’s coming along nicely but has faults.  First, I tried to paint the top in a metallic coat (to justify why it was rusting and the rest of the building was not), but I hate the look, so I figure I’m going to go back and paint it that same stone grey, and either explain it away by saying that they painted the metal to match the stone below, or by simply blowing it off.  Perhaps if you wait 40,000 years, stone actually starts to rust!

The other building (The shrine of the Aquila) is just an off-white basecoat on the rust base.  It’s by far the most infant in it’s paint job, but I wanted to snap a picture because I’m really happy with the color choice (it was really done on a whim).  I’m thinking it’s because the scheme is reminiscent of pre-heresy death guard…

Anywho, that’s all the status update I have this week.  Again, I’d like to thank Brandon & Brian for their assistance in beautifying my gaming tables, and to everyone else for stopping by.

Building Progress

wh39kbuildings (26)The title, while seemingly vague, was about as accurate as I could make for this particular post without sounding ridiculous. This post is a continuation of an earlier post where I was assembling buildings. Therefore, this is little more than a progress update to prove that I’ve done something since then. Because I’d already used the intentionally repetitive “building buildings” title, I opted for something simple (though somewhat vague).

But I digress.

wh39kbuildings (24)Since the last post, I mounted the various wall sections to parts of a leftover sheet of 1/8″ plywood that had lying around.  Sadly, I had more buildings than I had plywood, so that resulted in another trip to the hardware store.  On the positive side, the stuff is relatively inexpensive.  On the down side, I now have another 2/3rds of a sheet that’ll probably take up space in the garage for another few years (just like the last one did).

After laying out the pieces in the desired shapes and marking those on the plywood, I cut them out with a circular saw and sanded down the edges (to prevent splinters and weird wearing).  Then I used a hot glue gun to affix each of the building sections to the wood bases.

For the rubble, I largely followed the tutorial I found over at Craven Games, but whereas he advised use of Hirst Arts miscasts, I relied on the following materials:

  • wh39kbuildings (23)Cut up bits of GW Sprue (note here: when cutting the sprue up, be careful to not include bits with writing on either side, as they show up painfully obvious.  For quantity, I saved all of the sprue that came with my GW buildings and used that for the rubble.  I think it’d look better with even more, but I wanted to settle on something that was as playable as it was good looking and–more importantly–I didn’t want to spend more time cutting sprue into even brick-sized chunks).
  • Bits of white plastic from model railroads.  These include tubes and I-beams.
  • Some misc plastic building pieces (such as lights, etc.) from the 40k terrain sets.
  • Various GW/FW mis-cast items made out of cheap plaster of paris.wh39kbuildings (20)
  • Some extra broken wall/floor sections from both the GW & Pegasus Hobby kits.

I used a large blob of hot glue to put these in place, and then coated them with a healthy layer of superglue to ensure nothing was going to move.

Then I added some extra gubbins to the rest of the Pegasus Hobbies buildings.  I had started this in the previous post, but just expanded upon it here: adding little bits of brass etch to large open walls; adding parapets across most of the building tops; wh39kbuildings (19)adding bass wood floor sections with popsicle stick beams to areas that needed a second floor; etc.

In total, this took a couple of evenings work, but when I wound up with a product that seemed sufficient, I added a layer of sand to the board before priming.

This is where I went wrong.  When applying this sand, I used a spray adhesive to make the floor tacky and then applied the sand on top.  After it dried, the sand is prone to flaking off.  This is less true now that I’ve primed all of the buildings, and hopefully a layer of paint and sealant will keep them protected, but if you’re going to follow in my footsteps, I would definitely advise you deviate at this part in assembly.  I’ve heard that a great way to go is to mix the sand in with your paint during the painting stage, and that might work great.  It’s got to work better than what I’ve done…

wh39kbuildings (29)After applying the sand, I did my best to remove any strings left over from use of the hot glue gun, and simply primed them black.

The final photo shows the entire collection of buildings (which I’m now thinking is simply too many, as I’ve already run out of places to store them).  They don’t quite fill up an entire table on their own, but as they’re placed in that photo, it’s entirely too dense to move around them (even for a game like Mordheim or Necromunda).  When spaced out properly, there’s enough there to likely fill up two tables in what would still be considered fairly dense terrain (for an example, check out the terrain from my most recent battle report).

wh39kbuildings (30)So now I’m left to determine what color(s) to paint these.  I don’t know why this decision seems so difficult for me.  I figure I’m going to paint the Pegasus buildings in a stone color, and the GW buildings in various metallics (silver? black? rust?).  I’m not a huge fan of metallic colors normally, so that’s probably where my unease stems from.

