Sunday, 10 February 2013

Cataloging Sci-Fi Buildings in 15mm

Today we have a guest post from Hans over at Trojan Points. Based on the Catalog posts that we did last year (and need to update!), he compiled a definitive list of 15mm Science Fiction Buildings available today. Let us know if anything was overlooked in the comments, and then we'll copy this article over to a permanent sub-page like the others.

As both a complement and an homage to Dropship Horizon's very useful miniatures catalogs (Extraterrestrial Lifeforms, Non-Biological Lifeforms, Human Power Armour and Non-Military Humans), and generally awesome blog, the Architecture Department of the Trojan Institute of Technology has been busy reporting architectural trends in the 15mm future! Excluding unique scratch-built designs, our specialists have classified most buildings in the galaxy under five categories: Prefabs, Industrial Buildings, Third Wave Buildings, Shanties and Alien Buildings. Furthermore, they've identified a new trend: buildings scratch-built from local materials but upgraded with standardized Parts and Fittings...

While the concept of ready-to-live dropped-from-orbit buildings has often been discussed, most colonies start with some sort of Prefabs.

Prefab Military Base from GZG's store
  • round Zero Games Military Prefab and Base Modules is available as a Basic Module, a Command Module fitted for extra aerials, a Communication Module with a large satellite dish, a Module with Air-Defense Canon and a double-length Barracks Module. Don't let the “military” appellation fool you: they're often available in surplus and bought by the no frill budget conscious colonist!
  • The options with Gamecraft Miniatures Tommorow's War Structures seem endless. Several sizes of habitation modules you order by the floor (and thus buildings you make as high as you want), several landing pads (large, small, rooftop, elevated), a garage, a mech hangar, cargo pods, radio mast, security walls and walkways... And I won't even go into their modern but so easily re-purposable buildings or into their spaceship interior modules: this post is already becoming much longer than I expected.
  • Antenociti's Workshop currently offers a single MDF Colony Habitat, but their large offer of Made for Infinity buildings hints to more in the future. They also have some concrete barriers and some rather “scale virgin” 28mm terrain that can easily be re-purposed for 15mm: air filters and movers, holo ads, info hub, missile silos, generator, alien artefact and various crates and containers.
  • Constantly pushing the envelope of laser cutting, CorSec Enginering mixes the flexibility of styrene and the ease of assembly of MDF to promise shapes unseen so far... Starting with a Quonset Hut

Most colonies (although not all of them) are created to take advantage of some local resources. So once basic lodgement has been taken care of, the next order of business for more colonists is Industrial Buildings.

CMG incredible Kyushu Bay refinery at Salute 2012
  • With 16 different resin models (all with simply detailed interiors), Critical Mass Games produced Arc Fleet Buildings are ready to seriously boost your colony industrial base! I especially love the Otilium Refinery and its 3 sorts of assorted storage tanks! Don't forget their Comms Towers and Satellite Dish accessories.
  • In need of a command center for your base or of a control tower for your spaceport? Combat Wombat Miniatures makes a resin “pile up the levels as high as you want/can” modular building!
  • Blue Moon Manufacturing makes 4 different industrial looking resin buildings (one of them with a clear plastic dome).

Third Wave Buildings are so called because after prefab and industrial buildings, they constitute the third wave of building on most colonies, usually as a replacement/upgrade to the first wave prefabs.

Old Crow Apartments Blocks on ClearHorizon
  • Old Crow Models might be on temporary hiatus but their resin 2 and 3-stories matching apartments blocks are, in my opinion, (among) the finest 15mm sci-fi buildings ever produced!
  • Designed by Krazy Ivan's War Games Emporium and manufactured by GameCraft Miniatures, the Wired West range brings Space Western (boardwalks and false fronts, Firefly style): 3 small, 3 medium, 3 large and 3 corner buildings, each with 2 accessible stacked floors (ground and first), covered boardwalk and false fronts.
  • They walk the line between early Third Wave and Alien: Brigade Models produces a dozen desert buildings (various houses, a landing pad, a workshop, a research lab and a bunker).
  • Again early Third Wave or Alien, 5 original Desert Dwellings made by The Scene .
  • Mad Mecha Guys produces a rapidly growing range of MDF condos, shops, bunkers, garage, containers, barriers, roads and signage... Relatively simple blocky design, but with plenty of variations in size and shapes,don't they just beg for some Parts & Fittings?

