Thursday, 12 April 2012

Scatter Terrain & 3D Printing - 1

After doing the scatter terrain for the Zone Mortalis game I started thinking of doing my own set of terrain pieces along similar lines – namely drums, crates and pallets.

My thoughts instantly turned to doing them as 3D prints. I was hoping the White Detail material used for the gun emplacement base parts would be good for these.

So here are the concept designs for the new pieces.


First up are the pallets. I plan for two sizes with the larger one slightly smaller than the ZM one I scratch built. The smaller one is half the size of the larger pallet. They would be in two parts allowing me to cast them.

Large Pallet Base


The Small Pallet Base

The Large Pallet with the top in place

And the Small Pallet with its top plate.

I still need to add more details to it. I am thinking of changing one hole to something different – such as a stylised Aquilla or skull.

I changed the lower half so that the base is a solid piece rather than slats, making it much easier to cast. I may simply scratch build the lower half from styrene rather than having it printed.


Two sizes, both the same size in height but in diameter one is 50%  larger.


Likewise two crate sizes which are both the same height. The smaller is half the length of the larger crate. In height the crate are half the height of the drums.

The sizes picked for the drums and crates allow them to be stacked together without a problem…

And some pieces on the pallets:

Smaller Drum on the Small Pallet

And the Larger Drum on Small Pallet.

Large Pallet with some Drums and Crates

And something I may end up with...

Once I have finalised the designs (mainly just the pallet)  I will probably order the prints, though I may wait to see what Shapeways say about the problem I had with the gun emplacement pieces.


  1. You, sir, are beyond tempting me to dive into 3D Printing for Terrain projects. I've got a little 3D experience myself and am itching to give it a trial run.

    1. Go for it. What is the worse that could happen...?

  2. Looks good mate.. a couple of ideas, if you're receptive:

    Add the Aquila/skull to the side of the pallets, that way it's conceivably always visible, maybe just as a knife edge indent. I'd set that on top of that little side panel reinforcement you've got there, but I'd carry that reinforcement pretty much the entire length of the side (90%-ish) with a few extra bolts along the way.

    For casting ease and ease of assembly, you may want to do a cheater setup with the boxes and make another item that is two boxes wide, a pallet deep, and is one solid object. (Sized similar to the stacks you show on that massive wall rack of gubbin's in the last picture, but only one box tall.)

    1. The detail on the side is an ID plate. I won't be adding an Aquilla as I don't want the issue of GW IP cropping up if I sell moulds/casts. I will mostly change one of the holes to a skull.

      I considered something similar when I looked at doing smaller drums (equiv of 55 gallon drums). I won't be doing it for these though, it would cost more money as I would need more prints which would be much larger and expensive.

    2. Hey, you're the one who mentioned a bird first, matey.

      Looking at it, I reckon the boxes could use something along those lines as well, either along the sides or along the lids, what do you think?

    3. Aye, I decided after doing the post it would be better to stay away from any obviously GW IP such as the Aquilla.

  3. I can't wait to see how these turn out.

    You are also tempting me sir, to try out 3D Printing for terrain as well. I just went back and looked at your results from the gun emplacement. I noticed you had some troubles with the final print. I will be interested in seeing if these issues get resolved.

    I also see that you have played some Zone Mortalis games. I just played two myself last Friday. I had a great time. I like the terrain that you've made for the game. I can see it working very well and with some creativity you could really detail those pieces up and make them really cool.

    If you want to see the terrain I've made and check out my battle report see my blog at:

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Cheers very much.

      ZM was very enjoyable. I can see me playing it quite a bit more in the future.

      I will check the blog out later.