Terrain ideas from the NOVA Open tourney

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A laser-cut (?) skeleton of an ork spaceship that’s crashed on a desert world. To me, the idea of a crashed ship screams sci-fi.

The Nova Open is a wonderful gaming convention held in suburban Washington, D.C. Recently, I was able to spend a day walking through the dealer hall and tournament area, and I took a few photos for inspiration in my terrain-building. I thought I’d share them.

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The above is part of a package of laser-cut bunkers by Death Ray Designs. It was quite impressive. If I didn’t have a significant investment in Hirst Arts molds, which I’m using to build my own space hulk/sci-fi base system of corridors and rooms, I’d buy this in an instant.

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Here’s a shot of another part of the package. I think the idea of a classroom setting is different, but note the lockers and, in the background, a bunker door. If you love a post-apocalyptic, FALL OUT-style game, the bunker door is a must.

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One of the cool smaller products sold by Death Ray Designs is their work bench kit. Even if I don’t buy the corridors, I may buy this.

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These sci-fi buildings, perfect for a desert world, are made with a 3-D printer. If you own a 3-D printer, the 3-D files are available from Printable Scenery. For those who don’t, these models are available from Epic Quest Master, a company that manufactures the buildings under license.

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The terrain for several tournament tables was provided by a fellow who made some incredibly nice ork terrain.

What struck me about his designs was that, while these are basic scratch-built terrain pieces, the aesthetics are great. They have the right balance of simplicity, good design, and a nice paint job. It just shows that there’s nothing wrong with solid, old-fashioned terrain building.

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A small orkish gun emplacement. I know the Gaffer would be jealous.

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I should have taken this photo from the front of the building. Still, this is a nice garage/workshop for a Mek Boy. The curved roof and canvas side roof really add some character to this piece.

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For me, this Necron terrain not only is pretty good, but I love how the surrounding earth/stone looks if if it’s been pushed aside by the Necron structures rising out of the ground. I pity any Imperial colonies that developed on this world.

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As a terrain piece, this doesn’t have a lot going for it. But it reminds me that it doesn’t take much to turn something simple into something more. Just adding the promethium pipes to the side helps this piece enormously.

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Not a highly detailed piece. But I took a photo to remind me that just a few details can turn a boring slab of Styrofoam into a “building.”

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Long ago, I recognized that an outlet wall electrical box had an interesting shape that might work for an industrial terrain piece. This is an example of how a creative gamer took this idea to the nth degree.

That’s it. There was some awesome commercial terrain at the convention . . . but I only am sharing those products that are new to me. This is the golden age for wargame terrain, so you can find practically anything you want on the Internet these days. I just wanted to share a few pieces that stood out for me—particularly simple scratch-built ideas. Hope you enjoyed.–TheGM.

The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.

Categories: FromtheGM, Terrain

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2 replies »

  1. You have fully been corrupted I can see by the GW dark side of the miniatures force. Always more stuff to buy, at conventions. NOVA con I like alright for some of the seminars and dealers I suppose but just can’t get into tournament play. Also it is to me on the expensive side. Don’t want to get into the competitive side of gaming with nothing but tournaments being run. It is good you are able to gather some ideas from the convention at least.


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