Terrain Spotlight: Comm Tower
Posted on Monday Jun 05, 2017 at 05:00pm in Models
- by Iain Wilson
One of the things I really enjoy about working with the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue is that with a little imagination and a sharp knife, there are so many potential uses for most of the parts. I think I've used the ladders, energy fences and pipe fittings far more as other things than I have for their original purposes.
This week's build is no exception, as I had a bit of a brain-flash as I was looking at the energy fence posts and decided to build a communications array!
The main focus of this terrain piece is, of course, the cross-shaped array on the roof. The transceiver panels on this array are each built from a fence post and a series of hexagonal shapes cut from a sheet of plasticard. I cut a few test panels from cardboard to get the size and shape right, and then used one of those cardboard testers as a template to mark out the plasticard.
Once cut and cleaned up, the panels had a small length of plastic rod glued to the back, and then glued in place onto the fence post.
The four resultant transceiver arms were glued onto a pair of trapezoid windows to form the array. I sat this on a post made from plastic tubing and some pipe fittings, with a control panel mounted on the front for servicing and fine-tuning - because as any sci-fi buff would tell you, intergalactic regulations require any piece of important equipment to have a control interface positioned somewhere accessible from outside, but exposed to enemy shooting.
The array obviously needed something to stand on, so I made a basic building frame out of foamcore.
I set a hatch into the roof, and surrounded this with a railing made from a cut-up ladder - because while the control panel needs to be exposed, the Epirian Foundation still (on paper, at least) follows strict OH&S standards.
I wanted to use trapezoid windows in the sides of the building, to tie back to the shapes in the array, but they needed to look different to the array centre to reduce the number of people looking at the building and asking why it had windows on its aerial. So I cut some pieces of aluminium mesh to fit snugly inside the window frames.
With everything glued in place, the comm building looks like this:
I kept the painting on this one a fairly simple grey, to match some other terrain from previous articles. The building section was sprayed with a medium grey undercoat, and the array sprayed red on the less important parts and black on the transceiver plates and 'moving' parts.
The building then had a light spray with a lighter grey, pitched from above so that the darker grey would stay in the indentations and form some natural shadows. The array and the metal parts on the building were painted using the weathered metal recipe from the article here. Then I finished up with weathering added with drybrushed brown, the door light and control panel screen painted in blue, and then added a couple of printed signs and some fineliner graffiti on the side and back walls.
A cheery, grey city in progress...
If you would like to build your own communications array, you can pick up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue from the webstore here. As always, feel free to share your creations 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.