Having backed Secret Weapon’s Tablescapes kickstarter (purchasing their excellent Rolling Fields set as a board for Kings of War) I received an email a short time after from Secret Weapon announcing they had limited stock of certain items that were being sold on a first come first served basis. I was lucky enough to see the email mere minutes after it had been sent and so was able to acquire at a great discount a set of Forgotten City tiles and the lovely Deadzone tiles.
The Deadzone display board is four copies of the same sculpt, each board 12″ by 12″, giving you a two foot by two foot playing area; the same size as the paper and ‘manticanium’ (aka mousemat-esque material) mats.
And they look good!
I was initially a little concerned that four of the same sculpt would look to ‘samey’ when set up, but in the photo above I’ve purposefully placed all four tiles with the same orientation and I don’t think it’s immediately noticeable. Varying the colours used on each tile certainly helps.
In the photo below I’ve placed the tiles different ways around, which helps to break up the similarity even more.
Here’s a look at each of the tiles in turn:
I bought a couple of sets of ‘Snappy Stencils’ by T.T.Combat, which i used to airbrush the number “31” onto the tile; an oblique reference to the film John carpenter’s The Thing and Outpost 31 , the American research station where the majority of the film is set.
looking closley at the original paper Deadzone mat, I noticed tufts of grass here and there, so I’ve sparingly added some to each of the tiles, nestling in nooks and crannies. These close ups will also give you a sense of the superb level of detail on the tiles. The damage/cracks are awesome.
The paper mat has a couple of pools of blood on it too, so I’ve recreated them by mixing together some Tamiya clear red paint with Army Painter Strong Tone ink.
Here’s tile number two:
Looks like somebody met their end here, judging from the amount of blood…
Another Snappy Stencil here, an explosive warning sign (whose correct orientation is seen if the image below were to be rotated clockwise 90 degrees.). The individual square on the right of the photo below is my favourite square on the tiles; I just really like the damage detail.
The square in the left of the image below has a different texture to the others on the tile. I’ve painted them as concrete, metal (in the case of the image below) and on another tile I’ve tried to get a marble effect.
The third tile:
Concrete and brass colours for these squares:
And a Snappy Stencil radioactive warning for the hatch. Best not to open that one.
And the final tile – the one I’m happiest with as there’s more ‘going on’ with the painting:
I used some baking paper to trace the chevrons from the paper mat, rub them onto some card and then cut the card to make a stencil for airbrushing the chevrons on. There’s a tiny bit of bleed, but I’m pleased with how it’s turned out.
The square below is where I’ve tried to achieve a marble effect. I think this must have turned out ‘so-so’ as a friend of mine saw it and said ” I like the water effect.” Ah, well -it’s good that it was liked 🙂
I’m happy with the metallic effect on the circular hatch. Shading with my airbrush and drybrushing on highlights have really helped show the detail in the sculpt; dents and chips.
More blood. Just a patter this time. Only a flesh wound.
I painted the tiles by undercoating them in black, then airbrushing on a dark grey (Vallejo Model colour 70.994) followed by a coat of a lighter grey (Vallejo Model Colour Medium Sea Grey 70.870 ). I kept both coats of grey quite loose, so they were a bit patchy here and there to try and give more irregular and realistic variation to the colour of the tiles.A couple of tiles had a coat of grey blue (Vallejo Model colour 70.943) to add some variety.
I then picked out all the cracks and the grid pattern on each tile,using a fine brush and Army Painter Dark Tone Ink. This took a while as there’s a LOT of detail, but I feel it was totally worth it.
Next I softly airbrushed black over the cracks, to help blend the ink strokes in a bit. I didn’t want to only airbrush the cracks, as I would have had to lay on the paint more thickly to fill them (they are quite deep in places) and I thought this would result in a more crude effect.
Finally I drybrushed the cracks with pure white, to help make them pop. The photo below shows two squares with the ink brushed on:
And this one is after the airbrushing and drybrushing. You can really see more of the texture. (and yes, a Snappy Stencil has appeared too). 🙂
Hatches and vents were picked out in various colours, as you can see i the photos and painted with a mix of airbrushing, brushing, drybrushing, washes and edge sponging.
But how do these tiles look with Mantic’s Battlezone scenery on them? I’m glad you asked 😉
Pretty good, methinks!
These last few photos are an attempt to take you into the Deadzone, from more of a model’s eye perspective.
You may need a head for heights for this next one 😉
As always – thanks for reading! 🙂