Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bushido: Lit Pagoda Terrain



I used 2 Petco aquarium decorations as the basis of some terrain for the Bushido miniatures game. Looking back, I was sorta bummed I couldn't make them more playable than they are but the next round with a few more should get me a bit further with accommodating the various bases used in the game. All told, there were a few solid nights of working on these and figuring out what to let go and what needs addressing. These are powered by battery-operated tea lights, which have batteries that the magnet mounts you add grab on to. Let's let the pics tell the story.

How'd they get like this? Read on. Note the battery operated tea lights to the right, used up in the roofs of the pagodas.


Bushido uses objectives both small and large as well as two different areas of control (per Bushido Tournament pack). I wasn't sure if this piece would work as a large area of control but figured I may as well base it on the 8" circle the game uses. I sourced the 4" and 8" from a great company, Woodcrafter.com. Good prices, great service, give them a try.

I glued textured wallpaper to the circle.
Weight it to dry it flat. Afterwards, sand edge with sanding wedge. Then prime with oil primer. Use oil primer on paper and sponge because the oil penetrates deeper and sets up better once inside. That makes a better barrier against warping, makes the material more resilient and works better for paint in general. I use grey oil based primer.
I cut to fit a wooden wedge to go up into the top of the pagoda. I seated it with Gorilla Glue, which totally fills voids and dries rock hard. After that dried, I glued the magnet to the wedge as a mount for the battery operated tea light.
Once the glue is dry I cleaned up all the mold lines, flash and junk I could find. I knew I'd be sponge painting this so I wanted it as smooth as possible. Note that I started to backfill the rock.
Pull up the included bamboo. Keep it for something later like oh I don't know, a koi pond.
Time to backfill the voids. Oh the voids you'll see. Ok, according to years of construction experience, anything can be made out of caulk. In this case it just needs to be a rock. jam up the void with paper towel. Then, cover with caulk. It will dry and be pretty solid.
On the right, the rock is sealed with brown caulk. The left still needs sealing.
Black foamcore cut into tiles with xacto. Use a lid opener or burnishing tool to press some tiles down to create an uneven look that works for ancient things.
Here we see the floor glued in with Gorilla Glue. Notice the corners loaded with paper towel, ready for caulk.
An caulked. Let that bad boy dry at least a day.
May as well drop in caulk around the floor. At some point soon I glued the pagoda to the base using Gorilla Glue.
Testing the fit of the lights.
Sponge paint mode go. I keep a bag handy for all the packing foam to use for painting. I think all my Warmachine blisters gave me all I'll ever need.
Pro tip: Remove all rings if you are holding something large like this pagoda. Rings will gouge the crap out of what you are painting. Same goes for throwing dough for pizza and pasta.
Painting almost done, adding the moss to stones and nooks.
Test light. With the red clay look, the light looks great.

Now on to basing. Using a bag of dried ferns from the local craft store, soak a frond. This part assumes you painted and flocked the base otherwise.
Dip into Modge Podge.

Here we see a pagoda right before general flocking. After that it is fern time. Find a good spot for the ferns. Anyplace that isn't viable game space that will see figures is a good idea.
Plop that fern down. Do not worry about all that white Mod Podge all over the place. It dries clear. Plop more down if you see it breaking loose. Here I added darker clump foliage where large blobs seem to be able to hold more.
Almost done.
Time for a test-staging. Looks pretty good. Here we see 2 pagodas along with objective counters sorta haphazardly placed.
Temple bushi busy in the temple, uh, ushi.
Okay, so VERY atmospheric and great for Bushido miniatures. As stated, I would like to make them more playable by making the openings at the top of the stairs larger and the stairs themselves elongated. Maybe some of you can with a bit of putty or foamcore.

Well that's all I got for now. I am finishing my Ito clan starter now and hope to get a painted batrep up soon. I am also building a 2'x2' board likely to feature a pagoda like the above and enough bamboo to line 457 Banana Republic stores.

6 comments:

Paul O'G said...

Oh yes indeed Sir - Bravo! Perfect for Ronin, Pulp gaming and In Her Majesy's name also

I'll take a pair of them also please!!!

Yeti's Yell said...

Thanks Paul! You are forcing me to check out IHMN... you keep bringing it up!

Anonymous said...

dude, these are amazing

Paul O'G said...

You won't regret it - the Chinese Black Tong army have a captive Yeti too!

Phil said...

Creative and excellent job!

Yeti's Yell said...

Thanks Phil!