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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dicrel's Ork Base Works-In-Progress Log

EDIT/UPDATE: Since I find myself working on terrain in general rather than specifically for the nebulously conceived/planned Ork base, I've decided to just change this to a terrain plog.

Since I started this log, I've also picked up an Imperial Stronghold, Ork Barricades, trees (40K and otherwise), and a Crashed Imperial Aquila Lander, so expect those to be showing up in the future.

The bulk of the posts are the watchtowers for now, with the exception of the following posts:

#16: Fortified Wooden Fences (added 21 January).
#18: Concrete Jersey Barriers (added 10 February).

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I got a friend of mine interested in 40K last month. We split an AoBR box, I got the SMs, he got the Orks. I'm not sure if this was the impetus for it, but I got it into my head that I should build a base for the Orks to defend and for my Salamanders to assault.

Here are my raw materials: corrugated cardboard, cardboard (from kit boxes), white Styrofoam plate, kit sprues, chopsticks, yellow Stryofoam tray, popsicle stick, and Vienna Sausage cans (you'll note, I already started on those). I used superglue and PVC glue to put everything together.

I didn't want to have to buy any new materials, so I just raided my kitchen for most of it. I'm now somewhat worried about the materials that are accumulating around my workbench.

And here is the first watchtower, side and top views.

I wanted the impression that the base of this was created (as a base support, holding tank, or something by a more technologically advanced people) before the Orks showed up and salvaged it. So around the base are plates with fat rivet heads in a fairly regular pattern.


It was only after I built up the walls that I discovered a batch of very old chopsticks (their paper sleeves were yellowed with age), so this solved one problem of having walls that would collapse since there was no support. I was loathe to strip all the material that I had already glued away, so I just glued the chopsticks onto the outside of everything. I'm not sure if I'm going to paint them as wood or as metal yet.


To get that odd grating (with circular holes) I used a hole puncher. I was punching out Styrofoam to create those fat rivet heads at the bottom and realized that if I were to take a little more care, I could create a kind of mesh. I kind of like the look, but I really have no idea where it would come from.

I should mention that the red plastic base is the lid off a kim chee jar (a local brand). I'm waffling on whether it should be painted or flocked.


The one thing about the tray that makes up the floor that I liked is the patterning that is reminiscent of industrial flooring (to me in any case). I also decided to notch and slice at the tops of the chopsticks to suggest that orks bored with watch duty amused themselves by a little hack-and-slash. It didn't quite turn out the way that I wanted. I may have to rethink how to get that effect.

Overall I'm satisfied, but I am looking for a hobby shop that does sell plastic rods. I want to create small rivets to pepper the various plates and struts. I want some visible means of the struts and plates being attached there. I've tried various things that I've found around the house, but none are easy to work with or have the right look.

I'm also looking for a plastic mesh that I once got from a long disappeared hobby shop. I used it for my bonsai, to create grating over the holes at the bottom of my terracotta pots. It would make a great stand-in for metal mesh.

Once I get those, then I'll paint and flock it. I am considering a desert look to it all. It's somehow more fitting to have Orks on a desolate waste rather than verdant green (or it could just be me).

I'm finishing up two others and will post them soon. C&C is appreciated.
 

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Nice piece man. Very orky!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Watchtower North, Watchtower South

Okay, as promised, two more watchtowers. And I've decided I'm going to make a fourth one so the orks can cover the four directions. The first one I made (above) I'm going to designate as Watchtower East, if for no other reason than East begins a game of Mahjong. :p

I'm already considering the paint scheme for them (though I'm still sadly lacking plastic rods to make those rivet heads).

So here's Watchtower North....



I had toyed with the idea of mounting a large plate with a set of ork glyphs on the "front" of it, but I could not find a reference to any glyphs or combination of glyphs that could make sense. The closest thing I could come up with was "hide good" which I think is utterly incomprehensible to the ork mindset.




I cut more angular/triangular pieces for this one, but I think I'll go back to the more squared-off look for the scrap pieces. For this one, I used a saw blade to notch the wooden posts--again, as if an ork were amusing himself during guard duty. The cuts are much more jagged and visible, but I'm still not satisfied with the look of it.




This was the best angle to see the ladder. I cut pieces from a SM backpack sprue (because it's thinner) to make the ladder steps. I kind of like how it looked, though it is much more regular looking, and I kind of want that scrap-salvaged, about-ready-to-fall-apart look, so I might not do it again.




And here's the top view. I put in a plate with rivets made of different materials to suggest that the ork who repaired this made an attempt to copy the construction techniques at the base of the watchtower. Not sure how it's going to look when I finally paint it.


And here is the third watchtower, Watchtower South:



I abandoned the angular cut of the plates and went back to the more squared-off look. I like the look better, and frankly it's easier to cut.




You'll note that here, I did not even make the attempt to see if the cut sprue would fit before I attached as a ladder step. I do like that I found a section with a bend in it. Maybe the warboss went and had a look at one time?




I'm finally happy with how the wooden posts turned out. And all that was required was to take a rounded file and go at the squared-off corners from various angles. I think I got the look of a post hacked out of a log or out of scrap. The flat file was what I found to make what look like long cuts in the wood. I just ran the file edge-on against the wood. (And if this is a technique know by model-makers, well, I'm an amateur at this and I'm just stumbling along, reinventing the wheel at times).




So the top has a couple of plates. I considered creating hatches but any that I build were not of a low enough profile that I could stand an ork on top without him looking like he'd gotten into the Waaaghhammer beer.

Well that's it for now. One more tower to go and then I'm going to take the plunge and actually paint something. (Yeah, I've never painted any models before, much less terrain--on the bright side, with it being ork manufacture, no one's going to notice a crappy paint job.)
 

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Very nice, I like it.

I'll be following this, great work! I love the rivets and other kind of warehouse like materials, it gives it a very orky feel, and adds that little element of perfection. Can't wait to see this painted!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Watchtower West

Okay after building up more SM units I went back to finishing up the last watchtower. And then I had to get batteries since it seems after two weeks the batteries that I left in the camera had died. Sigh.

But anyway, here is Watchtower West.

For the front of the watchtower, I found a notched piece of cardboard. It exposes the ork a bit more, but a heavy support piece can be placed there now.




So this is a close up of the broken ladder leading to the top. I'm still of two minds about whether I should "repair" it with other bits of sprue or leave it as is.




And this is a closer look at the paneling that I didn't provide with the others. You can really see the filing that removed the squared corners of the chopsticks. I'm glad I stumbled upon that effect.




And finally, here is the top. Once again, I'm using that Styrofoam that reminds me of industrial plating.




At this point, I've given up on finding plastic rod to create smaller rivets, none of the shops on the island sell it and I cannot justify the shipping costs from the online stores. I'm not quite happy about it, but I'm going to start painting. Though I'm waiting on some of the paints to come in--I have a feeling some of them are on an actual slow boat to the islands, so I have a couple of weeks more to wait.

I'm also not sure if I should take photos of all four watchtowers during the painting. I may just take shots of one as representative of what step I'm on with all the others.

If all goes well, I should have time this weekend to undercoat and base coat all four watchtowers--I probably should do a test paint to make sure that the various materials do not have an adverse reaction to spray paint... then again, maybe if it doesn't look that bad I can pass it off as battle damage?
 

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Great job.
Id love to see em painted and weathered up.
As for the mesh, i recently use a very fine metal fly mesh (for doors etc) for grating and it looked great. You can get plastic stuff too
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the tip about the mesh. I should check with my dad to see if he has any lying around.

Haven't gotten around to painting yet. At this point I only have the undercoat and now have some of the paints that I'm going to use for base coats. Still I do plan on making time this weekend to at least undercoat the things black.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Rivets, Rivets, and More Rivets...

I realize that I've been very bad in not posting anything for over three weeks, but I have a very good excuse. The lack of rivets really, really bothered me and I decided to put the watchtowers on hold until I found a 1/16th-inch hole punch. I finally found one and promptly went insane with punching out and supergluing rivets on what is Watchtower West. And without further ado...

I'm not sure why I did it, but I've circled in red the rivets I've added. Please note this is just one section of the tower circumference.



This is just below the v-notch in the corrugated plate. I plan on adding mesh that I found at a craft supply shop. Evidently it's used in a kind of cross-stitching that uses yarn instead of thread.

As I don't rivet scrap metal as an occupation, I tried to figure out where best to show rivets, where it made sense. And then I remembered that this is an ork watchtower and sense was not in consideration (still, I tried for some order...).

Oh, and you can see to the right side of the white Styrofoam piece where I tried to simulate bad welding with some PVA glue. It wasn't thick enough even after two applications. I'm thinking of adding something so I can build up those globules that are indicative of bad welds.



