Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Poisoned Chalice - 5

Welcome to what should be the final part of Poisoned Chalice…be warned, but text and picture heavy…

At the end of Part 4 the board panels including the excavation pit and cliff had been painted, in this section we move away from the board itself to show the bits and pieces I built and/or painted which gave the board more character and added that detail that hopefully set it apart from a regular gaming board.

The Engineering Vehicles:

Hades drill.

The excavation pit has the entrance to the mine shaft going down to what the Rogue Trader team assumed to be the command deck of the Necron ship. The shaft itself was dug by a Hades drill (the dimensions I cut in the foam match the drill head). For the game the Hades would be set up away from the pit itself. It has served its purpose and now sits out of the way. As there is already a post dedicated to the Hades on Recalcitrant Daze I’ll just show a couple of pics – click the Hades tag for its own dedicated post.


As I was cutting the shaft out of the foam and planning out the rubble pile I had already decided I needed something to show how they got the rubble and dirt the Hades produced out of the hole. With some track, styrene and a cut up sentinel I came up with Dumpy.

The thought was that Dumpy followed behind the Hades and rubble/dirt fell off the Hades conveyor belt into Dumpy’s bucket, it then reversed out the hole and dumped its load…I admit it isn’t the best engineering solution to the problem, but it served the purpose as a bit of scatter terrain. The main problem I faced was that the conveyor on the Hades is so low, hence the mini conveyor unit on the front of Dumpy. The idea was this could be unhooked from the bucket allowing it to be raised and the load would come out of the unlocked door at the front.

Scheme wise it was given the same scheme as the Hades (in fact Dumpy was painted before the Hades); namely in a battered yellow. I didn’t want to cover it or the other vehicles in mud and rust. These vehicles are hard working but well maintained. The users keep them in good working order and no doubt they would have got a new lick of paint once they had finished this job and been returned to the Rogue Traders vessel. A tarp was added to partially cover the cabin, as I wanted to show the inside of the cab a bit (didn’t want to waste the time I had used painting it) I modelled the tarp as though it had only been half heartedly thrown on the vehicle. I guess the operator knew it wasn’t needed anymore and he couldn’t be bothered taking the time (maybe the kettle was on the boil?). The tarp helped tie the vehicle in with some of the other pieces below.

If enough people are interested I may do a blog entry regarding Dumpy in the future, showing the rest of the WIP and painted pictures.

Sentinel Lifter & Dozer Blade

Another general utility vehicle I wanted was a Sentinel Power Lifter. I had the kit knocking around for some time, as an eBay buy it wasn’t too bad but I had to do some repair work and replace some of the pieces in brass rod.

I wanted to keep my Sentinel Lifter for my militia and thankfully someone on AB donated a used Sentinel for me to use on the board. This got stripped, pulled apart and modified. Some tube was fitted allowing the lifter unit to be removable; a large searchlight was added to the front (I only realised later that the lifter unit would block the light most of the time…). The biggest change was to knock up a rough cabin which was then covered in a tarp. Along with the Hades and Dumpy at the time of the game setting the Sentinel is standing out of the way and not in use. The tarp keeps the cabin dry and clean for the next time. I also built a new counterweight allowing me to glue it in place and gave it the same worn yellow scheme as the rest of the Sentinel.

The Sentinel was added to a quick and simple CD base. Alongside it was the dozer blade used by an Atlas as and when needed (such as shifting rubble and so on). The Atlas used on the board was provided by someone else and did not have a dozer fitted, hence adding this dozer blade alongside the Sentinel. To tie in with the sentinel a tarp was thrown over it, weighed down by a few chunks of rubble.

Scatter Terrain.


In addition to the engineering vehicles I added another piece of scatter terrain in the shape of a store dump. Another CD provided the base on which I added anything I could get my hands on, bits of scale model stowage, barrels, GW bits and so on. Basically anything I didn’t want to keep I threw on there including some very poor 1/35 scale stowage I had bought and thought I would never use as the quality was so low.

The quality of the pieces used to bulk out the stores wasn’t important as the whole lot got a big tarp thrown over it, indeed as you can see in the picture much of the stores bulk was made up of foamboard off cuts. I just needed the pieces so that enough shape was discernable through the tarp. The tarp was added so that some details came through and a few pieces were added after it (such as the tools, chain etc).

