I'm looking to make some military sci-fi type boxes and cases for setpieces during a scenario Airsoft game. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for inexpensive but cool-looking container designs.
Lowes - In their plumbing section, has some waste diffussing boxes used for junctioning septic lines. They stand 2- 21/2 feet high, Are black, hexagonal and step sided, look sci-fi, are cheap ABS and can be used as is, painted, weathered or greeblied out. check out the matching corrugated drainfield pipe as well... Under $10
Also check out any greenhouse or farm supply for black abs plant containers.
Some of the 5-15 gallon black pots for commercial green houses look pretty cool. There are a few squat styles that lose that "pot' definition by simply turning them upside down. Bought 10 for $35 recently.
I know you did not mention walls but:
If you are looking for ways to deck out bulkheads (walls) look at the hothouse seedling trays. Also the occassional drive by the rear of a grocery store may yield some bakery bread stacker trays that can be grided on a wall and look awesome. They are freebies if you time arrival and departure nicely.
The molded styrofoam package inserts used on most electronic units and small home appliances can be painted with water base acrylic. The more solid bx like ones can be then glued back to back to look like a weird container. Other more open types make great wall units.
Low cost: $1-2
Lowes roofing and siding department.
Stryofoam molded eave insulation sheets have cool round indentations. Also some abs or styrene eave vent sheets are slotted and ribbed and make cool looking venting for large 'reactors' etc.
Gets so you begin to look at everything in our world from an Alien/sci-fi set decor perspective. Which means look at it upsidedown, inside out and sideways.
I used some cheap plastic basket ball rebound returns that attach to rim of goal, as frames for cockpit seat backs.
Ditto what Wuher said.. I've used lg "rubbermaid" tubs turned upside-down spray-painted and stenciled. Any empty containers work well for your equip. storage. Check your local military surplus store for ammo boxes.. Maybe you can get some deals..Also. empty plastic 55 gal drums aren't too expensive.