Friday, August 31, 2012

Bunkers from candy boxes

Bunkers From Plaster

If you think these bunkers would make a suitable shelter for an Ambassador, it could be because Ariss cast them in an old Ferrero Rocher chocolate box.
I always thought the Ferrero Rocher chocolate boxes looked amazingly like bunkers but I once tried making a bunker out of one and found that the plastic is too hard and stiff to work with. The breakthrough came when I had the idea of using the box as a mould to cast the bunker shapes in plaster.
The image to the right shows the type of box used however Ferrero Rocher come in various other designs that would work just as well. Don't worry about marks cast into the plastic being transferred to the plaster as these are easily hidden with battle damage.
To reduce the amount of plaster needed, and the weight of the finished piece, I used a second, smaller box which I sank into the larger box. The smaller box needs to be weighted and should be inserted such that it 'floats' about 1 cm above the bottom of the larger box giving us our roof thickness.
After allowing it to dry for an hour the moulds are removed and we are left with a hollow block of plaster:
Already it's looking like a bunker but in the next part of this article we will add firing slits, a door, battle damage, and other details. Before we do that however it's worth noting that:
  1. Because the Ferrero Rocher boxes are made from hard plastic there is a good chance that they will break when removing the plaster. However, with the application of a little sticky tape, it can probably be stabilised sufficiently to be used again. I used the same box to make three bunkers for these projects despite breaking the box while removing the first of them.
  2. As an alternative to using a second box to make the hollow, you could use something like a block of polystyrene and leave it embedded in the finished item. You will find however that you need to weight it down until the plaster is set as it will tend to float.

    Bunkers From Plaster - Part 2

    Having created the basis of our plaster bunker in part one, it's time to add some details. Note that this is best done within an hour or two of casting i.e. while the plaster is still damp and relatively soft.
    We'll begin by carving some firing slits. The best tool for the job is a craft knife with a chisel blade however you could probably do a decent job with a relatively sharp flat bladed screwdriver. The technique is to use a straight edge and drag the tool repeatedly on the surface of the plaster to make a shallow channel. To further increase its depth, use the tool as a chisel, diagonally cutting slices of plaster. It'll get deeper pretty fast but don't rush it. Cutting the plaster out in smaller pieces will result in smoother edges. Also bear in mind that there is little no point in going all the way through to the hollow; a deep channel is sufficient.
    Now for a door. This is simply marked out and then chiselled and cut out using the craft knife (with chisel blade) and a serrated kitchen knife:
    Battle damage is created using a sharp pin or the tip of a knife. Start with a hole at the centre of the impact, make lines radiating outwards and finish with concentric circles. The damage illustrated below is suppose to be from heavy mortar fire. Actually, I have no idea how it is supposed to look like, but this effect has worked for me.
    That brings us to the end of the plaster carving and the piece should now be left to dry out. Spending the night in an over on it's lowest heat setting will do the trick. After this, other details can be added prior to painting as you will see in part 3.

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