Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Terrain is everything - Standard Template Constructs


Standard Template Construct (STC) systems were advanced computers created during the Dark Age of Technology, which are said to have contained the sum total of human technological knowledge. An STC system was possessed by every group of human colonists before the Age of Strife, allowing them to build all of the equipment necessary for survival on an untamed colony planet. It enabled the colonists to build efficient shelters, generators and transports without any technical knowledge and using almost any locally available materials. The user simply asked how to build a house or a tractor and the computer supplied all the necessary plans.
One of the primary goals in this blog was to formalise any tutorials and templates that I had, to help other hobbyists. The 'STCs' I've created so far for my buildings have received a lot of hits on the articles, although I'm not sure how many new structures have been built but I'm appreciative of all the good vibes coming my way, thanks.

The downside to this is that I have a number of buildings that I've made that haven't got complete 'STCs' to share with you all. Their real world construction resulted in changes to the plans and ideas to improve the versatility of the final model that haven't been reverse engineered into the original Illustrator files. Because of this some of these articles have been delayed and still further delayed. I didn't want to showcase a building you couldn't make or one that had instructions you couldn't follow.

With hindsight though this may have been an error. When I first showcased these buildings on terragenesis I asked people to contact me if they wanted the templates and never got a response so holding off on something until it's complete may well be a 'false economy'. I also recall that my initial urge to produce buildings was based on something I'd seen on terragenesis, without any template to make it and I thought I'd just 'give it a go'.

So what I'm going to do is continue to showcase what I've achieved and add the STC production/completion to my growing 'to do' list. The showcase themselves may be inspiration enough, we'll see. Of course if there is mad demand in the comments for the STC for a specific building I'll make it a priority but at least this way I'll stop delaying stories that are months old. Hope that's OK with y'all. Not that there's a huge amount of templates yet to come I'm just feeling the pressure that they're being delayed.
In the mean time here's the STCs for what I've created so far:
'Adeptus Mechanicus unapproved plans' - STC's liberated by the Free Radical Collective that don't contain quite as much detail, instructions or corrections but it's better they're available to you so you can tinker with them. Then one day I may get around to fixing them:
Print and Play STC building templates - a variety of pre-textured simple buildings to quickly populate your battlefield. Just print and stick to foamboard, cut out and stick together [be fair warned these templates are all considerably large filesizes - 40-90MB due to the many textures added to the templates. Please do not download if you are unhappy with this. I prefer to spend my time making FREE templates, not working out why one file is bigger than it should be]:

51 comments:

  1. You sir are my HERO!! Thank you so much for sharing all these! They are just great!

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    1. These are great, what works best to print them on?

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  2. This is a great resource, and the results you get with them are stunningly good.

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  3. Hi, I just wanted to add my thanks for sharing these!

    It's funny, when I first was looking at the templates I thought to myself "Man, these look nice, but I really wish he'd said what was cardboard and what was foamcore" I then looked a little closer and saw that you had :)

    What thickness foamcore (aka foam card) do you use?

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  4. Now I'm thinking I should get on and finish the templates... thanks for the support. David the foamcore is 5mm thick.

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  5. Hey dwez I am slowly working my way through your older posts here.

    These look great and I may even try one or two and see how they turn out. I have one small request for future templates though. I am wondering if you could use a more basic font for the text. I am having a lot of trouble making out some of the script old english looking type of font that is currently used.

    I may have to pick your brain a little once I take on of these if I can't quite make something out and I think it may be important. LOL

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  6. I know, the font is shocking isn't it. It's a bit better when printed out, but really that's no excuse I'll look into changing them in the future.

    Any help you need let me know and I'll do what I can.

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  7. Ok, these are sweet. Just found your blog and these are very nicely done. Sorry you haven't had as much response and excitement for your work as you were hoping for, it definitely deserves more attention ^.^

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  8. Cheers oniakki, actually this is my most popular post and folks are starting to get excited about what's on offer. In fact I've even seen my first set of models based on the STCs over at Bell of Lost Souls
    http://www.lounge.belloflostsouls.net/showthread.php?t=14263&page=2
    Glad you like what I'm doing, stay frosty.

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  9. This stands as my personal favorite blog post on the internet. thank you so much for your time and effort

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  10. Many thanks for your continued efforts in recreating the STC's I have made. It makes it worthwhile to see these little fellas out in the wild and prove that they can be recreated, remixed and adapted to suit your own battlefields.

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  11. Did you ever release your Plasma generator STC? It's a great pieces.
    Thanks for the modular plugs and the other terrain pieces.

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  12. Not yet, Avro Vulcan hasn't had it ratified by the Adeptus Mechanicus, although I hear rumours that he has been victim of a malicious data breach. The shadowy figures who wish to see his downfall will try anything to see an end to his discoveries and humble him before the people of Ferron Proxima.

