A random series of articles on war gaming in 40K, FOW and other systems. The headings are, WiP; Conversions and models in various states of assembly. PiP; Paint works on various models. Mission Critical; scenarios or missions to bring a bit of a twist to a normal game. MiA; rules for units and characters that could/should/might appear in a game. Dig In; How to guides on making various types of terrain for different game systems. Sit Rep; Battle reports and after action reports on games played

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Digging in with American war of independence buildings

Work in progress AWI buildings
I think these are some of the most complicated buildings I have tried to make in a while. The inspiration for the buildings comes from the touching history issue four by Paul Darnell  and a picture from tales from the GHQ blog.

Marking the planking on the cladding
For something new I wanted to try cladding with 2mm styrodur.  The cladding is basically texture added to a surface to give an impression of rock, wood, etc. The 2mm styrodur is interesting it is a bit like soft thin plastic card. It is a little fragile but is easy to work with for texturing, carving etc. It definitely needs protective steps to make it stand up to the gaming which is why it is cladding and given generous coatings of PVA rather than a stand alone material.

Working on the windows

I also wanted to incorporate commercial terrain features into the models since repeating features such as doors and windows are a pain to make by hand, I needed a lot of them and they all needed to look identical. I tried to find some terrain manufacturers who would make 18mm scale doors and windows to eliminate the need to make them by hand. In the end I could only find some 15mm scale windows.

Mock up roofing
  • 5mm foam board.
  • 2mm Textured plastic card (tiled for the roof, grooved for the window shutters, rough stone for the basement,wood paneling for the verandas).
  • Thin cardboard
  • 2cm cubes of styrodur (aka insulating foam)  
  • Coarse sand paper
  • Plain 1mm thick plastic card.
  • Commercial 15mm scale window frames
  • 3x2mm balsa wood strips
  • 8mm diameter hollow plastic rods cut into 5mm thick slices.
  • Ruler
  • Pointed sculpting tool
  • Plain paper
  • Green stuff for filing in gaps.

Rebel row
  • The basic carcass was made with foamboard.
  • A thin strip 5mm high of rough stone textured plastic was glue at the bottom side of the carcass to give the impression of cellars.
  • Thin cardboard was then cut to fit to the base of the carcass to give the structure more strength.
  • The veranda was made using the wood panelling textured plastic card
  • The soft styrodur was cut to measure to fit over the carcass.
  • Before being glued to the carcass the outer surface was treated. First it was roughened up using coarse sandpaper then lines were scored across the cladding to give the impression of wooden planking using a steel ruler and a sculpting tool.
  • Once treated the cladding was glued to the surface and once dry given a generous coating of watered down PVA glue for protection.
  • The corners of the building were covered in 3x1 mm balsa strips to hide the joints.
  • For the windows two of the small 15mm scale window frames were glued together. The back was covered cut to fit 1mm thick plastic card. The textured grooved plastic card was cut to fit and glued to the side to give the impression of shutters final the windows were glued evenly across the buildings.
  • For the doors the steps were made of 5mm foamboard. The door frame was made of 3x1 balsa strips with the 1mm side facing out.  The door itself was made out of the soft styrodur which was again textured before being glued and washed.
  • Plain paper was cut to fit on to the roof. Once the paper roof looked right the templates were used to cut out the textured tiled plastic card which was then glue to the top if the building.
  • To hide the seams in the roofing green stuff was mixed and pushed into the gaps.
  • For the chimneys the 2cm styrodur was cut to fit on to the roof. Once the overall shape looked good the stack was sculpted to look like brick work. The 8mm hollow plastic rod was added to the and stuck in place with green stuff to complete the chimney stack. Once finished the chimney was given a generous coating of watered down PVA glue to strengthen the structure.

Ms Green's house

Because the cladding is polystyrene I used an airbrush primer rather than canned primer. The basic colors were also applied with an airbrush with the detailing on the windows and window frames done with a paint brush. Normally airbrushing a vallejo paints on terrain is a bit expensive but in 18mm the buildings roughly the same size as a 28mm tank and acts as focal points on the table and so it sometimes worth the effort.  To finish one building was given a brown wash while the other was given a black wash.  In hindsight, the washes are were little too heavy for my liking.

Missus Brown's house
Lessons learned
  • After making the buildings I found a simpler method online for scoring the soft styrodur using cocktail sticks  glued to a piece of wood to make a rake which could run across the surface of the styrodur to make many lines in a single pass. The added bonus of the rake is you can adjust the spacing between the teeth to get whatever sized planks you want
  • Also with hindsight it would have been a good idea to cut the outline of the windows and doors on the cladding before gluing it  in place.
group shot

Overall the building were definitely not a fast build but they are pretty and worth the effort.

That is all for now thanks for stopping by.  


Frank O'Donnell said...

They look great mate we make a builder out of you yet, well done.

Two-Dice said...

Well done, looking good!

Dakeryus said...

thank guys

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