After having build two tables of scenery from scratch – one in cardboard and the other in balsa wood, I decided it was finally time to go pro and buy some quality MDF terrain.
My eye was of course on venders such as Micro Arts Studio, Plasma terrain and others – but after looking around I was draw to NeoCity One – the beta release product by The Art or War Studios run by my friend and fellow gamer Grantt Ennis.
Grantt had donated to the Kentish Rogue several pieces of “alpha’ terrain which after playing many a game on had really impressed me. With the stackable design, and close quarters interiors it made for a really good game piece. Grannt being a great Infinity player, and having some great scenery tables of his own, knew what would make for stunning terrain and seriously good gameplay.
So after a few design variants The Art of War Studios announced the special Beta release of the NeoCity One scenery pack!
So I put in the order and a soon enough a mysterious package arrived – some assembly required! Grantts excellent YouTube tutorial on how to put together the scenery proved invaluable! So I gathered together the equipment I needed and went to work.
- Craft knife
- Standard PVA glue
- Small brush
- Masking tape
- Cutting board
Step 1 Cutting and Assembly
The first step was to use the craft knife to cut the tabs which connected each piece to the board. While tempting to just pop them out this can lead to damaging the final finish. After cutting the parts out next cam the process of sorting them into sections and doing a few dry fit tests to ensure everything is right. At this stage I went for the option of removing all the windows and doors – but you could leave them in.
Next came assembly. Now if I was to do this again I would spray paint before assembly – but I was Extremely Impetuous and I wanted my terrain!!!! So I built each floor separately using the PVA glue and a brush to apply it more precisely then added masking tape to hold while the glue set. I had no issues with this – just wiping away PVA and getting covered in it, but thats far better that superglue which sets to fast (and I would have stick myself to the table). Many pieces, like the stairs, didn’t need glue and they were held in place by the walls. So after a good few hours work I had my assembled base terrain! The boards were a great bit of design, with the acrylic sandwiched between three layers of MDF which meant the acrylic didn’t need to be stuck and was held by the frame.
Probably the hardest, or maybe most tedious bit was next! I had to assemble all the railings. The Neon Green coloured acrylic was excellent but they needed to be carefully prepared by pushing out any parts which hadn’t be cut through and then glued (Using Gorilla Gel) too the struts. This part took me longer that putting together all of the scenery (and i did manage to break one) but the results were stunning. I decided not to glue them yet so when I started to spray I could pop them off.
Stage 2 Based coating
So after playing on bare MDF for a while the MayaCast Master Glass 1st Quarter painting competition for scenery was announce and I decided to go for it!
I looked at several options but mainly due to funds decided on basic rattle cans from Hobby Craft recommender for MDF hobby art. I went for a base grey on everything on the outside using pieces of card to help mask the inside. I then got a small can of yellow and using that to colour the interior. In hind site I should have primed the interior white for a better finish though. I used a metallic chrome effect spray paint to do all the of balconies and catwalks. the best effect though was the neon green fluorescent pain I found for the roofing which is my favourite part of the whole effect!
For a final touch I decided to do some highlighting effects. First I sprays yellow back through the doors from inside to out to create a lighting effect out of the doors. Next using a white can I sprayed lightly a highlight from one corner of each building to get a lighting effect which worked really well (its hard to see on the pictures as you would assume it is just the natural lighting)
Stage 3 Detailing
Now that the base and highlights were all down I could work on the finishing detail. First step was to use a Yu Jing green to block colour sections of the walls following the etched lines in the MDF. Once that was done I used a black ink to ink those etch lines to give them more depth. Next I painted the shutters using the iconic green and yellow paints I use for my Yu Jing army. I painted the sides of the ladders in green and the rungs in gun mettle with some silver edge highlighting.
The final touches included colouring the keypads on the doors, adding some Yu Jing symbols and then adding a bit of Ghost in the Shell inspired graffiti by the JSA.
There were two large plain walls which I was a but unhappy about so I decided to print some infinity artwork and stick that on. It looked to fresh so i weathered it down with some brown wash.
Stage 4 Weathering Effects
For a while I considered leaving the design – but I really wanted to go one step further! So off to the local hobby store I went and had a long chat with a guy about weathering powders used my model enthusiasts. The Humbrol videos were also excellent so I splashed out 20 quid on a set with three shades of colour and some fixative.
By first laying down a patch of fixative and then dabbing on different coloured powered it made a great rust spot effect on all of the walkways. Finally i mixed some of the shades up with thinner and applied them to great a dripping water effect running down from the roofs creating corrosion where it flowed.
Stage 5 Lighting
Who ever said – “That would look cool with lighting” cursed me to then have to look into it. Off to Maplin I go and I come back with a soldering iron, LEDs, some verona board ready to do some circuit wiring. Using small flat cells I made a simple lighting circuit with a switch and attached it by blu-tack to the ceilings. The end effect looked great.
The final photos
Of course coming up with only 6 photos for the Mayacast was a challenge. I wanted to both have a great overview of the scenery and get a dynamic shot with some miniatures on as well. So here were the final pictures!
The Art of War studios will be releasing their new NeoCity One range soon!