Last Updated July 13, 2000

HOW TO BUILD A COLONIAL OUTPOST

The group of friends I wargame with became interested in recreating our own version of "Aliens II". Using 25mm Kryomek figures. The Penal troops in particular have real style, be warned they are much larger than Denizen etc. and are not really compatible. We used mostly the smaller Aliens out of the Kryomek range, (because they didn't carry guns), These were later supplemented with Table Top Games "Star Beasts", a straight rip off of the Aliens movie.

Having painted up all the figures I was then left the problem of building a Colonial Outpost for our gallant heroes to battle the foul beast over. Hence the purpose of this article. I decided that what we really needed was corridors, (to run down frantically), and rooms, (to explore and make last ditch defenses in!), and lots of them. I also didn't wish to spend a fortune or take too long making the outpost.

Enter my wife Jill, a very good Graphic Designer and generally creative person. She came up with almost all the construction ideas and techniques below, and even helped me make the outpost.

To build a Colonial Outpost to cover a 6' X 4' board you will need the following :-
Around 30 30cms Square Polystyrene Tiles (from any DIY shop),
1 litre or so of Gray Household Emulsion Paint. (I used Crown available in convenient small pots)
Watered Down Black Ink, very dilute black Acrylic will do instead. (I use Games Workshop Inks)
Sewing Pins, about an inch long. One Pot should Do. (See your Wife/Sister for details)
Bright Green Ink, (Again I used Games Workshop)
1 sheet of Mesh For Repairing Car Bodies, (Halfords or similar)
1 Small sheet of 3mm Foamcard A3 would do. (Any reputable Artist Supplies shop)

Red Acrylic Paint (I use Colour Party Acrylics their thick, cheap and quite superb)
Black Acrylic Spray Paint, (I use Games Workshop Black Undercoat)
Black and red electrical insulation tape. (Chevrons on doors)

Diagram 1

How to build a straight Corridor section

Referring to Diagram 1 for measurements, cut the floor of your corridor and both side walls from a single Polystyrene Tile. (To avoid snagging always use a razor sharp knife on Polystyrene, and watch your fingers). Paint the top surface of the corridor floor, (the one your figures will stand on), and BOTH sides of the corridor walls with your Grey Household emulsion paint and allow a little while to dry. Once dry, drybrush all grey Polystyrene surfaces with the dilute black ink. Do this very haphazardly, leaving odd patches un drybrushed, the effect is very quick, and very "London Underground Grime" without much effort. At this point you may either assemble the corridor section or "Battle detail" it. See below for battle detailing. To assemble the corridor you need only place a corridor wall, (Vertically), against the edge of the corridor floor, (horizontal), and push three pins, one each end, and one in the middle, through the wall and into the floor. Then secure the opposite wall in the same manner. You'll be surprised how sturdy this is, and if after a game or two some of your walls are starting to come away from the floor, just push a couple

Diagram 2

How to build a Corner Corridor section

Referring to Diagram 2 for measurements, cut the floor of your corridor the two short walls, (10cms long), and the two long walls, (20cms Long) from two polystyrene tiles. Pin the walls to the base as for the last corridor, in addition put a pin through each of the inner two and the outer two walls where they meet. This helps greatly with the strength. If in doubt just shove another pin in! You must make the corridor as shown, despite the fact my diagram is out of scale you end up with a corner piece that will fit ANY other corridor piece no matter where you put it, allowing for maximum reusability and flexibility.

Diagram 3

How to build a T Junction Corridor section

Referring to Diagram 3 for measurements, cut the floor of your corridor the four short walls, (10cms long), and the one long wall, (30cms Long) from two polystyrene tiles. If made as described once again you get a corridor that will always match up to any other.

Diagram 4

How to build a 30cms square room section

Referring to Diagram 4 for measurements, The floor of your room is an entire Polystyrene tile. Cut the rest of the walls from a second Polystyrene tile. I have shown a room with all four possible exits cut. You can in fact cut rooms with only 1,2, and three doors. Merely leave the other walls as one strip 30cms walls.

Diagram 5

How to build a Door for your Rooms

There is nothing quite like pressure doors, airlocks etc. for getting the adrenaline going. What is on the other side? The foot thick blast door looks badly buckled, though still functional, what could possibly have caused the melt marks on it? Only one way to find out! Doors are essential for an umpire. I make mine out of a single piece of 3mm Foamcard 6.5cms X 11cms, cut in half with a jagged pattern to look more sci-fi. Referring to Diagram 5 for measurements, cut the door from Foamcard, cut into two halves and paint silver then allow to dry. Once dry add chevrons. I use black and red electrical insulation tape, cut to shape and then stuck on the door, very easy, cheap and effective, (another of my wife's ideas).

Battle Detailing

Having mastered the basics I'll now add all those little details that are essential to a successful Colonial Outpost. I should add that almost all of these battle detailing ideas in fact need to be added BEFORE the finished walls and floors are assembled, but after they have been painted grey and allowed to dry.
Cut large irregular holes (2- 4cms around) in the floor. Cut a piece of Car body mesh that is just larger than the hole. Using scissors cut some of the struts in the mesh to make it look damaged. Bend the edges of the mesh to 90 degrees to the rest, then place the mesh under the floor with the bent edges pointed up. Press gently and the mesh will secure itself to the polystyrene, if this is insufficient I use masking tape on the underside to secure the mesh. Make sure none of it shows.
This hole was either caused by "Acid Blood" or a grenade. If acid blood, place green ink around the edge of the hole and on some of the mesh. If a grenade, (my favorite), give the hole a quick squirt with the black acrylic paint, not much just enough to look scorched.
Use small quantities of Evostik on the polystyrene, this will dissolve it giving a realistic melted look. Apply a liberal dose of Green ink to the area to look like acid blood

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