Monday, 4 May 2015

Amera: the Terrace

Introduction

I managed to play a couple of games today with my sons, whilst the visiting relatives were out shopping in the big city.  To tease: I'll have reports of a small All Things Zombie game and a larger SAGA battle some time soon - but not today!  Instead, now is the time for description of another vac-formed terrain piece from Amera.  So, what have we got here?

F207 Terrace Ruins

F207 Terrace Ruins is the smallest of the various Amera terrain pieces that I've bought so far; excluding the rim at the base it measures just about 15cm (6") square.  It comprises a series of wide, shallow steps leading into a building with low walls and a sunken floor.  The building has a step up to a small back door, or maybe it's the start of a further staircase, or a fallen block across a passageway...

This was a very simple piece to finish.  I've followed my normal method for "ruins", though it probably takes longer to describe than it does to paint:

  • Trim the base to produce a slightly less regular outline than the model had before.
  • Coat the rim with tacky glue and sprinkle with grit and sand.  Do the same for a few patches inside the ruin where dirt has accumulated.
  • Undercoat with grey car paint.
  • Wash the stonework with black.
  • Drybrush the edges of the stonework with pale grey.
  • Paint the dirt with a middle brown - I used DecoArt "cocoa".
  • Highlight the dirt with tan, then again with "antique white" ( a pale tan).
  • Stick some clump foliage and static grass to the model, concentrating on the rim and on the joints between the flagstones.


I thought that the terrace looked a little bland even after this, so I added one last touch.  I found some pictures of Roman mosaic floors from the internet and printed one of them out (at a size of 3" x 2", from memory).  I then tore this into fragments and used some of them to decorate the sunken part of the building.  Obviously this was a high-status building before it was ruined!

Conclusion

The Terrace Ruins is a strange piece of terrain.  On the face of it, it doesn't look to me to be particularly ruined.  Apart from a single block of masonry, the walls and floor slabs seem as if they might have been designed to be as they are now, though for what purpose?  I suppose that there might be other blocks missing; they might have been carted away by locals to use as an easy supply of building materials rather than left lying about.  We'll never know...

Even if the walls were higher before being ruined, I still cannot quite work out what the sunken "room" might have been.  It seems odd to climb the terrace steps only to then descend into the building.  I don't quite see the point of this.  Mind you, the lowered area would make a brilliant water feature if filled with some suitable clear compound (see my earlier ruined bathhouse for a similar concept).  If converted in this way, the steps down into the terrace building would make a bit more sense, I think.  Perhaps this was a reservoir or the rather fancy head of a spring or well?

Or maybe I'm over-thinking this; at just £3 this is cheap terrain and I should just accept it as such!  I'll most certainly use it for my Greek Myth games, as well as any other genres which require some ruins of antiquity for the opponents to fight across.  Maybe some pulp archaeologist could lead an expedition to figure out what was the purpose of this building?

20 comments:

  1. Wonderful bit of scenery and you certainly can't complain at the price. Your paintjob though really does make it stand out and it will look awesome on the battlefield imho. great job C6 :-)

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    1. Thanks, Blax. At that price, I'm wondering if I should have bought several and kitbashed them into a larger complex :-) .

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  2. The added mosaic parts really add to the feel of the piece. Much better than if it was all stone and dirt. Great small piece of scenery!

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    1. Thanks. I felt that it needed something and the mosaic seemed appropriate. I could have gone with water or with a lot more debris instead, I suppose...

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  3. The Mosaic makes the piece stand out.... great job.

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    1. Thanks, HW. I wasn't sure about the mosaic when I glued it on, but it seems to work OK.

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  4. Really like the mosaic, very effective!

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    1. Thanks, Lee. It adds a bit of detail whilst still being flat (so figures can stand on it :-) ).

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  5. As others have said the tessellated floor pattern fragmented does a really good job of bringing it to life. While I cannot see why it was built like this other than production vac forming. As you point out does that matter as we all know that 9 out of 10 wargamers will never worry or even care about that sort of thing. Very good job realising this architectural/archeological feature.

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    1. Thanks, Clint. I think I need to experiment with building such features into the landscape a bit more - perhaps a hillside or shifting sands...

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  6. Nice work, and the mosaic is a great touch. :)

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    1. Thanks, I think the model was going to be a bit bland without some type of detail. Must be my dull painting :-) .

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  7. I have to agree with everyone else that adding the mosaic flooring was inspired.

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    1. Thanks, Bryan. It wasn't something I had planned in advance, though. The mosaic idea came as I was painting the model and turning it around in my hands.

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  8. Very cool little terrain piece C6!

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    1. Thanks, Bob. It was a very quick, easy & cheap model to build!

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  9. Very nicely done. The mosaic floor breaks up the grey stone well. Great job.

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    1. Thanks, Simon. Glad you like it!

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  10. Thanks for the review, love the finish! and re comments on exactly why designed as it was. Andrew who designed it about 12 years ago remembers it fondly, as one of his first pieces, still popular and well loved!

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    1. Glad you liked it. I'm still wondering what I could have made from 2 or 3 of this piece merged together!

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