Saturday, 23 January 2016

You laughed at my smokes, now you can laugh at my asteroids

Some time ago I made a load of smoke screen markers out of sponge because I was fed up with small bits of cotton wool getting stuck to bases and figures. To say they raised the odd eyebrow is a bit of an understatement; I think several of you feared for my sanity.

However, I'm still a great believer in stuff made out of cheap sponge, especially for the smaller scales. I remember when I collected 1:300 and 1:200 stuff I made several feet of hedge and several dozen trees out of it with some success. The other day, whilst feeling quite poorly, I was looking at the gubbins that came with the X-Wing starter sets and decided that the asteroids, although serviceable, were a bit 'flat'. When I'm not well I find it hard to paint figures because of the extended periods of concentration required. Making stuff, especially simple stuff, is quite another matter so rather than spend the day in bed I knocked these up.

These eight asteroids are simply pieces of cheap kitchen sponge that have been torn and pinched into rough looking rock shapes, some with small impact craters made by 'pinching' deep. 

They were undercoated with household emulsion that was heavily soaked into the sponge - to make them dry 'solid'. They were then painted with artists acrylic paints and acrylic inks - very dark brown then given a three shade drybrush with the last dry brush only added to the 'ridges' to bring out the shape of the asteroids.

Initially I thought about buying flight stands for them. Then, with several odds and sods I constructed these. They are large bases by Battlefront (50mm x 64mm), with a 3mm hole drilled through the centre. Into the hole I superglued a length of 1/8" aluminium tubing that I had bought by accident a couple of years ago.  I painted the stands with satin black enamel.

Into the asteroid, I glued a short length of 3/32" aluminium tube. I glued some of these tubes off centre (centre of gravity) in an attempt to give the asteroids the look of weightlessness - I'm not sure how well this worked. The tube in the asteroid fits perfectly inside the larger tube on the flight stand; you can spin the asteroid in the stand which might prove a useful thing. 

Not permanently fixing the asteroids to the stands means I can use the stands for other stuff too. 

For something made whilst ill, I'm quite happy with them. I'm thinking of making some space mines and cargo containers next.


Gonsalvo said...

The asteroids look great, and the ideas for more bits, sounds good, too.
No comment about the smoke, LOL!

Jonathan Freitag said...

Your space rocks look quite convincing to me!

Neil Scott said...

They look great

Keith Reed said...

Actually, I like the smoke. I think it was very innovative. Asteroids look amazing, very nicely done.

Colin Ashton said...

they look excellent and way beyond my modelling abilities even when in perfect health! And the smoke was great too.

Steve J. said...

Very effective and so easy to do.

pancerni said...

Very nicely done. Once more, imagination and skill triumphs. ;-)

Derek said...

Dare I say it? 'Smoking'!