Sunday, 4 May 2014

Terrain Extravaganza - Part One

Kicking off May as the Terrain Month, we open proceedings with a look at Spartan's own Oil Rigs and Derricks that come as part of the Merchant Navy Convoy Fleet boxset.

The ships of the Merchant Navy Convoy Fleet box were discussed in a previous post, but this post will concentrate on the Rigs and Derricks. Great models for use in games as a fixture of your fleet, an objective in games or just as pieces of terrain, these models are quick to put together and feature just the right amount of detail to be easy to paint yet still look interesting.

The Merchant Navy Convoy Fleet set comes with three of these Rigs, featuring additional options for cranes, observation posts or gun turrets. These are represented in the game as fortifications with strategic value, giving extra Victory Points for their destruction or capture if you play certain missions. The armed Derricks can be used in the same manner as Q-ships, revealing their weaponry when the enemy get too close, or can simply start as Gun Platforms.

Painting the Platforms was simple enough, following my usual method of basecoating, washing and then re-highlighting as needed. The cranes were painted to match the cranes on the Merchant Navy ships, with red and white stripes, while the superstructure and struts of the Rigs themselves were painted to be heavily weathered, all the metallics faded and rusted almost to solid orange, with green washes and verdigris build-up on the lower areas.

All the Platforms were basecoated with a dull silver, then given two coats of black wash and a third coat of brown wash. Different browns were then stippled and dry-brushed over the top, before building up with a sponge to a bright orange in certain areas. Some tidying followed, and streaks were added with a detail brush. The key was to avoid the rust spreading onto the wooden decking and also make it look subtle - I did not want a bright orange Platform!

The decking was painted a simple brown and washed once, then re-highlighted where appropriate, but the main focus of the model was to be the crane, the high oranges where the rust was worst and the pipes that drop over the sides of the Platforms - these were always painted a different colour from the main body of the Platform to offer a new spot colour and a chance for a different weathering style. While the main body of the Platform was painted silver to brown to orange, these areas were painted gold or brass, and then faded with green washes and turquoise elements.

These Platforms were not painted with a trophy in mind - all they needed is to look at once striking yet not draw the eye away from the fleets fighting around them! The faded and rusted look fits into the background of a battle nicely, or can be the focus of a Capture mission without too much effort. I am very pleased with how they turned out, especially given how quick they were to paint and build! A thoroughly recommended set for anyone looking to add some Dystopian flavour to their gaming board.

Next time, we will take a closer look at some Platforms I constructed myself.

Thanks for reading,


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