Alabaster Station: Part Three

If last week was all about casting the bricks to make the Engine Control Section a reality, this week is most definitely about bolting them together. When I did the Space Hulk board, the dimensions of the majority of sections was considerably smaller; most being either short lengths or corridor, a junction, or a relatively small room. The sections for Sedition Wars are an awful lot bigger and that brings with it a whole new set of problems, particularly around the practicalities of assembly and painting.

For most of the sections, the footprint is going to be approximately 14″ x 14″ (give or take the odd half inch depending how many facings have an entry/exit point). That is far too large obviously to be self-supporting, so a foundation is required onto which all of the tiles can be stuck down. The most obvious choice is something like MDF, which is both thin, resilient and above all strong. I really want to keep the weight down as much as possible however, the plaster already contributing a fair chunk of weight to the board. I also want to make use of the existing Space Hulk sections to get some additional mileage out of them. With that in mind I opted to mount the Alabaster room sections on 1″ extruded foam sheet. Easier to cut to size and strong enough to be durable for gaming, it also adds additional height to the boards, a feature I intend to exploit later.

Before sticking anything down onto the foam though, I needed to plan out roughly where everything needed to go and what sub-assembly could be done in advance. If you follow my occasional Twitter ramblings, you will have already seen the following photo, which is a dry fit of the wall and corner pieces to see how everything looks together.

Dry fit for the north-west corner to check alignment and fitting of where the wall sub-sections, corner and floor all line up.

Having tested these out I have decided to also include the vertical door frames and guides to the wall sub-assemblies, as it is more important these line up with the wall ends as opposed to the floor. The four internal pillars I will also assemble and paint separately, fixing them into the floor at the end. Before permanently fitting anything however, I do one dry-fit run for as much of the flooring and walls as I can to reassure myself everything will definitely line up correctly. It is a rather laborious and painstaking task, but it gives me an idea what the finished structure will look like and gives me an opportunity to fine tune a few details from the Sketch-Up design. In this instance extra ducting was added to the floor, inspired by David Gardiner’s layout on the Studio McVey forum and spaces marked out for additional detailing and sections of pipe to be added.

Dry-fit of the entire floor plan (minus the offending missing tiles). A number of the voids are for additional sub-sections to be added at final assembly, such as the walls and central pillars. At this stage none of the detailing or ducting has been placed with the exception of one small test section.

The other reason to dry-fit is it soon lets you know if you are short the odd brick or two (my missus has suspected that for years!). Rather annoyingly, I am short a handful of half and quarter inch tread plate tiles, so it is back to casting up some more throughout the week. The remaining wall sections and corner I have the parts for, so assembling those will keep me out of trouble whilst waiting for plaster to set.

So that pretty much brings things up to date with the last couple of evenings effort, which is progressing far better than I had hoped if I am being honest. Next update (hopefully) will be the assembled floor plan and completed walls. These can then be primed and painting commenced with a tentative milestone in mind of this coming weekend. Aside from the Engine Control Section here, I have also been working industriously away on the schematic for the next board. So it only seems fair to end with a sneak peek of what will be next after this one is completed.

I give you the Cargo Bay.

Until next time, have a great week.


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