I saw this ruined gravity lift on the TTCombat web site recently and at only £3.95 and free postage in the UK I thought it would be a great piece of scatter scenery. Although it's designed for 28mm, it's pretty scale agnostic (no doors, windows etc) so looked like it would be fine for 15mm too.
|What the postman brought...|
It comes on a single sheet of MDF, laser cut with only a single point of contact on each part keeping them in the frame. Number 1 son was eager to assist with pressing out the parts and we sat outside in the sunshine to do so. This did lead to a slight problem when all the outer panel pieces got knocked off the bench onto the floor, I thought that I picked them allup but one was missed and got rained on which left it expanded and disintegrating. Fortunately this was easy to hide during construction!
|All on 1 sheet of MDF.|
The pieces were assembled with PVA. The structure was a little bit fiddly in places and had to be kept in shape but overall it was a pretty easy build. There are only 4 different panel shapes so it's important to set them out carefully to avoid repetition. I cut out little scraps of card which were glued onto the panels to hide the square construction holes, hopefully they look like broken sections of an outer protective coating. After assembly, they were stuck to some foamex bases with UHU then reinforced with hot glue, as with the hair curler scenery. A few cables were added using guitar strings and solder. The base was coated with brown acrylic caulk and the main structure was given a spray with matt black primer.
|Basic assembly & undercoat complete.|
The bases were coated with texture paint, then a coat of Wilko emulsion Nutmeg Spice splotched with Coffee brown. The gravity ring pieces were painted burnt umber then dabbed with a rough layer of burnt sienna.
Scale Reference Man is pleased to make another appearance. These are suitable impressive for 15mm scale.
|Main painting completed.|
On to drybrushing - GW chainmail for the gravity lift rings, Wilko desert sand for the base.
|Behold - cables!|
Some of the cables were painted in brighter colours to add a bit of interest.
|Scale Reference Man climbs up for a better view.|
|That's enough climbing! Come down!|
After painting, on to flocking! PVA was daubed around the bases and my homemade mixed flock sprinkled on. A couple of bushes were constructed from coir (coconut fibre). The flock helped to hide the panel that had been left outside in the rain!
|Might have overdone the bigger bush.|
Green-dyed tea-leaves helped blend the foam flock into the bases.
|Dangling cables added.|
A final sprinkle of autumnal static grass finished them off.
I'd give this ruined gravity lift a grade A-. It goes together quickly and easily and is really cheap, especially when you bear in mind the free UK postage.
It could do with a few improvements: a greater variety (ie more than 4 shapes) of the external panels would be good; the inclusion of a sheet of laser-cut card panels to cover the assembly holes in the outer panels would be nice; the larger ring could do with a base. I can see that the latter 2 would push the price up though, and it isn't especially hard to remedy these things yourself which is why it doesn't drop down to being a grade B.
|Is it a Stargate?|
I did make a couple of mistakes with these. The card pieces on the outer panels didn't come out as I'd hoped. My wife immediately said "Ooh, a little Stargate" and they do indeed look a bit like the SG1 gate glyphs (if you squint a bit). Not what I intended but the idea of an ancient interstellar gateway discovered on a remote colony world immediately provides a few scanario/adventure hooks!
|Scale Reference Man vents his opinion.|
My coir bushes also turned out to be somewhat of a disappointment. Scale Reference Man agrees.
Oh and did I mention this kit was only £3.95 with free UK postage?! Go and buy one now!