Part 1- Construction begins

It's time to build!  First things first, materials.    The main component for the Generator is a plastic electrical box you can find at most any Hardware store.  They are referred to as switch boxes, outlet boxes, or new work boxes.  The type you want is the 2-gang Nail-on kind.  The most common box of this style (and the one used in this article) is manufactured by Carlon, model B232A-UPC.

Of course, there's a whole host of details we'll be adding to this box to make it into something cool!  Here's a list of the parts used.  Note that your generator doesn't have to be exactly like this- there's some solid ideas for details presented here, but if you want to substitute your own detail pieces, go for it!

Most of the detail on this building comes from the new Cities of Death sprues.  The first three are essential to making the most of the box's size and shape, so they are listed in bold.
+++ Two building panels (I chose some from the Administratum sprue)
+++ Two bulkheads (the long thin pieces with rivets on them)
+++ Six Spiky railings, and two extra spiky posts for the end of the railings.  If you prefer to use damaged ones, you may only need one extra spike.
+++ Three Manufactorum railings, and two extra posts for them (one of the railings can be a damaged piece since it gets cut down anyway)
+++ Four flying buttresses
+++ Two Straight Pipe sections
+++ One Bent Pipe Elbow (formed of two identical halves)
+++ One Light (I chose the dome shaped one)
+++ One of the curved cover pieces (that goes on the inside of the Manufactorum panel with the skull on it)
+++ Two panels of  Floor (intact or damaged)

+++ TWELVE small tank wheels from a Chimera / Lemann Russ / Basilisk kit (You can mail order the Tank Wheel sprue seperately if you like- part code 99399999043)
+++ Two large tank wheels from the above mentioned sprue
+++ Half of an Oil Drum from the Battlefield Accessories Sprue

Several Lego style building blocks are used in this project.  I prefer Megablocks brand, since there's no logo on the studs, and the cheaper styrene based plastic is actually easier to work with than the Lego ABS based plastic.
+++ Six building blocks, size 2x4.
+++ Four building blocks, size 1x2.
+++ One building block, size 2x3.  A cut down 2x4 block could also work.
+++ One plastic clothes pin, 3" long

+++ Razor Saw
+++ Sanding Pad
+++ Superglue
+++ Nippy Cutters
Before we begin, notice that the electrical box has four angled slots on either side.  These angled slots have punchout tabs- if you were actually using the box for what it was meant for, you'd punch out the tabs to run wires out of the back of the box.  But we'll be relying on these angles to provide some of the more interesting detail on the generator, so leave them intact!

The first step is to cut off the nail tabs on either side of the box.  Use your razor saw and cut as close to the box as possible. 

Next, trim off the little tabs on the front of the box with nippy cutters, so they don't get in the way of the buttresses we'll be adding later.

Finally, use some sandpaper or a sanding block to sand all the surfaces of the box.  Sanding the box ensures that glue and paint stick to the box better!



Now to prepare the building panels.  To get a good, flat fit onto the box, all the detail on the back of the panel must be removed.  Use nippy cutters to trim off the ridges on the top and bottom.  Twisting the cutters will help pry the bottom one off nice and flush.

Although you could use coarse sandpaper to burn off all the detail on the back, try this trick.  Carefully lay your razor saw blade flat against the panel and saw the details off.  If done carefully, you can actually remove intact details that can be glued onto other models wherever you like!

If you are using a panel with arched windows, you can clip out the center strut to make it look more industrial- they often break off anyway, so cut it cleanly with nippy cutters.

Once all the details you want have been removed, sand the back of the panel on a sanding pad until it is relatively flat and smooth.  Repeat these steps for both panels.

Next, we'll add a building panel  onto the back of the box.  Line up the edge of the panel with the edge of the box top.  Add the bulkhead onto the right side of the panel and superglue it to the box, forming a nice symmetrical edge.  The completed panel should be centered on the end of the box so it lines up almost perfectly with the flat portion of the top of the box.

Two buttresses will go on either side of the panel.  See the picture below to see how this works.   The bottom portion of each buttress will stick out too far if it isn't flattened.  (Note: Be sure you are making a left-side and a right-side buttress when flattening the backs.)   Use nippy cutters to trim off the ridge at the bottom and a razor saw to saw off the detail.  Sand the back on your sanding pad, being careful only to sand the lower portion of the buttress.  The upper portion, including the spiked skull detail, will stick out past the box, so be careful not to sand off that detail! 

Glue the buttresses on either side of the panels, as shown.  Put glue on the flattened back of the buttresses, and on the edges where they contact the panel.  The buttress may stick out slightly from the box at the top- that's okay, as long as they are lined up with the panel.

Now that the back of the generator is done, repeat the steps for the front of the Generator. If you forgot to trim off the two little tabs at the bottom edge when preparing the box, do that now so the buttresses lie flat on the box.   I used the administratum door panel for the front of my generator, but you can use whatever panel you like.

Now for the roof.  Glue the spiky railing pieces around the 2-panel floor section as shown.   I used some of the damaged railing pieces, lining up the damaged edges with the damaged corner on the floor.  Be sure to put the raised detail of the floor panel facing up, so the bottom is smooth and will glue easily.

Once this assembly is dry, superglue the whole thing onto the top of the box.  Center it on the box- you should find it is a good fit for the box and lines up evenly with the panels on either end.


NEXT: Adding the Detail...

Copyright 2006 Sean Patten

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