Post No Bills

So I have begun looking at adding the embellishments to my urban terrain to make it look a bit more urban.  In other words, the graffiti, ads, and posters or various roles that litter the walls and most every flat surface in larger urban centres.

I knew there are options out there, and my initial searching let me stumble across this forum post: http://gaming.yaktribe.org/community/threads/collecting-streetsigns-and-posters-thread.2685/.  I printed out the picture as is…and I was a bit disappointed by the size.  The graffiti was the right size but the posts were a bit large…and a bit grim dark for much use outside of 40k.  Still, it was a great starting point and I used a few of these right away.  The picture below shows some of the posters used right away.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Then I set to creating my own and adding a bit more variety.  As I am looking to do more of a low income/slum type area the key thing that always captures my attention are the wall-papered buildings.  But instead of stylish prints, it is invariably election or political posters.  Most of the time, they are just layered on top of each other.

Picture by the Telegraph.  Used without permission.

Picture by the Telegraph. Used without permission.

Picture from Quartz.  Used without permission.

Picture from Quartz. Used without permission.

So with that in mind I set myself to searching for pictures that met my vision.

A bit of Google-fu later and I have created the following document.  I did not create any of the images nor do I hold copyright.  These images are used without permission.  Insert other waiver type statements and a sprinkle of holy water to keep the lawyers at bay.  Anyway, feel free to use my image sheet.  It is sized to standard letter paper (8.5″x11″ or something in metric for those outside North America) and I think meshes pretty well with the scale.

Source images not my intellectual property.

Source images not my intellectual property.

Anyhow, the background and ideas should be pretty clear, the question I am sure you have is what about execution?  Again, my pictures are more eloquent than me, even when out of focus and over-exposed.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

My childhood in a nutshell: fear the communist bloc and escape with Star Wars.

My childhood in a nutshell: fear the communist bloc and escape with Star Wars.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Aside from my digital arts and crafts, these are applied in the exact same way posters are in real-life.  Apply paste to the back, smooth onto the building, and then apply paste overtop.  Instead of watering down my PVA, I used straight PVA for a better bond and to make sure it didn’t start diluting the paint on the walls.

The next step for the posters is to figure out how to make them more distressed.  At this point, I have to say I am not happy with how I painted the big building.  The brush strokes for my highlights are too obvious.  I need to either do the same technique I did on the dungeon modules or find another option.  The option I am thinking might be the best is to price out an airbrush.  Out, that price tag is going to be scary.

Anyhow, the more viable choice is to do a heavier dry-brush with a bit thinner paint then I smudge the paint and smear it with my thumb leaving most of it on me and a thin highlight across the top of the terrain.  The smooth featureless walls do make that a bit tougher.  But I can try that on the next buildings:

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Sci Fi urban terrain.

Not too much different about these ones.  I did sand the walls (lessons learned) and painted them the same day I did the plaster.  Maybe leaving a day curing time might be the better way to go next time.  If you are trying to use a similar design, I didn’t attach the doors until after the plaster was dry: the first couple buildings ended up with a bit of texture on what is supposed to be a steel door.  I found some different size straws so there is a bit of variety on sizes and components on these two.

Finally, I did use the plaster to do cladding of the first of the Dwarven buildings/mines pieces.  A small step forward but this is one of my yearly goals so any momentum is good.  On a related note, the half-timbered houses have the shingles progressing.  It is very tedious work and time consuming, but the final project is worth it.

Dwarf ruins for use in Games Workshop Lord of the Rings.  Figures by Games Workshop.

Dwarf ruins for use in Games Workshop Lord of the Rings. Figures by Games Workshop.

Of course a post by me wouldn’t be complete without the action shot.  The poor sergeant can face against the graffiti artist while you get to see how the posters scale.

Hopefully something was inspiring today, if nothing else I hope you can break that boundary between media types to improve your projects too.

Sci Fi urban terrain.  Figures by Games Workshop.

Sci Fi urban terrain. Figures by Games Workshop.

 

 

 

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