Five Parsecs – Scratchbuilding

I do enjoy a bit of scratchbuilding so long as it’s not too challenging, and getting into Five Parsecs was a good opportunity to make a few bits and pieces. I tend to use simple materials like cork (tiles and those liberated from wine bottles), card and mdf and I don’t really do much careful planning or designing – I generally just start with an idea and get cutting and gluing.

Some work in progress. These are generic fuel/energy tanks or towers, made from wine corks, pre-cut MDF bases and ladders, and bits of card. I wanted them to basically look like big industrial batteries.

Small Shuttles – useful for all sorts of scenarios, or just as clutter/cover. These are made from thin card and are loosely based on an old resin model my mate has.

Cargo Haulers – More general scenery, good for spaceports, etc. These started from a thin piece of styrofoam, the rest is thin card as per the shuttles.

Raised Platform – varying heights work well and look good for skirmish games. This is simply a block of polystyrene clad in styrofoam that’s been rolled with an ‘industrial’ texture roller from Green Stuff World, with a cork top. This re-uses materials and textures (floor tiles and walls) from my existing Bug Hunt game.

Home-made decals. These are just knocked out in MS Excel using clipart and text boxes, and printed on normal paper. I use them for vehicles, buildings and plant/equipment. I find that using some repeat liveries can help game settings look a bit more consistent and realistic.

Finished effect:

There are a couple of bought models in the foreground but the rest is scratchbuilt. The light pylons are wooden string ends from window blinds and the hexagonal pipe/tunnel is the container from a poly dice set. The boards are 1 foot squares of marine ply with ready-mixed plaster spread on with a knife, and painted in grey tones.

I don’t use proper weathering techniques, everything is just drybrushed with a grey or sandy tone. Cork and cheap card have a nice roughness to them which makes this a simple process.

More scratchbuilding in the next post!

3 thoughts on “Five Parsecs – Scratchbuilding”

  1. Sorry Dave, I’m massively behind with admiring your craftsmanship.
    This is all really rather clever, particularly the shuttles.

    And now I’ve sent for Five Parsecs…….


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