Worlds from Waste - 3D Map Part 2

Tuesday, 20 August 2013 13:56:00 Europe/London


 Hi, my name is EViL ED and I am going attempt to bring you my philosophy of the perfect Heroclix world. This regular column will deal with all the things you need to know about achieving the atmosphere of a great game. Over the coming months I will show you modding, customisation and 3d map building that is achievable by everyone and on a small budget. It is important to me to make the most of things we all already have around us thus freeing up all that spare cash for the important things like Heroclix.

 Today’s lesson is:

 Custom 3D Smoke Clouds

If you are like me and you like things to look right then here are the tools needed for this project

If you are like me and you like things to look right then here is what you will need to join the revolution.
1x Sharp knife (either a scalpel or Stanley, Please always be careful with these)
384 x Mount board squares (From Part 1)
1x PVA Glue
1x Off cuts of Mount Board (This is available from ALL art shops and Picture framers. It is a Heavy card used to mount pictures)
1x Pot of Rock Salt
3/4 x Large Match Boxes (Complete with matches)
1x pot of wall filler
1x Straight edge the length of the longest side of the map (either a long ruler or wood offcut)
1x Spatula (this can be anything from a pallet knife to a credit card, a flexible piece of plastic works well)
A small amount of tissue or toilet paper.
1 x Old Pencil

Blue Area of the Moon

If you have read part one of this article you will know that I am attempting to recreate the classic Heroclix map’ The Blue Are of the Moon’ in three dimensions. The map was available in the prize kit for Marvels Galactic Guardians Heroclix set. It is perfect for a 3d conversion as it consists of three different elevations each containing a different texture design which I will recreate below.

Terrain 1 – Iron Grid Flooring

The first thing you need to do is get your 3.5 x 3.5 squares of mount board that you cut in the previous article and if you haven’t already count out the amount you will need to cover the floor excluding any areas that contain stairs. Once you have these to hand mark on the lower elevation anywhere on the map that should be hindering terrain. There should be 6 squares in total. Using PVA glue attach these 6 squares to the base board in the correct squares. Hindering and elevated terrain will be covered in the final article. Once you have glued tokens in the correct squares you now have these marked out so you will not make any mistakes further on in the design. Next you need to mark clearly any squares on the base that will contain ladders to the next elevation.

Iron Grid Flooring

You are now ready to begin the task of building your grid floor. You need to begin by cutting your matches to 3.5cm to match your grid size. You will need a lot of matches for this project however they generally cost less than a pound per box for the large cooks matches. Once you have a large pile of matches, using PVA glue you need to glue a match to two sides of each piece of remaining card. The matches should sit opposite to each other as in the picture. Now take a deep breath as you need to do 93 of these bad boys, and this is just the start of this task. Again this will seem quite tedious however as always the finished result will be worth it.

Once you have glued all 93 it is time to glue 6 match sticks on top running in the opposite direction to create a raised grid like pattern. Try hard to keep these parallel as this will make the final design more cohesive. Once you have completed them all it is time to attach them to the base which is a very gratifying experience.
Start from one corner and using PVA glue attach the first one. Then it is important that each one you place you turn the tile 90 degrees so you create a repeating pattern as in the picture. When you have achieved this all over the bottom layer flooring is complete.

Terrain 2 – Greenery

So for the next layer up you need to complete similar opening steps as before, glue spare tiles in any squares of hindering and on this level blocking terrain as well.
Next pour out a good pile of Sea salt on to your work surface (I suggest using an offcut of wood or card for this so you don’t ruin anything you care about) there are lots of other options for this terrain such as sand or modelling flock. I chose salt as I had a huge pot of it in the cupboard and I like the texture it gives when it melts slightly. Count out the squares of card you need for this second level and put them to one side. Around 125 squares are needed for this terrain. Remember you do not include the squares at the bottom of ladders, so mark these squares as before.
Now take your first tile and paint generous amount of PVA glue on one side taking care to get close to the edges but not over them. Then dip it glue side down into the Sea salt and place to one side to dry. ( If you are using sand or flock a smaller amount of glue will be needed as salt will suck the glue up.) Continue this process until all 125 squares have a good textural covering.
Once they are all dry, this may take a good 24 hours or more, you can attach them into their squares. Take your time with this allowing a small border to sit between each tile.

