Tuesday, 24 February 2009

SPUG Week Continues.......

SPUG Week continues at Dropship Horizon with a tutorial on creating Bug 'huts' by the totally inspired and talented Jeff Racel. Jeff originally posted this tutorial on TMP and was kind enough to send it to me for inclusion in Dropship Horizon.

Jeff Racel's 'Spug Huts'

If you want to see Jeff's latest excellent tutorial on painting SPUGs
Click Here!

Making Bug Huts, in Jeff's own words.....

I decided to play with the other odds and ends I bought to make some new Sci-Fi terrain for my 15mm forces in anticipation of the pending release of Force on Force by Ambush Alley Games. This time the concept was some alien buildings to go with my 15mm Spug forces from Spriggan Miniatures (available through Rattlehead Games in the US). I am doing a combined force of Spugs, Khurasan Arachnians to be made into Bio Tanks and the new GZG Ixx (not yet assembled). For this force I decided to work on some "Bug Huts" for the smaller Spug forces. Not sure if these are for the adult Spugs (have to crawl in) or for larva baby Spugs, but they still work for the start of a new terrain set. The basic concept is very easy and uses the following items.

1. Plastic Easter eggs of various sizes that match the figures you are using.

2. Plastic wrap and a flat surface

3. Some appropriate sized metal washers to form a base.

4. Some plastic straws or metal pipe for the entrance tunnel.

5. Silicone caulking and a caulk gun to make the base and hold the hut together.

6. Various spray paints, including a good primer that will stick to the silicone

7. Some sort of textured spray paint or textured paint. I used Krylon Textured Elegance that I bought on clearance a few years back and was keeping for a rainy day.

8. Some Future Floor Wax (Pledge in the new package)

9. Green or brown craft paint.

Assembly and Painting:

1. Take the plastic wrap or similar plastic material (grocery bag, garbage bag etc.) and spread it on the flat surface. I wrapped a piece of MDF in plastic wrap. This allows you to peel off the silicone later.

Take a washer and place it on the plastic. Add some caulk to the middle hole of the washer to keep it from moving and them work around the outside edge of the washer to hide it. Make a few circles around and add the piece of straw. Continue to make a little mound of the silicone in the middle of the washer.

Place an egg into the silicone mound and twist it a little to get it seated.

4. Do as many eggs as you need and let them dry for 24 hours.
Peel all the huts from the plastic and take them to your spray paint area. Prime the huts with a good primer that sticks to the silicone (if you use Silicone II from GE it accepts paint better than most).

Now you need to texture the eggs. I use layers of Textured spray paint, making sure it had lots of runs and drips to look more organic. You can also use textured paint and add a pattern with the brush bristles or possibly a sponge to dab on texture. Experiment on a test egg to figure out what works best for you.

Let the texture dry and then use various colors of spray paint to do the under color of your huts. Speckled paint in an uneven pattern was my choice for this using green and browns over the cream colored texture paint. Let this fully dry. The green really does not show as much in the pictures as it does in person.

Mix craft paint (I used brown) into a cup with some Future floor wax and do a wash over all the eggs. You can use multiple washes and different colors for a more varied effect. Let this dry completely, normally over night.

Seal coat the eggs if you wish (I matte coated mine to reduce the shine).

Paint the inside of the tubes black or similar dark color (I have not done this yet).

Done. Time to play.

Below are some pictures of my creations........

You can also see the size difference and I plan to add some bigger ones when time permits. Any of the painted minis (HOF Crusaders and Laserburn Mercenaries) are painted by Jason Mastros (AKA Hrothgar the Smelly on TMP).

......Hope you enjoyed the tutorial!

Thanks Jeff!



  1. Amazing. I can see ways to work this same method into other alien mud huts that are not for bugs too. Ad a more structured doorway and you might have something that look like it was made by something else.

    Thanks for posting this!


  2. Thanks for posting these Mark. Much appreciated. Can't wait to see your finished bugs.


  3. I like these a lot. They really look like they could be SPUG creations. Thanks for posting this. Well Done.


  4. I have been inspired to try and work with the basics outlined here to do some non-bug sci-fi habitats.

  5. I don't have any silocone caulkingm aterial. Do you think that latex caulking material would work well enough?

  6. "I don't have any silocone caulkingm aterial. Do you think that latex caulking material would work well enough?"

    As long as it will take paint, you should be fine. I have used both for similar projects.


  7. Actually, after trying this, I can definitely advise again latex caulking. It stuck right to the plastic wrap that I layed down. There was no peeling it away.

  8. "Actually, after trying this, I can definitely advise again latex caulking. It stuck right to the plastic wrap that I laid down. There was no peeling it away."

    Maybe you could cut it off or use heavier plastic so you can peel it off?