How to kitbash the old and the new Citadel industrial "Sector Imperialis" terrain to make the elements look cohesive. And how to make them pipes actually connect afterwards despite the conversions.
First of all — as many people — know I love scratch-building industrial architecture from cardboard. I feel it is important to point out that I do so for the fun and for customisation options it gives. Not because I think Citadel terrain sucks or because I want to save some penny.
Actually one of my first cardboard bunkers had a piece of Forgeworld resin decoration. Not exactly cheap.
That's why alongside my collection of cardboard buildings I own a fair selection of both the old and the new ready-made Sector Imperialis terrain pieces from GW.
And even the Sector Imperialis board to double down on that alley.
Why do I think they need kitbashing to look good together? See, the old elements have distinctly different style to the new ones. Like Gothic versus Romanesque. Medieval versus steampunk.
The old models have right angles and sharp corners. They look like prefabricated scaffolding dropped from orbit in flat boxes. Manufactured undoubtedly by some grimdark Ikea. And with spikes.
The newer sets are all about curves. Rectangular parapets are replaced by rounded crenellations and rectangular boxes and prisms are replaced with cylinders and domes. All the new elements look like they come from a steampunk brewery. Like they were designed after the sculptors took a trip to the Guinness Museum in Dublin.
Of course there is nothing wrong with having a dome upon a prism. It is very common in normal architecture after all. The challenge with the Sector Imperials sets is that the geometric shapes are segregated. There is a prisms' neighbourhood and cylinders' one. And homies from each side don't fit on the other bank of the main street. Different planets.
And this is what I did to fix that:
The first change is quite obvious. I put the new style dome on top of the old style prism. When you have a centrepiece like this you already show that a marriage between the Capulets and the Montague is consummated and everyone can go along well.
Well, almost. What happened is that I noticed it wasn't enough. The cross-penetration of visual cues must go deeper. I went on and removed spikes from the old architecture and added the little balls instead.
The beads come from a craft store and started like this. Don't be afraid to enter one of these stores — they are not just for old wives doing scrapbooking. You will be surprised how many useful bits you can find there.
And to distribute the change of style across the entire structure I glued some round elements over some original decorations. Like this grate here.
I am very happy how it worked out!
Now it is not only the old buildings that should take a step forward towards the common ground. The new buildings in turn can be made more rectangular, or a pyramidal frustum as is the case with this power field generator.
I removed some bulbous elements from it and expanded the base making the angles and shapes more prominent; at the same time toning down the wall decorations by the sole presence of empty wall fragments.
Hacking the Void Shield Generator
Now the final detail to consider are the pipelines. Games Workshop devised this clever system of pipes, holes and flanges that makes it possible to connect as one all Sector Imperialis pieces. Although the system is the same for the old and the new elements, the art direction of pipes is quite divergent. The old ones are more grim and have gothic spikes while the new are more high-tech and slick.
So the first thing I did was cutting off the spikes of course. Quick win number one! And the second conversion was adding the little balls — just like for the tower.
Now it all fits nicely together. Well — again we are not there yet. I like to place terrain elements on bases to make them more durable, stable and easy to set up. A terrain element on a base however is no longer in line with the GW piping system. To cope with this I built this interface element. The pipe on one side is slightly higher so that it seats on a terrain base. The other side is flat to allow connection to any terrain element available: regardless whether it's on a base or not.