Terrain 3 – The Moon

To start the moon terrain you need to mark out the hindering and blocking as before and glue tile to the blocking only.
To make the craters (hindering terrain) you need to roll up pieces of tissue and dip them in a slightly watered down PVA glue and place them around your hindering squares leaving enough room inside for your figures. Don’t worry to much about going into the squares to the sides as this will just add to the final effect. This is quite a messy job and may take a little time. Once you have circled them all with soggy tissue, use some sheets of dipped tissue to lay over to create a smooth bond between the floor and the ring of paper. Leave to dry.


Next count out your tiles as before, Around 114. Then using you filler ad a small amount to each tile and spread it out in one direction creating lines and ridges. Place to one side to dry,. Repeat over all 114 squares. Whilst they are drying take a pencil and using the blunt end push it randomly into the tops of random tiles ( I suggest finding tiles where you have got quite thick bits of filler as this will create more pronounced markings) Twist the pencil and pull upwards creating small craters in the filler. Leave to dry as recommended on the pot.

Once these have dried you can attach them to the correct squares using PVA. I would suggest alternating the directions of the filler on each tile for a more pronounced end result. When you get to the raised areas around the large tissue paper craters do not worry about them sticking up and having gaps (see picture). Once these are complete and the PVA has dried, using a spatula and your filler fill any gaps between the tiles and the craters and feel free to neaten up the edges of the craters to with filler whist you are there

You should now have all three terrains complete and ready to paint.
For the final part of this issue lets make some ladders so your Heroclix can look cool being halfway up or down terrain. There are a total of 14 ladders on this map.


Take some mount board and cut out 14 rectangle 6 x 3.5 cm. You next need to cut three holes in each rectangle. The centre hole needs to be 1 x 2.5 cm as seen in the photo above. I personally make all three holes roughly the same size for aesthetics. Once you have cut these in all 14, you need to cut matches again. Six matches cut to 3.5cm for each ladder and then glue them carefully above and below each hole as in the picture. It is wise to test these holes with a cookie base Heroclix to test they work. 

Once they are dry you can add glue to the top and bottom of each ladder and fix in place. You have now completed all the textures for this map and it is also the end of this part of Worlds From Waste.

Let’s leave it there for today and I hope you will join me next time where I will be creating barriers of rock and ice. Following that I will be returning to this map with a pot of paint.

Large Map

Well I hope you enjoyed this edition and feel free to ask me any questions if you have any trouble and I would love to see some pictures if you attempt this yourselves. If you wish for me to see or showcase any of your attempts at the perfect Heroclix world then drop me a line with pictures at and I will be sure to give mention in my upcoming articles.

EViL ED has been collecting and playing Heroclix since the time when energy explosion and enhancement were a brutal mix and carried characters could be dropped from the skies to destroy the enemy all in one turn. He is also one half of the geek art team EVIL ROBOT DESIGNS.

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Ian King

posted on Friday, 23 August 2013 15:06:25 Europe/London
WOW! That is some serious attention to detail! I've always fancied making a 3D map and your articles are truly inspiring! The ladder that can actually hold a figure half way up is absolute genius, consider that idea stolen.

I must confess I won't be making the map you've done but I may try making a more modular one. I've always preferred more 'cityscape' type maps so I may try a modular series of roads, parks and indoor/outdoor buildings.

I would definitely go with flock for the greenery as it saves hugely on painting time. Also you could try pre-moulded plasticard for metal flooring, more expensive than matchsticks but a lot quicker.

Thanks again for these articles, I have the inspiration, now I need to find the time!

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