BeamDown is a browser based terrain building platform that allows users to create custom 3D printable terrain, specifically used for tabletop wargaming and RPG games. Depending on the sets a user has access to, they can access up to 2,000 construction assets designed by Saucermen Studios. These assets can be combined in the free-form or quick-frames (templates) tool-sets to create custom terrain that is saved and exported as STL files.
Does BeamDown have any subscription or Export Limits?
No, You can build as much as you like, save your projects and export it without any additional costs or limits.
How can I get access to BeamDown?
We’re working on a separate asset store for BeamDown but currently it’s only available as a bundle purchase on the website (Grid City + Sci-fi Building Generator) or as a Kickstarter Add-on. Buy BeamDown here.
What can I export from BeamDown?
Currently BeamDown exports STL files that are best suited to FDM printing.
What experience do I need to use BeamDown?
BeamDown does all of the heavy lifting for you, so you don’t need any previous experience in 3D modelling or design. The tools and interface have been designed to be incredibly easy to use. See examples of BeamDown being used here.
Whats the difference between a BeamDown set and Stand-alone/Kickstarter sets such as Zectonium or Grid City?
Where a set is available as both a stand-alone/Kickstarter set (such as Zectonium or Grid City) and a corresponding BeamDown set, it is important to understand that although they are compatible in their modular set-up, they are both aesthetically different products. BeamDown does not include the pre-built models from the standalone Set.
Many of the features or components appearing in the pre-built STL buildings may not be available or have the same aesthetic in BeamDown, it has an alternative library of components. Eg. the Grid City standalone Kickstarter STLS could not be made exactly the same in the BeamDown version of Grid City, however you can design and export compatible buildings that can be combined with the standalone SLT sets – They would just have different visual features such as different windows, alternative greebles, etc.
BeamDown does not include any of the stretch goals or scatter terrain from the standalone sets or Kickstarters, only the main building, structures and/or walkways from their relevant Core Sets.
What are the building methods used in BeamDown?
BeamDown uses two different building methods, these are specific to the set:
Free-Form Builder – Drag components from the pallet onto the work area, mount features and snap components together.
Quick Frames – Build off pre-defined templates of specific sizes and add auto-filtering components. Snap rooftops and building sections together.
Can I sell or share the designs I create in BeamDown?
No, BeamDown grants you a PERSONAL use licence. Saucermen Studios retain all of the intellectual property, so you cannot share, modify or sell the STL files or printed exports from BeamDown.
What sets have been made for BeamDown
The sets that have been designed for BeamDown are:
Sci-fi Building Generator – A Free-form building system based on a 1 inch grid system.
Grid City – A template building system that is based on 3 inch buildings in various configurations. It is compatible with the Grid City Core Set.
Zectonium Prison Mines – A template system that creates custom structures compatible with the Zectonium Mines Core Set.
Deserts Houses – A template system that creates custom desert, sci-fi buildings in various configurations.
Modern Buildings – A template system that creates custom modern, urban buildings in various configurations.
Bits Box – A collection of useful bits such as doors, reference miniatures, etc
Can I import STL Files into BeamDown?
No, currently you cannot import any STL files or your own assets into the software.
Where does BeamDown save my projects?
BeamDown saves your projects to our cloud-based server. Each user has their own, private storage area. We will eventually enable project sharing across the BeamDown community.
There’s so many skirmish games on offer as an alternative to big battle games that have formed the foundation of so many tabletop gaming journeys.
Alternatives to Warhammer 40,000
Well established in the tabletop gaming world is 40K. It’s enjoyed by many but can be expensive bloated and take a long time to finish each game. If you’ve been looking for some smaller alternatives with sleeker game-play and cheaper investments, it could be time to explore some of the skirmish games on offer!
What’s great about skirmish games?
Small model count
More terrain interaction
Often more tactical
Alternating movement & actions
Cheaper buy-ins to get started
Here’s some recommendations for Skirmish games to try in 2024
Infinity by Corvus Belli
Infinity is a game that keeps you engaged throughout. The rule-set is sophisticated and lends itself to cinematic game-play. It has steep but rewarding learning curve and eases you in with the basic ‘Code One’ system. It’s set in the far future of humanity with soldiers, A.I, aliens, robots and hackers. The army builder and rules for Infinity are all also free!
