Thursday, February 20, 2014

Desert Outpost (Part 1) - 15mm SciFi WIP

I've been working on some buildings for a desert outpost.  I started these when I began this project in early January, but I haven't worked on them since.  At the beginning, I thought I could completely scratch-build them with doors and other details.  I was wrong.  15mm is too small for me to get the kind of detail I wanted.  So, in frustration, I set them aside.  A few weeks later I came across some scratch-built buildings that included bits from Ground Zero Games.  That very evening I went to their online store and ordered one pack each of the following sets:

V15-BLD02 Large Doors
V15-BLD03 Civilian Building Doors
V15-BLD06 Roof Fittings A
V15-BLD07 Roof Fittings B
V15-BLD09 Solar Arrays
V15-BLD12 Circuit Panels and Junction Boxes

It came to about US$62.00 with shipping.  That is more than I wanted to spend on these buildings, but I figure all these bits will come in handy on other projects I have in mind.  My shipment arrived within two weeks of placing the order.  I'm very pleased with them!  They are just the thing to help these scratch-built creations come to life.
Three buildings made from plastic, single-serve cereal boxes mounted on CDs.
You can see my failed attempts at doors, etc. on these.
Here's a closeup of the power station, with a figure for scale...and a poorly built door.
This closeup shows the crap door and the texture gel stuff I used to texture the bases.
Here are the same buildings with the GZG doors being installed.
Looks MUCH better! 
I cut away some of the slope of the walls in order to recess the doors.  It looks a lot more realistic than just sticking the doors to the wall.  You can also see here that I've mounted some roof bits.
Since the cuts left gaps, I needed to fill them, so I broke this stuff out.  It is good stuff but I don't know if they sell it any longer.  This tube is older than I care to think about.
Here I've gooped some stuff around the door.  Once I've finished filling the gaps I will go back and sand/file the goop down to make it all blend.  I'm calling this piece a power station.  I like it so far!
Liam approves!
I'm not sure how I want to paint these for my desert table.  I was originally thinking of using shades of ivory/off white, but I don't want them to look like buildings on Tatooine.  Since they are supposed to be Earth Force, maybe I will go with some khaki and dark green combination to match the minis I'm painting.  We'll see.  I also want to experiment with some spray primers. Maybe I can come up with a quick and easy way to paint them.

That's all I've had time for this week.  Until next time, carry on!


  1. Cool terrain, cute baby, my little girl is vsix months now, how the time flies

    1. Someone told me recently, "the days are long, but the years are short." Too true! I try to treasure the time everyday. Glad you like the terrain and congrats on your baby girl!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm having fun with this project. I'm working on painting minis also, but that goes slower than terrain for me. Hopefully I'll be able to have some games within a month or so. Thanks for taking a look and for commenting!

  3. They look good I have to admit the additions from GZG do look rather good.

    Cool good to see the little one approves! LoL Shinto wait until they are 6 and 4 years old it gets faster!

    1. Thanks, Simon! I was geeked to find GZG had these. I'll likely buy some of the other sets as I think up new projects.

      My oldest will be 17 tomorrow... Yeah, time flies.

  4. I do find your work on this project inspiring and will start my own version after Curts Painting Challenge. Although I might start paining some more troops after this weekend.

    Science Fiction Buildings are, at least to me, a tricky question. Are the Buildings "Smart" (able to adapt to the environment with solar panels and heat exchangers etc, ) or "Thick" (having a large thermal mass so that the temperature inside does not fluctuate). Oh the pain of having an education! On my terrain I will try to go for "Smart" buildings I think. But there is no wrong solution except to think building design will not change and adapt. I may do a blog post about it nearer the time when I start making them.

    1. Thanks, Clint. I never really thought about it that much. I just found some cereal packs and bibbity-bobs that looked cool and let my imagination run. : ) I look forward to seeing what you come up with for your buildings when you get to it.

  5. Looking very good.

    As to how they will be painted, I think you have 2 choices. Either the buildings are the basic colour of the material from which they are built (concrete? plastic? aluminium?) or they've been decorated by their inhabitants and could be any colour you want (but probably more synthetic - not a "natural" shade). My 2 cents worth...

    1. Thank you. Good thoughts on the paint. I am considering a variant of desert yellow; making the assumption these are some sort of concrete structures made from local material and meant to blend in.. Or possibly I will go with a light sky-blue, drawing from B.V. Larson's "Steel World" novel and saying these buildings are made from "puff-crete". We'll see what inspiration comes.

  6. Nice scratchwork. I've signed up for the duration.

  7. Very nice work mate!!!

    And LOVE Liam`s face hehe...

  8. Great stuff, I found building 15mm stuff very difficult, getting a few extra looks to have really helped, but your doos weren't that bad.
    I'd paint them a neutral concrete colour then dirty themup with graffitti, dirt, posters etc., maybe a damge repair feature too.

    1. Thanks, Z. I'm leaning towards a more natural color like that, with lots of weathering. Not sure about the graffiti - this is supposed to be a remote, desert outpost. If I make some urban type structures, graffiti will certainly be a good addition.