My rivets are more regular than they really should be, or as I imagine. I can see a mekboy and grots putting a tower together and once that rivet gun is put into the hand of the mekboy, all restraint and consideration are gone. And he's just firing that thing left, right, and any which way (probably nailing a couple grots in the process).



I probably should have circled the rivets on the white Stryofoam as those are almost impossible to see.



If today is indicative of how fast I get through punching out and gluing rivets onto the towers, then I should be done relatively quickly. Still with the end of school looming, I may not have much time to do much else (like paint) until after the end of the semester. Apologies to those following. I'll see if I can find time during the Thanksgiving break--thankfully I'm not being asked to cook anything.

Thanks for reading and as always critiques and comments are welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Minor Update: More Rivets plus a Grate and a Chain

Well, thanks for the comments. And here's a quick minor update...

I realized that after looking at the inside of the watchtowers I really should put rivets in there as well. It is not likely that this will ever be seen by others (unless they're placing a unit in there), but it is that touch of anal retentiveness that compels me to do it.




And I went all the way around the tower--here's the other half. I'll have to count the rivets up later.




And then I decided while I was at it to add the grating/mesh that I'd been meaning to put there. I've superglued it into place but have yet to distress it. I'll probably clip a couple bits out to simulate damage.




Oh, and I also decided to put a chain across the ladder top. Not that an ork would be worried about safety (the latch is actually a spike--how safe is that?), but an enemy or another ork (same difference really) trying to get in would have to pause for that crucial second, enough time for an ork at the top to apply his boot to their head and keep his position, or just shoot 'em. 'Cause that's the ork way. :so_happy:




This is the first one that I'm fairly sure I done with. There don't seem to be any more grubbins I can attach to it (though I am thinking of some dark elf shields and emblems--especially the skull ones). I've also finished a second watchtower with interior rivets and some grating. A third is sitting on my workbench. The outside is riveted and hopefully I'll get to finishing the interior tomorrow, along with adding some grating here and there. I may start on the last one as well if I'm up to it.

I've found I've had to wait for my morning cup of coffee to take effect, otherwise there's some minute trembling that makes it difficult to set the rivets in the superglue.

Oh, and because I don't think I mentioned it, the chain was from a packet of 100-inch plastic-coated necklace chain that I got from Walmart, it was on clearance and cost me about US$3.00.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Watchtower East, Undercoated

So just a quick update.

Below are pics for Watchtower East.

I've mounted it on the lid of a kim chee jar (that was the large red cap in some of the earlier pics) and I've mounted that on an old CD. And of course it is now all undercoated. I have to say that there is something to be said for having a piece undercoated.

I'm strongly considering at this point slapping some filler on at the base to add texture to what is supposed to be an earthen mound. And maybe adding some cinder or rock....




And here are close up of other additions I've made--the plastic mesh grating that I glued on earlier has been "distressed" by clipping random bits out, none too cleanly I might add, to simulate damage from incoming fire or just a bored ork with a choppa in his hand.





I have to admit to some trepidation with the next step of actually painting this. This will be the first time I'm painting anything (and that includes my minis--is it bad that I'm still fielding grey marines since they're supposed to be Salamanders? It will probably be the subject of my next plog). I hope that I've read up enough on all the various painting techniques that I won't make a complete mess of this.

My next update will probably be in two weeks or so--after the last day of instruction and before I have to wade into my students papers and hand out grades.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I had planned to update during the holidays. Obviously that didn't happen. And also two of the watchtowers (west and south) were damaged significantly.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided that though I had undercoated both the east and north watchtowers, I was going to redo the bases as they were rather plain and looked far too artificial in hindsight.

And this is what I wound up with for Watchtower East....

I got some filler and just slathered it on. The rocks are from an aquarium I dismantled some time ago when I downsized to just a pair of 10 gallon ones. The top of the tower has "ballast." It's material that I found in the railroad modeling section of one of my local craft stores. It's incredibly cheap compared to the basing material that most others (like Gale Force Nine) sell. I got a bag, around the size of a Ziploc sandwich bag for about US$4. I picked up two and unless I decide to create terrain boards I probably won't need to buy any more ever again. The larger basing material at the base of the watchtower (not the mound its sitting on) is from Gale Force Nine.

And for those wondering, the whole thing is sitting in an overturned ice cream lid. I had used an eyedropper to, er, drop diluted glue onto the ballast and other basing material to seal it in securely before (another) undercoating.




Watchtower North got the full undercoat and I rather like how it's turned out.

I'm going to start painting as soon as I buy some new paints as the second-hand ones I picked up a while back have gone all manky.



