Popular Post Jordan Peacock Posted September 21, 2021 Popular Post Share Posted September 21, 2021 Does anybody remember the old, old Kenner Girder & Panel toy sets? I had a couple of such sets as a little kid, and it seems that they first came out in the 1950s, and since then occasionally they've been revived by some company or another -- same exact product, only re-branded different ways, cast in different colors of plastic, with different accessories from time to time. I lucked out in finding a couple of boxes of one such "revival" in the form of "Power City Construction Extension Pack" boxes -- a couple of baggies of the basic "I-beam" vertical column and horizontal support pieces, with a few of those little terminator pegs, a plastic base to plug the bottom supports in, and a few panels (the panels being rather thicker plastic than I remember in my old kits). The weird little pegs sticking out from every connector piece are there even though there's (near as I can tell) nothing included in the set to justify their existence: it used to be that the pegs served as connector points for such accessories as diagonal braces (for making bridges and such), and plastic highway signage (for the bridge sets). Now they're just kind of a nuisance that I trim off so the I-beams look a little more like just I-beams and not quite so obviously from some sort of construction set. Where I'm going with this is that while I can't speak to the scale per se (these things were originally meant for playing around with Hot Wheels / Matchbox scale cars, and the "Power City" sets go with closer-to-N-scale toy trains), I figure it's "scale-squishy" enough that I used these packs as a cheap source of plastic I-beams to decorate ruins and give some sort of hint of an underlying support structure. I ALSO have a few assorted Bachmann Plasticville O-scale railroad building kits. In particular, I had a few pieces from the old Hospital kit. If complete, it would look something like this: I had a "grab bag" assortment of mixed Plasticville parts I got off eBay on the cheap -- broken, caked glue, missing parts, with hot-light-bulb-melt damage here and there -- and included were parts of the hospital -- the roof (missing a greeble, with a broken corner), front facade (missing the steps), and rear wall ("clinic" entrance with some more breakage to the windows). I love the vaguely Deco-ish styling of the front facade of the hospital. I think it fits the "retro-futuristic" vibe of Fallout nicely: this is a kit made in the 1950s, but the rounded corners and toy-like simplifications I think have the side-effect of making it look faintly "futuristic" rather than merely "retro." (Plus, wow, that's an awfully COMPACT hospital!) My idea to deal with the missing parts: make it a RUINED building. I only had two walls, and I COULD just use some foam board to make the sides (for some reason missing windows), but instead I thought I'd try taking the back and front pieces and putting them adjacent to each other in an "L" formation, have some hint at ruined floors joining them, and leave the back exposed. I've seen plenty of wargame tables with ruins along those lines: two walls street-side, forming something of a facade, but with no roof, and just enough floor to position some troops at the empty glass-less windows to snipe the street below (but still conveniently accessible by players' hands to move around the minis). Trouble was ... I've got a ROOF, and the "skylight" frame made it moderately interesting enough that I still wanted to use it. So ... I went partway, with the "L" arrangement, the roof, and some foam core and bits to make up the difference. But to hold it all together, I used the Power City girder & panel knockoff set to make an interior support structure. I figured that I could simply LEAVE OFF the back wall. I didn't make nearly enough debris to account for the collapsed wall, but that's a common shortcut when it comes to tabletop minis terrain. (Realistic heaps of rubble wouldn't give us much of a level surface to put the mini bases on.) I trimmed the little "tabs" off the I-beam connectors when they weren't needed, and shaved the ends off the midpoint pegs. Foam-core served for a midpoint floor, and a few haphazard attempts at representing interior wall dividers. I didn't go all-out on a detailed interior, however; as built, it wouldn't be practical to try to squeeze minis deep in there anyway; it's just not practically "playable." I still decided to put in some bits of rubble/debris so that at least at a glance it looks like a ruin inside and not pristinely clean and empty inside. For wargame purposes, I've got a bunch of "non-enterable" buildings anyway -- if necessary, I can have some map tiles over to the side to represent building interiors. Here, it's just sufficient to place a few minis at the edge of the interior and declare, "These models are inside the building." They get cover against attacks from outside, and if enemies get inside, then the interior combat is semi-abstracted (unless, again, I go with some separate map tiles). For the exterior, I covered up the "PLASTICVILLE" branding on the front facade with a coffee stirrer stick, and made my own "MED-TEK" logo (as it appears in the Fallout series) with the idea that this micro-"hospital" is basically an auto-doc clinic staffed by robots. For a Fallout campaign, this is likely to be a recurring site, where the Wastelanders can occasionally go in search of Stimpaks (or, if they're desperate, medical attention from unmaintained old auto-doc units), but at the risk of having to deal with berserk robot staff, the occasional feral ghoul, biohazards, etc. -- in other words, the usual. The front and back walls didn't join perfectly at the corners. I just made up for the gaps with some craft wood, foam-core illustration board scraps, and putty. Ditto for the replacement front steps. I used a 3D mistprint piece I got from a friend to replace the missing rooftop greeble. What is it exactly? Something retro-futuristic high-tech. Details aren't terribly important. 😉 The skylight is empty, and I just put a bit of clutter inside so that it's not a boring bare floor visible inside. I may go back and add some chopped-up fragments of blister plastic to represent "shattered glass." For the sidewalk and street, I'm using the (sadly discontinued) Secret Weapon Miniatures Tablescapes tiles ("Urban City - Damaged" theme). 26 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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