Saturday, December 18, 2010

Clock Radio Building

Pretty much every miniature gamer I know has a few pieces of styrofoam packaging inserts stowed away in their closet, saving them for some future scenery project.  I don't know what it is about styrofoam packing inserts, but the make great buildings!  However, the problem with the white-styrofoam is that it is really fragile, and can't be painted or sealed with any kind of aerosol spray, so they always have a short life span.  Last year, I received a new clock radio for Christmas, and it came with a packing insert made out of a strange, brown, paper-mache material -- THIS kind of stuff.  The shape and texture of the insert looked interesting, like a very weathered sandstone or adobe.  What's more, it was fairly sturdy, so I decided I'd try an experiment and see how it worked as a building.  Unfortunately, I didn't  get any photos of the insert before I started the project, so you'll just have to imagine what it looked like beforehand -- I promise I'll take some in-progress photos next time!

Anyway, this building is supposed to be a power station, sort of like a gas station for Landspeeders. The insert had a lip around the bottom, which I trimmed off with a hobby knife.  There were also some holes and such, which I filled with putty.  Once I had the basic shape ready, I sprayed it all with a sand-texture spray (the stuff the use on outdoor furniture), but the results were underwhelming.  On top of the already-rough texture of the insert, you could hardly see the fine sand texture, so I need not have bothered.  After this dried, I added a bunch of mechanical components from my bits box.  This included parts from the "Platformer" power station and pumping station sets, plasticard, a door from a Galoob Action Fleet playset, and the tops of some toy missiles.  The roof of the building had a big hole, so I cut a big piece of plasticard and glued this in, to make a place for models to stand.  The junk pile around the back was, well, a bunch of junk.  I'm planning on putting a ladder on the back as well, once I find something suitable.  Then, the whole thing was glued down to a piece of 1/8 inch tempered hardboard for the base.  Then the whole thing was painted and the base was flocked in the usual manner.

Christmas is coming, and I'll on the lookout for some more interesting packing materials hiding in the boxes!


  1. Awesome piece!
    Great job modeling and painting it!! :)

  2. Very nice, as you mentioned I too have a bunch of that stuff hanging around and hoping that Christmas will provide more. I really like your blog and the techniques you use (thanks again for the sandstorm idea) I did a few buildings for my Quar use that packing stuff check out my blog for a few pictures.

  3. Nice work on your building, Bandit86... the packing insert you found has a great shape!

  4. Awesome job! I have some cardboard packing inserts I've been trying to paint. Thanks for the advice!