Tag Archives: shannonia

Building Buildings

Village Ruins set

Originally uploaded by nnenn

One thing we’ve paid a lot of attention to here on Mechatonic is the building of mechs. Obviously they are one of the really cool parts of Mechaton. The joy in building your own little army out of bits and seeing them victorious in the battlefield is palpable.

However, we have paid scant attention to the terrain of that battlefield.

A lot of the time, you want to create buildings quickly and easily, just to provide cover and character on the playing table. As a rogue hit is going to blow holes in the concrete, a lot of the time you might not want to spend time creating anything too fancy or good looking. But, really nicely designed building can add a lot of feel and character to the landscape.

Let’s look at the buildings shown above, created by Nnenn. Nnenn is mostly known for building an amazing range of startfighters. But his skills don’t just stop there. These buildings are for a game of hovertank combat, but they are ideal for mechaton. The detail is incredible and the unified colour scheme adds a lot of character.

What size your buildings are will also depend on thef scale you play at. Our games tend to feature mechs about three to four bricks tall, with a normal sized person being one and one third bricks tall (a single cylindrical brick topped with a round 1×1 plate). The Nnenn buildings would be a little small for that scale. For the scale we use, the good old fashioned 2×2, 2×3 and 2×4 bricks see a lot of use in creating structures that are in keeping with the size of the mechs and the people around them.

Using colours that reflect the nature of the building also helps to add to the overall look and feel. Our last battle took plave at a spaceport. The hangar buildings were built in a predominantly white colour scheme, with blue and lime highlights. Subsidiary buildings such as the control tower, radar building and munitions store were built in sand. Finally, staff housing was built in blue. Most of the buildings were clustered, so they looked unified and purpose built. Adding people and vehicles can also make things look really dynamic and exciting. Microscale trucks, aircraft and spacecraft make the battlefield less blank, less of just a place where a fight is happening and more of a place where there is something to fight over.

So where is all this going? Well, I’d like to think that we can spend some time looking at aesthetics of our playing areas as well as just the appeal of the mechs we use to destroy them. I’ll certainly be making an effort to hunt down interesting and cool microscale buildings on flickr, MOCPages and Brickshelf, as well as posting some photos of our own designs.

And if you want to see possibly the most amazing microscale city ever, check out Shannonia