Terrain for Infinity
Infinity is usually played on a 4×4′ table with tightly packed terrain that offers lots of cover. Interconnected sci-fi buildings, ladders and walkways are a key feature, as is a fair amount of scatter such as crates, vehicles, walls, barriers and cyberpunk style advertising.
You control a spaceship crew using any miniatures you like and focus on simple, yet sturdy gameplay that is packed with narrative opportunities. The core rules get you started with single games or an ongoing campaign, whilst the plethora of additional resources deliver a range of extended gameplay opportunities.
Terrain for Stargrave
Stargrave is fairly open in terms of terrain options as it’s based on any number of alien planets, space stations and even starships. You could set your game on a barren, alien world or an old world, low tech settlement or super-advanced tech-based civilisation.
Star Wars Legion can be played as small skirmish games or epic battles set around any of your favourite Star Wars moment. It definitely scratches the itch for all Star Wars fans and uses a nice proprietary dice and card system for activation, skills and combat mechanics.
Terrain for Starwars Legion
Star Wars Legion tables are typically 3×3′ or 6×3′ and heavily influenced by the Star Wars universe.
Using bigger minis but an easy to grasp game mechanic, you’ll control a team of your favourite X-Men characters to complete objectives and gather power to unleash your super powers. The system uses unique dice and character cards to keep everything flowing.
Terrain for Marvel Crisis Protocol
Set in the near future or modern day Marvel Universe, most games play on a 3×3′ table with modern, urban structures. You’ll also see scatter that superheros can throw such as dumpsters, cars, lampposts and even small street vendors. Scenery is categorised into sizes which represent how hard it is to throw, so it’s good to have a mix from tiny to extremely huge terrain.
Set after Attack of the Clones, Shatterpoint is similar to Marvel Crisis Protocol in many ways as you control a small group of heroes / villains in the Star Wars Universe.
Terrain for Starwars Shatterpoint
Shatterpoint is slightly larger than most wargames, at 40mm, you’ll need larger scaled terrain that matches your preferred setting in the Star Wars universe. Multi-level buildings with walkways and line of sight blocking terrain are essential.
Necromunda by Games Workshop
Although the rules can be cumbersome, the lore and core mechanics of Necromunda are definitely something to enjoy in this action packed game. You’ll use a special set of D6 and templates to control a gang that evolves over time as you play. Games are quick, fun and usually have some great and memorable moments.
Terrain for Necromunda
Necromunda is rich in Grim-dark theme and set somewhere in the depths of an imperium hive world. On any of these ancient gothic inspired battlegrounds, you’ll find gangs fighting for survival amongst the muck, rust and toxic waste. The infrastructure is decaying and raw. Industrial piping, heavy and corroded bulkheads are key features along side the leaking filth, goo and blood.
As a quick alternative to 40K, Killteam pits two groups of combat specialists from the armies you know and love against each other. Models that are usually constrained to squads are now represented as characters who operate independently, but as part of the Kill Team.
Terrain for Killteam
Killteam is set in the Warhammer universe but played on smaller tables, usually 30×22″. Games can be set in any environment related to the Grim-dark setting and usually feature industrial or military settings unless you prefer ruined battlefields or xenos (alien) world’s. Pipes, landing pads, industrial platforms, ruined walls and supply depots are quite common.
Deadzone by Mantic Games
Set on any number of colonies or alien worlds, Deadzone is a unique skirmish game that places your battles in containment zones of the Warpath universe.
Terrain for Deadzone
Deadzone is unique in that it uses a 2×2′ table, split into eight by eight 3″ grids. As a result, terrain is usually built around 3″ cube layouts. You’ll often see industrial settings, military structures or scientific facilities.
Judge Dredd Miniatures Game by Warlord Games
A fun skirmish game that explores the narrative fights and missions of the classic Judge Dredd comic books. Gangs vs lawmen or bizarre aliens are the focus of this skirmish game that uses a clever system of dice, character cards and tokens for activations.
