Archive for category 40K

Cargo Container Casting

Working with expanding foam is a project I started on a few years back – it seemed to be the perfect hobby terrain solution, light and cheap. A few months ago, I was approached by Mike from Dragon-Fall asking for help in creating large terrain items for the 40K tournament.  It was the perfect motivation to restart work on the project.

Masters were printed at the local library using files from Thingiverse.  Three file sets were used in the project:

Files used under Creative Commons non commercial license.


Masters were gap filled with putty to prevent the mold rubber from encapsulating the cargo container.


Tried out a new Mold Max product – NV14.  This rubber is super stretchy and is also super smooth.  It was able to penetrate the Lego mold box at nearly every point.


First cast with Foam It 8.  Its always a bit of a trial to find the right mix amount.  Here the foaming resin is lifting about 30 lb of paint and rubber.


Eventually the magic number of 72g/36g was found.  The final product takes detail well.  You can see a few air bubbles along the back ridge.  Because the rubber mold was so flexible, I was able to open the mold wide and treat with talc to fix the bubble problem.


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After a fall with a stack of paint cans, it was time to get serious with the mechanical restraint.   The mold is enclosed in mdf boards on all sides.  Duck tape holds the sides in position.  The top board is inside a plastic bag to keep the resin from sticking.  Once the resin is mixed, there is about a minute of working time to get the clamps in place before the mix spills out of the box.



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What makes for a good 40K terrain object?

How large should a 40K terrain item be for tournament play?  I’m working on a castable shipping container with assorted crates and barrels.  The item is 5 inches by 4 inches by 2.25.  For those of you still playing 40K, is this large/tall enough to impact the game?

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3D files downloaded from Thingiverse and printed at my local library.

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3D Printing

3D printing has found it’s way to my local library.   I found these three objects online at Thingiverse – the barrels are for a 40K terrain project.  The unicorn and cat are for my daughters.  The detail on each is pretty good with the most obvious print lines on the horizontal barrels.  The unicorn was delivered with a bit of flash – the plastic is stiff (just short of being brittle) but cleans up with knife and clippers.   Printing cost is minimal, running 10 cents per gram or about $1.50 per item.  Tinkercad is an online 3D object creator, although I may be hard pressed to come up with anything more than a simple set of geometric shapes.   Even with basic skill, 3D printing will have its uses for creating game tokens and terrain masters for resin casting.

Barrels Barrels 2 3D animals


Historical Figure Affordability

BOLS recently published an editorial placing the average cost for a 1850 pt 40K army between $600 and $750 before taxes or discounts.  Ancients gaming can do one better than that!

For comparison, I will use a 2 division army from Hail Caesar which is roughly similar to a 2000 point WAB army.  This army will have 2 units of cavalry, 4 units of infantry and 2 units of skirmishers which totals 20 cavalry figures and roughly 125 infantry figures.

Most metal historical figures will need to be equipped with a wooden base (11 cents from Litko) and a wire spear (20 cents from Northstar).    Most plastic figures come with Renedra bases and do not require weapon replacements.   Army values include base and spear (for metal figures) but do not include shipping, currency conversion or unit/army discounts .

  • Gripping Beast metal:  $2.20 per infantry and $4.80 per cavalry.   Army = $415.95
  • Gripping Beast & Conquest plastic:  $.73 per infantry and $2.33 per cavalry.  Army = $137.85
  • Perry Miniatures:  $1.83 per infantry and $3.25 per cavalry.  Army = $338.70
  • Aventine:  $1.75 per infantry and $4.67 per cavalry.  Army = $357.10
  • Musketeer:  $2.34 per infantry and $4.67 per cavalry.  Army = $430.85

I could keep going, but the trend is apparent.  Metal figure armies run between $350 and $450 dollars.  Plastic figure armies price in at less than $150!

Prices sourced from:  Architects of War, Aventine, and Musketeer Miniatures


Gothic Building Tile

Building segment in the Gothic 40K style.  The tile is created in the “no window” style of the 5th ed rules to provide 100% LOS blocking terrain.  While the master did not survive the mold making process, the mold has been recreating faithful copies.

The tile is 4 inches high and half an inch thick.  The master is based on pink foam with 1mm Depron details.  The foam is painted with Foam Coat from Hotwire Foam Factory to add texture and fill gaps.  Depron is a thin foam product normally used with RC planes.  At 1mm its thin enough to cut like paper, no need to use plastic card and then putty the joints, just cut the detail as a single piece.

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40K Defense project

Two more terrain items using the Defense wall tile.

Includes a pic of the master wall tile.

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Terrain Images

First step to any terrain project is drawing inspiration for the piece under construction.  From my RSS feeds, I’ve been collecting terrain themed posts.  Various game systems are represented, Malifaux, Mordheim, 40K, and FOW to name a few.

The conflict in Iraq provides a look into what fortifications really look like.  Easily modeled, but I wonder how well the simple lines of concrete walls would translate to the table top.  There is a reason GW covers everything in skulls – the sense of fantasy and hyper-realism goes hand in hand with gaming.

The other end of real life is Malifaux – a dimensional blasting combination of Old West, Gothic, Demon World and a few other genres.  These PDF files are a collection of game locations that really help set the mood for terrain building:

Reference for a Gremlin Moonshine still – I have a request to figure how to build one.  With a few Hirst barrels, wire and green stuff  it should come together nicely.’s/Detail

all images used without permission

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40K Defense Wall

Adepticon has put out the call for terrain kits to meet the needs of 40K’s 5th edition.  Build an easily repeated, durable, inexpensive terrain piece which can block line of sight to a Rhino.   No small task.  If you have any ideas, be sure to leave a comment.

The most obvious terrain item to block LOS is a wall.  Direct, and to the point, but could easily look ugly or out of place on the table.  The Defense Wall is a hybrid of bunker and wall.  Four cast panels provide the majority of the detail – wall on the bottom with gun ports on top for a bunker feel.  Doors (Hirst Arts) on the ends can either be left exposed, or hidden behind a second wall piece.

The wall panels are cast in plaster.  1.5 inches of pink foam fill the center of the piece.  Foam core is used to clean up the center and finally, a bit of  “granny grate” tops off the walk space.

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Beastmen Conscripts

Ever have a project that seemed like a good idea at the time?  I built a unit of 20 Beastmen for Imperial Guard using the lower half of the WFB Ungor with the Cadian torso & arms.  Now that I look back on the unit – I must have been crazy.  For those of you who don’t play Fantasy Battle, Ungors come 6 to a box with 8 Gors.  Meaning I’d have to buy 3 boxes (and steal 2 more bodies from somewhere) in order to just get the beastman parts, the Cadian parts would take 2 more boxes.

But they are pretty sweet looking!

beasttroopers 640


The Only Good Space Wolf…

is a dead Space Wolf.

SW terrain_1000

SW terrain 2_1000 SW terrain 3_1000

No need to go into the vile details, but I have no love of the Space Wolves.  Here’s hoping for a good nerfing in their new codex.

The terrain piece is Armor Cast based on plastic card with a few Mordheim bits.