Well if Zombietown is gamerdom's "Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy", then J.R.'s Pigpen truly is it's "Cantina". The very name of this building illustrates how you can use a bit of your own "personal mythology" in the game. We do all the time. J.R. is actually a real person, whose real name is J.R. [deleted due to court order]. A true scumbag, only he would run a place like this. He also runs the local sleazo motel. More on that later. Anyway, let's start with the sign, above.
There's a company out there called miller engineering. It makes light-up signs for model railroads. This is one of those, albeit with a different graphic put on it. The various light bars around miss piggy light up in a variety of fashions, depending on the switch settings. The Miss Piggy graphic was printed out in scale on my own printer onto clear acetate sheet, then epoxied onto the sign. Any other glue would have been too harsh, and would have messed up the light up surface of this magnificent component of miniatures engineering. It looks REALLY tacky when lit, just like it's supposed to.
Originally, we had a teeny-tiny half-bulding of a strip club. But given the duration and intensity of the stripping and other unsavory activities that go on in this seedy hell-hole of a town, we needed something better.... and Bigger is Better!
The basic shell of the PigPen is a building called "Sure-Sweet Feeds", manufacturer is unknown.
A great technique to master is that of running rust on metal. This roof started out by being spray-painted testors silver, then sprayed with testors Dull-Cote. This gives a nice, flat metal color. Onto that, the running rust technique was applied.
The reverse side of the pig-pen. Grafitti is available from model railroad stores as rub-on graphics. Also note the streak of black pastel chalk where the cement foundation meets the wooden walls.
Ah! Now THIS is the perfect place to take your girlfriend to on Ladie's Night (every tuesday)! Fine dining and loads of ATMOSPHERE!!! The interior is mostly composed of just bits-n-pieces. Model railroad stools, spitoons, coke bottles, an old pool table, what have you. The tables are nothing but plastic tile stock that's available from ye olde model train store that keeps being mentioned. All of them are gaudily painted and semi-crudely dry-brushed. The key to a good interior is in the details - the spitoons with brown ink dabs, the little coke bottles on the table in front of the "dance" floor, etc. If you have to do research for this sort of thing, feel free. Go into a few seedy strip clubs or dive bars a few times. The show doesn't really matter - you see one and you've seen 'em all. But look around at all the trash, broken crap, half-repaired shit all over. You'll get inspired, lemme tell ya. The "dance floor" is the same plastic cardstock painted like a home-made tile job, with mirrors on the side and back. It can accommodate a couple of naked stripper minis in 28mm. But mind you we don't have any of those. No sir-ree bob! Those kinds of things are lewd and we won't have 'em in our collections.
Here's a closeup of the kitchen off to the side of the main room. The thing is, some kitchens in dive bars are no better than the one shown at left! Would you eat there? No, I didn't think so either. Better off eating vending machine food or 99 cent chicken sandwiches from the local 24 hour market.
Anyway, Mike found some great fake steaks and bags of potatoes, a wine rack, mugs etc and did up this diverticulitis-mill. Red paint and ink were used to add a fresh, bloody look to the recently hacked up meat. You gotta wonder where it came from. Maybe strays.
This type of touch is guaranteed to gross out all those vegetarian chicks out there. It's always fun to watch that.
In the Peg Pen, there's only so much money to be made by having locals and out-of-towners come by to watch the girls dance. The real money is in....well..... facilities rental, so to speak. So let's move upstairs and peruse the facilities that are for rent.....!
WOW! Talk about HIGH CLASS! They have a BEAD CURTAIN and everything!!! The Bead curtain was made in the obvious way - by stringing colorful beads, gluing them onto a rod, and mounting them over the entrance to the hot tub. The wallpaper was actually downloaded off of a video game, printed out, and just glued onto the plastic card walls. The floor is the same tiled plastic stock, painted "Psycho Ward Green" (Tamiya flat "Sky" color), and washed heavily with dingy water .
The first room is for some serious action. Looks like there's been some sort of serious fight in there or something. The second features trash in the corner: Small newspaper prints that you can buy, cut up, and glue (with regular elmer's glue) into strategic places. Some teeny-tiny polaroids of chicks have been taped up on the rotting walls for some weirdo to obsess over. The third is the "Hot Tub" room, and hey, who doesn't like a good hot bath every couple of weks? JR cleans this tub as frequently as he changes his shorts, so that's a virtual GUARANTEE of quality!
