Terrain Spotlight: Cardboard Tube Storage Tank
Posted on Monday Jul 30, 2018 at 05:00pm in Tutorials
- by Iain Wilson
It's been a few weeks since I built any terrain and I'm starting to feel withdrawal symptoms, so this week I have busted out the foamcore and terrain sprues, raided the recycling bin, and built a quick little storage tank for my newly assembled elite Epirian SecDef units to hide behind.
The main body of the tank is made from a small Pringles can. This of course requires you to remove the Pringles from said can, which my wife was happy to take care of for me. If you don't know anyone willing to make this sacrifice for you, you could use any other appropriately-sized tube. For the tank on my plantation dome, I used a metal tin. You could also use soft drink cans, cardboard postal tubes, or even roll your own out of cardboard or plastic sheet.
I used foamcore for the end supports. For the uninitiated, foamcore (also sometimes called foamboard) is a craft board that is comprised of a thin sheet of expanded polystyrene foam sandwiched between two sheets of stiff paper or thin card. Because it's lightweight but fairly strong, it's a fantastic material for building terrain.
I marked out the shapes that I wanted on the foamcore with a pencil, and then cut them out using a sharp hobby knife and a steel ruler.
As I wanted a worn concrete look for the ends, I used the hobby knife to roughly shave away the edges along the top and sides, and then used fine sandpaper to smooth the cut edges of the paper down.
For the access port on the top of the tank, I took the square hatch and corner reinforcing from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue and cut a piece of plasticard sheet to an appropriate size to fit them all on it with a little room to spare for visual effect.
I then cut four strips to run around the outside of the top plate. To replicate the curve of the tank for the two strips that would run across it, I positioned the bottom of the Pringles can on the plasticard lined up with the bottom corners of the strip and traced around it with a pencil, and then cut along the resultant arc with my hobby knife. Because the bottom aluminium strip on the can is slightly larger in diameter than the actual can, this doesn't create a perfect fit, but it gets it close enough that you can sit it in place to see where it needs a little shaving with the knife to sit flush.
The strips were glued in place with plastic cement, and when that was set I flipped the construction over and glued the terrain sprue components in place as well.
To add a little detail to the outsides of the tank ends, I cut some sections off the long support struts on the terrain sprue, and also assembled a little computer terminal by trimming down the comm panel and cutting a piece off the end of the lintel piece.
One end got two of the support strut pieces, and the other end another two strut pieces, the computer terminal and a small pipe fitting, all glued in place with superglue.
I then glued the foamcore pieces onto the ends of the tube with superglue. One end of the tube is rolled cardboard, which glues just fine to the foamcore. For the tube's aliminium end, I gave the superglue a little extra help with a primer from an 'all plastics' two-part superglue.
A little more superglue was used to stick the access port in place on top.
The final step before painting was to paint the exposed foam on the foamcore sections with PVA glue. This protects the foam when the base coat is sprayed on, as most spraypaints will partially eat the foam. If you're painting with a brush, or with a specific foam-friendly spray, this step is unnecessary.
I basecoated the whole tank with a Rustoleum quick-drying grey primer to get a consistent base for painting over, and then hit the tank itself with a spray of Army Painter Dragon Red.
I could have saved some repainting here by masking off the ends to avoid overspray from the red, but it didn't really seem worth the bother. I just used a large, flat brush to add another coat of grey (in this case Vallejo Neutral Grey) over the end pieces, added some weathering to the red using a sponge and some Vallejo Heavy Charcoal (you can find my tutorial on sponge weathering here) and added a layer of Vallejo Beasty Brown over the terrain sprue components.
To create a nice concrete look, I drybrushed over the end pieces with Vallejo Light Grey, and then added a highlight with a lighter drybrush of P3 Morrow White. The brown components received a heavy drybrush of Citadel Boltgun Metal (now called 'Leadbelcher', but I'm still working through a lot of old paint!)
Next up, I gave all of the metal parts a generous wash of Army Painter Strong Tone, and put it aside to dry.
While the wash was doing its thing, I cut an 8"x8" square of masonite, sprayed it with a coat of grey primer, and drybrushed with the Light Grey and some white. I also marked out a square in front of where the pipe fitting would sit on the end of the tank, and painted in some hazard stripes. (If you are interesed, you can find a tutorial on painting hazard stripes here.) Then I glued the tank in place using some superglue on the bottoms of the end pieces (this was fine as I had included the underside edges when I painted the exposed foam with PVA glue. Don't put superglue directly onto expanded polystyene - it doesn't end well) and added some patches of drybrushed Beasty Brown to dirty everything up. Which left the tank looking like this:
To build your own storage tank, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, or any of the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge model range, from the webstore here.
As always, feel free to pop along and share your work, or ask any Maelstrom's Edge- or hobby-related questions on the Comm Guild Facebook page!
For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.