Terrain for Judge Dredd
Set in Mega City One, this bustling and painfully overcrowded metropolis (The Big Meg) is packed full of comic book charm – Think of any stories from the 2000AD comics. Futuristic, but rundown buildings are a must, then supplemented with walls, vehicles and other scatter terrain.
One Page Rules by OnePage Rules
If you’re after a snappy rule-set that’s easy to learn and flows well, One Page Rules offers a basic mini-agnostic set of rules that expands into less-bloated alternatives to some popular games. Their games include Age of Fantasy, Grimdark Future, Firefight, Regiments and more!
Terrain for One Page Rules
One page rules is a very open system and all about your choice of setting and enjoyment. Terrain options are entirely up to you but should typically include a range of line of sight blocking scenery in a theme of your choice!
Cyberpunk: Combat Zone by Monster Fight Club
This fast-paced, smart and easy to play system uses colour coding for movement, range and actions. The characters, weapons, hacking programs and scenarios are all represented by cards which streamlines gameplay and let’s you focus on the action. One of the core mechanics is the [Re]Action system which allows gang members to respond to damage and really shake up the dynamic of the game.
Terrain for Cyberpunk Combat Zone
Set in the Combat Zones of 2045 of the Cyberpunk timeline, this setting is the battlefield for numerous gangs, each striving to establish dominance and maintain ground. The theme is ultimately “Hi Tech, Low Life”, so you’ll find dystopian, futuristic buildings, battle damaged structures, rubbish, sprawl, abandoned warehouses, barricades, ruins, supplies and sci-fi vehicles.
Creating immersive and visually striking wargaming terrain doesn’t need to take forever and isn’t locked in to a single technique. The process of painting incredible looking 3D printed terrain can be done with both regular brushes or an airbrush. In this article, we’ll explore tips and techniques to master the art of painting 3D printed sci-fi terrain for wargaming.
The goal: Create great looking terrain in a short time and minimal cost
1 – Preparation is Key
Before you start painting, ensure that your 3D printed terrain is properly prepared – If printing in PLA on an FDM printer, aim to use support-free designs such as those from Saucermen Studios, this will mean even less cleanup.
Clean off any stray bits of filament, sand any rough surfaces, and fill in any gaps or imperfections with putty. A smooth and clean surface will result in a more professional-looking paint job.
It’s a very good idea to prep your work area for a big and potentially messy job. Also consider that if using rattle cans or airbrushes, you will need suitable ventilation.
2 – Color Scheme Planning
Consider the theme and atmosphere you want to achieve for your sci-fi terrain. Are you aiming for a sleek futuristic cityscape or a weathered and battle-worn outpost? Plan your color scheme accordingly. Research sci-fi artwork or movie scenes for inspiration and use a color palette that complements the overall aesthetic. As an example, we have some great inspiration posts for futuristic cities here.
3 – Priming
Once the model’s surface is ready, prime the terrain with a primer of your choice. A rrattle can of auto primer/filler is cost effective and helps reduce print lines, but regular miniature primer such as Vallejo’s surface primer is also good but more expensive.
Priming the terrain creates a suitable surface for paint adherence. Use a light-colored primer to enhance the vibrancy of your paint colors. This step also helps to prevent issues like paint peeling or chipping and ensures that subsequent layers of paint adhere evenly.
4 – Base Coating
For the base coat, we recommend using cheap craft acrylics rather than more expensive miniature paints – This is purely based reducing the cost of materials whilst still achieving excellent results. Acrylic paints are used for this step due to their versatility and quick drying time.
Begin by applying a base coat of paint to cover the entire surface of your terrain. Use a brush or an airbrush for larger pieces. This layer sets the foundation for the subsequent details and effects.
Base Coating Tips & Considerations
Masking – Use masking tape to isolate or hide certain areas. This will give yo cleaner lines
Dark to light – Build up from dark colours
At this point it’s also when you need to decide if you will be airbrushing or drybrushing your terrain. there are pros and cons to each which we’ve pointed out below:
Airbrushing vs Drybrushing Terrain
Gets paint onto the model fast
Smooth and even coverage
Easy to create gradient effects
Very efficient way of painting
Control of fine details
Mixing paints to the right consistency
More equipment (the compressor) to store
Very cost effective
Beginner friendly technique
Emphasizes texture and detail
No specialized equipment or material
Less control over transitions
Big projects can trash brushes
5 – Layering Colours
Expanding the process from the base coating phase, you should now build up you highlights to bring out the details of your 3D printed terrain by layering on additional colors. This is where your chosen color scheme really comes into play. Use smaller brushes for fine details and gradually build up the layers. Consider dry brushing to highlight raised surfaces and edges, giving your terrain a more realistic and textured appearance.