The Hot Tub. This one's a story and a half. But too good not to tell. The thing started out with a small plastic container to store baby food in. So being the creative types that we are, we decided to try out the kind of "water" casting resin that you have to heat up to pour. The plan was to pour it in layers. So we heat this glop up to a couple of hundred degrees and start pouring the first layer. The little plastic bowl gets REAL HOT and the counter starts sizzling. So we back off and put a little green ink on top of the first layer for spice. Then we figure, "what the hell, let's just pour the rest!", which we do. Well, it got REAL, REAL HOT this time. It started to burn a hole through the bottom of the little vessel and threatened to leak hot plasic all over the counter. EMERGENCY MEASURES WERE CALLED FOR! Mike got this 2-year-old burrito out of his freezer. It was freezerburned anyway, so what the hell. We put the small vessel on top of that to act as a quickie heat sink. Sure enough, it worked. The moral is: be really careful with materials that involve heat! They behave in unpredictable ways. I'd even advise against using them at all. The second is: Be ready to improvise at any moment!
To make the surface of the water, I used this glop called "Mod Podge", a decoupage material bought at an arts and crafts store. It's really great for making wave effects on flat surfaces. Comes in matte and glossy. I recommend it highly for many gaming and terrain-bulding operations!
Earlier, I had made a tiny Pepsi cup from cutting the back off of an old brush. I placed it in the still-cooling resin, then covered both it and the surface of the water with Mod Podge. I then brushed a small pool with Windsor-Newton Peat Brown Ink (my favorite) to simulate some careless slob throwing his half-drunk fountain soda into the tub.
One thing that makes urban scumpits so dangerous is bad wiring, as any competent building inspector can tell you. And the PigPen is no different.
The high voltage panel and spa pump are mere feet away from the Hot Tub, so that soaked people getting in and out of the tub can experience the modern miracle of Electricity.
The pool pump itself is an air compressor out of an old tamiya aircraft accessories set.
Here is another fine example of a cheap item bought at the same art store. It was a blister pack of tiny (28mm scale!) plastic dollhouse furniture. We've got bags of this stuff now. The frame was dry-brushed a tan color to give it the ghetto-slum worn look that it should have. The cover came with it - it's real cloth. But it was far too neat and clean.
So I made a couple of washes in black, brown, tan, dingy water, etc. and gave it a few dabs here and there. Then I made up a thicker wash of ivory and white and put a few "stains" here and there on the surface. Again, a note to the unfamiliar, if you must do research, go to motels that rent by the hour. Their maid service is probably not the best and you will once again be inspired. I do not, however, recommend such excursions to these kinds of urban areas. At least not without the aid of a native guide.
I was going for the look of a certain biological substance, but the overall look was somewhat different than I had hoped. Someone made the comment that the thing looked like someone had barfed all over it. With a subtle hint of spilled cocaine.
It was henceforth known as "The Barf Bed".
This is the bed in Room #1. It is known as "The Bang Bed". Once again, if you do not understand the expression, ask your dad.
It is another plastic dollhouse bed with a scummy mattress made out of green putty and painted, washed, stained, etc. The chains are of course for "moral support", and were made from the jewelers chain of a dimestore necklace.
The "piece de resistance" of course are the extra model kit tires that support the steel-reinforced frame. This is a sturdily-built piece of furniture, designed to take years of extreme... well...er... well you know, "punishment and abuse". The tires are there as shock absorbers to soak up the extreme impacts that sometimes occur during psychoanalytic sessions. They also allow the people downstairs to not be completely distracted by the thumping noises, as they certainly wish to fully enjoy the empyrean crescendos of such classics as David Lee Roth's "Girls Girls Girls".
After a night on the town at the PigPen, you'll have to wash up, won't you? Gotta get the stink of sweat and cheap perfume off yer grubby mitts somehow, eh? Well, Sparky, it looks like you won't be doing that here...
A couple of metal model railroad items painted, inked and dry-brushed. The turd is a chip of paint scraped from the painting table, the yellow water is old quasi-clear nail polish. The TP roll is another plastic dollhouse item, lovingly accented with a "racing stripe", and that ain't no fancy chocolate there, bub.
The item you see to the left is what is colloquially known as a "Miller Chair". It is named after the roommate of someone we know, the roommate's actual name being [first name removed due to court order] Miller. He had this old recliner with a cheap vinyl covering, which cracked terribly with age, revealing an even cheaper layer of fiber and foam underneath. The thing had a problem with both the cushions and the frame, and the thing would trap you in a set position if you weren't careful.
It is lovingly reproduced right here in the Pig Pen, a tribute to it's former owner. The chair is a small verlinden resin piece bought at a swap meet. The legs were left off to make it more "to scale".
When all is "said and done", it's time to take out the trash.
The rubbish bin is a metal model railroad trash can, filled with paper trash pieces and used prophylactics made out of green putty.
Just a tiny little detail that the observant will catch, and laugh their asses off about!