Until now I have never painted up Games Workshop scenery kit that I purchases. I gave a new lease of life to some inherited older GW scenery but as we developed a solid core of 3 players locally that wanted to play regularly (not that any of us has time to ACTUALLY play at the moment), I thought I should try to get some decent stuff on the table. Not that the stuff we already have had anything wrong with it… but you know… there’s only so many ways you can shuffle around the same handful of scenery before it looks like your fighting in the unluckiest ruin in the galaxy.
When the “Sector” scenery came out I was immediately impressed as they had scaled up the height of it. I wouldn’t match the stuff we had exactly but I didn’t mind because I wanted to have some taller buildings anyway. I didn’t get some straight away, in fact I started a scratch built Adeptus Mechanicus building which I will hopefully finish and post this year… but as with all my projects it just stalled half way. I bought the Sector Mechanicus – Prometheum forge with the intention of just getting some decent scenery on the table, and using spare parts to add continuity to my scratch build… Unfortunately what actually happened was the continuity went the other way and I just didn’t even build it.
Then last year I went halves on Renegade with a friend and that box came with… another Prometheum Forge!… yey? I would have been nice to get a different scenery kit but this did make me feel the shame of not having started the first one. So as soon as Azazel discussed having scenery as the January 2019 Challenge, I whipped out the kit and started building, it was going to be now or never. I often comment on other peoples scenery and talk about how its the unsung hero of wargaming… you ‘really notice it while its there, but you miss it if it isn’t there. So it was time to put my money where my mouth is.
This was also a great opportunity for me to practice my weathering. You see most of my mechanical things throughout all of my armies, I either want to look very clean (thousand sons/Grey Knights/Inquisition) or are very dark (Adeptus Mechanicus). This as far as I can tell makes it quite hard to do a variety of weathering, mostly being limited to sponging on some silver to the dark colour scheme. So I intentionally picked a brighter colour scheme to allow me to practice some other weathering techniques like sponging on a dark colour like Rhinox Hide or painting some streaks down the metal with dark wash like Agrax Earthshade.
I didn’t want to get too carried away with detail as its just a scenery piece so I just picked out some specific aspects and concentrate on those, so I painted some selected pipes in brass, the plates stamped with numbers gold, little handles red, the half skulls white and gold, cogs copper and some of the little dials. None of these were too numerous and arduous, the most time consuming thing I did was edge highlight the coloured areas but I hoped this would help the to contrast well with the weathering. I’m pretty happy with how it came out and Id be happy to paint it this way again.
Oh, another deliberate design with this scheme was that it I didn’t run the colour all the way up to the edge of the platforms. I have already mentioned that I deviated from my own Adeptus Mechanicus scheme to paint it… and while I used the box model for inspiration, the colour on that covers the plates entirely. Keeping the silver parts of the surface and the new colours scheme were chosen intentionally to be neutral and not affiliated with my army. You see Warbringer has ALSO started collecting Adeptus Mechanicus and I didn’t want my scenery to be specifically linked to my faction. I didn’t want it to be the same has his necessarily but I wanted some continuity between the two without limiting his own design. He said he was going to just do his walkways silver so I figured the silver parts of mine would tie into his well enough that they wouldn’t look strange connected together… which brings me to the final part of my master plan.
Making it Modular!
When I got the kit out and looked at it I also noticed something else, it came with these little connectors and was very modular. you could put it together a variety of ways and even combine it with other kits. I think the clips are designed to be push fit and hold them together but I’m not sure how long that would last over time, which left me with the option of glueing them in. So while I had the freedom to build how ever I wanted… that was my building, in that configuration forever more. I figured I could capitalise on the simplicity of the design and ordered 250 2mm x 4mm, round magnets from Ebay. Measuring a quarter of the way in from each face I discovered naturally centred features (presumably as a result of how it was designed). This made it really easy for me to go around drilling without even measuring each place, and gluing in all the magnets. the hardest part was remembering to glue the magnets in the right way around! Oh, that was important… you have to glue both magnets in each edge the opposite way around to each other, and always the same way around for each face. (I kept all the clips just in case non of this worked in practice).
Im assuming everyone reading this knows that magnate has two poles, a North and a South. The opposite poles attract, the same poles will repulse. If you glue two magnets into a edge with the same two poles facing outwards then only edges with the two opposite poles facing out will stick to them. That will limit your number of configurations. How ever if you put the North always facing out on the left of each edge and the South always facing out of right of each edge… then when you put that against another edge then the poles will always be opposite! That means every edge, connects to every edge.
I really tested the limits of my tiny light box on this shoot!
And there you have it! I’m super pleased with how it came out and I have been asked by a lot of people how load bearing it is just being connected together by magnets. Its pretty good if I’m honest, but as it is in the photos its still a little wobbly if you bump it. The edges stay connected but act a bit like hinges. fortunately the kit comes with 4 of those supports (I’m only using 3 in the photos and 4 ladders (which I left out just for ease of moving them around). Simply plugging the ladders in adds enough stability to make this totally viable.as for taking the weight of models, even without the ladders, if you don’t bump into the scenery, the weight of metal models isn’t even enough to effect it and plastic models are inconsequential. For a metal or Resin Model to be heavy enough to break the magnetic connections, the base would have to be so big it would be straddling multiple platforms which is just more stable.
Worst case scenario is that it falls to bits one time and we decide to glue it together anyway. but I think we are going to break more models dropping them, knocking them off the table, getting them caught in our clothes, etc. so that its a risk I’m willing to take. I’ll add this to my list of #Painthammer2019 projects to bring it up to a grand total of TWO for the whole of January… which seems pitiful but I’m quite happy with the progress. Anyway I hope you like it to, and I plan to do my other Prometheum Forge over the coming months and then I will be able to connect them together!
“We’re gonna need a bigger light box…”
~Pandora’s Bitz Box~