Mars TerraForm Service Crew Dec 23, 2018 22:09:33 GMT Mence likes this
Post by alexb on Dec 23, 2018 22:09:33 GMT
I built this one over on Model Geek for their Sci-Fi/Alt History IV Campaign. I figured I'd share since I've been on a build drought for the past few months. We're doing a home renovation so the whole house is a mess.
Anyway, the subject is a service crew working on a terraforming system on Mars. The idea is that an colonization effort would require the planet to be self-sustainable otherwise it would be a money-pit for resources to supply any settlement. Any such effort would take a century or more. One of the long-held theories for Mars colonization is tapping in to the ice below the surface. That ice would be used to produce oxygen and hydrogen. With all that in mind, I figured they would drill wells to reach the ice. The ice would be melted to water and pumped up to a hydro cell.
The process would require thousands of terraform units of varying sizes. Given the timeframe, you could see multiple generations of equipment being used. You will need service crews to maintain them, install new ones, and die horribly after discovering strange alien artifacts. Okay, so maybe not that last one. That was actually the original plan but I scrapped that in favor of something less dark.
The figures began life as Meng's US Bomb Tech Figure set. In hindsight, I should have used the heads and went with different bodies. As is, I had a great deal of grinding, sanding, etc. to reshape the bodies down and remove those layers of armor. I wanted them a bit slimmer but Meng's figures are hollow and I couldn't go much thinner without breaking through.
The planet would probably be divided up into regions controlled by different Earth nations. So, the workers would not be astro/cosmo-nauts. They'd probably be subcontracted workers, contracted to work for a certain period of time. Pay would be good and come with added perks. Like workers could prospect on their off-time and resell the minerals to the company at a certain rate. That would help fill those supply vessels for their return trip to Earth and help with the costs. Given the time needed to terraform the planet, you could have multiple generations of workers, inducing "native Martians" social structures as opposed to workers that return to Earth. Plus, children born on Mars may not be capable of returning to Earth...if you believe the movie "The Space Between Us". There should also be some physical changes from those "lifers" that spend most of their lives on Mars. And that of course sets up for the future Mars rebellion.
The buggy went through several design changes. The final version uses the frame and wheels from a Tamiya Quad Tractor. I wanted a rugged work vehicle as opposed to the Lunar Rover of the Apollo program. The rest is a mix of bits and baubles and scratchbuilt thingamabobs. The terraform unit is a mashup of bits wrapping up a section of Tamiya Marder 2 IFV engine.
The base is styrofoam covered with celluclay...or sculptamold...I don't remember and didn't take a picture of it unpainted. Anyway, I went with a broken rough surface with the sides eroded from sand storms. Another thing is that Mars' red appearance comes from the red-oxide in its soil. The actual surface isn't as red as you'd think, which makes sense because the planet isn't entirely composted of the stuff. It's more of a mix and varies in regions. I painted it a heavy base coat of red-oxide primer and then dusted it with coats of tan, sand, and grey. It took several tries but this is what I decided on.
The vegetation...Mars actually has a thin atmosphere composed mostly of CO2 and temps along the equator aren't that bad....around 27C. I figured that whatever governing body is overseeing this would introduce plants capable of surviving in cold and thin atmosphiric conditions...like lichen and moss. I figured terraform units would have more moisture around them and serve as a good grow area. This would add oxygen to the growing atmosphere as well as lay a foundation for the soil.