“Mojo Destroying Fiberboard” (Season of Scenery Challenge 2021)

After last times scratch-build I though this time I would veer back toward the “commercial” end of the terrain market, with some more terrain for our “Dead Zone” games, thinking this would be an “easier” option than starting from scratch (how wrong I was!). Now before I go any further I must apologize for my absence around here and the other blogs, this is due to a wave of apathy that swept over me on opening up the packet of MDF I have taken delivery of from TTCombat, this “larger” set of MDF “Boxes” in the form of the £28.00 “Slum Complex” is similar to the “Slum Blocks” I built last time, only this set has bridges, walkways and stairs too (oh be still your beating hearts!). But after opening up the shrink wrapped packet, I was confronted with twelve sheets of “stinky” MDF, and the “what have I done” thoughts started to rise, luckily the instructions are all on line, as the pieces have been fitted to take up the minimum amount of room, rather than lumping certain buildings together on a single sheet, so to build one “unit” you might have to pull pieces from multiple sheets. Anyway the instructions are clear, but even so I read through them carefully before starting any assembly (almost unknown for me, I might have to hand in my membership card for the male race!!!). Anyway I thought rather than bog myself down too much I’d just build half of the ten “boxes” (so that’s five for the numerically challenged out there), along with a few of the added accessories, and also do a little “customizing” that I had in mind.

Now I had decided to “convert” a couple of these into a double length building by joining two together, but of course just linking the walls together flat rather than at 90 degrees would make them too short to fit snugly on our 80x80mm squares Dead Zone uses on its maps. So the solution here was to draw two 80x80mm squares on card, sit the two three sided boxes in the centre of these and measure (yes I do measure occasionally John!) the gap, then cutting away some of the “offcuts” that surrounded these box sides on the sheets, I sanded down the flat edges till they fitted perfectly in the gap (a bit like reshaping a jigsaw piece to make it fit in the wrong hole). If this sounds complicate to explain, it was even more so to do! Therefore this is easier to show than describe, so just look at the picture (left) and you can see what I mean between the top and third steps. Once these were in place the two top bracing parts were fitted and the whole lot glued together. Next problem was the gap between these top pieces, so once a bracing piece was stuck under the gap, I fitted the two “roof” boxes then created a cardboard “filler” box to fill the gap between them (the white strip visible in the photo) Now as usual I left the actual roof boxes loose so they can be removed to allow you to place figures inside them. Next one of the “sides” I’d picked had a staircase running up its side to the veranda sticking out the top of the other box, this was now also too short and so didn’t meet the edge (I was beginning to regret I’d started this!), so another “filler” piece was cut out from the sheet surround and sanded to fill the gap to the top of the stairs. I don’t think I’ll be doing another of these. Sadly it was only after I’d finished sticking this all together I realized the cardboard filler on the top meant I could not fit another level on top of this as there wasn’t room to fit the edge of the box that would stack there, oh well not a great problem.

This did however mean I now had two spare walls, so what to do with them…a ruined building was the obvious answer (well to me anyway), Now as you would be able to see inside this one, it would need a floor, this would also help to keep it square as of course there was no top section to do this, so taking a Stanley/utility knife I hacked away a jagged line across two sections of wall, then taking the “offcut” tops I flipped these over and used them for the other two walls (It wasn’t quite as simple as that and I had to cut the “lugs” off of the tops, but you get the idea) I then used my scalpel and shaped the rough edges a bit more and drilled a few bullet holes here and there. A few bits of cat litter were stuck in the inside corners followed by some sand again on the insides and the rough cut top edges.

The other three boxes this time were assembled as per the instructions, two with stairs again and the last one with a “full” veranda running right around the top. Coffee stirrers were stuck along the bottoms and corners of all of them to hide the joints, then like last time I stuck some bits of “crap” here and there, along with some bits if card and more “offcuts” from the MDF sheets to make door frames, braces for the verandas and generally try and break up the “boxi’ness” of them a little.

And that dear reader is where I’m up to, not my most productive (or interesting) period if I’m honest, I should really push on through and build the rest of them, but I really “can’t be ars*s’ed”, if I’m honest, and I think if I did this project would grind to a juddering halt (and of course it does leave me something to build next year, yeah’ooohhh’boo!), hopefully I can get these painted in the next week or so.

So till next time, stay safe sit back and enjoy the scenery, cheers Roger.

This entry was posted in 28mm sci-fi, Dead Zone, Scenery, sci-fi, Summer Scenery Challenge and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to “Mojo Destroying Fiberboard” (Season of Scenery Challenge 2021)

  1. I quite like them, and your mods look really good! 🙂 I think you maybe measure more than you let on though! I’ve started to flag a bit meself with scenery, but it is a while since I’ve done any so I’m going to keep bashing on!

    • Thanks John, I don’t know if it’s the fact this is the third challenge month on the run or what, but I’m defiantly flagging a bit at the moment. I’ll give myself a good slapping and get on with it though 😀.

      I don’t tend to measure anymore than I have to, after that drunken party I went to as a teenager where I entered a “measuring” contest….and was sorely disappointed with the result! 😉

      Cheers Roger.

  2. Pete S/ SP says:

    What you have done so far looks really good. Am sure the staisfaction you’ll get once you see it all on the table finished will be worth the hard work you put in now.



  3. Dave Stone says:

    Was getting ready to send out the search parties Roger, as I hadn’t seen you lurking in any of the normal places, but now I fully understand why, buried under a ton of MDF woes ! LOL
    What you’ve achieved so far looks good mate, and not just stock pieces but your own unique twist on the kits, that have elevated the basics, hope you find the motivation to paint what you’ve already put together, and if you keep the rest for next year you’ll probably have a load more ideas on how you can improve them !

    • Thanks Dave, I think I get bored quickly gluing stuff together the way it’s supposed to be done (sad I know), hopefully the painting will inspire me a bit more.

      Yep I can always do the rest next year, and if not I do have an incinerator in the back garden! 😉.

      Cheers Roger.

  4. Mate, they look wicked, can’t wait to see them painted up 😀

  5. Guru PIG says:

    Looking great Roger. My TTCombat hive and Sci-Fi terrain should arrive any day soon. I will keep in mind your conversion ideas.

  6. Azazel says:

    Nice work on these, and they look good already, which is saying something! I certainly feel you on the stinky MDF aspect…

    • Thanks Azazel, as I said above they are well designed kits, I might have some issues with the length of a couple of the bridges, but I’ll worry about that next year!

      But yes, with there being so many sheets in this pack it was/is a bit “smelly” of burnt wood.

      Cheers Roger.

  7. I guess if you aren’t enjoying it Roger then the heart goes out of the huild but I have to say the results so far look very nice indeed. 🙂

  8. Matt says:

    Good to see you blogging again, Roger! That’s a pretty chunky set of MDF there, I can only imagine the smell LOL! I like how you’ve modded the spare bits, and can’t wait to see this painted up.

    • thanks Matt, they were a bit ripe to start with, not sure if it’s dissipated, or I’m just used to it now! 😁

      As for the spare bits, well you know how I hate waste! (Tight as a gnats chuff! is another way of putting it!).

      Cheers Roger.

  9. I love the smell of burnt MDF in the morning…smells like…victory…

    Roger, I love the way you are converting this kit and making it your own. Looks very versatile gaming-wise, and your son must not be allowed to fail to play with you on it!

  10. Thanks Mark, actually it smells more this the people over the roads open fire 😁 but thanks for the sentiment.

    Some would say I don’t know when to leave stuff well alone, and that last sentence you wrote could get me into a lot of trouble with “social services”! thankfully I know what you mean 😃.

    Cheers Roger.

  11. Alex says:

    Looking good mate – neat idea to use coffee stirrers to hide the joints, I’ll remember that!

    • Thanks Alex, the mortis joints on MDF buildings bother me, it’s one of my pet hates. This is my solution to hiding them.

      If you can use it, help yourself, passing on and getting tips is one of the great things about blogging. 😀

      Cheers Roger.

  12. Yeah that burnt smell gets under your nose a bit but well done on these mate. Looking very cool indeed.

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