Chatting with my friend Howard at our local games club, the “Old Buckenham Bone Crushers”, we were thinking about making a set of 28mm scale sewer or mine tunnels for use with Necromunda, Mordheim or the Occult Wars rules. Although this project hasn’t got off the ground yet due to other commitments, I’ve always fancied making a set of tunnels. Having started to do more in 15mm, this seemed an ideal opportunity to create a set of caves and tunnels that will be small enough to pack away easily, but still have enough variety to remain useful for some time. Seeing some sheets of polystyrene left over from having our loft insulated got me thinking…
The old polystyrene water tank insulation will form the basis of the caves. At about 25mm /1 inch thick, it will be above head height for my basic 15mm infantry. Some cork floor tiles (originally bought to try out the cork building method described in Matakishi’s Tea House) will form the base onto which the styrene will be stuck. Each tile if 1 foot square, or 30.5cm. I will therefore work on a 10cm grid for my caverns, producing a range of tiles – 10x10cm, 10x20, 20x20, a few large caverns 30x30, and perhaps an “L” shape too. We have an old pot of dark red paint in the garage, so these will be given a few coats of that to become martian-style caves. I might break out the odd piece of cork flooring, stick a piece of paper over the underside of the hole then paint & varnish it for a pool. I’m thinking that purple water might make an interesting contrast to the red rocks.
Some basic plans are sketched out whilst watching TV one evening and I’m ready to go.
Stage 1 – Planning the caverns
First, I gather my equipment together: cork tiles, steel rule & smaller plastic ruler, stanley knife, A2 cutting mat, plus the rough plans I drew up.
First of all, I mark the 10x10cm grid onto the cork floor tiles using an old CD marking pen.
As they are 12” square tiles, they will all have a 5mm section to trim off 2 edges. Some tiles don’t get the full grid, as they will be 20x20 or 30x30 cave tiles.
Next, the entrances are marked on. Each 10cm of edge will have a 2cm wide opening in the middle. I put marks down the edges of the tiles at 4 & 6cm, 14 & 16cm, 24 & 26cm. This is repeated as necessary on every edge so that the cavern tiles can be put together in any combination and all of the openings will still match up.
I have several brave volnteers (GZG Xenomorph, NAC Marine and 3 Vacc-suits) on hand to check the width of corridors as I draw them in, conecting up all the openings between tiles.
Once all the lines have been drawn in, the tiles are cut up with a stanley knife into their individual cave tiles.
Next stage - cutting the polystyrene to size!