Sunday, March 25, 2012

Zone Mortalis Project Underway

So with the mechanised and shooting heavy bias of 5th I was really excited when Forgeworld eleased the Zone Mortalis rules.  I loved the idea of close quarters Space Hulk type games.  I wasn't quite as excited about the price of the set and how much a decent size play space would be; although I have heard good reviews about the set.  So, like manyothers I began a plan to replicate the idea, why re-invent the wheel right?  But as I was planning things and trying to determine the best material to use as a base, my girlfriend asked one of those questions that makes me take pause, 'Where are you going to store it?  Couldn't you just make the walls?'  So simple it seemed stupid to do what I was.

So back to the drawing board.  I focused on making walls that were durable and space saving.  So I started with a trip to the local DIY store for some supplies.  Here is the current materials list:
  • 1x3x8 strapping
  • Wood glue
  • Foamcore board
  • Screwnails

So the design is to go with no base and make 9 wall sections (1 12" wall, 10x10 L-shape wall, 1 8x8 U-shaped wall, and 6 4x4 L-shaped walls) that should come close to replicating the Forgeworld setup but with more flexibility.  The best part is that once I determined the dimensions, I was able to make all of the wall pieces to make just about the equivalent of the Forgeworld set with one 8 foot length.

So I began by cutting the strapping to length, it is important to remember to account for the thickness of your foamcore, as well as any joins in the strapping.  For example, an L-shaped wall that you want to be 10 inches will require 1 9" length( -1/4" for foamcore, -3/4" for strapping), and 1 9 3/4" length.

Once the pieces were cut to length, they put into place, then glued and clamped.  Once the pieces were clamped together pilot holes were drilled long enough for the screws, and then the boards were also screwed together.  You could easily nail them instead of screwing them, but it's generally a tigher fit with screws and I had some extra laying around.  Keep in mind, because you are working with thin boards, pilot holes are important to keep the wood from splitting.

Once everything was together, the next step was to put foamcore on to the wood.  This was done for a number of reasons, to bulk up the walls to give a more bunker like or bulkhead feel, to give us a clean and flat surface to do detail work on, and especially in the case of the single 12" section, to help it sit flatter and without tipping.

So the first set of 9 pieces is almost complete, just a couple foamcore applications for the small L shape pieces.  When I picked up the lumber I grabbed 2 lengths, assuming I'd be just short with 1, and have started a second set of walls.  I haven't added any new shapes, although I am going to look at it, I did however change the number of pieces.  I changed some of the small L shapes into another large L shape, it left a little extra leftover but the benefit was worth it.  As I was placing the shapes for testing and pictures I realized that the combination of the two L shapes gave me a great corner corridor that I didn't see in the Forgeworld setup as much. 

So I'm going to try and get the second set assembled, and hopefully the foamcore walls on tommorow before the club to give it a try at one of our last few dates.

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