“Chewie and me got into a lot of places more heavily guarded than this…”

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;

Wilko Half Size Propagator Lid 17.5 x 21cm Image

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;

  1. Don’t overthink or over-complicate your builds,
  2. Cheaper is not necessarily better, and
  3. 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;

Image result for star wars legion bunker

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…

Jez

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15 thoughts on ““Chewie and me got into a lot of places more heavily guarded than this…”

  1. A worthy project for a worthy game. Like you, I have tended to make a lot of my own terrain over the last couple of years, partly to save money (a changing scale for my historical stuff meant I had to adapt quickly, or invest heavily in hard to obtain specialist 54mm items), and partly because the things I needed for my games simply weren`t available in the style I needed.

    I will be a traitor here and admit, when it comes to a Star Wars bunker, if I really REALLY needed one for my games, I`d probably most likely just go and buy one (I base most my terrain purchases on how much use I think I will get out of them in successive campaign games). I do very much enjoy buying something special and treasuring it ever more, finding interesting ways to get these choice treasures into my games as much as possible to get value out of them. But making your own terrain has its own deeply satisfying rewards as well. I often marvel at your creations, like your Blackwell church and the Tavern. End of the day that’s all part and parcel of the hobby. There isn’t a right or wrong way of collecting (putting together) your games 🙂 Only personal choice.

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    • Thanks Stevie. I have to admit to enjoying the creative side of repurposing various bits and bobs to fit in with my ‘vision’ of whatever genre I’m currently working in. I’ve now worked out how to make inexpensive astromech droids – from components that the majority of hobbyists will have knocking about, so that will feature in a future post. Plus a freebie figure from this year’s Salute has been co-opted for this project.. and an old sandcastle bucket.

      However, it won’t JUST be modelling – there will be some games played too. After all, that is kind of the point of building all this stuff. 😁

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  2. Ohh… The Church and Tavern… thanks Steve, I hadn’t lusted after those models for a while…

    The FFG bunker is wonderfully beautiful. But way too much IMO for a kit. That same price gets me 3 nice kits from CFM or Sarissa. I get who their market is, but… Right now i am off to buy a bunch of those wedges. I can see all sorts of uses in terrain building. I think 150-200 should be a good stash. Card or foam core a fully cpapable of creating nice bunkers. Thanks for the inspiration Jez

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    • Part of the reason I post stuff like this is to prove that good looking terrain, and indeed figures, don’ t have to cost you an arm and a leg. A lot of the big manufacturers try to convince you that theirs are the only products that you need and this just isn’t true. If you want ‘official’ miniatures, yes, you’ll have to buy their product, but can you play in whatever genre you choose at a feaction of the cost? Of course you can! Early wargames used cardboard chits to represent your units, so whilst we now have the option of highly detailed figures to represent your forces, it is only an OPTION, rather than the ONLY way to play. It’s your money, so spend it on what YOU actually want, rather than what the companies say you SHOULD buy.

      200 wedges?! That’s a crapload…what are you going to build? I’m intrigued…

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  3. This will be interesting to see in a game. There are so many opportunities to bring this sort of terrain alive on the table. The beauty of Star Wars if the diverse number of locations and thematic setting you can employ.

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    • This particular structure could be a building in and of itself or merely the top level of an underground facility – a shield generator, a Sentinel stronghold or some kind of dubious research facility. Star Wars dungeoncrawl in the style of Resident Evil or Space Hulk anyone? Mwah-ha-ha!!! What lurks beneath the surface? Probably at least brains in jars…

      Stay tunes – final part of this build should be up later today.

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  4. Dude! This looks awesome and it’s not even finished! Great job!
    I have been, as we Americans say, “dragging ass” this month. I didn’t get most of my lofty goals started, never mind completed. Still, there’s still time, and I should have something done by month’s end.
    I would look somewhat ridiculous hosting a terrain challenge and not contributing anything, right?

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    • Cheers Keith. I was getting a little concerned that we’d not heard anything from your good self regarding this challenge and, had your comment not been posted, the next stage was going to a be a PM. Good to see you’re still out there, even if you’ve yet to make any progress. Then again, Anton’s hexagonal tower AND Playmobil Coliseum will probably trump both our efforts, so as long as you’ve built something by the end of the month, you can’t say you’ve failed.

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