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3D Gas Cloud Models

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As I start ramping up for another Tournament and other events, we're looking to build a 3D Terrain collection. Asteroids and Debris Fields are pretty easy, but we're kinda stumped on how to handle Gas Clouds. Cotton seems like the only material to use, but maybe there's something else?

In addition, what's the best way to paint it? What would a space gas cloud look like?

Finally, how do you put it on the table? I see the following options:

1) Just place the cotton on the table

2) Place the cotton on a round base, which allows the construction of a large mass

3) Build some kind framework to place on a elevated stand, and cover with cotton while obscuring the frame

Of the three, #2 seems best, as long as it doesn't end up looking like a column of smoke... Would it be bad if a Gas Cloud was represented by a few cotton columns?

If you have any suggestions from your playing experience, please post them here. And if you can include links to photos, that would be even better.

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Not wanting to rain on the parade, but whilst 3D terrain looks better, in my experience, 2D is far more practical and interactive. My own experience from BFG back in the day with cotton wool as gas clouds was so bad I went back to card almost instantly.


That being said:


1) Probably the least favorable. It's far to easy to knock out of place, and as you are running a tournament, you don't need any arguments about moving scenery!

2) The best option I reckon, used exactly as you describe.

3 ) And interesting take, how would this work when interacting with models?


my 2p anyway  :)

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Well I assume you want to be able to move ships through the cloud so 1 doesn't sound like a working option.

If you have skills with an airbrush, what about piece of acryllic on a tall stand (for ships to fit underneath) with translucent patterns like these on it:




You could have a 2d piece of painted cardstock underneath to give a clear delineation of it's boarders on the gameboard, thought it may be difficult to manipulate the models underneath if the canopy part is overly large.

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If the terrain is impassable then you can go with some thing fancy like cotton wool; but itm ight take a lot to make it look like a nebula rather than just a "mess". 


If its passable then a 2D card cutout is best - its easy and simple to work with and doesn't get in the way.



Because elevation is basically non-existent in most space games; or if its present is only a few levels applied at any point on the map they don't tend to benefit from 3D  terrain unless its an impassable area.

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Well... Yeah. At that scale gas clouds are going to look odd no mater what you do. They're the one terrain componant that you see most people doing in 2-d, even if the rest of their terrain is 3-d. So, with your templates as a base, I'm not sure what an elegant solution would look like...

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I wanted to do something like that myself, but decided against it,


Gas clouds are made for hidding ships in them, rules wise

so a 2D print should be the used, to Keep it in place, if you add some Cotton gascloud on top it might increase the visual Appeal.


for astroids I used paper astoroids on most tables and then split our collection of astroids to palced them on top of the paper ones.

But ships normally don't move through the astroids.

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This looks like it would be too fiddly. I would have concerns about ships falling over because of balance concerns.

If one of those ships were mine, I would be very upset if it feel over and the paint was damaged because someone wanted to have gas clouds that look cool, rather than be fuctional and safe.

I think you are creating an unnecessary hazard.

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I've try put the coton wool on the table, doesn't look good.

Another time I've put coton wool on stands (tee for golf) but once painted they don't look good as they seem more "concrete". But I guess only using white coton wool would be ok.
Finally I ended up use 2D cardboard template...


But the solution from Wings of Glory is quite appealing.

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Cotton on stands Looks good, but for Aerial games, we are using it here.

we are playing mainly with modern jets, F-16 vs Mig 29, or Mig 21 vs F-5

in most games you only have up to 4 planes and all move individually, and up to 24 for Inch on full afterburner.

so the clouds don't really interact with the game, only for those case when you have to visually spot a plane,that is not in the front.

If we really have to place a plane on a cloud we would move the cloud for that turn.

Works well for modern air combat, but I doubt it will work for Firestorm Armada

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