I started a project to make a centre piece for a retro sci-fi wargame sometime early last years. The project was inspired by a plastic domed light fitting that I had had lying around for several years and not really know what to do with.
The project has stalled somewhat at the moment, as I work on other things, but I have recently been working up a few more scenic items for the sci-fi game and so I will probably get around to finishing it off sometime very soon!
As I built the model I photographed the whole process and so here is a run through of the construction.
Cut two 18"x 18" squares of 1" polystyrene which will make up the base of the piece. This is quite a good size for me as I have a series of base boards that are either 18x18 or 18x36, so this will fit in nicely with those.
I have also knocked up a simple plan, just to give myself an idea on how to proceed. The ground floor will be set into the top layer of foam, giving an extra inch of depth for headroom within the dome.
There is a central lift shaft which also supports the first floor control room.
This is the base ring for the light fitting.
This is the dome in place.
Now I have to cut the ground floor out of the top sheet of foam and also cut the sloped entry ramp!
I just cut out the top layer of foam using a large hot wire cutter. I set the wire at about a 10 degree angle (just to make it a little more interesting than vertical).
Then I cut a 80mm diameter postal tube to use as the central lift shaft. Also, using 6mm MDF, I have cut the interior dividing walls. Due to time constraints and also some aesthetic concerns, I have abandoned the central ring corridor.
My projects always tend to evolve as I move them into 3D!
The black rectangle in the lower right of the photo is going to be a freight lift door set into the ground beside the dome, designed to suggest that there are more floors below ground.
Dome in place, checking the fit of the inner floors and postal tubes.
Then I cut the connecting doorways between each of the rooms. Normally on a wargaming model I would simply add door frames onto the wall and paint the wall as the door. But for this project I felt it would be nice to use some slightly thinner material for the doors, adding to the realism. I may also model one or two of the doors in the open position.
Here I am gluing the doors to the inside of the lift shaft. I used some of the same tube to make the doors with. Fortunately the difference in the curve was not enough to cause any problems.
I have been spreading flexible filler on the interior floor polystyrene, in an attempt to disguise the polystyrene beading. A slow process of fill, dry, sand, repeat!
I used a smaller diameter tube for the actual lift cabin. I thin the size will be deceptive, once the only way to see it is through the open doors!
The open atrium area is now cut, also the cream coloured object is part of a yogurt pot that is going to be my main computer bank (very retro).
Added doors to the doorways, glued the main walls in place and added a coat of gray paint.
Here you can see the open lift doors and open door on the lower deck.
I added the dividing wall on the upper deck. This will divide the control roof from Hydroponics.
The gray is darker than I would like. I will probably repaint a good bit lighter. Here you can also see the central lift shaft. I have placed a cone of card into it, and hopefully with some concentric rings and tapering lines painted onto the cone it will give an illusion of a deep shaft.
Looking straight down the shaft!
At the moment I am working on strengthening the polystyrene sheets, mounting a card edge to it to match my terrain boards and covering it with papier mache for strength.
That is about where I have gotten to at the moment. I am slowly working on the main entry ramp and door at the moment.
Also I have decided that even though the interior is purely 28mm scale I will keep any obvious scale items off of the outside, so that I can use it for my 15mm sci-fi games as well.
Part 2 of this post will hopefully come along sometime in the next month or two.