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Kitbashing and recycling packaging for sci-fi terrain

Kitbashing and recycling packaging for sci-fi terrain

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Project Blog by capta1n5kyhawk Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

I’ve been keeping a hold of various bits of packaging, different plastic parts and gathering up some old model kits to try and get a collection of things that can be used to create some sci-fi terrain pieces. I really like the look of the post apocalyptic ash wastes aesthetic that I’ve seen in old Necromunda magazines and pictures and I want to build some kitbashed items that could be used in table top gaming, wether it be Warhammer 40k or Necromunda itself. The plan is to make a number of individual pieces that all fit into the look and feel I’m going for, and to take pictures along the way to help show where the models are coming from. Also aiming to get lots of nice weathering techniques tried out and to see what works.

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LED Bulb Packaging

Tutoring 16
Skill 16
Idea 16
LED bulb packaging and other bits view 1LED bulb packaging and other bits view 1
The other sideThe other side

So here’s the starting point for terrain item one… it starts with the packaging for a pair of LED bulbs. I immediately recognised this packaging as being the basis for some sort of sub surface moisture pump. A vital piece of Ash Wastes equipment.

Onto that goes a few pieces from various places, including a nice industrial fan from Zinge Industries. This helps give the impression of a sort of turbine driving a pump, I think. A few ports for connecting hoses to are dotted around for collecting the  condensed moisture and spitting out the waste.

Completed model primed

Tutoring 17
Skill 17
Idea 17
No Comments

With the various parts all super glued together, and some rough filling around gaps with liquid green stuff, the model is primed. Suddenly it starts to look like something.


Some colour now with an all over spray with some brown rattle can paint. Onto that goes a few different tones of brown paint, just randomly dotted around for variation. A mix of stippling and dry brushing.

Finally a few colours of weathering powders are added and that’s when it really starts to look like rust. Love this stage. Need to find a good way of locking weathering powders in place other than with Matt spray. I use the GW spray for this, but always feel that it sort of blows away the powder to a degree. But then you also lose that dry, dusty, rusty look that the raw powders have.

Weathering with salt

Tutoring 18
Skill 17
Idea 17
No Comments
Maybe over did itMaybe over did it

Having watched a lot of people on YouTube using the salt weathering technique, I wanted to have a go too. So a spray of water over the top of the model and then sea salt sprinkled over. The salt sticks to the wet and that’s about it. I then sprayed it with my top colour, another rattle can enamel paint.

It went on pretty well, and after letting it dry off and brushing away the salt with an old toothbrush I think I lost too much of the rust layer to being covered with blue. So either not enough salt or too much blue paint sprayed on.

I think next time I’ll do a lighter spray so as not to cover up the overall rustiness completely. Overall though, I like the technique and it works for what I’m after in terms of look.

And, I can pull back the rusty look with weathering in the last steps.

Weathered up and ready to pump moisture

Tutoring 19
Skill 20
Idea 19
No Comments
Subsurface Moisture Pump 794 ready for operationSubsurface Moisture Pump 794 ready for operation

Here’s the completed model with weathering and some basing. Decals always add a nice finishing touch and help set the scale.

Basic process was to go in with some weathering powders and get some rusty, dusty effects back in. I also sponged on some brown paints in places to scuff it up to counter act the previous blue spray.

Also used some metallic paint with the sponge to get that metal feel into the exposed edges. Used a few of the AK Interactive enamel washes for various additions of colour and grime here and there. Quite like using those.

Motor or rotor or turbineMotor or rotor or turbine
Connection points Connection points
Always add a decalAlways add a decal

So that’s the first piece done, kitbashed and based on some old plastic packaging.

I’m happy with the end result, and with the red rust basing it’ll fit into my overall theme  of a post apocalyptic red planet. All that’s left to do is get her up and running and start condensing some moisture to sell for credits.

Ok, on to the next piece… that Ariel Washing Pods box looks good for something.

Sludge Processing Unit - Kitbashing done

Tutoring 13
Skill 13
Idea 13
No Comments

So the Ash Wasters have happened across an old Sludge Processing Unit situated over a sludge outpouring. These are used for extracting sellable chems from sludge and if it’s in working condition, it’ll be a valuable resource.

I’ve started with one of those washing machine pods boxes, as I like the way it appears as if it’s a prefab unit that could be brought in and dumped into position quickly. The door is from the Kill Team Rogue Trader set, and I didn’t make a neat job (not going for neat) of cutting a suitable shape out from the box to glue the door into. So I’ve added some bits and pieces to help hide that. The piping piece coming out the side is also from that same boxed set.

Priming brings it all together

Tutoring 14
Skill 14
Idea 14
No Comments

Once you get the primer on it just suddenly pulls the whole thing together as a semi-convincing model. All the various bits from different places start to seem connected, almost make sense together. A few GW parts help tie it into the over riding 40k and Ash Wastes setting I’m going for so it’s certainly worth making sure to have some of their model kits at hand to super glue into the mix. Love this stage! I can now get onto the “turnin’ rust” stage…

Rusted Up

Tutoring 6
Skill 8
Idea 7
No Comments

That’s the rust layer pretty much done, could add some weathering powders here and there but overall that will do. I did want a bit more detail on that top surface though. There is a layer of card from a chocolate box that had a nice checker plate pattern but it’s starting to disappear with the paint so I went and added in a hatch of sorts. Just some green stuff flattened out then a quick roll with one of those GSW textured rolling pins. I then used some Evergreen styrene angle to form a frame. That should do it and can move on to getting some colour onto the overall model now.

Base painting done

Tutoring 2
Skill 6
Idea 6
No Comments

So that’s the initial paint layer done, again sprayed from a rattle can over the previous rust layer and with some salt sprinkled over the model to scrub away later, leaving the rust showing. Picked out a few items in other colours to add interest and now we’re ready to get the final weathering done then the basing… first thing to do next is some chipping with grey and metal paints.

Sludge Processing Unit complete

Tutoring 4
Skill 7
Idea 7
No Comments
Mandatory barrel Mandatory barrel
Top hatch and tank accessTop hatch and tank access
Where the chems are collectedWhere the chems are collected

Well that’s the Sludge Processing Unit completed and ready to start separating sellable chems from the sludge found underground. It’s seen better days but remarkably it’s still operational, and will be a target for rival Ash Wasters and Nomads scavenging this area for vital resources.

Overall it was a similar process to the first terrain piece, spot a useful looking packaging design and super glue on some other bits and pieces. Give it a rusty base then use the “salt weathering” technique to get the worn and damaged paint look on top. Vital step at the end is getting the additional areas of chipping and wear then a final going over with the weathering powders.

Source bits are from GW, Zinge and various old tank model kits. The bigger the bits box the better! Hopefully I’ve disguised the washing machine pods box, at least until you are told what the base item is.