Between the Christmas season and what appears to be the worst cold I’ve had in many, many years there’s not been a lot of wargaming activity here at Chez Wirelizard. I did manage to spend one sickie evening messing about with Inkscape and created a nice floor airlock piece to add some colour to the space station.
The inspiration is one part from aircraft carrier’s giant elevators and one part from science fiction (so far, least) giant cargo airlocks. The size is fairly arbitrary, 10″ long by 7″ wide, big enough to hold either of the papercraft spacecraft I’ve built recently. I started the graphic as one big piece in Inkscape then split it into two doors, printing each on a single letter-sized sheet of paper. I did a sort of blue/grey/black background with lots of hazard stripes, labels, and ID tags all over. The two door graphics got printed on full-sheet sticker paper, stuck to mattboard, then cut out. I coloured the cut edges of the paper & card with a red Sharpie pen.
These pieces are usable as-is on the Infinity table, but the next plan is to do some edge or frame pieces to go around the doors, provide some actual cover to Infinity troopers, and add some more interest to my space station. I also have an entertaining plan for showing the open airlock when the doors aren’t closed, but stay tuned for that! I’ll also get the airlock door graphics cleaned up a bit and save them as a PDF if you want to print your own.
Back on a holiday note, I hope you had a satisfactory Christmas or whatever mid-winter holiday you celebrate, and a good New Years too!
I’ve been calling my Infinity space station table project a space station since I started planning it, but really it’s been a collection of big walls and random bits until recently. What does a space station really need to make it feel like a space station? How about some actual space craft?
To that end I hit the excellent Genet Models site and grabbed a bunch of the free papercraft scenery PDFs there. Genet is Christopher Roe’s site; he used to sell his PDFs under the Ebbles Miniatures and then Genet names but these days he gives them away for free!
First I printed and built the basic Utility Shuttle in red. There’s a lot of grey and white on my space station table, I wanted something solidly colourful! The Utility Shuttle is only five parts – nose, body, tail, two wings – and quite straightforward to put together. The only issue I had with it was the central body piece was kind of loose and floppy to put together. I’d printed everything on 65lbs light card; it might have been easier to put together with heavier 90 or 100lbs card. Once it’s assembled it’s all solid, though. I left off the landing skids that are supposed to elevate the shuttle off the ground, to make it more obviously a Line of Sight blocker during Infinity games.
To cover the white strip that the landing skids are supposed to be glued to, I cut part of each landing skid up and glued it straight over the strip.
The second build is the VU-22 Percheron, a light shuttle/dropship. It’s only available in military colours, although there’s really nothing obviously military in it’s lines. I might try re-colouring the white/black prototype version to get some civvie colours going, but for now I printed off the tan/sand coloured standard version.
This is a more complex build with about 20 parts, some of them smaller and somewhat complex, but I actually found this an easier build overall than the Utility Shuttle. It’s a more recent design than the Utility and better engineered, with some internal bracing on potentially floppy and troublesome parts to assist with assembling. It’s about the same size, roughly, as the Utility Shuttle (I’ll post a group shot soon, don’t have one currently) but more complex, more interesting, and with better proportions than the chunky, simple Utility Shuttle design. I didn’t watch much of the new Battlestar Galactica TV show when it was on the air a few years ago, but a friend pointed out the Raptor inspiration for the Percheron.
Most of the Percheron’s parts count is actually in the back end engine and tail assembly. The engine cones and tail pieces are a bit fiddly to assemble but look great when done.
There don’t seem to be that many generic papercraft shuttles, dropships, or other wargaming-scaled spaceships available, so it’s awesome that Genet is making their PDFs available for free. There’s a bunch more spacecraft available there, including the massive VT-3 Pinzgauer cargo shuttle, that I might yet build up to decorate Infinity tables with, as well as some smaller details like cargo-handling exoskeletons and such that would make great looking “dockside” clutter around the docks and hangar bays of a space station. I’ll almost certainly be building up more Genet Models cardstock kits in the future!