Home Forums Sci Fi General Sci-Fi Sci-fi Scratch Builders Resource

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    Angel Barracks

    So I thought we should have a topic that shows the various bits and bobs that are useful for scratch building.

    I don’t have any pictures to hand but cable ties are great as 6mm ladders or louvered vents.
    I will dig through my stuff and pop up some images of the various normal day to day stuff I think is handy for sci-fi scratch building, I hope you will too.

    Angel Barracks

    Laptop keys and fruitshoot lids for starters:

    See a build HERE that was based around that.


    For 28mm, dubbly pegs make nice gothic pillars (if you are doing 28mm grimdark buildings).

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!


    Hi, what is a dubbly peg?


    Maybe thats a local term/brand name for them. They are plastic clothes pegs:

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!


    I don’t have any pictures.

    Cocktail straws, about the size from a Capri Sun juice. Small square beads with letters on are the perfect size for the straws. One bead on each end and glued onto a lolly stick and you can build a 6mm overland pipeline.

    I have built loads of sort of desert domes using the lids from baby food fruit pouches. Photos to come.


    I might take a picture later, but the little pump mechanisms from soap dispensers often have a great look for industrial terrain and high-tech milieus like labs or spaceship engine rooms. They can be difficult to take apart, though.

    By the way, when working with this general sort of plastic, do you guys do any pre-paint preparations to make them take paint better? I like to abrade the surface a bit (though it’s hopeless getting into the nooks and crannies) and then undercoat with gesso.


    You know, I think I have a stock pile of just about every item mentioned in this thread so far

    Another handy item are those flat cables from inside computers, great for making tank threads and if you wrap a small piece around a pin = instant gatling gun.

    One piece of advise I always give to people getting into scratch building is: don’t just look for interesting looking bits but try to find things you can easily get more of(and remember where you got them from). Be advised though, this can lead to boxes full of interesting looking bits of which you have no idea for what you are ever going to use them for….    but someday….   no really….      I mean ….      just look at them…       there’s an interesting project in there somewhere….      

    If you like small scale skirmish, check out http://planetares6.blogspot.be/?m=0


    Jello fruit pots for small 15mm domes or big 6mm ones.

    For my birthday a few years back a friend gave me his bits box. He was into mecha so lots of goodness in there. There was a bunch of sprue as well which can be heated and stretched to make everything from fairly heavy rods to very fine whip antenna you could use on 6mm tanks. Don’t forget clear sprue either.

    At work we use a particular style of paper towel and the cardboard cores are fairly heavy and have an interesting end cap. Along with some CD spindles these have been turned into a couple of 15/25mm temples and a broken pipeline. More will be used as wall towers along with styrofoam scavenged out of a dumpster.

    The edge texture on broken bead board makes for an interesting texture for ruined walls.

    The cardboard core from a laminate used to make windows shatter resistant was used as the basis for a flying Martian eyrie.

    Fuller’s teasel seed pods make great alien bushes in 25mm, small “trees” in 15 and big trees in 6mm. I also use them for Martian zarebas – thorn fences.

    Wooden bird houses from the dollar store make interesting huts for 25mm. Especially when decorated with plastic plant bits also from the dollar store. They also have 12″ square “grass” mats that can be cut into strips to make hedges or you can pull each plastic tuft off to make small bushes.The dollar store is also the go to place for cheap clay, really cheap acrylic paint and of course all, your Matchbox/Hot Wheels sized Car Wars needs. There have been a few Hot Wheels models that you can drop right onto a 15mm SF table. Don’t forget the pet section for really odd looking aquarium plants, gravel and the occasional building or ruin. (Though proper pet stores are better for ruins. You’ll pay a lot more but still less than from GW.) Other kids toys will give you cheap dinosaurs and farm animals as well as wooden or plastic “bones” kits. Plastic vehicles don’t have to look that good if you are going break them down for parts or smash them up for wrecks and barriers. Look out too for trains and farm vehicles that provide interesting looking shapes to play with.

    Spent tea leaves – I dry them out and mix them with mis-tint paint to make coarse flock. I have some MDF dust set aside for a finer variant.

    Risk 2210 A.D. board game. The pieces can be used as is for robots/mechs in 15 and 6mm. The building like pieces can be used a maintenance or communication drones or if you are evil like me – mobile IEDs for Gruntz. The missile units can be cut off their legs to make micro missile turrets for Car Wars.

    Octagonal dental floss containers make interesting turrets

    Dead black jeans – cut the legs into strips and use as flexible roads edge with flock or fine gravel stuck on with PVA if you wish.

    Pins. Round heads can be used as radomes or bearings or just as decoration. Straight pins can be used as a source of thin wire – the classic gamer purpose being 6mm pikes.

    There’s more…..

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