Outside 15 - October 2011

16 October 2011

Majority of desert buildings completed

I've been working on the buildings for my desert terrain. They will probably have more painted details and decals added in future, but my aim has been to get them to a state ready for gaming first. For each of the buildings shown below I have described the source of the components and the construction method used. These are only some of the ones I've got done, the rest are duplicates or very similar. I only realised after I had taken and manipulated the photographs, that the camera I was using has a lens problem distorting the rightside of each image, so apologies for that. The colour rendition hasn't come out too well either. When I get the chance to take over the dining table for a game, I'll photograph all the buildings I've done so far, set out as the desert settlement I am aiming for.

Desert Buildings Batch 1 Group

Desert Building batch1 group closeup

Vehicle storage hanger

Hanger

Hanger

Hanger

As you can see from the third picture, this building was formed by mounting a section of guttering on two rectangular pastic box sections. Card ends were then cut out and fixed on, and large sliding (non-functioning) doors added at the front made from card with textured plastic card glued on, along with a top rail of plastic strip. Hatches, windows and ventilators came from the Mike's excellent range at www.thesceneuk.com .

P38 car body filler was then used to fill any gaps and to provide a rough texture to the 80thou plasticard base. The model was then primered and sprayed with Plastikote Stone Touch textured paints, both Canyon Rock and Alabaster, wiping it off from areas I didn't want covered. Various sand colours were then applied. It works well as a vehicle garage, and I'm planning to do a second one in due course that will have a removable roof. Any firefights taking place in it, or from it, will currently be done on a template sheet placed off the edge of the board.

Ventilator Blocks

Ventilator Block

Ventilator Block

The core of these buildings are actually plaster of paris casts taken directly from the plastic packaging that held Canon inkjet cartridges some 10+ years ago. They had been sitting in my "they'll be useful one day" heap awaiting a use. added details are again mostly from www.thesceneuk.com . Painting was my standard of grey primer, then Wilkinson's (value household store store in UK) Sahara Sand from a tester pot brushed on, a wash of diluted Liquitex Transparent Burnt Umber ink, then a drybrush of Wilkinson's Sand. This applies to all the following building unless noted. The building is solid, so again any firefights taking place in it, or from it, will be done on a template sheet placed off the edge of the board. I have made five of these, and they are linked to an underground complex I'm planning to create using my Shipboard 15 scenery.

Power Plant

Ventilator Block

Ventilator Block

These power plants are formed from a single 48mm high pattress box (UK electrical socket box) with a blanking plate on top. Additional details again mostly from www.thesceneuk.com . The roof isn't removable, so again any firefights taking place in it, or from it, will be done on a template sheet placed off the edge of the board. I have made two of these.

Communications Building

Ventilator Block

Ventilator Block

These power plants are formed from a double 48mm high pattress box (UK electrical double socket box) with a blanking plate on top. Additional details again mostly from www.thesceneuk.com . The access ramp is just sanded balsa wood. When I get my next batch of etchings done (probably after Christmas), these will include two different size communications masts to mount on top of the buildings.The roof isn't removable, so again any firefights taking place in it, or from it, will be done on a template sheet placed off the edge of the board. I have made two of these.

Command Building

Command Building

Command Building

These two buildings are from Mike's original desert range at www.thesceneuk.com . Using his shuttered windows, I have modelled a matching pair, one with the shutters and door closed, the other with them all open. To make the open shutters meant cutting out the whitemetal from the centre of each one, as they were originally just flat metal and I wanted any figures inside to be visible. The roofs are also removable. Hopefully Mike will consider making just the frames available for his next generation of buildings, as they do improve the look of the models. Same with the door. Took quite a bit of effort to do, but fortunately I've still got all my fingers!

These two buildings were painted differently from all the others. I tried using Halford's (UK car spares company) Ford Sierra Beige spray as the basecoat. Were there really cars painted that colour? The glossy surface worked differently with the Liquitex ink, and looks okay with a drybrush of sand acrylic afterwards. Considering the cost of the Halford's spray compared to spray primer and cheap acrylic, I doubt I'll repeat it.

Standard Building

Command Building

Command Building

This is typical of the group of buildings that I bought from www.thesceneuk.com . All have had an external air conditioners added, and most also have roof ventilators/chimneys, from the same source. Roofs are all removable and have been painted in my standard scheme. I have about a dozen of these, including larger buildings of the same style.

Future planned items include fuel and water storage tanks, workshops, entrance to an underground base, and the clutter we're used to seeing in sci-fi films.

04 October 2011

Creating a desert terrain base for 15mm sci-fi gaming

Desert Sheet

Desert Sheet

Desert Sheet

I have been looking for a way to create an easy to store desert terrain base for my 15mm sci-fi gaming. The space available for gaming is limited to my dining table. The solution was three sheets of A1 (594mm × 841mm, 23.39" × 33.11") 10mm thick foamboard, each of which was covered with a brushed sand coloured material that I got as a clearance remnant. I used double sided tape on the top surface, and duct tape on the reverse. The ripples aren't as noticeable when there is scenery on it, and I can cope with the joins. The foamboard doesn't seem to have warped much, and stores easily in the cheap artisit's portfolio carrier that I bought. It also slides easily under a bed for storage.

Desert Sheet

To improve the texture of the surface, I sprayed on patches of Plastikote Stone Touch textured paints, both Canyon Rock and Alabaster. After allowing the first coat to dry thoroughly, additional patches were applied to even out any bald patches. After taking in and out of the storage bag several times, I've not noticed much loss of the spray texture. If it does start to wear, I'll just spray on more Plastikote. At some stage in the future I also intend to make some trackways out of the remaining cloth and spraying them with different shades.

03 October 2011

OneTon utility vehicle design finalised and sent for printing (again!)

Desert Sheet

Having been inspired by a magazine article on the 1950s British Army Humber 1 ton light truck and variants, I decided to create a heavy duty utility vehicle for my planned sci-fi desert world. I have designed various conversions for the load area, two of which are also being printed. I've had a test print back already, but forgot to get the wheels printed! So to avoid making it look like its had the wheels stolen, I'll hold off taking pictures until the new prints are back from Shapeways.

It's a big beast, designed for long journeys over hot, hard sand/small rock, desert surfaces, with wide wheels to reduce the ground pressure. The wheelbase is 3.3m, overall length over bumpers 6.1m, height 2.6m, width 2.9m, and tyres runflat 48x18.5R28LTs! Drive is electric to all wheels, powered by a fuel cell. A separate water tank is fitted in the rear of the cab for the cooling systems and for emergencies. A crew of two travel in the spacious, fully air conditioned cab, with space for two of my pallets (to come later) in the load area.

For reference, for all my future 15mm modelling, I've settled on a scale of 1:95. I know there have been long discussions on TMP about which scale vehicles to use with 15mm. As the figures I mainly use are the second generation Traveller scifi figures, now available from RAFM, I found 1:95 worked best. Once the prints (inc. wheels!) are delivered, I'll photo them with these figures, as I will all future vehicles.

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