A blog about miniatures, wargaming, and the people driven to ruin by them....

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sci Fi Buildings for Ghenna IV

Howdie.  As I continue to work on my 15mm sci fi project, I thought I would share the progress on my buildings.  The beleaguered Free Miners of Ghenna IV need some place to stay, and defend, after all.  I personally like inexpensive (CHEAP) and easy methods when working on gaming projects.  So, when it was suggested to me to try to use electric boxes as the shells of buildings, I was all over it.  Some of the following boxes cost as little as $0.37 (in my area, anyway) and none that I bought cost more than $0.99.

 Those are finished dormitories.  I added steel bases for "windows" and "doors" (having something glued makes them seem more real than my normal preferred method of just painting that kind of thing on buildings)... used a self adhesive cable bracket for a roof hatch (and they look pretty good for this purpose)... and a wire nut as either a communications or ventilation device (take your pick).

Keeping with my story line... the buildings are designated as "TC" for temporary construction.  During the initial founding of the Ghenna IV mining colony, the miners held a flimsy contract with a subisdiary of Marano Industries.  Among the many articles modified, reduced, or completely ignored by M.I. were those related to the gradual updating and replacement of the TC buildings.  As you can see, despite the robust nature of the original materials (hey, even Marano Industries can't go cheap on everything), decades of abuse by the miners and the weather of Ghenna IV have taken their toll.  Oxidized materials have left indelible stains as they slough off from vulnerable entrance ways.

 Here some miners enjoy recreational shooting with newly arrived visitors.  The TC dormitories feature ground level de-contamination chambers, storage, independent power sources (mostly offline at this point), and some repair facilities.  The second floor is given over to individual med centers (woefully undersupplied), kitchen and food storage, recreation center, sanitary facilities, and supplementary bunks.  The upper floor is entirely for bunks.  Overcrowding is a major issue on Ghenna IV, but at least with three shifts going full time, the dorms are never full at any given time.

The poor housing and maintenance may be one of the prime causes of the miners going independent in the first place (that, and the lengthy distance from the nearest United Terran military site).  But Marano Industries has never forgiven or forgotten a transgression from any mining colony...

The following is an image of some "works in progress" which will represent major buildings (I am thinking of a water capturing plant, with monitoring station and clean storage tank... and also a small factory or vehicle repair center).  I still need to complete the painting on these.

It certainly has not improved inter-species relations that the new visitors have been referring to the planet as "Lidderbachs IV", whatever that means...

Finally, here are some "off the rack" models.  For the round boxes, one is destined to become Das Wunder Bar, the tavern/rec center that usually ends up being the meeting house for most important discussions.  The other will be the "real" command center, featuring a small hospital, and communications center.  The other rectangular boxes... well, I don't know yet....

I have seen many examples online of people using these boxes to good effect.... those with the dedication to dremel the "wings (actually, brackets for nails and screws) probably end up with a better looking product.  And there are definitely a number of companies selling sci -fi terrain add ons, like doors and windows, which look much better than my simple, mostly paint-detailed, jobs.  Still, I am satisfied with how these have been turning out... and the fact that everything cost me about $20 (that's all of the components) is fantastic.

Hope you enjoyed your tour of downtown Ghenna IV, come again, and don't forget to pack your beam rifle next time!



  1. Looks awesome! Great use of cheap, easily obtained materials.

  2. You are lucky to have these available for so cheap a price in your area. In my area, they are going for at least a couple of bucks a piece.

    I have been using the larger blue plastic ones with all the extra flanges and screw fittings. These make for some interesting challenges in constructing believable buildings unless you can either cut them off, conceal them or integrate them into the designs.

    I had an idea of trying to disguise the flanges and angled awnings or improvised extensions on the buildings, by building over them.