Here is a new project I’ve been having some fun with. Our gaming group is starting an Alien Squad Leader campaign and I got kinda geeked by the “Tripod” Army list. There are only three vehicle types on the list, so I figured it would be easy to remember the rules for them as a first time player. Thus I set off to find some 15mm models for the campaign. After finding some very nice, but really pricey models on line, my inner cheap-bastard kicked in and I resolved to build some myself from toothpicks and wooden shapes from Michaels and Value Craft. I’ve built warships from balsa in the past, so I figured it should be doable.

I settled on half-egg shapes for the main body b/c they look rather beetle-like. I selected some beading pieces from the jewelry area of Michaels as the idea started to come to me to make them look like they would be from the Victorian era (a la Jules Verne). I used a porcelain paint with a pointed applicator to make the tiny rivets. The paint is pretty much like acrylic, so it sets really fast and dries hard like plastic.

The tentacles are beading needles (.5 mm) I found at Beverly’s Crafts. They come with a ring on one end, and I snipped out the middle with a wire cutter to make them look like tiny claws (the more to scoop delicious humans into their holding pen!).

The gun turrets under the nose of the Machines I made from small rounded shapes, drilled a hole and inserted the end of a toothpick. These make great tapered barrels for miniature Ironclads and the like.

I used two types of toothpicks for the legs, sandwiching the ‘foot’ of the leg with two pieces for the ‘thigh’. I suppose bug anatomy terms would be more apropos, but an entomologist I am not…

Any rate. This is them nearly ready to paint. Tune in next time when they will (hopefully) be all painted up!

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