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Gothic dreams: a story of upgrading

Ascarian could hear the fighting again. They must be just outside the city now. He stood outside his home, admiring it for perhaps the final time. Everyone else lived in dull grey boxes, but not Ascarian. He had one of the oldest blocks in town, and its ancient arches and buttresses were the source of joy and jealousy to all his neighbours. He looked up again, soaking it in, knowing that the fighting would soon be here. His beautiful home would soon be rubble, like so many other houses across the Imperium.

"The Emperor protects," he muttered, and went back inside.

A gothic building, upgraded from the standard hab blocks

This week I've been working with one of the hab block up-grade kits. There are currently three such kits, which are designed to significantly modify the look of your existing hab blocks. They consist of a couple of sprues of accessories, which you plug into the hole network system on your hab blocks - so if you're hoping to add these to blocks in the future, you might want to hold back from gluing a load of bits and bobs into the hole network. The upgrades are themed as industrial, urban, and gothic - and the one I'm looking at today is the gothic theme.

I began my experiments by building a couple of standard hab blocks, and one half block. I didn't do anything to these except push out the doors - everything else was completely standard with no extra bits. Here's a picture.

Standard hab blocks

As always, these were easy to build (especially because I've built a few before), and went together well. And as usual, I sprayed them grey while they were on the sprue - at some point I shall paint these all up to look a bit nicer but just spraying them grey does seem to work.

I also sprayed the gothic upgrade sprues, so that they were ready to go as soon as the hab blocks had dried.

Perhaps the most instant change is that you can create a peaked roof. This is obviously less than ideal for positioning models up there, but it makes the building look great. It was easy to build, too - a couple of triangular end pieces, a couple of roof slabs, and a few bits to finish it off such as a chimney. It slots into the holes on the top of an existing hab block roof, as long as you've kept it clear, and looks really effective especially when combined with the pointy crenellations (see the picture).

The roof is very effective

There are lots of other nice details, too. You can add substantial buttresses around your building, arched window frames, and nice little details which look a bit like candle holders on the corners. There's plenty in the kit, including some new door and frame designs, and you can obviously combine it all with existing extras from your standard hab block sprues.

The overall effect is impressive, and it really does make these hab blocks stand out. Yet they still fit in with the standard terrain, too - I expect I'll use this gothic building as a standalone feature on a tabletop, which will look good surrounded by slightly plainer terrain.

One issue I have found is that because many of the upgrade components stick out quite a bit when you apply them, and because struts and so on can join hab blocks when they're stacked vertically, it's not really possible to make an upgraded building very modular. The buildingI've created can only be positioned in this way - and, in fact, much of it is glued together permanently.

This isn't really a problem, as such. It's just that it's not as modular as the rest of Mad Gaming Terrains stuff. Still, with that said, you can use this with the other terrain, and it will look good - just don't expect the same level of tweakability (if that's a word)!

This is definitely one building, and can't easily be modified now it's built.

I will soon put some pictures of this on a table with other terrain up, but for now you'll have to wait I'm afraid - my Warhammer room is being redone so that it's more multi-purpose*, and that means a folding table is on the way. As soon as it arrives I'll grab some photos of the whole lot together, which I hope you'll enjoy.

Next week I'm hoping to look at the 40k rules for hab blocks, which are based around Games Workshop's standard rules for buildings. I'll soon be adding the urban and industrial themes to my collection too, and will let you know how I get on. And there are going to be more battle reports too.

Let me know in the comments if there's anything else you particularly want me to cover, or if there's anything you want to ask or clarify. See you again soon!


* I've added Virtual Reality to my PC, which is amazing, but having a permanent 6x4 table next to it leads to painful injuries to myself and possibly the models too..!

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