As you have probably realised all of the tarps were painted in the same way. It helps tie all the scatter pieces together. The worn yellow scheme of the vehicles and the blue tarps, as well as the recurring details throughout (such as the pieces of wood appearing in the rubble pile along with a bucket matching the one in the excavation pit and so on which helps the whole board come together as a unified piece. That was what I was aiming for anyway so I hope it came across to everyone who saw the board set up.

Washing Station:

The washing station was built by someone else, as by this point I had finished the boards and painted all the pieces I had made I didn’t have much more to do, so I took a few pieces and painted them up allowing the other person to concentrate on producing more trees and finish other items for the Rogue Traders encampment. I painted the base to match the concrete slab I did in the excavation pit.


Again these light were originally built by someone else. However, I couldn’t resist pulling them apart and rebuilding them. I changed the upright pole so that it looked like the lights could be raised in height with a handle on the side. I didn’t do much to them just tarted them up a bit.

Painting wise I went with a white colour, heavily battered and dirty. They will have been set up all round the excavation areas as work was being carried out so I can see them being covered in crap during the work.

Excavation Pit Pieces & Mini Light.

The excavation pit looks quite boring as is so I knocked up some detail pieces to add in there and make it much more interesting.

So into the pit was to go:
Spare planking,
Barrel (plus two other barrels which went in the flooded shaft),
Torch (really pleased how that turned out, weird how some of the simplest and smallest conversions can be the most enjoyable),
Coils of wire,
Pumping unit,
Water recycling unit (which connects to the pumping unit)

There was also a small light unit which would go by the area of excavated wing. The initial piece was built by someone else (alongside the larger lights above), however I decided to keep the Guard searchlight at the top only, rebuilding everything below it. I also added a power source using a Guard Lascannon power pack.

And the whole lot painted:

The pump and water recycling unit where built in separate pieces but painted together. The long pipe went down into the shaft while the pump and water recycling unit sat on the concrete slab in the pit. Rather than having a pumping unit set up which then dumped water onto the ground it pumps the water into the unit next to is which purifies the water allowing it to be used for drinking.

I think that just about covers the Poisoned Chalice board. Of course it only really came to life at Games Day 2010 once the pieces I built were added to the RoB panels, all the trees and Rogue Trader encampment plus the rocks I knocked up last minute and the great Kill Teams people built to fight over it.

Here are some pics taken from the day…

And now there is just one picture left to show, basically what Poisoned Chalice now looks like…

It’s a shame I suppose to see something I put so much time and effort into pulled apart, but I could never use the panels outside of GD so it was just sitting there sulking about life. The materials will get recycled in the future and I now no longer have the problem of storing a piece of terrain that was 620x600x500 or so mm in size.

Turned out to be a bit of a marathon getting through all of that lot. Next update will be much more short and sweet.


  1. Damn dude, seriously.

    Each post is better than the last.

    I am working on some narrative terrain myself in a similar style. The plan for my table is to have a trio of the Imperial Bastions, some small fenced freight yards with tattered old forklifts and a pair of demilitarised Storm Ravens setup as transport ships with some other scatter terrain. The theme of the table is a first contact FOB of sorts, they have found some alien life so I am building shipping crates from the X shaped necromunda bulkheads and a pair of second hand carnifexes I bought from ebay. One of the storm ravens was going to be packed down with engine covers on and under a tarp like you have done here for storage, while the other sits on a Landing pad ready to go.

    I was going to make a pit head or cave entrance and some drilling vehicles as I figure they have come to this world not knowing exactly what to expect and started looking around for minerals, flora and fauna.

    Very inspirational, it's a reasonably similar idea and I will take lessons from your custom tracked vehicles. Everything looks great!

    Thanks mate

  2. Thanks very much.

    Sounds like a very promising idea, will be interesting to see it done so I hope to see you start it soon!

  3. I have now mate! I'm through 2 of the bastions so far, have converted and painted one of the forlifts, simple greened and repainted a carnifex and am building the plasticard sides of its shipping crate. It's coming along, but I've only been into the hobby for a year and a half, so I'm still trying to get through painting my Red Scorpions (as seen on my blog). So it's slow going.

    Thanks again for all the great info and detailed pictures.



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