For me, one of the most fun elements of building scenery is finding common, everyday items that can be turned into scenery and models. This is one of those instances.
I was grocery shopping with my wife a few weeks back, and while perusing the 'fresh produce' isle I happened across a container of mushrooms. I was struck by the unusual shape of their little plastic container, which when turned upside down reminded me of a building or bunker with structural supports along the walls. So I purchased the mushrooms, and several salads later I was ready to turn their container into a Star Wars Tatooine-style building!
The problem with these containers is that they are made of very lightweight plastic, which would not hold up well to the abuses of most gamers, myself included. However, since these are just vaccu-formed shapes, they can be easily used as molds for something more durable, like plaster. I cut a slightly smaller shape out of styrofoam, so that the building would be lighter, put the shape into the container leaving about half an inch between the shape and the interior walls of the container, and then poured the plaster in. The styrofoam floats on top the wet plaster, so I weighted the top down with some heavy books (wrapped in plastic, of course) and left it to dry. An hour later the mold is done, and viola -- instant shape! While the basic shape was still fresh from the mold, I cut the windows into the side (plaster is very easy to cut with a scalpel for a few hours after it comes out of the mold.)
|(This photo shows the blue foam suspended in the plaster, for lightness.)|
This was such an easy project, a welcome break after the long ordeal of Spaceport Speeders! I've since discovered several other similar shapes at the same grocery store, all in the mushroom section (a slightly bigger container for the 'stuffing mushrooms', and a thinner, longer container that had the 'organic mushrooms'. I'll be making a few more similar buildings with these in the future, once I get a little free time. I've included a photo of some of the different shapes.
|(some of the different shapes I found...)|
Oh yeah, the grocery store is called Meijer, I think it is a chain all across the midwest.
Here are a couple more shots of different angles: