How to build a storage system that doubles as wargaming terrain, using a set of plastic Necromunda Bulkhead Doors and some foamcore.
So if you have been playing wargames for some time, you have lots of those lowly rank and file models. Small Tyranid creatures, daemons, imperial guardsmen, Eldar guardians and lots of others. They are not so great to be centerpieces, but you invested some time into painting them and they don't deserve to be just thrown into a bag.
Unfortunately they not only take a lot of shelf space, but are also annoying to pull out and back into their storage.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution to the problem and I will show it to you today.
I will show you, how to build a storage rack, that doubles as wargaming terrain.
The idea came to me, when I was playing with this Games Workshop terrain from the 1990s. It was constructed out of plastic Necromunda bulkheads and some card stock.
Then I thought: wait a minute… Games Workshop released recently a new set of Necromunda bulkhead doors. I could build something like this using them. You can buy the set at a very reasonable price. The box comes with two sprues of bulkhead doors, that are actually quite similar to the ones from some quarter of the century ago.
I will start cleaning them with mild detergent and undercoating with Citadel Leadbelcher spray. Note that I am not cutting them out of their sprues. This will make painting way easier and the tiny bits that will be left out are on flat sides and will be easy to correct later.
While the plastic is drying, let's cut those boards into appropriate pieces. As you can see, I chose a black one. It will save me a lot of time as I intend to leave it black, as it ease.
The foamboard is 5mm thick. The floors have to be 95mm wide to match nicely with the longer bulkheads. The lengths I am using are 24 and 20 cm. These numbers are not random and you will see, how they fit into the picture, when I am glueing the structure.
In the meantime the bulkheads dried and are nicely metallic from both sides. Time to apply some wash!
I will start by applying Nuln Oil.
I use an old brush to apply lots of the shade. Almost like if it was dipped in it.
When it dries I do patches of Agrax Earthshade to break the monochromatic look. Not much. Just some patches like this. Of course I have to do the bottom side as well.
I let it dry overnight. It's best to give the wash to dry overnight as the next step will be drybrushing and you really don't want even small drops of wet paint lingering in some corners.
I will start the drybrushing from Ironbreaker and then add some delicate bits of Stormhost Silver.
I applied a healthy dose of the Ironbreaker paint but I am very delicate now with the silver. Only delicately on the edges.
Now that all the painting is done, we may finally remove the elements from the sprues. I highly recommend the Games Workshop cutter as it is very thin and very precise. That saves a lot of time!
Then I clean the edges a bit. You don't have to scrape it very carefully, especially the tops and bottoms. Just remove the bits that overly stick out.
The door opening gubbinz requires a bit of extra work, but still not much.
I will glue the feet to the doors. They seem to be unnecessary if we are going to glue the bulkheads to the floor anyway, but they add an extra bit of strength to the structure, which may come handy. I also think they look nice on those doors.
While glueing the legs bear in mind that they have an "in" and "out" side. The glue dissolves the paint so the paint does not block a strong bond. You have also watch out not to ruin the paint job if you got glue all over your fingers.
Before I glue the floors, I will let the plastic glue to dry a bit. Doesn't take long.
Now let's glue the floors with super glue. I will need more space here, so the bugs have to move.
Note again, that the bulkheads have the "in" and "out" sides and glue them accordingly.
Note that I want to have those feet to actually stick out. You may cut them if you wish. I think these look better with them left. If you remove them, you will be able to place the buildings side by side. I prefer to have separate catwalks to connect the buildings and I leave the legs as they are.
I apply some super glue. It will hold the bits surprisingly well and the bond will form quickly, so you have to do it right at the first try.
This is the 20 cm long building. As you can see, if you glue it this way, models on 40mm bases will be able come in and out of them.
Old metal dreadnoughts are the best for keeping things down while they dry. The wimpy plastic ones are worthless.
I will let them dry for a bit.
You can connect the racks to form larger structures. Which ever side you wish.
But there are several more things you could do with them.
First of all there are a lot of small bits you may to paint further. Like the skulls, panels, lights etc..
I generally don't do it. Sometimes I do, but not typically. See, I want my terrain to be a background decoration, an extension of the boards, and be one step behind my miniatures. If you build and paint your terrain too fancy, the models will be visually lost in it. So I try to keep my terrain a bit more symbolic than realistic, compared to the miniatures. You could call it a graphical style.
Another thing you could do, would be to cut out the bits that stick out, as I mentioned before. I like them left as they are.
Other sub-project would be to add some parapets to the buildings. You could cut them out from foamboard in the shape similar to what I did here on the bunker. Another option is to add some extra decoration, like small balls like the ones I picked at a girly scrapbooking store.
And finally let's look how the buildings work. You can stick a lot of small models safely in them. Instead of one layer of models on a single shelf, you can have several!
The boxes are easy to carry. The models don't slip down easily as the foamcore board is a bit rough, especially compared to paper or plastic.
You can put larger models on the top and at least some of the storage problem is gone!