Monday, March 31, 2014

The Prin-Gles Mining Co. LLC

Here is part of the facility that will be a central part of my new 15mm bug hunting scenario. The structure was made as generically as possible. The towers could either be living quarters, storage, processing plant, or all three. Access to the mine can be through the towers or from another location. The small structure to the right, and the stacks of drainage pipe will be covered separately.
The main part of the Prin-Gles mining facility on T 372
Here is how the facility was made. Planning consisted of a rough concept sketch on a scrap of paper. Then I  gathered a bunch of different materials and, using my patented "seat of your pants" construction techniques, pieced things together until something vaguely resembling my sketch was achieved.

3 Pringle cans
A little Foamcore & cardboard
Hardwood base 6x16 inches
Plastic canvas of various sizes
Coffee stirrers (Dunkin donuts?)
Various items from the bits box

Knife & X-acto
Hot glue gun
Pencil and ruler

I started with some Pringles cans, one taller than the rest.  There are always plenty of them laying around since they are one of my favorite gaming snacks.  Then cut out a wood base, and a foamcore octagonal to be used for the landing pad.  The lids to the cans were used as tops to the towers. The plan was for 3 levels and 6 different interchangeable tower tops: landing pad, antenea structure, and 4 dome varieties. Lids were left unglued so the tops can be swapped.  I'm thinking of adding another lid with a crane structure and maybe some different tech looking stuff.  Looks like I need to eat more Pringles! 

Positioning the towers and playing with various tops
Sheets of plastic canvas.
Plastic canvas was used for the walkway and for the railings and ladders. This is a great material to have around, especially for 15mm projects. First I made decking out of the smallest sized sheets. I simply laid out the canvass on the base and traced around the cans to get my deck shape.  You can see in the next picture I had tried priming the white sheets with black, but after a false start, realized I had to clean the paint off so the glue would hold. The larger grid canvass, size 7, makes quick and easy railings.  Two squares for 15mm looks about right.

The basic deck shape.
Once I had my basic shapes, I cut coffee stirrers to make supports for under the decking, as well as for the uprights. You could use many different materials for the support system including model railroad girders. I had these coffee stirrers lying around and liked the shape so used them.
The coffee stirrers have an x-shape to them.

The supports were left long to fit holes made in the cans.

A finished deck section. Two of these were made.
The first upper deck takes shape.
Break time!!!
Once the decks were done the cans were glued to the base and the decks added.  The elevator was made from plastic canvass with a cardboard floor. It is attached to a round piece of plastic cut from something I found in my scrap box. It was a thin plastic tube that was apparently part of some sort of packaging. Just so happens it fit around the can nicely, so with a little tinkering I actually got the elevator to move up and down as well as spin around!  I made this a feature of the landing pad instead of making a third, more problematic, upper deck.
A close up of the railing, supports, and elevator. Khurasan Space demon Queen for size.
Construction is almost complete.
A foamcore support in the center became necessary when I ran out of coffee stirrers. I also added some safety netting around the flight deck with window screen and toothpicks. As you can see, the finished product is rather rough. The hot glue does not make the smoothest of joints, but it is extremely quick and reasonably strong once you learn the best application methods.  Hot glue is cheap, works on most materials and can come apart relatively easily if you make a mistake (just add heat).  I love it for making quick easy terrain pieces, especially those using mixed materials like this project.
Here is the entire Prin-Gles Mining Co. facility ready for action.
Marine Recon Team A arrives on the flight deck scouting for trouble.

Looks like trouble found them.
This is not a highly detailed structure. Some will find it crudely made, but I don't need or want my gaming structures to be highly detailed models or take a lot of time to make. I am not a diorama artist, I am a wargamer! For me, terrain pieces need to be usable, versatile, tough, and look OK from a few feet away.  Overall this project took only a few hours to assemble once I figured out how to make the concept sketch come to life with the materials available.  All that is left to do now is some final detail work, and finish the base.

1 comment: