As I mentioned in the last post, I've been wanting to build something, anything, for quite a while now. So why not try something easy like the entrance to the 4Ground Twin Peaks Mall? Excuse the paper sign for now, a 3D printed sign is going to be an absolute must in the future.
For probably the last year and a half I have slowly been picking up kits from the Twin Peaks line. Taking full advantage of sales and discounts because they are definitely on the expensive side. All told I can safely say that everything that I've bought (which is the monster starter box in front, and then the two stacks immediately behind it) so far was at 40 to 50% off. Yeah, I know, madness lol!
I actually have a total of three entrances. Again, yeah, I know! But if you're building a mall, go big or go home I say - and why I have those two huge stacks of kits. Thinking that the entrance would be really simple was pretty dumb - mostly because I never make anything simple as you'll see below.
I'm not sure why the doors weren't painted in a metal color, so I did that myself.
I love 4Ground, but a few things that really bother me about their kits is the "flatness" of the buildings and a lot of the "sameyness".
While the kits to create this entrance definitely didn't suffer from any "sameyness", I did feel it definitely suffered from that "flatness" I mentioned.
I definitely think that something like this was needed, I only wonder if I should have used a smaller size. I'm thinking yes. And that I also need to add a few more pieces to the corners and ends.
What's nice is that for a post apocalypse setting, a lot of the burn marks on the parts that I usually have to clean up from the laser can be left to give a more distressed look. The above shows an example of a cleaned up piece (right side) compared to the untouched piece (left side). A huge difference.
I also put together one of the expansion roof and floor kits. The "glass" on all these kits is a real challenge - even being incredibly careful you're sure to get a few finger prints on them and it's super annoying for someone who has OCD!
I added some "Welcome" signs to either side of the front doors. I found the signs online and resized them to fit in the space. I also glued them onto tin foil to give the an improved look.
A simple addition, but I think it makes a big improvement to the entrance.
Looking from the inside of the entrance.
I thought it would be fun to have product banners hanging from the rafters. Being a zombie apocalypse I figured that a skin care product sign would be hilarious. Searching online I found the perfect one and by using this cream, you too can look 10 years younger in just four weeks!
I added some thread to act as the wire to hold the sign. I think having a lot of different rafter signs will add a lot of fun tongue in cheek laughs to the layout.
One rabbit hole I did go down was actually painting the tiles on the floor. I think it's a night and day difference and I'm really happy with the end result, but oh my word!
And here are a few figures in the new entrance - and it shows why I'm all about this new thin clear base, the figures just blend right into the floor. I'm going to wait to do any kind of weathering because I'm not sure if I'm going to make this early days of the apocalypse or much later into it.
So a fun little start, but I don't see the mall being any kind of a focus. There are way too many things I need to sort out design and layout-wise. The biggest being the roof. I'll be totally honest here, I think 4ground really missed a huge opportunity here. The roof could have essentially been a whole other level for game play, but instead you've got a pitched roof. It's a real head scratcher for me. That absolutely has to change, and I'm not sure if I can do it. I totally redesigned the roof to 4Grounds warehouse kit here, but this is totally different. There are other issues too - all the stores are essentially "shoe boxes", where are my corner shops? Why there isn't a hallways expansion set has me shaking my head as well. And where is the movie plex??!! Oh well :)
Moving into October I've got some more Walking Dead figures lined up to finish.
Also a quick shout out to a couple of new followers - Stewart, Gerardo, Staz Matt - and I don't think I ever acknowledged Jason F, Millsy and Joe - thanks a lot for following guys, I really appreciate it!
Until next time, thanks for looking!