Tag Archives: 3d printing

Learn from my mistakes! Necromunda Zone Mortalis

My primary coping mechanism during this pandemic has been to plan for all the gaming I’m going to get to do if it ever blows over. One of my current plans is try my hand at a Necromunda campaign in my basement.

I’ve got Sector Mechanicus covered with the Deadzone terrain (which I’ve expanded on since that post during the halcyon days of 2014), but the table in my gaming room (constructed in November and un-posted about here; I should fix that) is 6’x4′, which doesn’t leave enough room for 2 4’x4′ tables (I’d have loved to have made it larger, but this is as big as the space permits). That’s a problem if I want to have 2 games/time.

I got the Underhive box when it came out, so I’ve got Zone Mortalis tiles, which solve the problem. I’ve got room for 2’x4′ worth of tiles; more if I shrink the Deadzone table down to a 3’x4′ or so. The tiles have walls marked on them, and the thing to do is to build some MDF or print off some walls to make them feel more real. Cool.

I did some waffling between the offerings from Warlayer and Corvus Games Terrain. I’m not interested in printing off new tiles, just walls, so the Warlayer set was the obvious choice. That was dumb. I should have considered Dragon’s Rest, which costs more but I think is a lot better looking and, while $19 is 4x as much as Warlayer’s $5, it’s hardly crippling. Didn’t think of it until I was 80% towards being done printing off the Warlayer, though, so I’d gone too far to change it up.

In working with these STLs, though, I’ve run into a couple of things that I figured I’d talk through. It’s fine: I spent $5 on them, that they require a little work isn’t the end of the world, and ultimately they’ll work out OK.

First off, after printing off about 1-2 of each piece, I decided only cared about the 2-square walls, 1-square walls, and the 4-way intersections. Those three shapes cover every variation on the tiles. The 3-way and 2-way intersections don’t fill the negative space on the tiles the way I’d like.

Secondly, they’re the wrong size. Ugh.

Look at these two pieces below: the one on the left is the default size: note that it hews perfectly to the squares… except the board has other spaces between the squares, which means the default size doesn’t actually fit the grid worth a damn. The one on the right is resized: I literally measured the size of the tile, divided it by 6, and resized the pieces around that.

The tiles are 289mm square, 6×6 square. That means each real square is actually 48.16mm square, not the 43.20mm it first appears. That adds up to a pretty substantial difference as you line these pieces across the tile.

So, I uploaded them to TinkerCAD and resized them. I probably could have done this in the slicer but I wanted to be able to make sure I knew what I was doing and that things lined up and such. In addition to lengthening all the pieces, I also had to widen them because those quad-intersection pieces were resized along both axes.

I also counted up how many of each were needed to cover each tile. Conveniently, the tiles are basically the same on both sides. I’m planning on using the walls and barricades that were included in Underhive, so I didn’t include printed replacements for them in my count. Were I to do so: +4x 2 square walls, +1x door, +2x figure something out for the 1 square-sized doors. I’m doing a few of the open window variants, because they’re there, and a few doors because why not. 6/26: I guess all of things I thought were plastic walls are actually supposed to be doors. That makes it easier. Still no good solution for the 1 square wide doors; I could muddle through something but it’d definitely be more work than I’m willing to put in.

6/26: I also realized I was very dissatisfied with how the duct tiles worked with the printed terrain. That was something easily fixed: I threw an 18-ish mm octagon across a 1 square wall. Took a little fiddling to get it looking right.

ShapeOriginal LxWResized LxW# Needed
2 square Wall88.19mm x 35.27mm96.33mm x 39.35mm12
1 square Wall43.12mm x 35.27mm48.16mm x 39.35mm23
duct wall48.16mm x 39.35mm5
4-way Intersection43.20mm x 43.20mm48.16mm x 48.16mm26
Door76.26mm x 13.33mm83.30mm x 14.87mm5
Table of shapes, original sizes, resized sizes, and quantity needed.

At these sizes, they fit perfectly.

Let me tell you how I screwed up magnetization.

These pieces come with 4 magnet holes 3mm across, 2mm deep at every connection point. The resizing did distort these by a smidge: they’re maybe 9% larger in one dimension? So, maybe a 3mm x 3.27mm oval and not an even 3mm circle, but I don’t think it’s noticeable.

I magnetized them, basically with a polarity: each piece goes one way. That way, I never end up with a piece that has positives facing out or negatives facing out. I can always line them up in a row.

For the intersections, I did the same thing:

I got about halfway through when I realized: this will work but it’s definitely not the smart way to do it. A better way would to have done the left side of each contact with one polarity and the right side with a different polarity.

This would mean that, instead of every piece having a correct contact direction, every contact direction would work. I was way too far along in the process before I realized this, though, so I’m pretty stuck.

I’m almost done printing these out.

I’ll probably do a very quick paintjob on them: I don’t think they’ll look great but they’ll look alright. This was a test piece done in a few minutes: primed white, Vallejo Air Hull Red, Vallejo Air Orange, GW Leadbelcher sponged on. I’ve got some red filler primer that’s pretty close to that Hull Red color, so I need to experiment a bit more with that before I do everything.