Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Modeling Calamity

Construction of Calamity has been proceeding, kits are being built, weathered and painted. While this process will be ongoing for some time I need to turn some attention to the boards. I have already posted some possible configurations for the boards and there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, there will be three 2'x4' boards that will make up the heart of Calamity and they will be permanent. Second, these boards will be used at conventions and will be traveling which brings up the issue of if the buildings should be permanently attached or removable.

In favor of permanently attaching the buildings there is an amazing blog out there featuring the city of Leadwood. This is the level of quality that I'm shooting for. You can find the city of Leadwood at: Colonel O'Truth's Miniature Issues

In favor of removable buildings is the ability to keep them from damage while being transported and making storage much easier.

But those are secondary to the big dilemma; What should Calamity look like? Pushing pieces of paper around on a map just wasn't giving me the view I needed to get a concrete idea of how things should be arranged. It certainly helped in figuring out possible road and stream locations but I can't get a "feel" for how the town will look from that. I need something more 3D for my mind to chew on.

While I was wandering through Hobby Lobby, I stumbled across a pack of mattboard, 5"x7" for $3.99 and about 2" thick. That's a lot of mattboard! That's when it hit me, I would follow a model railroad practice and build a model of Calamity! I grabbed the pack of mattboard and some clay and I was set to get started.

I have spent the weekend making tiny mockups of the buildings that I currently have from the various manufacturers, I even color coded them. I know there are some more coming but I'll deal with that when they arrive. The key here is to build small representations of the buildings to a scale (in this case 1/8"=1", so 12" would be 1 1/2" inches). There is no need for anything behind a basic mockup, no doors, no windows, skip the exterior stairs but leave space for them. You just need something that you can move around and get an idea of things will look at. The modeling clay will be for building up the boards. I'll start with some broad elevation changes using mattboard and then work everything else in with the clay.

Here's the beginning of the model of Calamity.
X-Acto Knife, Mechanical Pencil, Mattboad, Steel Ruler, Good Cutting Surface
Cutting Out the Pieces

Ready to Glue
The Hotel/Saloon Back

The Hotel/Saloon from the Front

The Hotel/Saloon Top

The Hotel/Saloon Finished
Finished Buildings and construction debris.

A bit closer in. The buildings are sitting on the scaled down versions of the 2'x4' boards. The center board is gridded off in to 12" squares. The outer border is 2" wide, and no buildings can be in this zone, its basically terrain only in this zone. this allows for plenty of entrance points for games.

Green will be scratchbuilt, Dark Green are Gamecraft, Purple are Sarissa Precision

Off White are Battle Flag, Red is Aetherworks, Yellow is Knuckleduster/Tri City Laser
Ready for Phase II - Terra-forming


  1. Bloody hell Kris! Your really getting into this!

    1. I'm pretty much jumping into this one with both feet so its time to go big or in this case small!

  2. I'm stunned....it makes sense but I'm still stunned!

  3. So it looks like one row of buildings will be facing the edge of your terrain board. Why did you decide to do this and not have them facing the center? Very interested in this idea.

    Tom Reed

    1. You are reading to much into the pictures. I just kind of grouped the buildings by manufacturer for the picture. Although I do have some ideas about the overall layout from the city of Leadwood. I'm sure Calamity will go through a number of permutations before I decide on the final layout, that's the point behind doing this in the first place.

  4. It's a great idea but I'm not sure I would have the patience. It will be interesting to see where this takes you.

    1. It really wasn't any worse than prepping miniatures for painting. In fact maybe a bit more enjoyable as I had almost immediate results. Once I had the process down it really only took maybe 10 minutes a building. Now the fun part starts!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks! Its been an interesting little side project.