Image from Games Workshop
This is a Guest Post by Col. Corbain
I was hoping to bring you a tutorial on making simple alien scenery this week, but life decided it had other plans for me. Well, more specifically, the gaming club I'm a member of decided they had different plans for my scenery making talents. The club has recently bought quite a bit of the Cities of Death kits to supplement the kits it already has. So, I spent a night at the club along with a few other and a few nights at home alone putting together these kits.
At the end of the night at the club, we gathered our various buildings together and put them on a large table along with the clubs other CoD kits. Once they were all together, something occurred to me, but before I go into it, I'd like to talk a little about GW scenery in general.
In the past couple of years, we've seen an explosion in the amount of scenery kits available from GW, especially in the 40k sphere. We've seen everything from plastic woods and hills to bastions and fortresses, we've even seen plastic battle boards which is something I never though we'd see.
Image from Games Workshop
These kits have completely revolutionised the tables we play on, bringing great scenery within the reach of every gamer without the need of specialist materials or equipment. All you need are the same tools you use of your models, a bit of plastic glue, some clippers and a set of hobby files and within a relatively short time, you can be knocking out some good looking terrain.
With a bit of imagination and a bit of kitbashing of various scenery kits, you can come up with some pretty amazing stuff. It really is impressive.
"So what's the problem Col.?" I hear you ask.
Well, the one thing that occurred to me when I was looking at all that Cities of Death scenery setup on the table at the club is that it all looks a bit 'samey' and the more I look around the various blogs on FTW, the more I realise that even though we're spread across the world, we all seem to be playing on the same tables, with the same buildings, hills and woods.
The ease of construction of GW kits has made it easier for people to get terrain, but because the skills required to put it together are the same as the models and the kits are essentially provided for you, I believe it's actually limiting the hobby in scenery terms.
If this continues, how long before the scenery making skills are lost forever and every table becomes as standard as an Ultramarine? GW terrain kits do make it easier, but in the long term, are they bad for the hobby?
Finally, here's a pic of my wip CoD building, it's only halfway done, there's still quite a bit to do on it including sandbags, building up the earth base and adding some details. It's my first bit of GW scenery, I'll be bringing you a tutorial on it soon.
Without having to learn how to use polystyrene and foamboard, hobbyists are not learning the skills to make scenery from their imagination and are limiting themselves to making buildings from kits imagined by others.
Is it all going to to be "Ultramamrine" flavored in the end?
Will the art of terrain building be lost on the next generation of hobbyists?