Seaside fun

April 20, 2014

Every single miniatures project I’ve ever worked on has suffered its share of setbacks. Often these are a result of rash actions instead of careful planning. With my Pacific Rim game board, it just so happened that I decided that the table would look nicer drybrushed. The smart guy that I am, I tried a sample piece first, then a small corner of the table – both yielded nice results. I then meticulously started drybrushing a large board with a small drybrush, got bored, took a bigger brush to it, didn’t bother to wipe the paint off well enough and ended up with one end of the game board looking like someone did some very poor drybrushing on it.

Next came the question of what to do. As the table wasn’t painted to begin with, I figured that to try and paint the area wouldn’t work – I would have to paint the rest of the table to match. For a brief moment I thought that I might simply cut of the messy end, after all foam cuts easily. This however felt a bit too much. Suddenly, a wild idea appeared!

I’d been thinking hard about how to build a seaside on the table. After all, Pacific Rim was all about giant monsters wading out of the sea and into harbours to cause havoc. I had in fact already built a a mock-up of a corner harbour piece out of plasticard and a 1/700 harbour set by Tamiya:

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

I wasn’t completely happy with it though. A lot of plasticard was wasted in the design, and the corner design was quite limiting. This got me thinking…

Why not just paint the whole end of the table as seaside? The sea would probably be present in all games anyway, and if I didn’t want it for some reason, I could always cover it up. After a quick round of “is this another stupid, rash idea?”-thinking, I went to work, and in a short time I’d painted the end of the table a lovely sea blue, completely covering up my amateurish drybrushing mess.


Click for a larger version

What about the harbour then? With the sea fixed on the table, I figured the harbour just needed to be something to show where the sea ended and to make the razor sharp coastline a bit more interesting. I kept the main idea of my original harbour design, and simply cut out the strips I needed to make the pier. Wanting something more interesting, I went crazy and cut half of the pier in an angle. I was soooo pleased with myself, until I placed it on the waterline and had a wonderful facepalm moment.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

As you may have figured out, I’m not really an engineer. I am however a teacher, and fairly used to improvising fixes for my mistakes. I’ve lately been working with thin mousepads as scenery building material (might do a blog on it), so I just cut out a suitable shape, sprayed it black and voila!

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

After I paint it to match the pier, it won’t look out of place at all.

Finally, here’s a shot of the harbour with accessories. I think once it’s painted, it will look mighty lovely. The waterline design also means, that if I want to make a sandy beach for example, I can simply cut up mousepads, paint/flock them and lay them over the waterline. Great success!

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version


  1. That harbour set is a clever idea! Good to see things moving along smoothly.

    • Thanks Barks! Doing my best, Easter has been great for hobby stuff.

  2. I know you’re working on a different project right now, but I found a company that just released an amazing preview for Colonial Marines. I don’t know a better way to contact you besides comments, though, sorry. The top of this page is the torso and the bottom of the preceding page is the legs.


    • Thanks for the comment John! I’ve actually got some of their torsos and some heads and arms are already in the Colonial Marine review 🙂

  3. Kaiju films invariably feature some huge creature coming in from the sea: its an essential part of the genre, like landmarks to destroy.

    I have long had plans for a coastal, dock area in 6mm. Its cool to see that you seem to have come up with a very good take on it.

    • Right on the money there. I’m still looking for a suitable landmark or something similar. Also, a bridge to tear down is on the list. Easter is awesome, can’t remember the last time I’ve spend so much time hobbying.

  4. I’ve seen that 1/700 Harbour Set floating around on ebay for a reasonable price, but can never get some decent measurements for the crane. How big is it? At those jaunty angled photos, I can’t really tell. Not to mention I’ve not actually seen PR clix in person so not sure of their size either.

    • Thanks for the comment! The height to the roof of the cabin is 75mm and the length of the jib is 92mm. Hope this helps!

      • It does indeed! I have been collecting assorted figures for a similar Pacific Rim-inspired project, and of course, you need the extras like the harbour set to add that little extra flavour to it.

        For my Heroclix-sized city, the extra flavour came in Marvel Legends X-Men bases, http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/ODg5WDE2MDA=/z/5X4AAMXQHeBSEZML/$T2eC16V,!)EE9s2ugi1zBSEZMLE!jw~~60_1.JPG Essentially, giant Sentinel parts on a scale suitable for the figures. When you’ve got all those cardboard buildings, you need something to change it up a bit.

        I’ve gone for Mechwarrior heroclix and assorted “Gormiti” figures for kaiju. It keeps the cost down, the scale is pretty comparable, and still looks pretty decent. The Gormiti need a repaint, since they come in gaudy colours, but the sculpts are often pretty decent. And the articulation in the Mechwarrior is just a great extra bonus.

        Hope your project is coming along nicely.

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