I hope to be posting on a more regular basis. I do have other aspects of my envisioned ork base that I've been working on.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Fortified Fences

These were the inspiration for my next mini-project for the ork base. I have this idea that there are units of feral orks in the waaagh and they're the ones that do the wood constructions.





I took elements I liked from both and began building. Here are my raw materials: a baton (bigger versions of popsicle sticks), chopsticks, and a dowel.




I didn't bother measuring in keeping with the Orky way. I eyeballed it on my cutting grid and then went at it with a saw. That the posts came out nearly all the same height is to my shame. Oh, and I used a pencil sharpener to put a point on the posts and the stakes. Once I got the point though, I used a hobby knife to break up the regularity of the points for a more choppa-hewn look.




Next I glued three posts at the very edge of the baton that would serve as my base. While waiting for those to set, I prepared the rails (two pair of chopsticks). I cut them into 130mm lengths (GW walls, fences, and barricades average around this length for some reason that escapes me) and because they were too squared off, I went at the corners with files to give it a hand-hewn look.




I then glued the rails to the posts, being careful to alternate (the chopsticks were wider at one end) so as not to build a lopsided fence--though in hindsight, perhaps that is what I should have done to be more Orky). And then glued the other three posts to the rails. Finally, I glued the stakes down.




And for size comparison, here is a painboy and his grot orderly. More than enough clearance for some impromptu serjury. Poor grot can't see jack though.




I've made two so far. I've averaged about 3 hours (with breaks) per fence section. Here you can see the two that I've made so far with some preliminary basing. I'll probably replicate the basing done on the first pic rather than the second one, which is on a beach.

And one other thing you may note is that I cut off both ends of the base. I wanted to be able to build a wall with no breaks. I'm also planning on modifying the bases further so that I can set them at angles to each other. (Though I actually do plan on building actual fence corners at some point.) I also went at each post with a saw, scraping the teeth along its length to simulate texture.

One thing that I can't figure out though is whether I should stick with 4 rails (as pictured above) or 5 (like one of them below). I think I may just build a couple of each.

As for painting, I'm not sure of the look that I want--weathered grey wood, or fresh cut. Or maybe even slathered with creosote?





Next up are urban barricades....
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Concrete Jersey Barriers

Okay, I know I have to finish the watchtowers at some point, but I do have a mini-update.

When Pardulon created a set of concrete jersey barriers (see below), I finally saw jersey barriers that I liked. And I don't have to use them just for the orks, but can use them elsewhere.



What I liked were the hazard stripes which set them off from just the plain grey concrete ones that I can see in real life.

So I took the leftover resin that came with my FW orders and created some barriers.

I mounted two on leftover bike bases and one on some foamboard and a portion of a baton (like the ones I used for the fences above).

For the jersey barrier, I undercoated with black primer, base coated with Codex Grey, several thinned down coats of Sunburst Yellow for the hazard stripes (I despaired of finally covering the black). I then stippled (with varying degrees of success) Codex Grey over the hazards to simulate wear, and washed it down with Devlan Mud.

The rebar was undercoated with black primer, base coated with Boltgun Metal, stippled with Dark Flesh, and washed with Devlan Mud.

The base was medium ballast (from railroad terrain) and watered down PVA. I did it twice. Then went over it again with watered down PVA to seal it. After that I undercoated with black primer, base coated with Graveyard Earth, drybrushed with Snakebite Leather, then again with Bleached Bone.



And of course, here are the orks: a nob, boy, and grot for scale.



If you’ve gone through this plog, you’ll note that these are actually the first terrain pieces that I've ever completed (as you can see I've had a lot of false starts, I'll get to the undercoat primer and stop there as truthfully, I can't decide the color scheme). With these done, I do plan on painting up more, though I do need to get more paints.

I have several more of these resin pieces and want to make more jersey barriers, so I do want comments on how I can improve (I can only learn so much by reading).

I've heard that Tau Sept Ochre is what one should use as a foundation for yellow if the undercoat primer was black. Were there other paints I should have used (as opposed to the ones listed)? Was there anything else I should have done? (I'm wondering if I should have highlighted the barriers with Fortress Grey? Highlighted the rebar with Mithril Silver? Or use a mix of Badab Black and Devlan Mud for the washes?)

Comments and critiques as always are welcome.
 

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After reading this thread, can safely say im amazed. The work you have put into them is incredible, i just wish i had the creativity to do the same. keep up the good work.
 
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