Sunday, May 17, 2015

Scenery: Parking Garage (in progress)

Dawn and company, where are they at?
I have another recycled Fisher Price play set, this time it's the parking garage.  I am using the older version, mine has a date of 1971 on it, and has a hardboard base.  I have seen the later (1980's) version, but it has an all plastic base, and doesn't look as easy to make useful.

The original box looked something like this:
If it was in the box, I might have just sold it...
First thing I did (after a quick cleaning) was disassemble the various parts.  One benefit of the older toy is that it is assembled with screws.  There are two pop rivets that I had to drill out that held the ramp to the base, but otherwise the whole building is held together with screws and some plastic snap tabs.
Bunch of pieces
"Tower" splits open easily
The actual parking area
I considered re using the base, but it had a really bad corner, and was an odd size.  I will cut a new piece of hardboard for the new base.  Still, the old base looks interesting; it's pretty nifty what they put on the base as far as artwork goes.
ahhh, memories...
For the next step, I replaced the turntable with a piece of foam core, the original turntable is a soft plastic, and paint won't stick to it.  I had to tear it up to get it off the building, so it's not even useful for scenery.  No big deal.  I added a little texture to some areas of the parking structure to make it a bit less 'plastic'.
First primer pass
The primer didn't completely cover up the existing stickers, but it doesn't have to.  I plan on a few coats of primer before the final coat.  I am not entirely pleased with the fill in disk on the top of the parking garage.  It is quite visible, but short of a full cover of the top, I'm not sure I can hide it.

Instead of the elevator, I am going to make the 'tower' a staircase instead.  I am making the stairs out of foam core and I painting it to look like concrete.  The stairs are more for looks, rather than functional, but I have some landings to make it possible to place figs "on" the stairs.
Foam core stairs and gray paint
On one side of the tower, removing the mechanism for the elevator leaves a rather large opening.  This is large enough to reach into the tower and place figs.  I am going to come up with a 'window' to cover the opening at times, but be removable to use the interior.
Tower and stairs, open side
On the ground floor, there is an open are where the old base had a picture of a hoist for the old elevator.  I am filling in the space with a piece of a floor sample tile.  I recommend a trip to the DIY store to check flooring samples for some useful base/scenery pieces.  Some of the tile can be used right off as a base for a smaller project.

Things go together pretty quick from here.  I put the floors into the tower, and get everything glued together.  I reuse the original screws that held it together, on the chance that I may want to take it apart someday and do something different.
Ground floor, concrete look
I paint some pf the parking lines, and a few other minor details, and get everything placed on the new base.  There are not enough parking spots for this to be a really useful structure, but for gaming purposes, I think it works okay.

I'm not quite done, I plan to add some billboards to the front of the parking levels, partially to cover the gaps where the elevator used to move between floors.  I still need a large window for the side of the staircase, and detail work on the base.  
Some cars and survivors check the layout
Open staircase - needs a window

Moving between levels
Careful near the stairs
So it's not quite done, but it's come along pretty well in the past week or so.  It just might figure into one of the next scenarios in the campaign, so everyone will get to see it in its completed glory soon.  I was inspired by another toybash from the internet.  Searching google will give plenty of results, but my personal favorite, and the most direct inspiration is at Combat Zone Chronicles, the Park n' Blow.

As always, comments and suggestions are welcome!  Thanks for looking.


  1. That looks great!
    I have one of those garages tucked away from my Grandma's house, but can't bring myself to tear it apart! I always live in hope of finding another at a charity shop though...

    1. Thanks!
      I love older toy playsets, they make great scenery! Take the plunge and make it useful. You neve rknow what you'll end up with.

  2. I love the way you turn these old toys into usable pieces of scenery. Great job once again dude!

    1. Thanks, I appreciate that. Toy bashing can be pretty fun, some of the older toys are great for scenery.

  3. Awesome. You transformed it very well into something more adult and realistic.

  4. Lol awesome I had one of the newer plastic based ones as a young kid! I love what you've done to this one its superb!