Pete earned £25
in eM-4 credit

 
  AN ONGOING NEWSLETTER December 2006


Keeping it Cool
by Pete Garnham

Rooftop detail is often neglected in moderrn terrain pieces. Because it canít usually be seen from the ground it easily gets missed.

In real life all manner of clutter can be found up top, but Air conditioners are a common and distinctive feature on flat roofs.

I scoured the Internet and the local model and railway shops to buy some either ready made or in kit form. I couldnít find any so decided to have a go at making my own.

I searched my kitbash supplies and found some wheels, pipes and a radiator in a 1/25 scale car kit I bought at a yard sale for $1.00. I also found a pack of RC car accessories for clearance in Toys R Us for $1.38.

Construction:

I made a rectangular box shape from Cintra and added a platform inside to house the fans. Cintra is a fantastic material to work with, it cuts and glues easily, it is also textured and takes paint well.

I wasnít quite sure how big to make each unit. I wanted to cover as much ground as possible without making them look either ridiculously large or insignificantly small. As originally made the units were too tall so I cut them down to about waist height to my figures.

Wheels from the car kit were used for the fans: These were glued onto the platform. Where possible smaller wheels with a fan pattern were glued on top of these.

I experimented with mesh for the top of each unit. First I tried metal patio door screen but found it frayed too easily.

I bought some mesh used for making armatures, but before Iíd even opened the packet I settled on plastic patio door screen. It cut easily, was black so didnít need painting and didnít fray. This was glued in place with UHU all purpose glue.

Plastic pipes and other accessories from the car kit, were glued onto the side of the units. To give them better stability the pipes were glued to a piece of Plasticard which itself was glued to the bottom of the unit.

Painting:

I painted the platform and inside edges with a dark gray acrylic before gluing the fans in place. The outside and top edges of the unit were painted sandy beige and then washed with Windsor and Newton peat brown ink to give a rusty, grubby appearance. The fans and exposed metalwork were painted silver with a black wash.

Conclusion:

Im generally pleased with the results. The units were quick to build, cheap and look pretty good on the table. I considered repainting the units grey but decided that since that is the colour of most of my near future terrain Iíd leave them as they were.


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