Mar. 12, 2015 | By Alec

Of course table top gaming requires a bit of imagination, but nothing quite diminishes the thrill of two imposing armies clashing than generic boring houses, hills or even pieces of cardboard to fight over. Fortunately, table top gaming fans have been increasingly relying on 3D printing technology to produce exciting and original pieces of scenery to spice up their gaming nights. While you can find examples all over the web, the New Zealand-based Printable Scenery have proven to be exceptionally great at making 3D printed scenery. Their latest masterpiece? A Maori village that can be used for colonial wargaming.

As you might recall, the guys from Printable Scenery have produced various wonderful medieval-style and even futuristic scenery pieces in the past. Remember this entire 3D printed high-rise? While great for typical Warhammer or 40K settings, fans of historical wargaming typically look for something else. New Zealand wargamer Roly Hermans, for instance, is a big fan of colonial New Zealand Wars (made by Empress Miniatures, who specialize in historical wargaming), but never found the right scenery to fight over. He did a few experiments with pieces of wood, which never produced any acceptable results, before stumbling across Printable Scenery.

"I discussed with Printable Scenery’s Matt Barker how a model pa needed to work for wargaming. The company was great – I just sent them some drawings and photos and they started showing me 3D prototypes almost the next day." What they produced for him was a 3D printed Maori fortified settlement, complete with palisades and defensive terraces.

Perfect for colonial wargaming, but definitely adaptable for other situations. "With over 30 pieces of fences and buildings now available, they can also be modified to form any other type of tribal village, not just Maori. You could even consider such forts for fantasy or pulp fiction games. And by reversing the fences so the posts go on the inside, they can become a generic northern European stockade," Matt Barker reveals to us.

As they explained to, Matt and his team have perfected a perfect 3D printing creation process for scenery. "The components were designed with pen and paper, and then drafted in 3DMax, where the overhangs and support tolerances for printing were tested. The mesh was exported to Z-Brush for detailing, then ‘decimated’ to provide a workable high-res file." Each piece is then sent to their in-store Makerbot 3D printer, which takes about an hour per piece.

This technique also means that all pieces of scenery can be easily scaled and modified to fit the gamer’s needs, from the huts, to the palisades and even the statues and entrance ways. "In our trial layout, three layers of palisading encircle a small hill that has been shaped into defensive terraces. In the centre is the meeting house and huts. The outside circle has an ornate carved gateway. All around is the rugged New Zealand bush," Matt says, though their modular nature means you can modify everything to suit your own preferences.

"Our pa is populated by 28mm figures made by Empress Miniatures, which cover the New Zealand Wars of the 1840s. There’s even a British attack going in on one side. The palisades and buildings of the model pa were painted using the ‘dry brushing’ technique. This entails dipping a flat brush into acrylic paint, wiping off most of the paint on a tissue, then sweeping the almost dry brush back and forth across the model to pick up all the raised areas." Matt says.

These cool scenery pieces are now available through the Printable Scenery website here, though you can of course also contact Matt and his team for custom projects. 

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Mike Leuluai wrote at 5/14/2015 8:00:29 AM:

Good stuff bro

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