Thursday 19 July 2012

Fast Cheap 28mm Infinity Terrain - Space Station - Part I

Buoyed by the ease at which my Haqquislam/generic third world town sprung up, I have decided to forge ahead with my second project, a space station.

The Goal
Playable and reasonably presentable in 12 hours (or a weekend)
Under $100
Unified  (coherent "theme")
Must fill a table and be modular

The big picture
I wanted to do a station with 3 levels based on a simplified versions of the accomodation, control and powerplant elements of this Sky Rig. I also wanted all the pieces to be modular so I could re-arrange it if I wanted. 

Mock Up Mark I
I had a few ideas - central to which was the use of flyscreen to be "grille" flooring, and the use of straws for piping.

Here is  a corridor section prototype. 

The blobby glue and chunky foam may not be ideal for a slick space station
The fly-screen grill idea was a good one though; the pipes could be cool if I "make them work"

Although I liked the idea of a grille walkway, I was immediately struck by a few concerns:

(a) the "rough cut" look that suited crudely built Middle Eastern humpies fine is not necessarily ideal for a space station
(b) the PVA glue was blobby and obvious - but how else to secure the flyscreen?
(c) raising the deck level necessitates doing it to ALL sections in order to stay modular - using more materials and causing more "fiddly-ness" when planning room joins
(d) the straw "piping" was a bit obscured - maybe locate them centrally instead of against the walls

So - is the grille look worth the effort? The blobby glue would suggest not.  Is there a better way to secure it?

Possible solutions:
Have the pipes end INSIDE the end "bulkheads" and use pins to give support
Place the pipes up the inner wall instead of on the floor to make them more obvious
Place the grille FLAT flush to the floor to keep floor level consistent.

Time Elapsed: 15 minutes
Cost: $4 for 1 metre of flyscreen

Prototype Mark 2
Here is my second attempt incorporating a number of the ideas and solutions from Mark 1.

The simpler floor does not look as good but the piping has improved

 Changes Made:
Mesh applied direct to floor; 2cm side walls to pin it down
Pipes made prominent by attaching to walls

A much "cleaner" design with less room for error. The "flush" floor lacks the depth of Mark 1 but will be immeasurable easier to fit to other terrain.  The piping can be painted metallic colours to add detail.  The straight walls leave less room for error than the V-cutaways of Mark 1 and allow a 40mm TAG base to pass through.

Problems: The mesh still isn't securely pinned.

Solutions: Replace the 2cm "end wall" column strips with a full "end wall" with a 4cm high by 3cm opening. That would pin the mesh down on the edges that you can see are not secured properly in the pic. Downside - there would have to be a 1cm lip - knee high to a mini - every 10cm of corridor.

Time elapsed: 15 minutes

Extra Ideas: I will look  around for pre-made bulkhead doors - from memory Antenociti's Workshop and GZG makes them.


  1. On the screening: you might try 'mod-podge'. I recently used it on some heavier screening and it work well. It also can be brushed on over the top of the screen which makes placing it easier. Good luck, looking forward to this new project!

  2. Thanks for the tip - I'll get a jar. It might help pin down the mesh on "version 2" without resorting to a full side wall.

  3. Thought I'd drop you a link to some of my own experiments with corredor designs:

  4. Thanks Angus. Plasticard looks a lot crisper and seems to suit corridors better than foamboard. I'd definitely go that way but for concerns about cost/effectiveness