Making a Punkapocalyptic table look alive and cool is easy for anyone. You can get pre-made scenery from our friend companies at our online store specially designed for our game. But you can also create your own scenery in a much easier way than you could possibly thought.
In this article we will show you how to create Punkapocalyptic shacks in an easy, cheap way.
The first step is to get some solid surface over which to glue the rest of the elements, what we could call the shack’s frame. You can use a small, solid cardboard box you have at home, or maybe a block of expanded polystyrene (the usual porexpan or white cork chunk you always have at hand) or even make it yourself with balsa wood. We decided to buy some cheap boxes in a Chinese shop (or asian wholesaler, as our friends at Scratch Attack would say).
The boxes are made of solid cardboard material, but it can be easily cut to make openings or access the inside if we want or need to. They cost between 0,60 € and 1,00 €, so our budget won’t go through the roof (pun intended) and they come in a wide variety of sizes so we can choose smaller or bigger shacks. To create the main frame we only have to remove the lid and put them upside down. We can add a wooden base to give them more stability or not, depending on our liking. We did, because we wanted to put some beams joining the structure to the ground and it is easier to have a larger base under the shack.
The next step would be to start glueing random things on them. These shacks are supposed to be built with anything the Wasteland dwellers can find, so we are allowed to use some of the craziest shit we can imagine. The most usual material is probably corrugated cardboard, which you can get by «peeling» a regular packing box off its external flat surface to reveal the wavy soft interior. Make sure you don’t leave any remaining bit. There is an easier way which is buying the corrugated cardboard right away in some bookstore, stationery or shopping mall. You won’t have to do any extra work and they come in different colors, so you can even use them as base colors when painting the shacks.
With this one we have mixed corrugated and regular cardboard, as they have different sizes and they add to give the shack a patchier look. We have also added a small tin sheet, a piece of wire mesh from a large roll bought in a Chinese shop, and a strip of wood.
The rest of the materials are just up to your imagination. We used tin sheets, chunks of plastic desk calendars (which are actually excellent plasticard pieces), wooden strips, remaining bits of scenery from the bits box we all have at home, plastic or wire mesh… The thing to keep in mind is to glue it all in a crazy-ass random pattern until we cover all the shack’s surface.
To add a final touch you can glue some gravel over the roof or on the base, if you used one, to give the whole picture an even dirtier look. The possibilities are endless.
As you can see, you can get all the materials used for these shacks for free or for a very low price. If you want to spend some greens you can always buy some railway modelling bits, such as U-beams, texturized plasticard boards, grass, etc. They might seem too expensive, but they last long and you will be able to build a lot of shacks with a single pack, so for about 10 € you can put the ice on the cake of your own shantytown.
After this, the only thing to go is to paint them. The idea is to give them an heterogeneous look, so try not to repeat the same color a lot among the different pieces of each hut. The easiest way is to use inks and dried brush techniques for each element. If you are confident enough, you can go for higher techniques for cooler effects.
So now you know, you can fill your gaming table with the lowest buildings in the Wasteland in an easy and cheap way. Your games will look cooler, you will give some use to the crap you had in your bits box and you will be able to show off your great work.