Thursday, December 18, 2014

Shanty Building How To

After my last post, a few people asked me how I made my shanty buildings and what parts I used. Here is a quick how to and a few tips on making post apocalypitc/sci fi/grimdark style buildings.

For the basic structure I used a set of old generic adobe buildings I made in the late 90s for Warhammer 40k (to be used as generic desert or Ork buildings). They were really simple structures with minimal detail beyond wooden doors and shutters. I used them for years for 40k before selling them for a song to Chalfant (Minis of Wrath blog fame) to be used for historical games. They got many years of use and when I recently got back into 40k, I asked Chal if I could buy them back. Once I had them in my grubby hands again I realized how boring they were for 40k, so I decided to trick them out.

When I originally built them I just made several generic block shapes from foam core, cut out windows and doors and covered the walls with textured latex house paint (get the finest grit you can). Real basic stuff. They were painted in a sand color and drybrushed white.

Still, they weren't very grim dark or rusty enough. Thus the series of recent posts on making them into shanties even the lowest scum hivedweller would be happy to live in.

Below are some tips and pics of the basic process of how I turned boring adobe into rusted hovels of a grimdark future.

Below are some of the plastic bits I use from both Evergreen and Plastruct. From left to right is a large piece of angle iron, a piece of channel iron, a smaller piece of angle iron, and a wide and shallow I beam.

angle iron, channel iron, and I beam.

I use the angle iron for corners of the building (then add rivets-explained later). I use the channel iron as brackets for the electrical conduit lines running up the outside walls. I use the small channel iron for details and for adding edging to plates. Not pictured is an octagon shaped rod I use to make bolt heads as well.

For sheet plastic I use deck plating, corrugated sheet, and tin roofing sheet, all in O scale. Besides those I also use plain plastic sheet in a variety of thickness for various parts. For screens I use plastic screen for porches that comes in a big roll. It's easy to cut and use for all kinds of metal grating details such as the door on the roof below.

For the floor of this second story I added various random pieces of sheet metal with rivets as well as a few deck plating pieces, and a very thin plastic sheet to mimic hasty patches.

For the screen door cover to the stairwell I cut out two hollow rectangles of the same size in plastic sheet and glued a piece of screen to the back of one sheet then sandwiched that between the second piece of plastic to make the door. I added a handle and hinge in plastic rod.

Here is the screen door glued in place. I later ended up ditching this door because I didn't like the way it looked and it blocked the other door.

Here is the bottom floor showing the stairs and the supports that hold up the floor above it. I like my buildings to all have removable roofs.

Here is the floor in place.

I used the door from a toy truck for the awning.

The front door to this shanty fort is from the set of plastic bulkheads in the Necromunda set.

Third floor roof in place.

Interior shot, second floor.

Interior shot, bottom floor.

For the electrical conduit running on the outside walls, I use hollow plastic rod and mark where I want it bent, then warm it with a candle (it heats up FAST so be careful) then bend it into shape and let cool. I then use small pieces of channel iron as brackets to hold it in place.

For rivets, I use a slightly time consuming, but easy and effective method. I bought small pins with flat heads and then drill holes where I want rivets. I then snip off the pin just below the flat head. I use a rare earth magnet glued onto the end of a paint brush handle to pick up and hold the pin head, then dab it into glue and glue in place in the drilled hole. It's a little time consuming snipping off the pin heads and fiddly getting them in place, but the magnet helps. If you snip a bunch of pin heads and store them for later, you can speed the process up by drilling holes and then just gluing them in as you go. I like using pin heads because the rivets are uniform and you don't have to sand them or fiddle with them.

Stay tuned for my next post about how to weather your terrain with that rusted iron look. It's a no pigment or powder technique that uses three colors of paint and a large drybrush. It's easy and it's fast...

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