No Place Like Home!

Apart from Orktober, the only other community painting challenge I was aware of this month was the Apocalypse Me challenge run by Dave Stone over at Wargamesculptors Blog. Wasn’t sure I’d be able to participate in this challenge, but Dave said that an alien invasion would probably count as an apocalypse and that got me thinking about what I could do!

Alien invasion for me means my War of the Worlds setting and my Squid army, readying itself to invade Earth in the 19th Century! I’ve added bits and pieces to suit what I want in this army, so I’m not conforming to the Martian invasion force that H. G. Wells described in his book. I’ve got some metal creepy crawly type minis that I want to do, so they got dug out of a storage box in preparation for some of them getting painted, but then I saw some spindle drones over at and thought they’d look ideal as Martian drones. I duly found some on Ebay and got them ordered, but the Royal Mail strikes in the UK meant they took longer to arrive than normal so I thought I’d better come up with something else (hopefully a post on the drones here won’t be too long in coming though)!

And here it is, a cut-up natural sweetener tub Martian invasion cylinder that’s just crashed on Earth! This must be the simplest piece of scenery I’ve ever made, duly inspired by the guys over at Skinflint Games and Matt’s Space Station Zero scenery. It really is a natural sweetener tub, cut through diagonally, glued onto a bit of foamcard which was then glued onto a piece of mounting board!

I slapped some Vallejo natural stone texture onto the base followed by white pumice texture (the latter takes ages to dry in thick sections, so the quick drying stone was put on first to fill in big gaps and then followed by a thinner layer of pumice). I carefully cut out a ring of card for the rear surface and then made a couple of ying-yang shapes to put under the ring to give the impression of a door/airlock, maybe opening, maybe not!

I didn’t want it to look steampunky so I left it as a plain surface with no rivets or any other embellishments. I painted it in Humbrol acrylic Rust and then put a thinned coat of black/brown on it, with some of the latter being removed with a damp brush to give it a streaky appearance.

Some of the black/brown leaked across the earth base on one side (you can just make it our in the picture above) so I just drybrushed that in a darker shade to make it look like either the grass had caught fire and burnt away on that side or there’d been a nasty chemical spill of some sort! Then it was just a case of drybrushing some highlights on the cylinder itself and adding some grass to the base.

And that was it! My Squids now have somewhere to start their invasion of Earth from!



  1. Wonderful work John, simplicity at it’s best, but such an invoking piece of terrain, and jump off point. I think you made the right call keeping the outside smooth, adds to the alien feel.

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    • Thanks Dave! πŸ™‚ I did debate about adding extra detail. I thought it might have looked good with some sort of crane on top so that heavy items could be lifted out of the cylinder, but wasn’t really sure what that should have looked like. One of my colleagues suggested a tentacle, which is a good idea but I’m not too sure I make that work! As it happens, though, keeping it plain probably makes it more distinctive!

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  2. Oh man, that looks amazing! Cleverly made and wonderfully painted, it really suits your Martian invaders and again looks like something that was store-bought, not knocked up out of an old cardboard tube! And thanks for the shout-out, I’m honoured to have inspired you with my trash terrain πŸ™‚

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  3. Top stuff – I love a bit of scratch built terrain like that. One man’s trash is a wargamer’s treasure as they say. Looking at it, it strikes me you could do something similar to make a bunker entrance – the surviving population of the Earth needs somewhere to regroup and launch our counter-attack against those Martians after all!

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  4. Cheers on getting something done for the Apocalypse challenge! Orktober was about all I could manage! As for the Martian Invasion Cylinder. Well. I like it of course! πŸ˜€ Nice terrain bit there and a nice post on how you put it together! Well done, John! πŸ™‚

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  5. This is a great way to do a bit of recycling, John! πŸ™‚ I think the terrain came out really well and fits Dave’s challenge perfectly as well. Its amazing what kind of projects come out of these challenges. They can push us to do some of our best work!

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  6. Love it! Simple and effective.
    If you do want to add to add some ‘Martian tentacles’ what about some of those cheap bendy costume jewellery chains. I don’t think I can add a picture here, so I just added a link to an e-Bay sale (found at random!) of what I am talking about. Just needs some steel or brass wire through the centre to keep it in the right shape: For the pincers, depending on the size you need, what about a section cut out of one of these expanding wall bolts (the sort you screw through plasterboard and open out behind when you tighten them)

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  7. Superb bit of work mate! just goes to show you don’t have to go commercial, 3D print or super detailed to end up with a great looking scenic piece! (though being a top notch painter like your good self helps! 😁)

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 2 people

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