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  13. Meleck, the Free Radical Collective have managed to 'liberate' the unfinished plans for the Plasma Generators from Avro Vulcan, you can access it above and see there announcement here:

    http://40kaddict.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/data-blurt-free-radical-collective.html

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  14. Great templates! Just joined BOLS and saw these, had to downloaded them. cCan you just explain something to me? How do you use them... lol. Do you paste them up onto the actual foam board and cereal boxes and cut them out from there? My concern is that this will cause the paper to curl, correct? It would be greatly appreciated if you could give a brief explanation on how you would use the templates.

    I might be over thinking it or just plain stupid but I could use your direction.

    Thanks so much for putting these together.

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  15. Thanks for dropping by MasterCraft. I usually use Spray Mount to stick them to foam card/cereal boxes. If you haven't heard of it it's a spray adhesive you can get from most art stores. It is re-positionable so you can take it off if you wish afterwards but I usually keep it on so the cardboard detailing can be placed as acurately as possible.

    Sometimes if the paper does start to peel I rip it off, if the paper tears unevenly this can add a tiny bit of texture to the wall. However, if you wish to ensure the paper doesn't peel you can look for Photo Mount which is an adhesive spray that doesn't allow repositioning.

    So the proces is usually print them out, spray, attach to foamboard and card where appropriate. Then I use a scalpel to cut all the pieces out and then use PVA glue to stick it together. Sewing pins, clothes pegs an elastic bands are useful tool to help pin/hold/clamp the components together to allow time for the PVA to set. Then comes the painting process which is detailed in a number of the posts hereabouts.

    Hope that helps, good luck with your efforts and when they're ready let me know. Thanks for stopping by.

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  16. Thanks again. This is how I figured they worked.

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  17. Just found these, thanks so much for sharing!

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  18. Just another question. What to you put these on for bases. I found that using foam core although easy to sculpt tends to warp when I add a thin layer of glue and sand. I think some people use masonite for the bases of terrain but It seems too heavy. What do you use? How do you apply a texture to the foam core without warping it.?

    BTW. Templates were super easy to use and I really love the freedom that the foam core allows for sculpting and adding details. Thanks again.

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  19. Thanks Baraccas and MasterCraft, please drop a link to pictures of your efforts if you make anything, glad they could be of use.

    As to bases, I have mix but as you've discovered mounting board and foam core does warp but it depends how you are using it. My fences and modular hills are mounting board, it has warped slightly but not sufficient to 'ruin the illusion'. Round bases are obviously CDs, both the hex towers and watch towers use these but with a foam core top, which doesn't warp as the CD adds stability.

    For most of the ruins and building though I use 'hardboard' it's not quite MDF. I think it's the masonite you refer to though it's not really a common name in the UK. My son had a bed which has since been binned, it had a number of sliding panel doors on the side, I kept them and now use it for this and my Tervigon bases seen here: http://40kaddict.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/nids-part-3-tervigon-tutorial-part-1.html

    I actually cut them out with a scalpel. It's hard work and you have to be very careful but I think the result, once sanded, is way better than trying to use some sort of saw, which I'd have to purchase anyway.

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    1. Finally got around to finishing the buildings. Take a look at the following link for the results. http://www.warpminds.com/?p=520

      Again, thanks for posting these. Now that I have the templates I plan to make a much larger piece. Keep them coming.

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    2. Oh wow! You don't know how awesome that looks and not a little surreal either. Seeing them realised so well and in a completely different colour scheme to my red planet ones - it's so cool. Thanks for making and sharing them, hope they're useful on the battlefield.

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    3. Back again. This time I created a temple like structure using the single story ruins only this time I used three templates together, mounted it on 3/4" insulation board and added some tile and a set of steps. All in all this still was pretty quick to do. Again awesome stuff.

      http://www.warpminds.com/?p=583

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  20. great work! I thank you so much for it! I will build some of your creations in the near future!

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  21. Truly impressive templates! Looking forward to trying some of these :) Thanks for sharing!

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  23. I grabbed a couple of your templates, thank you Dwez.

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    1. Awesome, let me know how you get on and what they look like.

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  24. You deserve a medal for this. I can't believe this page isn't shouted from the 40k blogger rooftops.

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    1. Thanks, feel free to point folk towards them. Ultimately though GW do make some good terrain kits but even then terrain is often neglected ahead of actually painting an army.

      Building terrain from scratch is a passion and skillset itself and although there are benefits to these plans for those just getting into - cheap cost [but expensive time-wise] those folk may be less inclined to benefit because of their lack of experience.

      Like I say, feel free to point people to the blog I love to see what people come up with and sometimes they make slitght amends which give them a whole new look compared to my own effort.

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  25. I am a little confused on how these actually are put together. I see the pdfs but idk when to paste, cut or fold...=/

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    1. Hey Marc, it depends which Template you're having trouble with. Some have more instructions than others and are clear although some are without some of those details because it was more important to get them out so people could just 'have a go'. I appreciate the instructions are important it's just sometimes there are too many pressures to make them as complete as the official STC [clue: the Free Radical Collective ones are usually the least detailed].