6 – Fine Brush Details
Now you have all the base coat and layers down, it’s time to take a smaller brush, similar to those you’d use for painting miniatures, and brush on the small details. This often includes piping, wires/cables, terminals, lights, buttons, signs, etc. You can also switch over to your regular miniature paints for this step as the pigments are better suited for finer detail.
7 – Weathering and Aging Effects
For a battle-hardened or lived-in look, add weathering effects such as rust, dirt, or scorch marks. Dry-brushing with metallic paints can simulate a worn metal appearance, while washes and pigments can create a dirty or weathered effect. Experiment with different techniques to achieve the desired level of realism.
8 – Final Details
At this stage, your terrain is looking pretty good, but a few final touches could push it that extra mile. Consider adding the following to give it some extra realism and theme.
With the recent launch of the popular DarkHyve Assault terrain set, we wanted to explore how this modular terrain set can be used to create 3D printable Necromunda tiles, that are used in a similar way to Zone Mortallis by Games Workshop.
We’ll be using models from a handful of sets to create the following Necromunda terrain tile. It is hugely customisable and can be easily modified with the push-fit and stackable sections.
How big are Necromunda Tiles?
Typically, Necromunda tiles are 12x12inches. They are often combined to create tables that are 36×36 inches (three feet) or 48×48 inches (four foot).
In this article, we’ll look at building a single 12x12in Floor Tile with terrain that be used to get you started on your own project.
Building the Perfect Necromunda Table
Crafting a tabletop worthy of Necromunda’s gritty battles requires a few key elements to set the stage for epic conflicts in the underhive. These include:
Vertical platforms / Different levels
Plenty of corners and cover options
What we’ll be using
In this example, we’ll be using models from the DarkHyve Assault terrain range. Specifically, the following 3D printable terrain sets:
It’s been a great year for 3D printing in tabletop gaming and a lot of new 3D printable scenery sets have been launched. Below is a list of our best-selling terrain sets.
1 – Assault Series Terrain
This unique range of tabletop terrain has grown into a huge range of options. What started with modular, quick-snap walls for spaceship interiors for games such as Boarding Actions, has grown into offerings for Star Wars-Legion and become incredibly popular with Necromunda players with the release of our DarkHyve Assault Kickstarter!
Assault Series Terrain is great for:
Necromunda (Alternative to Zone Mortalis)
Star Wars Legion, Death Star Interiors
Fallout: Wasteland Warfare – Custom Build vaults and layouts
Still hugely popular after it’s launch in 2021, this set has also grown into a second wave which offers even more building shapes, scatter options and more! We’re gearing up to introduce a Third Wave in early 2024, further enriching the cyberpunk terrain range, promising even more enhancements and expansions.
40K terrain would be nothing without ruined buildings and our 3D printable gothic ruins set has been added to so that if offers a great deal of modular set-ups and custom layouts in a variety of heights and configurations.
With a variety of ancient alien ruins, monoliths and machine relics, our alien scenery packs continue to be very popular with Necron players and RPG systems where an off-world civilization is called for.
We’re about to launch our SEVENTH, large 3D printable terrain bundle on Kickstarter. This unique printable scenery is compatible with other sets from our Assault Series terrain range which is ‘push-fit’ and easy to use. Mix & match walls, pillars, junctions, platforms, doors, accessories and thematic inserts to craft your ideal terrain setup that’s different every game!
This wargaming terrain is designed for customised environments and the perfect backdrop for underworld gangs, ravaging cyber thugs, deep-space scavengers, vault dwellers, military squads, and other tabletop skirmish games with sci-fi themes.
Get the best tabletop gaming terrain on your gaming table with interactive features such as removable doors, modular construction, LED integration and more!
