HellGate – Part 9 – The Bell Tower and the Dust Settlers Sanctum

I love world building…

I want you to imagine, for a moment, a place where the sun is so intense, for most months of the year, that paint blisters, tin and metal droops and where the sand on the ground heats up so much it melts and turns into long shards and sheets of glass.

Trees, buildings and vehicles can smoulder, burn and turn to ash and the air is, often, thick with black choking smoke.

Despite the power of the sun the land is in darkness a lot of the time due to giant smog and smoke clouds.

The inhabitants, of this hellish place, can never leave and there are very rarely any newcomers. The people have grown used to their horrible environment and have adapted quite well but sickness and death, due to the harsh conditions, is so common.


Now I’ve set the scene, let’s look at the mat I’ve got for HellGate and a couple of buildings I’ve made. You would have, partly, seen the buildings in the background of previous posts but I thought I’d show you them up close.

I’m quite pleased with them, especially the fact that they look like they exist in a little old place called HellGate.

First though the mat. It’s a 6ft by 4ft (Mouse pad material) Mars-Type mat from Urban Matz.


Lots of dark red tones but also some lighter, sandier sections as well. Perfect for HellGate.

As it’s made from Mouse Pad material I thought I’d test out the mouse hehe.


The Bell Tower.


I am really, really happy with how the bell turned out.


It’s a mix of Warcry terrain and other odds and ends. The actual bell is the only thing that hasn’t been scorched reddish by the intense sun, however it has still corroded in the heat.

The textured floor is glue mixed with grout. I have quite a few bags of grout left over from when I worked in the tile industry many moons ago. I like that the earth arcs up to the walls in sections giving the place a feel that it has been covered in dust/ash/sand for quite some time.

The Dust Settlers Sanctum.


Originally this little installation was going to be a military outpost for my Imperial Guard (The Mighty 77th) but with a few tweaks and a good dose of butchery with some clippers I made it into an old gang base for the Dust Settlers Warband.

I was really pleased with how the “Container windows” turned out. I’d seen a similar thing done on Instagram for Necromunda terrain and thought it was a great idea. I have more container type shanty’s planned.

So what do you think guys? Do you think the terrain suits the aesthetic of HellGate that I’m going for?

I have a few more things to share with you.

First, a couple of movie recommendations.

  1. Midsommar

It’s a bit slow in parts but quite compelling viewing. 3 stars.

2. The Brest Fortress

This movie is ten years old and I’d never heard of it, I’m assuming because it’s foreign/subtitled but it’s brilliant. It tells the true story of the Brest Fort in Belarus being attacked by the German Wehrmacht in 1941. The drama, action, story and score are all spot on. 4 stars.

The other thing I wanted to mention is a TV series called Tales From The Loop which has, loosely, inspired my story called MALUS. 3.5 stars.


I hope you’re all doing well and that life is slowly returning to normal for you.

For those of you in America please stay extra safe.

What a mad year this has been huh?

At least we have our hobbies to keep us sane.





31 thoughts on “HellGate – Part 9 – The Bell Tower and the Dust Settlers Sanctum”

  1. Really great scenery young Luke, I was shocked at the first photo as we did a 2hour walk up in the RJ Hamer arboretum today and I think my body looked like that at the end !! The grout worked treat ,great idea.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great terrain mate. Fits with my vision of Hellgate and so classic IRO. The mat is good too but you need more buildings, a lot more and they need to be taller, much taller. I’m thinking 23rd century wasteland New York meets Death Valley. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Yep really nice work on both of those mate, I especially like the way you have the ash built up around the base of the buildings and the way the doors look like they have pushed some of it back so it piles up.

    They don’t provide a lot of cover from the sun though do they! good job there the smog to take care of that!

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. That is a great bit of terrain- it looks spot on to me.

    All of the films TV you mentioned are on my to watch list. Have you seen the art books that inspired Tales from the Loop?



    Liked by 2 people

  5. You can’t con me mate, those aren’t miniatures – you just took some photos of your street 😉 Seriously that’s spot on there, very atmospheric and really set’s the scene for everything you’re doing with the Hell Gate. I really get what you mean about world building, by setting up the environment (either in your imagination or, better yet, actually building it) you start to get a better idea of who would live there and how they would live. Great work on the bell by the way, I painted on recently and it was an absolute bitch – yours is much better (and that’s not intended as false modesty or to do myself down, just an objective fact – you nailed it!).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks man. It all has to be immersive for me. As believable as possible. The inspiration came from my own street. I better cut this reply short as I have to fend off some cannibalistic wastelanders who are climbing up my watch tower.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. YES! Worldbuilding is the best. Sometimes I catch myself wayyyy more focused on that compared to the time I actually spend writing and have to reel it back in a little bit. 😛 I can’t help it, it’s just too fun and interesting! I’m sure you can relate. Haha
    And sooo true about us all having our hobbies to keep us sane. I honestly couldn’t imagine not having hobbies under the best of circumstances, let alone during 2020! I know some people who don’t have hobbies and let’s just say they seem to have gone off the deep end these past couple months.
    Interesting movie suggestions, I haven’t seen them yet, so I’ll have to keep those in mind! 🙂
    I’ve got some unsolicited movie suggestions for you in return. I’ve been on a big Samara Weaving kick since Quarantine got underway. Here are a couple of her movies that are a bloody/fun time:
    Guns Akimbo
    Ready or Not
    The Babysitter

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh coooool, I’ll try those movies out. I know quite a few people who don’t have hobbies. I’d seriously lose my damn mind if I didn’t do something other than work and family. I’ve always needed something just for me. Plus I’m a restless soul so I can’t seem to stay still for long. Unless I’m watching a movie hehe

      Liked by 2 people

  7. my god what a foreboding place, the mat looks great and fits in perfectly but i am wondering what made you make the planet so inhabitable, surely it must limit what can happen there but if i know your imagination we can expect all sorts..

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I cannot possibly say enough about your work here. It is immersive, and really brings the viewer in to the world that you have created. It’s just fantastic!

    The weathering is really well done. When I looked at the floor of the bell tower I thought it was pigments. You really have done a great job recycling the tile grout.

    And as said before, the Bell rusting is done just right.

    Thank you for the kind sentiments about us in the US. Not a good time for sure. If this thing goes into Civil War, is there room for us in Australia?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks mate. I think, with the next lot of terrain pieces, I’ll do some spot colours as well. Just to make them a little more interesting but, in general, I am happy with them. The grout works a treat. Definitely room for you and your family mate hehe. We have a big backyard so pitch a tent, light a fire and I’ll grab us some beers.

      Liked by 1 person

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