These models are designed to complement the science fiction space-marines type of games of combat between numbers of troops ranging from skirmishing gangs up to small armies. The bunkers are a medium-technology set of fixed fortifications that are used to reinforce key defensive points or other fixed features on a battlefield. They are constructed of locally-available materials supplemented with prefabricated reinforcing and binding agents, designed to be rapidly assembled by conquering armies eager to consolidate their hard-fought gains.
Because local materials are used in their construction, the buildings may be a variety of colours, from dark brown through sand to pale grey, and may have camouflage schemes applied where local vegetation is particularly lush. Unit markings, warning signs and inspirational slogans may also be applied.The bunkers can be used as separate items or grouped to make larger defensive complexes.
Items 01 and 02 have observation slits and an open-topped, walled roof platform. The medium carapace is a two-piece expansion (support pillars to provide firing slits and a heavy cover) for bunkers 01 and 02, providing extra protection for their observation platforms. The support pillars can be used either way up to give high or low vision slits. The cover can also be used without the pillars to form a closed roof on the bunkers.
Items 04 to 07 inclusive can be used to build an armoured tower with a bunker base and fire or observation platform. A ground level bunker can be made with items 04 and 06. Items 08 to 10 inclusive can be used to make a blast protection wall or permanent hard cover for infantry.
While the large bunker complex was originally designed as a single structure, the elements may be used separately as desired. Adding extra features such as a side hatch to the large bunker tower lets it be used as a free-standing model in its own right.
Items 12 to 19 can be used for exterior or interior heavy industrial cover. Items 20 to 22 can serve as important pieces of machinery suitable for gang objectives in campaigns.
In the Wartech Undercity range, the modular building enables rectangular units approximately 70mm high to be built, providing cover for troops. Roofs may be added using the walkways and platforms. The platform pieces represent metal structures suitable for science-fiction miniatures wargaming, providing cover and objectives for skirmish or small-unit type combat. The pieces have a used- and-abused look suitable for abandoned city or factory layouts.
Originally intended for 20 to 30 mm scale figures, these models are fairly scale-less, permitting them to be used from micro-armour ('epic') to 54mm scales and above.
The Wartech Undercity models represent medium-technology factory interior or city sub-level features. Most of the pieces exhibit a kind of neglected decay look and many have weapon impact marks. Scattered around the battlefield in a semi-regular layout, they provide hard cover for troops and small vehicles. The building sections consist of short lengths of open archways that may be used io create rectangular or L-shaped open structures to provide infantry with partial cover. Platforms, gangways and baseplates provide flooring to enable multi-storey structures to be assembled.
Science fiction is full of exotic weaponry. Rail guns and kinetic slug-chuckers fire high energy rounds that splinter and tear metal. Plasm guns cut, weld and fuze. Flamers leave oily, smoky residues and cause fires that bubble paintwork and scar concrete. Psychic weapons splinter and disrupt in any one of a thousand ways This means the sky's the limit for the kind of damage you can simulate.
The models are designed to be stacked or rearranged as desired, which means that they will probably be handled a lot more than the usual battlefield models. The pieces should be cleaned up and any any casting faults filled with two-part epoxy putty, then primed and allowed to dry.
The method of construction ensures that the bunkers may come in a variety of colours, depending on the colour of the sand and gravel used in the matrix (concrete, ferrocrete or thermocrete) of their construction.
Different primers can be used for different effects. For grey coloured bunkers, prime the model with white primer and allow to thoroughly dry. Cover the model with Paynes grey, then, while still wet, wipe off with a sponge. The model will be stained pale grey by the paint, with undercuts and crevices accentuated by darker areas of paint. Repeat until the desired colour is obtained.
For sandier looking bunkers, proceed as above, but using raw sienna paint instead of Paynes grey. Darken the gun port interiors with stippled Paynes grey to exaggerate the shadows.
For a darker, more menacing effect, prime with grey primer. When dry, apply a wash of burnt umber and sponge clean, repeating at random to get a mottled, weather-beaten effect. Allow to dry, then repeat with yellow ochre. Again, allow to dry, then apply a thin wash of black and dark brown ink to pick out any undercuts and cracks.
If a camouflage pattern is desired, paint it now. Don't be too concerned that it appears too garish or bright at this stage, since it's colours will be muted by subsequent weathering. Allow to dry thoroughly.
Paint exposed steelwork with home-made gunmetal (silver, black and burnt umber). Allow to dry, then drybrush with silver to pick out the details.
Metalwork and piping can be almost any base colour. Red or grey metal primer can be used, but for unusual effects, prime with matt enamel (green, blue, orange, or whatever). For a more dramatic effect, "repaired" areas can be simulated by masking off with tape and painting in a contrasting colour.