Oh well, if you have any great ideas as to color schemes, I’m all ears.  Thanks for dropping by…

Before I forget, I took at least two photos of each building for posterity’s sake.  Below are those photos in thumbnail form.  Free to click on them for a larger version:

wh39kbuildings (28)  wh39kbuildings (27)  wh39kbuildings (1)  wh39kbuildings (25)      wh39kbuildings (17) wh39kbuildings (16)  wh39kbuildings (15)  wh39kbuildings (14)    wh39kbuildings (12)      wh39kbuildings (9)    wh39kbuildings (7)    wh39kbuildings (5)    wh39kbuildings (3)  wh39kbuildings (2) wh39kbuildings (1)  wh39kbuildings (13)  wh39kbuildings (21)  wh39kbuildings (6)  wh39kbuildings (4)  wh39kbuildings (8)  wh39kbuildings (10)  wh39kbuildings (22)  wh39kbuildings (18)  wh39kbuildings (11)

Building Buildings

wh39kPegasusBuildings (8)Earlier this week, I posted a warning about eye protection, that came as a result of an occular adhesion incident (or what very nearly could’ve been one).  This all happened while I was assembling some terrain from Pegasus Hobbies.

Interestingly enough, those models had been sitting in my closet since December of 2010.  I never would’ve guessed it’d been that long, but the blog doesn’t lie.  Sure enough, I have a post from back then that details what I received for Xmas that year.

wh39kPegasusBuildings (7)By the way, if I might interject a bit, I’d like to say that I’m really happy that I have this blog.  While it certainly isn’t a hub of internet activity, it’s doing a great job of documenting what I’ve done with the hobby for the past four years.  Case in point, when I went to assemble the terrain, I could’ve sworn that I was missing a box of something–but I couldn’t find it anywhere.  I also couldn’t find a receipt in my email because it was all purchased from my family members.  Then I remembered the blog!  Sure enough, I had written a post that documented everything that I’d received (for the record, I was mistaken about missing a box).

Anywho, the boxes we’d cracked open included:

Again, all of those products are from Pegasus Hobbies and the links are directly to my favorite retailer: the War Store.  In total, that comes to $114.90 and includes shipping anywhere in the United States (even Alaska–though it’s sad that statement has to be included as we’re obviously within the U.S.).

wh39kPegasusBuildings (4)I had originally suspected I’d have ordered some of the Gothic City Building small sets (with the various arches & butressses), but I guess that never happened.  In hind sight, that wasn’t such a bad thing, as I’m bordering on too much terrain as it is.

Anyway, Brandon and I were the only ones to show up to gaming that week, so we sat down and started assembling some terrain.  I’d originally hoped to have the buildings all assembled, based and painted (or at least base coated), but it turns out that was far too optimistic for a single evening.  Still, I think we made good progress.

wh39kPegasusBuildings (9)By the end of the night, we’d assembled all of the buildings with the various bits they came with, and Brandon had even gotten a little creative with some embelishments (more on those below).  But there’s still quite a bit of work that needs to go into them (adding GW bits, character, rubble, etc.) before I can even think about painting them.  I also took the liberty of using some brass etch supplied to me by theRhino over at Thin Your Paint.  He sent them to me in the hopes that they would work for my Fortress of Redemption, but they were, alas, too small.  Still, I knew they wouldn’t go to waste.  Thanks again Rhino! He’s a fine chap there, with a great blog, so go check it out.

That bears repeating:

Go Check out theRhino’s blog over at

If you like my blog at all, you should love his.  It’s more of the same: Ultramarines & Tyranids…

Back to the topic at thand though…  As for the kits, I’m quite pleased with them.  They’re sturdy (thicker than the GW equivalent) and about the right scale for 40k (though technically they’re more than 3″ tall per section, but they do look good on the table-top).  There’s not a whole lot of options: most of the wall sections are nearly identical to each other, with about the only choices being “window” or “now window.”  Each of the larger boxes come with a single door section (of which I’d already lost a hinge before we ever got to the assembly stage).

wh39kPegasusBuildings (3)Each of the ruins section seems to have come with 1-2 floor sections, but none come with the large building–which I found a little bothersome.  This means that most of your buildings won’t have a second level, unless you come up with another solution (more on this in a later post).  The ruins kits, however, do come with a large triangular shaped wall that’s effectively 2 wall sections high x 2 wide and tapers down into a nice looking slope.

We ran into some difficulty working those in to the undamaged building sections, but a vice and some brute strength were enough to snap them into compliance.  wh39kPegasusBuildings (6)These broken sections seem to add character to the buildings and also give models more room to move around/through them.

As I went through and assembled buildings in pretty standard fashion, Brandon took some time to let out some of his more artsy side.  He crafted a little chapel out of some foam core and beams (from 40k buildings) and a few bits like a clock and a statue from the WHFB chapel kit (which is apparently no longer available–I’m glad I picked one up to convert into a plague tower when I did).

I’ve included a few shots in here for scale: one with a Pegasus building next to a GW building and including a 40k model/ruler for scale, and another with a Predator tank on the technobridge.  In general, I’m quite pleased, but there’s still plenty of more work to do.  So, if you’ll excuse me…