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How to create a UFO for 15mm Invasion!

19 Sep

I thought I’d share with you some more of my wargaming stuff and continue on with the Alien invasion in 15mm, I showed you the grey aliens from 15mm.co.uk, well the squad I did was my advance party, and if you recall I said all I needed were some vehicles for them. What transport do these little E.T.s use to commute?

A flying saucer.

Looking all over the place to find a cheap enough one for my budget was a no go. No doubt those of you who have ever looked for a suitable model to do the same as me, have probably found that the better ones come with a hefty price attached. Money don’t come easy these days and as much as I love the retro classic saucer kits, I prefer to get more from my spend. I prefer to buy minis and paints & art supplies with any spare cash.

I would have to make one.

Two main reasons behind this, first the above, second reason, I’m thinking about having two or three, or more, I may as well pawn in my grandma to afford a fleet of little plastic UFOs. Can’t be hard, I thought. I wasn’t, twas easy.

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So here’s a pic of the finished one, functional, quick to make almost free, and made with stuff easily found in your home or  a quick ask around family/friends. Best of all, this one has an actual working tractor beam/death ray weapon!

OK, so I will take you through the process I used, maybe it will give you some ideas so that you could do your own, or give you some inspiration to use on your own models. Best of all, the only things you will need to pay for is your glues, paints and varnish to put it all together.

Step 1: BITS

What I started with were the following items, a CD/DVD empty spool container (a small size one that holds 5 disks, you can get them from Poundshops in the UK, in the rest of the world check anywhere that sells spools of blank disks. I didn’t pay for these, they were just ready to go in the junk after using the disks. Look, I’ll show you…)Image

They are in two parts like so

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We just need the bottom bit for this model, you could use the bigger spools if you can’t get the same ones as this, but these are ideal.

Other things needed are, an old CD/DVD, Cereal box card, empty paracetamol plastic packet sheets with the round indents where they keep the sealed tablets like these.

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A kids plastic balloon stick holder, they usually give them to kids at car sales and promo stuff.

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Plastic cake packaging, the kind that holds small cakes and apple pie type goodies, Mine had individual sausage and mash in them, a bit of looking around will get you something usable, they’re usually a kind of ribbed scifi shape anyway, so different ones will give a different look.

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The other things you will need is coke bottle tops (I used 3 but you could use 4 or 5 if you wanted), any small circular  shaped bits and pieces, tops and discs, a few bendy straws, thin electrical wire from old gadgets or similar, Rolling cigarette filters or  any tubes or sockets you can get of a similar size. Forgive me if I miss anything out but, I’ll try and remember as much as I can for youse!

Step 2: construction.

The base is constructed by getting your old CD/DVD disk and glueing a plastic balloon stick the cone side down with a strong glue, you will need to trim the stick down about half way otherwise the saucer will sit atop too high. Also the end the CD is glued to will possibly need trimming to make a flat and nice bond and seal. I used lots of superglue until it didnt move. When its glued get a lighter to the top and burn it slightly and use something to flatten the top. paint it with a black undercoat or two and set it to one side.

Get the spool and start to build up the middle bit with card board to create the upper hull of the ship, I drew around a CD a few times and applied them layer by layer, each smaller and smaller until was satisfied with the shape.

Take the cake packaging and cut out a central cockpit in the height you desire, stick it on the top (contact adhesive is better for this job as sticking plastic to card and a mix of surfaces can be a bit hit and miss, if your impatient like me, it does the job quicker than seeing if the superglue has stuck or not. Cut out the paracetamol inserts and glue them on the topside of the hull in whatever pattern you like (symetrical looks better) then take the bendy straws and cut out the bendy bits with a bit of straw left at each side (5mm or so) stick these connecting from the centralhub to the hull at intervals between the tablet inserts. Stick on the cig filters/tubes that have been cut down to a suitable size. Get the wires and connect them from tube conduit to conduit. At this point, just start raiding your bin or bits box for stuff you can attach to customise the UFO, use your imagination.

Take your coke bottle tops and stick them on the underside at regular intervals to your taste. Whatever you do, don’t block the little hole underneath (the stick that holds the CDs on the spool) you’ll need that to perch the UFO on it after. After your finished undercoat it, spray with silver hammerite paint all over and leave to dry. Give it a basic paint job and you should something like this:

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Next I got a CD/DVD permenant marker pen and started scrawling geometric alien type patterns all over it, it is much quicker and easier than painting it on, but that works too! After that you should end up with something like this;

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Next fill in the shapes to your liking with some colour and highlights, its up to you how you do it.

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Finish the base as you would any other model with sans/flock/static grass etc to your own preference.

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There, basic model done. Oh yeaah I forgot, now the working death ray……

What you need for this you will have to buy a few bits, but they are really cheap and will do you for other projects too

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Finger lights can be bought from ebay for about £1 or so, even less, they’re small attachable lights that go on your fingers with an elastic band fixing. Take this off the one your using and attach a magnet or a few small ones to the curved back end of the light, make sure the switch is at the bottom and the flat side at the top. Dive in your bits again and stick various tech bits and wires and create your own weapon of doom like below.

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Get a flat bit of metal (a disposable lighter metal top is ideal when flattened and cut into a square, make sure your magnets stick to it though!) then stick with superglue to the underside of your saucer.

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The light will now be able to be taken off and on as required

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Next paint the whole thing with a few coats of paint to match and finish with a varnish coat or two to seal it in.

Your now finished.

I found this method a great way to make some cheap craft for my figures, mine only took me a couple of hours to make, but I plan on really taking my time on the next ones as well as a big mothership.

The UFO in action with the Greys

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Oh no Joe, here they come! I think the end result was much better than spending a shed load of money, plus fun to make. I have plans for the next one to have a robotic claw and a red heat ray. You can do a lot to the basic UFO, tell me what you think?

Finally as long as you don’t glue the model to the base, you can land the saucer as well as you can see from the pics, and whats great is by allowing the saucer to balance atop the stick flying base, it will actually spin! it even has a characteristic “UFO wobble”as it does so!

If you try and attempt something like this, or I have inspired you, please send me some pics and I’ll post them so we all can see, maybe you can take it to another level and add another functionality or light the whole thing up!

TTFN

 

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10 Responses to “How to create a UFO for 15mm Invasion!”

  1. 6milphil September 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    It’s a good model right up until you put a light on it… now it’s a great model.

    Like

    • grimace73 September 21, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

      Thanks! I hope to spend a bit more time on the next ones, I’m going to see how many more features I can add (landing legs, heat ray, teleporter, maybe some hovering cows….!)

      Like

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