Friday, July 11, 2014

15mm Scratch Built Sci-Fi Building Tutorial

I thought I would show you all how I go about building my 15mm sci-fi buildings.

I try to use cheap supplies that I can get at the local hardware store or craft store as well as stuff I have around the house.  As I mentioned previously, I did purchase some doors and windows from CorSec Engineering to build these.  You certainly don't need to, but I thought they were pretty cheap and easy to use.

To start with I gather my supplies that I think I will be using.

Here I have a small cardboard craft box (you can get these on sale at craft stores for $.50), a water bottle lid and some drywall anchors.  Even with the purchased doors and windows, this is less than $1.50 worth of stuff.

I cut the drywall anchors apart so I have the ribbed surface on one side and a flat area on the other side.  These will be glued onto the building as corner supports to break up big flat areas and provide some detail.

Glue the bits onto the box however you think is appropriate.  I use either wood glue or JB weld.  It really depends on the materials I'm using.  If you like more windows, add more, if you like less, take them off.  Lots of other items can add interest to the building.  If you don't have access to pre-made doors and windows, you can just cut out appropriate sizes from a cereal box.  Just a basic rectangle or square will do the trick in a pinch.

Building with a MicroPanzer model for scale.
Once the glue has dried, I sprayed the building with a grey primer.  I use auto primer that I get at my local auto parts store.  It works well and tends to be much cheaper than the primers I get at my local hobby shop, but go with what you like.

I have been painting these up with a very simple paint job.  I like simple.  I am not a great painter so go for a decent tabletop standard.  I'll leave the flashy stuff to the pros.

I am going to do a few of these up with similar paint patterns to form a little compound.  I will do others in a different paint scheme as well.  After the grey primer dries, I do a strip of red around the eave on the roof and red around the window and door frames.

For the windows, I paint it with a dark blue.  Next I use a light blue and paint it into one corner.  Next I just run a little stroke of white to show some glare.  I think it is a nice effect and adds a little pizzazz to the model without much work.

Finally I use some watered down MinWax and cover the whole model to dirty it up.  When using washes, you need to end at corners or joints if you aren't going to finish before the wash dries.  Otherwise you will have a "seam" where the dry wash overlaps the new coat.

Here is the finished building's front and back.  Simple.  Cheap.  And looks pretty good on a table.

I have assembled a few buildings using electrical junction boxes as the base.  I put a basecoat of grey on them last night and will be finishing them soon.  These are nice because they already have a bit of detail on the exterior.

I think some kind of garage will be next on my table.  And maybe I will combine two boxes for a large building with multiple roof levels.

Any other ideas for bits and bobs to add for details?  What do you use for windows and doors on your buildings?


  1. Very nice! Thanks for sharing! I'll need to check out the doors & windows from Corsec.

  2. I just wish CorSec did doors for 6mm. I would buy lots more then.