Modular industrial terrain – quick & easy

I’ve been looking at different options of building some modular terrain for use in games of 40k and Inquisitor for quite some time now. After building a silly amount of cityfight terrain (that eats up an equally silly amount of storage space), I was a little hesitant to undertake the next terrain building spree: I felt that any new terrain had best be very versatile and modular for maximum usefulness. It would also have to be easily storable, so no more cathedrals for the time being…

Then, while shopping for boring stuff at the DIY-superstore, I came across these:




Now I couldn’t even tell you what these things are normally used for – especially not in English. They are used by electricians when working on electrical outlets or something — pardon my spotty knowledge when it comes to electrical installations.

But I instantly realised that these could be really useful for a terrain project: The smaller part seems immediately useful, and you may call me crazy, but the longer piece gave me an almost art deco vibe. Does that make sense?

Anyway, those were super cheap, so I picked them up and got to work:

What I wanted to try with these was to create some simple, highly versatile and modular industrial terrain that could be used for 40k but would be even more useful in games of Necromunda or Inquisitor 28. So I put each of the pieces on a base cut from foamcore and added a couple of bits:



To the small piece, I added a couple of small brass tubes I had lying around as well as some corrugated cardboard, cork chaff and one or two pieces from an old model truck. And behold, the thing was instantly transformed into something looking very …industrial.

I did something similar to the longer piece, adding some bits to give an idea of scale to the whole thing and to make it more interesting visually. Here’s the result:



All of this was really quick and easy work, and I only needed some leftover materials and a couple of bits. I then spraypainted both pieces with brown paint, since I would probably end up going for a rather dusty and dilapidated look amyway.


As usual, the uniform paint helped to tie everything toegther. I think it’s immediately obvious how this could work as a piece of terrain. Here’s a scale shot with an 28mm model:

The other piece got the same treatment. Lo and behold:



And again, with a model:


Granted, one of these alone is fairly unimpressive. But imagine several of those pieces that can be freely rearranged to create all kinds of different setups: You could simulate corridors or a kind of labyrinth. And the fun doesn’t end there: Just build a number of modular walkways to connect the different pieces and add some verticality. Or add some taller buildings for even more variety. These pieces could even be combined with my regular cityfight terrain! And the fact that they are fairly small and robust also makes them rather easy to store — what a relief!

Of course, these pieces will yet have to be properly painted, probably with huge amounts of weathering and rust. I could also add all kinds of security warnings and/or propaganda posters for more authenticity and that particular underhive look.

It probaly won’t surprise you when I tell you that I went back to the store the next day and got a whole bag of those pieces. About 8 Euros gave me enough stuff to fill up quite a lot of space on a normally sized Necromunda/INQ28 table. I’ll keep you updated on the progress!

Sometimes it’s lucky finds like these that makes building your own terrain that much fun! But then, maybe it’s just Karma’s way of paying us back for all the hours we spend sitting hunched over little plastic men. Who knows? In any case, whenever you’re at an DIY-superstore, keep your eyes open for useful stuff like this. It may make your visit to the store just that much more enjoyable πŸ˜‰

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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5 Responses to “Modular industrial terrain – quick & easy”

  1. The title of this blog hit all of my interests. Modular. Industrial. Terrain. Quick. Easy.

    • Haha, seems I managed to reach my target audience then πŸ˜‰

      Seriously, though: This stuff is nowhere near finished and not nearly as nice as, say, your terrain oieces, Cameron. I just wanted to show how easy it can be to transform completely unrelated stuff into wargaming terrain.

      • That is also a passion of mine. I like the mental aspect of taking objects and imagining them in miniature scale.

        Have you looked at Deathsquads the game at all? It is a skirmish game based in the 40k universe. Similar campaign style to Necromunda and Mordheim, but updated to a more current style. I think you would really enjoy the community, conversion opportunities, and possibly the game play with the small scale and individuality.

  2. Dominic Says:

    I will have to keep an eye out for those things “used by electricians when working on electrical outlets or something” because it looks fab! I could definitely tie in some smoke stacks and/or GW manufactorum stuff. I wonder if a small amount of LEDs would compliment it…
    PS, love your work!

    • Cheers, mate! The things are actually called “electrical conduit boxes” in english, as I was informed by a fellow hobbyist over at the Conclave πŸ˜‰

      I have yet to get my first GW cityfight building, although I agree the bitz from that would be great for adding some detail to the terrain pieces I have got so far!

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