So, my intention for the month of August was to continue with my Alternate Star Wars project AND take part in the TerrainTime 2019 challenge being run by the Keith (aka The Angry Piper) over on his blog Dead Dick’s Tavern and Temporary Lodging. I had already bought one of these;
which is a Wilko Half Size Propagator Lid (17.5cm x 21cm) for the absolutely HUGE amount of…75p! Bargain!!
The idea was to use this vacuum-formed plastic cover as the basis for an Imperial-ish bunker, similar to the ones found on Endor or Scarif. Relatively simple plan – trim the rim so it was flush with the ground, tart up the exterior a bit, spray the whole thing, weather it a bit – shouldn’t take too long and should be pretty simple, right?
If I’d stuck to my initial plan…yes. However, I overthought this little project and ended up trying to make a recessed door (like the one on Endor). Over the next two and bit hours there were indications that things were not going according to plan, but rather than listen to these subtle hints from the Universe, I struggled gamely on – until I realised I had well and truly Fucked. It. Up.
Once you’ve reached THAT point, all you can do is sigh and consign your efforts to the bin, because no amount of remedial work will miraculously resurrect your idea.
However, lessons were learnt from this;
- Don’t overthink or over-complicate your builds,
- Cheaper is not necessarily better, and
- Vacuum-formed plastic can be a pain in the arse to cut straight lines out of.
Of course, in between my epic fail with my first attempt at a Star Wars-inspired terrain piece and this post, this was previewed by FFG;
Yup, the OFFICIAL Star Wars Legion Imperial Bunker – RRP seems to be about £69.99…
As we all know my particular opinion on FFG pricing, I won’t reiterate that here, but seeing this item reminded me that I had seen a plastic object with similar detailing knocking about the house somewhere – namely this;
This is a hard plastic fitting wedge, used when installing laminate flooring. It’s usually used to offset the ‘planks’ when laying the flooring, to ensure that it’s square with the walls…or that’s the general idea. Anyway, these wedges are 30mm wide and 70mm long/tall and I thought I could use them to clad a simple box, to make a substitute bunker. However, I only had a couple left over that I could locate, and needed a good 20 or so.
A quick search online and I discovered that B&Q were currently selling off packs of the Diall brand of these wedges, as they were being discontinued, for the low price of £1.00 for a pack of 22. So I bought 2 packs.
Now I had my ‘cladding’, I just needed my walls, so the remains of a cereal box was press-ganged into service and a basic structure built – with the recessed doorway being pre-planned this time, rather than an afterthought.
That’s one of my Dominion Outriders to give an idea of scale – the structure has a footprint of 18cm x 12 cm and is 7cm tall, so as to fit in with the multiples of the individual wedges.
After a certain amount of gluing, the exterior of the structure was clad, as shown below.
As the reverse of each wedge is divided into a 3 x 5 grid of oblongs, I decided to use two of these reversed to create the inner walls of the recess, with the intention of adding a control panel at some point, once I’d found something suitable.
Which then looked like this;
Looking at the original wedges that had started this train of thought and project rolling, I realised that they were from a different manufacturer AND had a different pattern on the reverse – which looked like blast doors to my eyes, so these were glued in place, like so;
All in all, it took about 40 minutes to do this, including building the cardboard structure. Cheap, simple and, in my opinion, looks pretty good.
So, the next stage is to build a roof, add a few external bits and bobs – such as the afore-mentioned control panel and some sensor domes – then give it a liberal coat of black spray primer, followed by a spray of Gunmetal (bought to refurbish a mirror frame, but gives a nice subdued metallic finish) and it will be done.
The interior will have to wait, as the end of August fast approaches and it needs to be usuable/finished by then, so I’ll just concentrate on the exterior.
And I’ve still got another pack of these wedges and am wondering whether they could be used as internal walls, if they were glued back to back…
There should be another post to finish the bunker off, before we move onto how I’ve worked out how to cunningly and cheaply make my own Astromech droids.
You KNOW it’s going to be another potentially Genius idea, so make sure to tune in…