A friend of mine, Byron, got a hold of a Laser Cutting System and started making his own buildings, walls, etc. from MDF boards. The problem we seem to have here in the middle of the Canadian Prairies, is that by the time we order in similar terrain products, it becomes cost-prohibitive. Byron decided to start designing and selling some of his creations to others as a low-cost solution for Canadians. Anyway I’m taking advantage of his Generosity!
Byron’s already posted a number of items he has available on his Website:
Byron, gave me the opportunity to get one of his new creations. A Control Tower, intended for 28mm Miniature games. This is a “Prototype” design. He was still playing with the design before he made it available through his web site. But I saw one proto-type and begged to have one for an Infinity Campaign I was planning.
For a Prototype, the kit was well done. MFD, in case you never used it, is like a thin plywood, though it is compressed fibers rather than layers of wood. You can use White glue to put it together, but I prefer a carpenter’s wood glue – just to be safe. The kit contained the legs of the tower (4 pairs of inter-locking pieces), a base plate, a tower platform, a roof for the hut, 4 walls for the hut (1 with a door), rails or Parapet walls for the Platform and a unique roof lock and parapet system consisting of 8 pieces.
The first thing to do, was to assemble the legs. When assembling the legs, first split the legs into 2 sets. Narrow “pegs” are the top, Wider Pegs are for the base. The interlocking patterns can then be matched and you can glue a pair of legs together, each pair split at a 90o angle. After gluing all 4 pairs of legs together (and while the glue was still wet), I then glued the legs to the base plate and pressed (not glued) the platform on top of the legs to ensure the angles of the legs were right. I then put the assembly to the side to let the glue dry. When dry, I removed the Tower Platform.
Legs Mounted on the Base Plate
I then started the roof of the Tower Hut. First, I separated the pieces as shown. Again, the parapet is interlocking – 2 sets of interlocking parts. Each set is 2 pairs of parts. I test fitted everything before I applied glue in the corners and the slots that would fit over the tabs on the roof.
Assembling first set of Parapet Walls
While the glue was still wet, I then again test fitted and applied glue to the taller, outer parapet walls, this time adding glue to the inner surface so it would adhere to the first layer of the parapet. I used “Magic Tape” (I intend to sand this anyway), but you could actually use rubber bands to hold it together. I then put this assembly aside to dry.
Roof Assembly Completed
The reason for this “Double-Layer” of the parapet on the Hut Roof was to form a unique interlock with the Hut Body. The Parapet will form a “keystone” lock with tabs along the top edge of the Hut walls when assembled. This will make it easier to pull the roof off to access the interior without disturbing the rest of the tower.
Once the roof was dry, I started on the Hut Walls. (Sorry! I forgot to take pictures of this process!) Again, the walls of the hut were interlocking. I removed the door first (it was mostly cut off – I just had to break/cut a small tab with a Xacto Knife). I then test fit the walls to ensure I was gluing the correct parts together.
I had a stroke of inspiration before I glued the hut together. To allow more flexibility, I decided not to glue the Hut to the platform. This would allow me to remove the Hut and use the tower as a Flak or Weapon Platform as well as a Guard/Observation Tower. To do this, I laid wax paper on top of the Platform, cut slits where the Hut Walls’ tabs would fit and then glued the walls together on the edges only, using the Platform (with Wax Paper to catch drips) and the Hut Roof to provide proper spacing and alignment!
Once dry, I added the parapet walls to the Platform floor. The platform had an indent for placing a ladder (more about that later). The long Parapet walls went on the other 3 sides and then 2 smaller parapet walls joined the longer walls and ended at the edge of the ladder access.
At this point, the main parts are assembled and you can glue it all together at this point. The ladder has a tab that glues into the base. It has a unique cut, designed so that a typical 25mm-round based figure (such as GW or Infinity) can be posed partway up the ladder. Depending on the balance and pose of the figure, it works quite well, though you may want to keep some Blue-Tac handy to stick under bases – just in case.
Finally Assembled and Waiting For Sanding & Paint!
A More Clear Picture
I’ve left the platform separate for now so that I can paint the legs and platform building separately. I told Byron of my idea of making the platform muti-purpose and he suggested that he can cut the Platform without the burned floor pattern. I don’t think it’s necessary as if you don’t want the pattern, simply flip the board over and put the pattern on the underside where no one will see it.
The Main Components, Separated
The tower stands about 6.25 inches from the base to the platform surface, 8.5 inches to the roof of the hut, 9.5 inches from base to top of the hut’s parapet. The Tower base and platform form about a 7 inch square (inside the parapet). Lots of room for a 25mm or 30mm based figure. The Hut forms another 4 inch square, internal and on the roof. Parapets are 1 inch tall in the corners, then drops to ½ inch along the lengths. Kneeling figures should be able to pose over the parapets midway between the corners while standing figures should have lots of cover to peer over the corners.
Models Test-Fit the Tower
Overall, I like the ease that the tower went together. I’m going to seal the ends and sand most the surfaces before I finish painting the tower. While being so tall may make it difficult for some models to climb in a single turn in most game systems, I like it as is. Byron probably could be talked into doing shorter legs if you wanted them, but that would ruin the aesthetics, I think. It will make a great center piece for a Shipping yard, or a guard tower for a base. Construction is simple, straight-forward and rugged. I hope Byron adds it to his regular lineup soon! I want another already!
Anyway, go check out SG2 Creations’ web site and give them a try! If you have any ideas for Byron to try, I’m sure he’d love to hear from you!