Friday, October 19, 2018

Space Hulk 3D Printed Terrain

Like a lot of people, the original Space Hulk was my gateway into the world of miniature wargaming and Games Workshop and is still one of my all time favorite games. The 4th edition of Space Hulk was a great boxed game, but unfortunately didn't include 3D terrain. I have a Creality Ender 3 on the way, and I figured this would be the best time to utilize my 3D modeling skills to create terrain for use with Space Hulk, 40K, and Kill Team.

In the first part, I'll lay out the plans for my new project.

I haven’t done a lot of modeling for 3d printing so I wanted to start with a terrain set that wouldn’t require a lot of pieces to model. I also wanted to focus on just a few pieces so I could get used to my 3d printer and better learn what works and what doesn’t.

When I start on anything I typically do quite a bit of research on Google images. For this project I looked at other terrain kits in the 40K line, similar projects that other people have created, screen grabs from movies, video games, art in comic books, photos of Gothic architecture, etc. For Space Hulk, there is a ton of great reference material available from the Alien movies to the various terrain kits from Games Workshop, to the actual corridor tiles used in the 4th edition of the game itself.
One thing I came across while that I forgot about while researching all of this was the Zone Mortalis Set from Forge World. This was a kit I had wanted to purchase myself, but I wasn’t happy with the fixed positions of the walls on each of the tiles and it was a bit out of my price range. I wanted to create my own Zone Mortalis boards, but like any good wargamer, there are a million projects I want to work on that I never get around to.
As an aside, the majority of my 3d background is rooted in environment design for video games. As I go through this project log, I’ll be referring back to environment design concepts a lot as those ideas and the approach is very relevant to what I’m trying to accomplish here. Plus, I like video games, and it will make these articles more interesting and people can better relate to how I’m approaching this.

Back to Zone Mortalis, what I like about the layout is it only requires 3 pieces to create any of the main board layouts. A floor tile, a wall, and a corner that other wall pieces can connect to. In video games, levels are constructed the same way. Everything is built in modular pieces that can be put together like a LEGO set by game designers to create a finished level. If you are interested in how this applies to video games, there is a great article Understanding Modular Environment Design on the 80 Level website.

Next time, I’ll start putting my ideas to paper (er, pixel) and begin the modeling process. I hope you’ll join me on this journey as I begin to figure out this whole 3d printing thing.

Until then,
The Harrower

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