Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sci-Fi Landing Pad and Shelters

This is a sci-fi terrain project that I completed a few weeks ago - a landing pad with elevator access and a trio of shelters. The goal was for a set of buildings that would fit a variety of themes and backgrounds. Anything from a military outpost to a industrial site to a colony could make use of a landing pad. The shelters likewise could represent any general purpose building. The overall appearance of these terrain pieces are intended to be generic. They would not look too out of place in Star Wars, Star Trek, or most other space opera settings.

Finished landing pad and shelters. 15mm ARC Fleet troopers for scale.

All parts were from a pair of Hexagon Construction Sets from Pegasus Hobbies. My understanding is that the sets are scaled for 25mm, but they fit well with 15mm figures. I played around with these sets in a couple of posts from before my gaming interregnum, including a previous version of the landing pad and a missile silo concept. The final version of the landing pad replaces the rather flimsy ramp of the concept version with an elevator shaft. The doorways of the landing pad elevator and the shelters feature covered areas for additional protection from hostile environments. These porches were added to give the buildings a little more character and to make the locations of the doorways more obvious during play.

Construction Stage: This basically consisted of test-fitting various configurations until I found the ones I most liked. This stage actually benefited from my time away from tabletop gaming - I took these pieces out whenever I was bored and these versions slowly evolved. For example, the shelters were originally more squared off, but the "space quonset hut" developed as I played around with different configurations. I considered reinforcing the clips used to hold the parts together with glue, but rejected the idea as not worth the trouble.

Primer Stage: I used two layers for priming. A dark gray spray primer to the underside and a light gray primer sprayed at an angle to the top. This was intended to simulate shading from an overhead light source.

Base coat only. Note how flat the color appears.

Base Coat Stage: A couple of thin layers of Krylon ColorMaster Paint+Primer Iris Satin. I left a little dark gray primer showing on the underside areas to simulate shading.

After both layers of dry brushing.

Dry Brush Stage: Two layers - one a light blue and a thinner layer in pure white. This brought out the raised details like the rivets.

Detailing Stage: Gold and Silver Metallic Sharpies were used on some of the raised details to break up the blue base color. This was my first experience using Sharpies on a terrain or miniature project. Using Sharpies seemed more precise than a brush for these kinds of small details. Even so, I did manage to get some metallic color in areas that I did not want it in. This was easily fixed with a little blue paint.

Rear view of one of the shelters after detailing and wash layer.

Wash Stage: A mix of Liquitex Soft body in Payne’s Gray, Liquitex Matte Medium, and water was applied in two layers - one to the underside and one to the top. The wash was applied in heavy layers. I used a sponge to remove any excess wash and prevent pooling on the flat surfaces. The wash brought out the recessed details, evened out the overall color of the pieces (the dry brushing was a little uneven in areas), contribute to a more weather appearance, and - most importantly - to hide minor errors from earlier stages.

I’m looking forward to putting these pieces on the tabletop!

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