Shanties are improvised dwellings made from scrap materials and build to compensate the lack or scarcity of other types of building. Unsurprisingly they're usually inhabited by the poorer fraction of a colony (which on certain planets might be most people).

A GZG Shanty Town, complete with bars and containers

  • Made of walls (5 front, 5 back, 3 left and 3 right) and roofs (5) that can be assembled in any combination, Ground Zero Games makes just over 1000 (more if you count the chimneys) different Colonial Settlement Buildings. They are often encountered amid discarded shipping containers, some of them re-purposed as the colony watering hole (sometimes with the addition of a lean-to side extension  for the kitchen or store).
  • I was lucky enough to grab 8 out of the 9 unique resin shanties produced by Battle Works Studios before they went off the grid. With removable roofs and a unique system of telescopic masts they look even more improvised than GZG's. Rumor has it that these will go back into production someday...

Alien Civilisations bring with their culture unique takeson architecture. One can indeed lear a great deal about their way of thinking and living by studying the way they build their dwellings.

CMG Tokaan IV board at Caronade 2011, 
picture from Iron Mammoth's Studio

  • Critical Mass Games does it again: 2 sets of 2 buildings (one medium, one small), a large command center and 2 different 3-storys high Great Pyramids; enough variety for a full table pyramids-obsessed-alien colony! Matching power nodes and converter in the accessories section.
  • Officaly Licenced for Tomorrow's War (who cares frankly?), Gamecraft Miniatures Marshborn Crusties Structures are available as 3 different MDF building and matching elevated walkways, ramps and docks.
  • Although listed under 28mm Scenic, Scotia Grendel Productions offers a nice range of domes (command, landing pad, quad bunker, hospital, power plant, observation tower and various turreted ones) and corridors to link them that are much better scaled for 15mm than for 28mm. They also have some standalone missile silos and weapons emplacement.

You want to upgrade that local materials (read scratch-built) or traditionally constructed (read building originally designed for historic games) dwelling with the comfort of whichever century you live in? You need parts and fittings!

A foam core box with various GZG Parts and Fittings, from GZG store

  • Doors, windows, hatches, air conditioners, vents, exhausts, comms dishes, aerial bases, solar arrays, circuit panels, junction boxes, power units, drums, palets, containers: Ground Zero Games has them in all manners of shapes and sizes. They might well have invented the concept too...
  • Antenociti's Workshop also offers a whole range of doors, windows, hatches, vents, grates, fans, air conditioners, solar panels and crates.
  • Khurasan makes Street Lights, Dumpsters and a single set of Air Conditioners but also furniture and civilian Street Cars to fill your streets.
  • The Scene has a range with plenty of doors, windows, vents, hatches, and roof fittings.
  • CorSec Engineering also offers you a strudy fence system, complete with gatehouse and watchtowers, which posts can be used with metal, wooden or laser beams to keep those nasties in. Or out... Not to mention their mention their flat styrene doors, windows and vents.
I voluntary restricted myself to production models (not custom builds), sci-fi (not anything else usable for sci-fi) and buildings (not natural terrain). Even so, I probably forgot a few items: I stand ready to be corrected and to discover new gems!
Hans from Trojan Points


  1. Exceedingly helpful- thanks very much.

  2. Nice idea it's always handy to have direct links available.

  3. This is a great article. However, for the gamer on a budget, papercraft buildings are the way to go. Many are free, so if you have a printer, you can buy some cardstock paper pretty cheap, and print out, cut, fold and glue your buildings.

    Germy has some good ones: they are for 25mm, but they work great at full scale for 15mm, too.

    Model Paper World has all kinds of free buildings, shipping containers, etc: you might have to experiment with the scale a bit.

    There are also several great companies that sell PDF files with great buildings, but those free ones can get you started.

  4. Makes me cry...despite selling more than five hundred of them the Ion Age was left out; but it was very recently released and we are a new brand. IAF015 Hab Dome. Its our first building but there are more coming in 2014. See it here:



  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. An update for 2015. The Ion Age now has over thirty different pieces in its 15mm terrain range including whole Hab Colonies as well as Geo Shelters and turrets and much more. Go here for all of these:

      Hope to be included when this page updates once more as a lot changes in a year these days.