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Delving back into Deadzone

Delving back into Deadzone

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Project Blog by draconis

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About the Project

After recently finishing my Warcry Red Harvest project, and finding that process beneficial for my motivation, I decided to start on my next project – a return to Deadzone. I backed the first Kickstarter for Deadzone (from Mantic Games) many years back now, but only ever played a few games due to a lack of uptake in my area. Over the following years I have continued to pick up bits for it, buying more minis (to add to the original KS ones), plus purchasing the subsequent rule books and expansions since I had an interest in the setting and the aesthetic for the game. A friend from my local gaming club also has quite a bit of Deadzone product, and we keep threatening to roll it out; but with other distractions, limited gaming time, and then Covid – it just never came about. I picked up the third edition starter set soon after it came out, and did actually get around to running my wife through some demo games of it, which she enjoyed. So, having gained a little confidence in completing the Warcry box set I have chosen to make a push and return to Deadzone…… Scenery first, then a couple of Strike Teams

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Taking stock

Tutoring 3
Skill 3
Idea 3
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24th November 2022

Just wanted to take stock of where I was with the terrain building. Because I have chosen to make the terrain set pretty modular I have a lot of structures that can be stacked on or butted up against others. I fear it may not be as impressive as the more permanent set ups I have seen on the Deadzone FB page, but its what I needed for my purposes, so I will just stick with it. I still need to work on more walkways, some with their own base pillars (example in corner of the pics below) and some that I can just drop onto the building edges. I will experiment with using connectors, the ‘piston’ supports and also with making some from foam card (need to get some checker plate plasticard to attach to it). But for now, here’s where I am with the construction….

(Plus the one piece I have basecoated)

Taking stock

Slow, but steady

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 4
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23rd November 2022

I had thought that I would be into the painting stage now, but things have gone a little slower than intended. However, I am trying not to let this put a negative spin on the project progress.

Its still moving along, and I have more structures completed.

I wanted to have a couple of larger buildings (at base level at least) so in addition to making the ‘repair workshop’ larger I made a new structure centred around a cross shape.

I used the precious two triangular pieces I acquired to round off one end.

Then I took one of my few remaining floor/roof tiles and carefully cut it in half along the diagonal.

Adding these to the building gave it a more rounded shape, to help break up the right angles present in the rest of the buildings. But it did end up reminding me of something….

To feel like I had moved things along, I went ahead and painted up a small structure. This was to represent a small generator building, or possibly a comms building. For most of the buildings I am planning to use a red primer paint, then go over with grey followed by white. But for this I wanted a more striking (and somewhat industrial) look, so opted for a yellow coat after the prime. I will possibly do a few small structures this way, to add touches of colour variance.

Dilemma – Decorating the Deadzone?

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 5

17th November 2022

For this project I have chosen to glue most of the buildings, for added strength in play (and in storage).

As I have mentioned previously, I have designed most of them as ‘L’ shaped, 2×1 or 1×1, so that they can be pushed together or stacked in a variety of ways.

However, trying to maintain this versatility does mean that I wont be able to add details to those edges or roofs that I want to potentially put another building against.

And that’s where my dilemma lies – should I sacrifice some versatility in order to get some more interesting details on the layout?

I know that the connector system on the DZ terrain is meant to mitigate this, but I do find it a little difficult separating the tiles once connected with a solid push together.

My plan is to trim or sand down all of the connectors on the ‘add ons’ that I plan to be removable, in the hope that I will be able to move them without damage to anything.

But I think I will still have to permanently affix some of the extra details, like some of the half tile walkways, and some of the ladders etc.

So in the end it feels as though it will be somewhat of a compromise.


On a more positive note, I met up with my friend and purchased some of his spare DZ terrain – so I now have another 4 floor/roof tiles 😊

Plus a couple of diagonal floor tiles to break things up a little (sadly I don’t have any walls that will fit the diagonal, but will work out a good use for them).

…and I am still debating making a larger building.


Laying things out....

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 4
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14th November 2022

Since last update I have put together a few more of my basic shaped buildings; one is a 2×2 building that I will treat as a Repair Workshop.

For the repair bay I wanted it to look a little more substantial, so I used some of the buttress connectors to bulk it out. However, due to the raised detail on the side panel I had to trim one side of the buttresses in order for it to fit more snugly.

Laying things out....

With more buildings built, and running low on some parts (tiles suitable for floors in particular), I decided to lay out what I have so far onto a standard Deadzone mat. This would help me to see what worked (or, as is often the case, didn’t work) and what else I may need – before I run out of parts.

I felt I still needed some more elevation, so I subsequently built a couple more 1x1s that can stack up where needed.

I have also decided to make the repair bay 3 squares wide now, and have modified the front doors.

With the building being a little bit larger now (I did consider going to a 3×3…) I thought about adding windows to the sides, but chose not to. My reasoning was that if there were good LoS each direction from within then it would be too good a fire base. With some LoS cut off, it will mean more manoeuvring hopefully.

Now running low on some tiles I have arranged to buy some of my friend’s spare tiles. He only has a few floor ones, but all will help. Plus he has a couple of diagonal floor pieces and two sets of stairs – which I don’t have 😊

But in the interim, I have made use of some of the large door pieces.

With the addition of a half tile to join them at the top (the only connector location) they make some covered storage, or a covered walkway perhaps? If I use them as storage I will add a half tile to the front I expect.

I didn’t get around to making my planned tower, but can ‘sort of’ make it using the 1x1s stacked up. However, I may revisit my plan for that in the future, using foam card……

Planning and Procrastinating…

Tutoring 10
Skill 9
Idea 10

10th November 2022

It’s been a bit of a slow start on this project, since I have been having trouble deciding on what to build.

With the Warcry set the terrain was all straight forward, one layout, ‘build it as it shows’; but with Deadzone you have free reign to use the components to come up with what you will, a bit like with Lego.

However, this meant that I spent quite a bit of time procrastinating….

I did come up with some rough sketches of building ‘units’ that I thought would be useful. Such as a ‘2×1’ unit, and an ‘L’ shape unit – and how I could fit them together to make C shapes, 3x2s and suchlike.

This of course led to more procrastinating, as if I was to be putting some buildings (temporarily) together for changeable layouts in the future then I would need to ensure that those adjoining sides remain relatively plain, and also to ensure I didn’t close off any entrances….

Conscious of my dithering, Tuesday night I decided that I just needed to crack on and get something built, in order to get the ball rolling.

So, I give you – a food shack 😊

A basic food shackA basic food shack

This gave me the required spur, and I put together a couple of 2×1’s, with small walkways on the first level, as well that eve.

I have glued a few parts, but in the main I am push fitting the connectors and blu-tacing some parts at the moment. Once I am happy with the rest of the buildings I will probably glue them together then, and also add on any low walls and other additional decorations. For now it will remain as mostly dry fit.

I did also deploy the ‘terrain hammer’ to help with some of the more stubborn connectors…..

Terrain Hammer (TM, patent pending)Terrain Hammer (TM, patent pending)

Last night I knocked out another 2×1 and a couple of L shape buildings. Plus two 1×1 cube buildings that can be used as stand alone terrain, or added onto other buildings for elevation (the most likely use). Still loosely fit for now.

I have been keeping in touch with my friend (the one that has already built a Deadzone layout) as well – sending him pics of the progress, bouncing ideas around and generally getting advice.

I have been asking some questions on the Deadzone Fanatics Facebook page to get some insight from players and terrain builders. I was thinking to make a larger building, but was concerned about the usability. Most responses were in agreement that large buildings didn’t work (unless you had a lot of wall gaps etc). And also that you run the risk of forgetting that you moved ‘that model’ into the building on round one, and only find it again when packing away 😊


I do have plans for a slightly larger building, but will keep some open areas as well rather than blocking the base level out. If it looks familiar that will be because it is an homage to the old cardboard Necromunda terrain (with a separate additional section to potentially combine with it). Hopefully I will be able to have several good build sessions over the next couple of days and weekend, and may even get this built.

It's snipping time again!

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
No Comments

6th November 2022

This week I started into this project, making my first move on 2nd November.


As with Warcry, I decided to start out with the terrain. (I have some minis painted already, but plan to add more)

Most of my first edition scenery was still on sprues, so first things first – I needed to do something about that.

Taking over the table again I pulled out the sprues, plus the other boxes of terrain I have picked up over time, and the terrain from the 3rd edition starter set.

And so began the great snip-athon of 2022 😊

Interestingly, Mantic designed the sprue attachments in a clever way…..

The edges of each of the terrain tiles are angled (to allow them to butt up together in either orientation), and the sprue gates are onto one of those angled edges rather then on the very edge of the piece.

This means that by angling your snippers to match the angle of the edge you can get a very clean cut – someone in the sprue layout team was thinking as a gamer there!

It's snipping time again!

After much snipping, and a sore back, the parts were finally free, to roam the streets of the many corporate cities…. Or sit on the table for now.

Next evening it was onto sanding down the edges.

The cuts were all pretty clean, but I still got it into my head that I needed to sand down all the edges – to be honest it likely wasn’t needed for these parts, but I ended up doing it anyway, as I would still know.


At this point I was still lacking concrete plans of how to build my terrain into a suitable set of scenery – I knew that I wanted to have at least two or three sections that were two cubes or more high, not have any buildings that were too large (and therefore would not allow models to be moved through or around effectively) and that I wanted to try to avoid having too many (as my friend puts it) ‘bus shelters’.

So, sanding things down and then making a note of how many of each part I had was a useful thing to do in my mind, to keep things moving and help with the soon to come planning stage.

In doing this I realised I only had three doors out of all these parts (a couple went to my friend for when he was building his terrain layout – which actually exists, and I saw it as better they were in use on a usable layout than sitting in a box).

I’ll have to come up with a solution to get around that.

Organising the partsOrganising the parts

Next up was taking the parts from my other boxes and laying them out as well, to get a full picture of what I have (and what I am lacking).

So, I cracked open the Military Compound box, and the rest of my 3rd ed starter box – and over the next couple of sessions I set about sanding down the edges and adding them to my organised piles.

More organisingMore organising

Today,  realising that things weren’t progressing as quickly as I had hoped I found that I needed to make a temporary storage for the components.

I took the 1st ed box lid, and some old cardboard, and knocked up a quick organiser, so that the dining table could be usable again 🙂

It's snipping time again!

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