Black and yellow striped warning panels also feature strongly (check out Alien, Aliens, Moon 44, etc.) and can be hand-painted or added with a draughting pen over painted yellow areas.
Additional markings such as warning signs and panel numbers can be provided from spare transfers (decals) scrounged from the bit box, or dry-transfer markings available from most art shops and stationers. Model railway hobby shops also sell lots of interesting markings for exotic rolling stock such as goods wagon labels, while modern military aircraft are covered with 'no-step' and maintenance stencilling. Some model shops sell just transfer sheets, and many have a 'bargain bin' of unusual (and often cheap) transfers.
After the paint has dried, add any markings as desired using scrap transfers or dry-print lettering. Bear in mind a possible functional reason for them, rather than just covering the model with markings. They needn't actually mean anything, just look as though they do. Alien lettering can be created by cutting pieces out of ordinary letters or using Cyrillic or Hebrew characters (available in a variety of dry-transfer styles). Use suitable techy-looking typefaces (the Star Trek people use a ripped-off version of Microgramma Extended and Microgramma Bold Extended called 'Starfleet Extended', but Helvetica is also easy to get hold of and looks nicely futuristic). Some Japanese kits have labelling on their transfer sheets printed on transfer backing if you fancy an occasional Japanese character on your model. If all else fails, labels from video cassette sticker sheets can be used (the glossy ones are best, as they are usually more durable and will withstand paint washes).
Allow the transfers and other markings to dry out. You may wish to apply a very thin wash of black and burnt umber followed by a thin layer of matt varnish to seal them and give the model a uniform surface texture, but it's not absolutely necessary. Allow to dry again.
For a squeaky-clean starship, this is probably sufficient. Otherwise, you can start the dirtying-up process. This is where the fun really begins!
Even though these models are of science-fiction subjects, they can be made more believable by aging them in the same way that real objects are worn. Even mass-produced items like bricks show a variety of colours and textures. Models are often painted all at one go, but real buildings and machinery are painted in stages. Changes of paint batches and even the way it is applied result in subtle, but noticable changes in appearance between different parts of a single structure. Note how water would run down the structures and how rust streaks follow the water trails. Look at real damaged or abandoned steel and concrete structures and note how the ravages of time colour and wear them.
Add rust streaks and lichen patches with burnt umber/raw sienna and sap green or olive green. Repeated applications of burnt umber and black washes dirty-down the panels. Allow to dry and add rust streaks and oil leaks with a stipple brush. A light dry-brushing with white or yellow ochre picks up the sharp corners.
Damage and dirt appears over a period of time, so try for a layered effect with the dirtying-up - repairs and patching can be simulated by leaving some areas cleaner than others (mask with tape or frisket before starting the dirtying-down) or overpaint with a different coloured primer (red oxide primer on a grey panel, for example).
Blaster marks and gunfire hits can be added by gouging small circular depressions with the tip of a knife or the point of a large twist drill bit. Cut splinter marks and shrapnel spatter radiating from the centre of the impact point. Paint the depression silver, then add a light wash of black. Add smoke marks and kinetic burns with stippled black to complete the effect.
Burn marks from cutting and welding gear can also be added. Flame-cut steel sheeting can be simulated by using a soldering iron or pyrogravure on the edges of a piece of plasticard (available from your local model shop in a variety of thicknesses), lightly working a series of closely-spaced ridges into the plastic. Spray the piece with primer, stipple the edges of the plate with black and then dry-brush with silver to accentuate the cut edges. This technique also works well on weapon strikes and destroyed panel edges.
Blaster marks, together with burns from welding or cutting gear can be detailed by stippling with black and burnt umber. Finally, if the paint appears a little too bright, dry-brush with a little white or yellow ochre to mute the colours. Freshly-exposed, chipped or worn concrete can be brightened by lightly stippling with white. Add rust stains to old exposed metalwork, or drybrush it with silver for that freshly-smashed look.
Add piles of debris (cat litter, or Fuller's Earth) and scraps of fabric (use tissue paper sealed with a 50:50 mix of white PVA glue and water). Model bits can also be included to add to the confusion of war. Additional or broken pipework can be added using wire solder (available in a variety of diameters) attached to the model with superglue - treat it as lead-based white metal and wash your hands after handling it.
Alternatively, copper wire and brass tubing (available from shops that sell modelling materials) can be used. The same source provides fine chain which may be hung in loops from overhangs to provide climbing aids for infantry. Larger diameter pipework (such as drainage or water mains) can be added with scraps of plastic straw (the bendy kind even have very nicely-ribbed curved sections). Loose weapons, bits of wrecked vehicles, crates, oil drums and any thing else that comes to hand may be used to make the pieces unique and more interesting.