Always in the background, or perhaps on the back-burner, my very slowly developing 15mm Sci-fi collection gets a bit of attention from time to time. Until discovering the simple joys of using Dragon Rampant for platoon-sized skirmishes this ‘project’ was just drifting. It’s still drifting, but now with more purpose!
I’ve been meaning to make some hard-standing bases for a while and finally got around to it at the weekend. Took about an hour altogether. Easily repeatable, I intend to make some more soon. ‘Soon’ being a timeframe that’s subject to drift of course. They are made from 4mm cork sheet, painted and dry-brushed to a lightish grey. I cut out a quick card stencil and applied a simple pattern with roughly applied yellow paint.
These bases represent man-made or pre-fab surfaces laid down in normal/rural terrain as support for buildings, machinery, vehicle parking, etc. Short of making entire terrain tiles of it (which I still could I suppose) this seems to provide a decent look for military or research facilities in the types of games I play. I’m not aiming for urban settings or major structures, just low-key scenery for small missions and skirmishes.
The very kind Count Belisarius sent me these plastic ruins that were surplus to requirements. They’re going to fit in very well with my 15mm Frostgrave setting.
They arrived as assembled kits, in shiny black plastic. I based them on cork tile and added some rubble and patches of plaster to blend them in with my existing scenery. I also covered over a couple of electrical cables, presumably they’re originally designed for W40K or similar.
They then received a matt black undercoat, followed by dark grey, light grey and white dry-brushes. This was very quick to do, so they’re all finished within 48 hours of arriving.
This is a nice cheap kit from Sarissa Precision that a lot of people seem to have picked up. It can fit into a variety of settings and periods, and basically just looks good on the table.
Mine has been painted with my usual colour pallet, with sand added to the base to blend into my terrain boards. I did add some roughly-cut card strips to the roof to rough it up a bit, as the standard look was a bit too neat!
Quick to assemble, quick to paint. What’s not to like?
This is an MDF kit I picked up at Partizan, which I decided would fit well into my Frostgrave scenery collection. Blotz offer the same model in 15mm, 20mm and 28mm. I went for the 20mm one as I thought it would make a more impressive piece for 15mm.
It was relatively easy to assemble, and the online instructions gave a useful tip about putting some weight in the bottom section for ballast. I loaded it with 2p pieces. I may base the model at some point to give it some steps up to the door and a bit more stability.
Some of the upper section needed painting before final assembly, which I realised just in time. It’s the sort of thing I usually spot just after I’ve applied the glue!
A couple of Battle Valor 15mm figures give it a decent sense of scale.
It’s been a bit slow on the figure painting and gaming fronts lately so I’ve tried to keep going with a few other bits and pieces.
I am working on some base boards, which need to be ready for a big Sharp Practice game at the end of July. They’re not exactly picturesque while being prep’d for painting, but I’l post pics when they’re done.
Meanwhile, I have managed to knock together a couple of pieces that will serve as monuments or temples for various settings. They’ll be nice and big for 15mm Frostgrave, and about right for hiding a few 28mm figures in a skirmish.
They’re made from wine corks, cork tile and styrofoam, like a lot of the other scenery I’ve made this year. The domes are the finials from a recently retired curtain rail. I had my wargamer’s eye on them as I took it down!
Now to finally finish off those jungle bases I’ve been putting off for so long!
I have finished off a few additional bits of scenery for my Frostgrave set-up. The main piece is a larger bridge, and there are some more rubble piles, columns and stone walkways/jetties too. I added a pit as well, as it’s one of the extra scenery pieces you can use with the Ulterior Motives cards.
The bridge was designed by my wife, who’s taken an interest in Frostgrave and played in the first game (2 crossbowmen on the roof, I ask you…!). I did the construction under close supervision, and added optional leg extensions to allow the bridge to also span taller gaps. It was mostly made from styrofoam, but has an arched cobbled roadway using a sheet of Slaters plasticard.
A couple of drinking fountains:
There are some more bits and pieces I want to do, and I’m still finding it fun so they should happen soon!
So, after a year or so of being convinced that making a my own 28mm Frostgrave scenery was just too daunting (and a future storage challenge too far), I’ve gone ahead and done it in 15mm instead!
In the end this made a lot of sense. I’ve already got a pretty good 15mm fantasy collection, both for conventional wargaming and for my dungeon game. This includes characters, monsters and some minor scenery pieces. Now, after a January styrofoam, cork and card blizzard I have produced a 3×3 ft ruined playground for wizards and their warbands to explore and fight over.
It was a lot more fun to do than I expected and I’m happy with the outcome so far. There are some more pieces to do, and most importantly there are new base boards to make. The ones in these pictures are my old winter boards and I’ll be going for something with cobbles in the future. Hopefully February will see all this finished.
I’ve had a solo test game and the 15mm figures certainly help make the whole set-up seem grander and more imposing than I would have been able to achieve in 28mm. Modelling buildings and ruins in this scale is also a lot more forgiving. I’m a basic level modeller and happy to try for a consistent look rather than finely miniaturised architecture.
Some of this scenery can also be used with my dungeon game, and for future plans for a Dark Ages/Middle Earth hybrid skirmish setting – ruins of Rome, Arnor, etc.
I’ll post more pics as I finish new bits, and hopefully some in-game shots soon.
Around the Christmas break (which was very pleasant, though short) I have managed to finish a few more bits towards my 15mm sci-fi project.
I was given a pair of 4Ground building kits for my birthday, and have managed to get them done within 2 months of receipt – which is good going in my book!
They’re very nice, and come with removable roofs. They were fairly fiddly for someone as impatient a model-maker as me, but nothing was permanently damaged in the assembly. I decided to tie them in a bit to my other sci-fi scenery by touching up the black edging with dark green.
A new scout squad (very old TTG Laserburn figs) is checking them out:
I have also done a few other pieces, including some containers and comms equipment. Here are a couple of recent vehicle additions. A Brigade Models jeep-type thing on the left, and a Ground Zero Games APC on the right.
I’ve painted some more figures too, but the basing isn’t done yet – so no pics.