Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Post-Apocalyptic (or abandoned) Trailer Home

    My Sarissa Precision 'Residential Trailer' modified for a post-Apocalyptic or very seedy setting
This has been a model many months in the making. I started working on this Sarissa Precision MDF "Residential Trailer" over the summer. From the beginning, I intended major surface modifications to the design. Rather than the inscribed vinyl paneling the model comes with, I planned on adding corrugated tin or steel panels and patches. I wanted the trailer to look at home in either a post-Apocalyptic game or some seedy, modern setting in a slum or dilapidated area.

    The Bucknuts gang investigates the area around the trailer for signs to see if anyone is home
Luckily, I had several different sizes and types of corrugated styrene plastic. However, the base horizontal corrugated material would actually be done with corrugated paper that I bought at Hobby Lobby. I would use the styrene for the "patches" of corrugated material and for the vertical corrugation along the bottom edge of the trailer. I made an exception for the roof, though. I used all styrene corrugated material because I figured it would get more handling and wear as the roof was taken off and replaced during games.

    I like how the roof came out. I used paper towels as blue plastic tarp weighed down with craft bricks
I covered the windows with black plastic mesh material trimmed to appear as metal bars over the windows. I dry brushed the black with steel paint, but it kind of gets lost on the dark material. I should probably have done brighter metal highlights to make it look more obviously metal. I also decided not to use the cardboard awnings Sarissa Precision includes with the models. Not only could I not see how they wouldn't get knocked off during normal gaming, I also thought they were a little hoity-toity for the owners of this trailer that I had in mind! It is hard to see, but the skylights on the top actually have clear plastic window material that Sarissa included with the model. The clear coating I sprayed on frosted it, but I actually hoped that it would do that to make it a more realistic skylight. Otherwise, the windows of the model are just open holes with the plastic mesh trimmed to fit over them.

    I wanted the trailer to look like a cross between post-Apocalyptic and some backwoods nightmare
I love how the roof came out. I epoxied a piece of styrene corrugated material to cover the length of the MDF roof, having to make a few cut outs to account for the two large skylights on the roof. I put a couple different size styrene "patches" over the roof and also added in some tarps. I took ordinary paper towel material for the tarps, and glued it into place with white glue. I then painted the material heavily with a 50/50 mix of white glue and water. Finally, I added some craft bricks I had bought from a package at the Dragons Guildhall in Beavercreek, OH.

Bucknuts members take up positions to watch for the owners while they prepare to loot the trailer
There are other various modifications I made. The trim pieces along the sides of the model are simply wooden craft sticks trimmed to the right size. The wooden flooring on the staircase leading to the front door are similarly craft sticks trimmed to length and glued into place. Similarly, the frame around the front door is also done with wooden craft sticks.

    The rear of the trailer, with a section patched with wood and the obligatory warning to trespassers

Painting the trailer was easier than I thought it would be. I spray painted the model black, then went over it again with a 50/50 mix of black acrylic paint and water. I chose faded pastel colors for the corrugated paneling, and gave them extensive dry brushing to simulate sun-bleaching. Finally, I went crazy with red brown and an orange rust color to simulate a rusted, dilapidated exterior. I looked at photographs online of rusting tin and feel I came close to the effect. I am still not sure if I went overboard or got it right. I would be curious to hear what you think of the effect.

    The interior turned out ok - everything is painted except the doors, which are printed out & glued on
The final part of the model was painting the interior. Originally, I intended to use patterned paper as wallpaper and save myself the trouble of painting. But there are so many windows on this model that I finally decided it would be more work to measure and cut out the paper than it would be to just paint it. I gave it a black base coat then dry brushed my colors on. I did a lighter highlight dry brush, then a black wash to give it a faded, dirty appearance. I think it turned out functional. I could have put posters on the walls and such, but decided for a slight more bare bones look.

    This is how Sarissa Precision envisions the model - WAY to pretty and posh for what I had in mind!
The final touch was the abandoned love seat and easy chair sitting in the yard. These were plaster cast pieces I'd purchased from my friend Tim P. I also decided to add in the stereotype abandoned toilet in the yard, used as a planter for flowers. The fire pit is simply rocks. I realized that I forgot to push burnt sticks and ashes inside the fire ring. I also wanted to black wash the rocks and dry brush some soot stains. So, I guess I am not technically done with the model. It was just, with the months it took to get to this stage, I was ready for it to be complete!