Terrain: Manufactorum


I wanted a terrain piece that would be fairly dominant on the battlefield – impassable and tall, so as to offer some real cover/a hiding place, and also be able to split the battlefield in two if placed fairly centrally. I decided to go with a large building, as I could also flip it over and use it as a box to store other terrain when not in use :). Thus the Imperial Manufactorum was born.


It’s made from 5mm foamboard that was initially made into a basic box measuring 12″ x 9″ x 8″ high. Before gluing the sides together, I cut out a large hole for the large front roller-door, as well as holes for windows and the two personal doors. Using the foamboard I cut out for the windows, I made little sills for them, then backed them with card (so I could later black the windows out).


I used an old Necromunda style plastic bulkhead for the back door. For the other doors I added a card frame (simply folded round the hole in the wall) and stuck card on the inside of the wall to give a recessed door. For the large front roller-door this card was corrugated, giving the look of a door that could roll up.

I then added more features to the building by adding more foamboard to the walls, making it more of a structure and less of a box! I then added some pipes (drinking straws), a chimney (random plastic tube), a large tank on the roof (top of a CD spindle) and a few bits of card – a rectangle on the roof that would become a landing pad, and a round one on the side for an Adeptus Mechanicus symbol later.


Before spraying the whole building black, I added a few bits of battle damage – bullet holes and other battle scars – with my modelling drill.


The walls were simply painted grey (using my trusty cheap Rymans craft paint). I gave it three heavy drybrush coats, as I didn’t want a fully even coat – all the bullet holes and damage needed to show up and any unevenness in the surfaces just added features. There was a risk of it becoming just a massive grey blob otherwise!

Beyond that it was a case of adding details. Lots of sepia and umber wash – especially in joins, under windows, around doors etc – helped break up that vast greyness, as well as all the other little features…


These pipes are pretty clearly bendy straws, simply glued to the roof and CD spindle tank on top. There’s a small piece of card on the tank where the pipes go in as well. There was plenty of wash applied here to make them look rusty and leaky, including a green wash, suggesting something pretty unpleasant is getting out!


More pipes on the back wall, with more wash, including green wash for the seeping green liquid oozing out! The bulkhead back door was drybrushed boltgun metal, with some of the pieces done in gold (same old gold technique as always – so much better than a flat coat). There’s also a ‘Caution’ sign that I got off the Internet and simply printed out. I just gave this a little bit of the sepia treatment to age it. I’m pretty pleased with the result!


The bullet holes on the front are fairly standard – just a bit of sepia running from them.

The blue graffiti was my fiancee’s idea. I intentionally didn’t want to use words, as it needed to be in keeping with the building (i.e. not an Orky-style “Orkz Rule!” or something). So I think what I’ve done can be a local gang tag or something. Maybe it’ll make an appearance again on more scenery pieces…


The roller door was a simple drybrush in boltgun metal, with a bit of sepia washing. For the surround I started by painting it all white (it was undercoated black, so the yellow wouldn’t work well straight on that) and then drawing in pencil the diagonal lines. I created a small template from card for this, so all the stripes are uniform (or at least should be!). I then painted the yellow stripes, going over the lines. The pencil lines showed through the yellow, so I could then just fill the gaps in black. I then used sepia wash (obviously!) and also ‘dabbed’ some black using a sponge (as I did on my ammo dump) to give wear and damage.


Here you can see the landing pad – a simple boltgun metal over black, with lots of wear and damage, and the same yellow and black stripes as around the front roller door. The tank on top is mostly boltgun metal, with a gold top (just to add some variety!). You can also see the Adeptus Mechanicus symbol. This was printed off the Internet and glued on to a piece of card that I’d already stuck to the building before undercoating. After painting the walls grey, I re-painted the card circle black, to ensure a sharp edge, then just glued the symbol on.



The side door is a simple piece of card stuck to the back of the wall, furnished with a few old bits from my bits box – a set of lights off an old Rhino and a ‘keypad’ that I think was originally from some really old MkVI marines. To give the door the appearance of sliding open sideways, before gluing the door in place I scored a line down it, starting in the middle at the top, then going left at 45 degrees, down, right at 45 degrees etc, until I was back in the middle at the bottom. This means when I painted it, the score line remained black whilst the rest is blue, making it look (hopefully) like it slides open, splitting in the middle.

I’ve now used this in two battles, and it did just what I was looking for – a big line of sight blocker in the middle of the battlefield, cutting out a lot of long-ranged shots. In the second battle it was square in the middle of the table and really cut the battle into two halves. Whether that was good or not is open to debate!


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