Terrain Tutorial & Templates: Vending Machines
Posted on Monday Aug 13, 2018 at 06:00pm in Tutorials
- by Iain Wilson
Someone on the Maelstrom's Edge Facebook Group page this week was looking for templates for making vending machines. While I have put together a bit of a range of assorted scatter terrain, this was something that I hadn't got around to yet, and so this seemed like a perfect excuse to have a look into it. As a result, I wound up spending a chunk of this week playing around with some cardboard and foamcore, and sketching up some panel designs in Gimp, with the end result below:
I have put together two different designs, which you can download from the Maelstrom's Edge website here. The first is a basic, square box design, while the second is a slightly more complicated build with a rounded front. The download also includes a sheet of assorted fronts for both types of machine. My original fronts were all somewhat tongue-in-cheek, because I like to amuse myself by inserting random bits of dubious humour into my gaming tables. As I realise that this isn't to everyone's taste though, I have also included a set of less silly, generic fronts. Of course, you could also just make your own, using mine as a template.
I recommend printing the templates directly onto thin card - I used some old manilla folders cut to A4 size, which is light enough to go through most inkjet printers but solid enough when assembled to survive on the gaming table. Alternatively, you could print on paper and then glue the templates to thin card and assemble from there.
The page with the fronts on can be printed on paper, although I recommend using a good quality printer paper as glue can bleed through and affect the colours on cheaper, thinner paper.
The square machine is extremely easy to assembly. Just cut along all of the solid lines with a sharp hobby knife, and score lightly along the dotted lines without cutting all of the way through. Then fold along the dotted lines and glue the tabs inside the resultant box. Superglue is fine for this if you are confident of getting everything lined up right, or you can use PVA glue to give yourself a little more working time. The small rectangle piece is glued inside the front, over the rectangular dispenser hole.
Then glue the tabs on the bottom of the vending machine onto a piece of MDF or masonite, cut just a little larger than the bottom of the machine - I used some 3mm MDF left over from a building kit, cut to 35mm x 30mm. This helps to give the machine some weight, to help it stay put on the gaming table.
It's a good idea to paint the machine at this point, and then glue on the front after cutting out the white rectangle. Then grab a control panel from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, trim off the thin strips on the sides as below, and then glue in place above the dispensing slot - it's up to you whether you paint the panel before or after gluing it in place.
The end result will look something like this:
For the rounded front machine, you will need a little foamcore or MDF, to form the top and bottom of the machine. This avoids trying to form a curved cardboard surface using a series of little tabs to hold everything together on the curve - that's fiddly and never looks quite right.
As with the square machine, cut out the template by cutting along the solid lines, scoring lightly on the dotted lines, and then folding. There is one dotted line that folds the opposite way to the others - this line is grey instead of black. To get this line to fold in the right place, place a ruler along the line and push from the other side to crease the card up along the ruler's edge. As with the square version, there is a small rectangle that glues inside the dispensing slot.
The separate base template is used as a tracing guide to mark out your foamcore or MDF. You will need to mark out two of these for each machine, and then cut them out.
Once you have cut out the base pieces, fold the machine around them without any glue to check the fit, and trim up or recut them as necessary to get a snug fit. Then glue in the bottom piece as pictured below. Note: If you are using foamcore, you can't use superglue on the exposed foam edges. Use PVA glue instead. It's fine to use superglue to glue the bottom flaps to the paper bottom of the foamcore, though.
Then glue the top piece in flush with the top edge of the machine's sides, as below. As before, use PVA glue here as you're gluing to the foam.
You can then add a wood base and control panel as for the square machine above, paint, and then add a front panel onto the curved face of the machine. The end result will look something like this:
If you would like to have a go at building your own vending machines, the templates are here, and 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.