Hinged or removable doors for terrain
Imagine your troops storming a fortified stronghold, only to encounter a locked door standing in their way and it takes an action to unlock… this could be game changing!
Interactive doors work great for:
Warhammer 40,000: Boarding Actions
Corvus Belli’s Infinity
With interactive terrain, you can add hinged doors to your gaming table, creating realistic obstacles and opportunities for strategic decision-making. Whether it’s a dungeon entrance or a futuristic facility, hinged doors add an element of surprise and tactical depth to your battles.
Modular Walls, floors and Corners: Build Your Perfect Battlefield
Flexibility is key when it comes to tabletop wargaming. Modular walls and corners allow you to create customizable terrain layouts that suit your unique battlefield scenarios whether as the foundations to large platforms or playable interiors for games such as Boarding Actions. Interlocking pieces can be easily rearranged, giving you the freedom to design intricate mazes, cover points, and line-of-sight blockers. Create diverse landscapes that challenge your tactical skills and keep your opponents guessing.
Strategic elevation and the option to hide large units can be a game-changer on the battlefield. Interactive terrain with modular construction offers custom platforms and walkways that allow you to create vantage points, sniper nests, and watchtowers. Build multi-level battlefields where positioning and vertical advantage become key factors in your tactical decision-making. Whether it’s a sci-fi cityscape or a fantasy fortress, these platforms will elevate your gaming experience.
Elevators with Moving Platforms: Rise to New Heights
Introducing another exciting addition to our interactive terrain collection: elevators with moving platforms. Now, you can add vertical movement to your battles, allowing your miniatures to ascend and descend with ease. These elevators feature functional platforms that can be raised or lowered during gameplay, offering dynamic tactical advantages and dramatic battlefield scenarios. Whether it’s a towering citadel or a high-tech facility, elevators with moving platforms bring a whole new dimension to your tabletop wargames.
LED Integration: Illuminate Your Gaming Experience
To truly immerse yourself in the world of tabletop wargaming, you could consider integrating LED lighting into your terrain projects. Illuminate your structures with customizable lighting effects, setting the mood and enhancing the atmosphere of your battles. LED integration in your terrain adds a whole new dimension to your gaming experience.
With a collection of interactive terrain at your disposal, the possibilities are endless. By using our 3D printable STL files, you have the freedom to create, customize, and transform your gaming table into a captivating battlefield. Hinged doors, modular walls, custom platforms, opening hatchways, stackable platforms, and LED integration all combine to elevate your gameplay, adding depth, immersion, and excitement to your tabletop wargaming sessions. Don’t just play the game—immerse yourself in it with our interactive terrain. Visit our website and explore our vast collection of 3D printable STL files today to take your tabletop battles to the next
Join us on a thrilling journey into the heart of ‘The Zectonium Prison Mines‘ (our latest 3D printable tabletop terrain set) in a short series of audio fiction.
If you love grim-dark scifi fiction such as Black Library Audiobooks, you should check out this audio project inspired by our latest tabletop terrain set where the gripping, short-audio adventure takes you to a brutal, off-world mining facility where hope is scarce, and secrets are guarded fiercely.
Follow Prisoner P19-5X3 as he navigates this unforgiving landscape, facing desperate inmates, battles for precious minerals, and encounters with enigmatic ancient ruins. Amidst the smog and chaos, the new inmate’s destiny unfolds, testing their resilience and spirit.
With heart-pounding suspense and atmospheric soundscapes, immerse yourself in this enthralling tale of survival and exploration. Unearth the hidden mysteries within the Zectonium Prison Mines, but beware of darker forces lurking in the shadows.
Put on your headphones and venture into the depths of ‘The Zectonium Prison Mines: Unearth the Secrets.’
This month, we caught up with the folks at the Wip12 Infinity podcast to talk about terrain for infinity and the process of 3D printing and designing scenery. You can check out the full interview here.
In the podcast, Alex discusses how he designs 3D printable terrain for Saucermen Studios.
As an Infinity the game podcast, the discussion focuses primarily on terrain for Infinity and what key aspects are taken into consideration during the design process in addition to finding inspiration for new projects.
See our popular Infinity compatible terrain & STL files