Daffcon Convention Preparation
Across the weekend of 8/9/10 of April, Gaslands is going to its first proper gaming convention: DAFFCON. We are setting up on Friday lunchtime and will be running demo games and playtesting for the whole weekend. Hopefully we’ll meet some nice new people, show them the game, take some photos of the action and generally have a good time.
Daffcon is a perfect debut for Gaslands. Daffcon was conceived by Mike Marshall as an opportunity to revel in all the smaller, alternative wargames that don’t get as much exposure as the “big guns” in the wargaming scene. There are several current Osprey Publishing wargames being represented, so its exciting to be able to preview and addition to that wargaming line alongside current available titles: Of Gods And Mortals, and A Fistful Of Kung Fu.
Prepping the Demo Table
We very much want an impressive and eye-catching table for the demo board. We want something that instantly tells the Gaslands story, that hints at the background and that hero’s the stars of the show, which are the toy cars.
The plan is to have a table with a number of taller, bolder pieces of industrial scenery, giving the impression of racing around a disused industrial plant. Those will be filled out with a host of smaller pieces of characterful smaller terrain pieces, crash barriers for that race-track look, and some billboards that both emphasise the highway vibe, (and provide opportunity for some “in game” advertising).
The industrial terrain was scratch built from various diameters of cardboard tubing that I have been collecting for a couple of years. Thick cardboard tubing from poster tubes, table cloth rolls, turkey foil and similar. These were cut to various lengths and glued to MDF bases. Thin lengths of cereal box cardboard were cut and stuck around the tubes to provide dividers, and to break up the large plain surfaces. Other details were added using drinking straws, thin plastic tubing, plasticard and wire mesh.
Artist’s texture gel was used all over to provide a rough and textured surface and the bases were also sanded using PVA glue. The finished terrain pieces were primed black and then painted with Vallejo Stone Wall.
Next, bright orange paint was sponged sparsely to suggest rust. The main weathering was achieved with liberal application of Games Workshop’s magical Typhius Corrosion technical paint, which provides a very pleasing grimy effect when painted into the crevasses of the piping. Orange ink was used to provide a variety of tones in the grimy drippy areas. Finally, I used Secret Weapon weathering powers mixed with isoprene alcohol and applied that mix to small areas to provide thicker spots of rusted crud.
These were not scratch made. Sands Models makes these lovely resin terrain pieces. The can be purchased here. They were washed and then primed black. Next I undercoated them with an mixture of Army Painted Leather Brown and Army Green sprays. I hit them from a couple of angles with one colour and then the other angles with the other colour. It provides an interesting base to work up from and means you only have to pick out the details that you want to and the rest feels like a single piece.
I picked out details in dark brown, metallics, greens and others, and then sponged some bright orange on for rust effects. I then applied Army Painter Strong Tone, which provides heavy shading and a tough varnish layer. Sadly, it’s very glossy when dry, and so I needed to varnish them again with Testors Dullcoat.
I would highly recommend these charming terrain pieces from Sands Models for your Gaslands table, they look great once painted up.
These crash barriers come from a “Gothic Road Accessories” MDF kit by TTCombat that is so appropriate for Gaslands it’s like it has been specifically made for us! For a mere £4, you get four street lights (enough to make two race gates, see below), three crates that are perfect as pickups for the “Scavenger Party” scenario, and four crash barriers which look great as scatter terrain. Two or three of these sets and you have a pretty reasonable starting table for Gaslands! I hope that I can speak to the guys at TTCombat and perhaps strike a deal, as I hate for them to stop making this fabulous set. I got mine from TrollTrader on eBay, but you can get them elsewhere.
Once the crash barriers were assembled, we cut out squares of corrugated cardboard, which can be bought at art or craft shops, and which works great as corrugated iron. After being primed grey, the panels were painted black and a little template made from plasticard was used to paint on the hazard arrows in white or yellow. The effect is great and really gives the table a racing game vibe, as the turning arrows are an iconic part of many racing video games.
The race gates (actually street lamps) come from the same TTCombat set as the crash barriers. Thin strips of MDF were cut and sanded to act as bases, to ensure the gates were set at the correct width during play, and reduce the possibility of knocking the gates over. As the race gates are an important focus in the death race scenario, we wanted them to be eye-catching, and feel deliberately “fake”.
These gates are not a natural part of the environment, they are an artificial element added by the Gaslands TV production team and an important part of the action in the TV show. For this reason, we elected to paint them in rather striking and garish greens and reds. Red means “WRONG WAY!”, obvs!
The start/finish gate is a plastic railway signal gantry kit found on eBay. It is perfect, because of the traffic lights!
The final part of the TTCombat set that we used were the crates. These aren’t awesome, but get the job done. Painted army green and given some edge highlights, they have numbers on the bottom to show what they contain. Currently the rules have a random pickup table, but I want to playtest a more deterministic system over the weekend, so numbers have been added to the underside.
Probably my favourite terrain pieces are the billboards. Here is an opportunity to really go to town and to provide a lot of flavour for the table. They are undercoated with Army Painter Leather Brown and then sponged with black and orange to weather it. The posters were designed in Photoshop, printed, cut and crumpled and then glued on and coated with PVA. Once dry, plenty of weathering was applied over the top to make them visually mesh with the rest of the billboard. I’m going to make more of these, as they look really great!
That’s a quick round up of all the preparations we’ve been doing for Daffcon. Hope to see you there!
If you’re not able to make it to Cardiff to come see us, you can still get involved by signing up to be a playtester.