Monday, May 11, 2020

Warsenal Angled Planters and Benches

These are Angled Planters from Warsenal. This specific product doesn't appear to be available at this time. However, they are included as part of certain Island Packs and Warsenal's Square Planters are a comparable product.

The Havoc Girls check out a small park. Some of the groundskeepers went missing recently.

These Angled Planters have been unfinished projects (UFOs) for awhile now. I've got plenty of hobby projects sitting around in various states of completion. Even though I'm still working regular hours, some of my work can be done from home and the commute has been much easier. This freed up time that I've been using to catch up. My plan is to shoot down as many UFOs as possible to free up space and time down the road for new projects.

This project became a UFO after I ran into some issues gluing it together. The Angled Planters use MDF parts for the main structure with plastic panels for the details on the sides. The glue I used worked well for holding the MDF parts together, but the plastic panels popped off with routine handling. Fortunately, this problem came up before priming or painting. Since I had other priorities at the time, I stored the parts in a plastic bag with the intent to get back to it later.

As it turned out, "later" took awhile.

The second step of restarting this project - the first was making sure that all the parts were still in the bag - was to sand off the glue residue from the plastic panels and where they were glued on to the MDF pieces. This also had the benefit of roughing up the surfaces and insuring a stronger bond when I reassembled the pieces with cyanoacrylate glue.

A pair of tourists use a public comm array in a small park to call for directions.
Priming was straight forward - I just sprayed on a thin layer of dark gray auto body primer.

Next came spraying on the base color. I prefer to spray on the base color for projects with large, flat surfaces. It helps with achieving an even, consistent layer of paint.

This particular color was chosen for these very important reasons:
  • I knew that this product works on both MDF and plastic from past experience.
  • I still have a can of the stuff in the garage and need to use it up.
  • Spraying on the base coat would speed things up.
  • I felt the need to use up the can.
  • The bold and colorful Jack Kirby aesthetic appeals to me for futuristic civilian models and terrain. I've still be reaching for khaki, olive, and brown for near-future or hard sci-fi military stuff.
  • I really need to use up that can.
I applied a dark wash left over from a previous project to bring out the details. The wash was brushed on and the excess was wiped off with a sponge to prevent pooling. I also experimented with using a Silver Metallic Sharpie to simulate wear on the corners of one of the pieces, but I didn't feel that it really added anything worthwhile.

For most of the pieces, I decided to simulate soil and foliage from an Earth-like environment. I applied the same mix of PVA glue, Folk Art 231 Real Brown paint, water, and sand that I use to base some of my miniatures and allowed it to dry completely. The green bushes are Woodland Scenics Light Green Clump-Foliage held in place with PVA glue. A neatly trimmed appearance might have been more appropriate, but I feel that the uneven look is more interesting to look at. The bare patches allow the basing material to show through.

The quality of landscaping declined after the groundskeepers started disappearing.

I wanted some kind of alien plant life for the remaining pieces. Some spare melted drinking straws stored away from the Alien Plant Terrain project I did several years ago did the trick. I picked out the best of the lot and hit them with a few layers of spray paint. A layer of black covered the bright colors of the plastic. This was followed up with a layer of red and finally a layer of orange. Again, the color choices were determined by what I had on hand and had a mind to use up. I attached the straws to the planter pieces with hot glue.

These XT flora samples adapted well to class-M conditions. There is no evidence that they are carnivorous.
Alien plants need alien soil to grow in. In this case, I used an Ikea product - Kulort. It's crushed glass used for decorative projects. I picked up a bottle awhile back for use in alien terrain projects and as basing material. There were a number of colors available - I opted for black since it would match with just about anything.
Unlike the Angled Planters, the Benches weren't UFOs. I assembled and painted these awhile back. However, the tan color I originally used was rather bland. I decided to repaint the Benches to match the Angled Planters. This would make using them together easier (and use up more of the can). A dark wash brought out the details and a little work with a Silver Metallic Sharpie added some wear marks to the edges.

The Benches are available from Warsenal on their own and as part of their Island Packs.

Benches in the process of being moved for park maintenance. They're a little worn and could use a touch up of paint.

Together, the Angled Planters and Benches make for good scatter terrain to represent a park or similar area in a sci-fi setting. Both are large enough to plausibly provide cover for 28mm figures, although more robust small arms might be able to penetrate the Benches depending on the setting and rules used. Combining the Benches with some consoles and container pieces could represent the passenger waiting area in a spaceport. The Benches could also be placed around a stage or large data console piece for a theater or auditorium.

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