      If you let me know which one you are struggling with I can perhaps point you to the blog posts where I was making my own and hopefully the step-by-step pictures may help to unravel the template.

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  26. Hi,

    I have printed out the Targus assault blockade using "print actual size" and made up most of it on 5mm foamboard. I then thought hey I should measure this bugger it looks huge. And it is.... The full thing is coming out at about 35"

    I was wondering Dewz if you could print one out and tell me how big on paper the small targus section should be to make it the same size as the aegis? I can then scale the thing around a bit to make it the same.

    Not a huge loss, the too big bits will make excellent terrain!

    Cheers,

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    1. Hey Mitchell, it's those damn dirty Free Radical collective at fault here. For the life of me I don't know how they got this wrong and to cap it all the Tyranids used the same pattern to base their own defensive walls on and so they were too big, now they only deploy a number of their sections given they're oversized.

      The exact dimensions are: Small are 50mm wide, the large are two small ones connected by a 30mm piece between them. Howev'er that doesn't give the scale factor, I'll work that out tomorrow and in the process look to replace the faulty STC with one that's scaled correctly. Apologies for not getting it right, if it's any consolation I started making one myself that is also at the wrong scale... :(

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    2. Thanks for the reply Dave,

      I'm really not too bothered. Like I said they will make some great terrain and I have a month before I need to play with an Aegis in a tourny. I did some looking and based on photos of tape measures beside aegis (super sleuth I am), The front square plate of each main section should be 4cm high by 3cm wide. This might help you print them to scale? I donno. But figured I'd mention it.

      I'd love to see these as an STC ready to be printed and pasted onto 5mm foamboard. That would be champion!

      Cheers,
      Mitch

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    3. I'll work on it as soon as I can get chance. I also like the idea about having them 'print and play' as www.fritz40k.com refers to it.

      I've been thinking over providing STCs with ready made textures on and had planned to make the two ruins [well actually they're only ruins if you make them that way, they can be normal building otherwise] textured as they're probably the most useful bits of terrain.

      What I'll do is look to texture them and the aegis when it's reconfigured and see if people are happy with that. The only real problem is you can texture the front of the card but you also need to texture the inside and to guarantee those prints line up is quite difficult and then to make sure your cuts are vertical though the foamboard is nigh impossible. Of course you could just have them spray painted black/grey on the insides for convenience.

      Capping the foamboard also becomes problematic, though I suppose if you can get hold of the black cored foamboard it wouldn't need it! Keep watching the blog for when these hit.

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  27. I have been sealing my foamboard edges with white glue (PVA). I have also experimented with just gluing on paper over the foam, to give the whole structure a smooth finish (I play Tau, smooth everything!)

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    1. Good idea, the only problem is if you miss a bit and were tospray paint it, the foam will get eaten away. If you don't want to cap the ends with paper or card Masking tape can be handy - stick it on then run a scalpel down the edge of the foamboard to take off the excess tape.

      Alternatively, I understand adhesive copper strip is available from craft shops and comes in 5mm width so is super easy to just cover up that nasty foam. Of course if you just want to 'print and play' it's less of an issue and these 'caps' will look completely out of place.

      Let me know how you get on.

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  28. Me again. Have you found an alternative to cereal box board that is larger? Preferably 12"x12" or larger.

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    1. The only thing I can think of in those dimensions are the card envelopes you can get for 12" records, y'know, vinyl, LPs? Pre-dates CDs and cassettes ;) Similar stock weight to cereal box card.

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    2. Yeah I kind of figured this would be hard to get. I need to look into a paper or card board supply company as I need quite a bit of it. I've built some STCs for a custom Zone Mortalis and this is the last obstacle. Thanks Dave.

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    3. Or local art and craft shop, they'll have plenty of different weights and sizes, probably starting in A1 and cut it down. Alternatively Amazon card envelopes for calendars would do but not the most cost effective way to source some card.

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  29. Cheers! Thanks for all the work done here!

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  30. great templates and thanks. Any advice on printing. A4 i'm assuming, but i can't get the images to fit on the paper. Any ideas?

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    1. great templates and thanks. Any advice on printing. A4 i'm assuming, but i can't get the images to fit on the paper. Any ideas?

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    2. Yes Thomas, they're nearly all A4 [one might be slightly oversized]. I can only advise to look in the settings for your print dialog. Usually there will be something like 'Fit to page' which if you're using a different paper size will scale it to fit. It won't be the same dimensions obviously but it shouldn't be too different to make them unusable.

      I tried to set them up so it would work on most printers at A4, as the majority don't do edge-to-edge printing. The only way to adjust things will be through your printer setup.

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  31. Found your blog and love it already making 40k ruins as I speak

    Cheers napalm

    P.s please post more templates

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    1. Cheers Napalm, I've possibly got a few more Print & Play ones I can put up, it's just finding time to do them, I'll see what I can do though. Good luck with the builds let me know what you do with them :)

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