Friday, June 12, 2009

H.A.D.D. (Hobby Attention Deficit Disorder)

First, some progress on Bloaty. I've painted up the metal bits and the slime and slime reservoir, I'm pretty pleased with how it is working out. I've been thinking that I was going to make the nozel end of the sludge cannon a bone colour but now I'm thinking that won't work so I'll probably switch back to an all metal gun. Overall progress is slow, BUT I HAVE AN EXCUSE! Read on...

So... you may not know this about me but I can sometimes lose focus in matters of hobby. I was working along nicely on Bloaty and I took a break to rest my eyes and my eyes fell on a piece of pink insulation styrene. Now this is a piece of styrene that I've had for about 18 months and I haven't done anything with it since making some hills for my gaming table. But there you have it, for some reason I put down Bloaty and grabbed the the styrene and started thinking...

Since I play mostly Warmachine and I'm starting Warhammer Fantasy Battle(WFB) and I'm getting tired of playing on the old 'forest and hill' table I thought I needed some buildings to shake it up a bit. After some thinking I decided that Tudor style cottages would be the best style since they could be used in both Warmachine and WFB. So I scrounged around on the interwebs and found this pic to use as inspiration.

Away with the paints and out with the foam cutters and hobby knives... So as Jet suggests in his excellent article on making cheap buildings I started with making templates for the building, including a door and window template.

Using the templates above and a bit of cursing and 'field fitting' I managed to knock together this basic steep roofed structure. If anyone is more interested in more details just let me know and I'll do an in depth tutorial on this stage. But suffice it to say, you cut out the styrene using templates, and glue together (using Weldbond glue if you can find it), then realize that you failed to account for the width of the styrene when making the templates and adjust. I used a bit of cereal packet to make the roof.

Now for the dressing...

I've always liked the look of thatched roofs, I just think it adds to the fantasy feel of the buildings. The problem with it is that it is a hell of a lot more difficult to make convincing thatch than it is to make shingles. I cast about a bit and found this article at Wargear Studio on making thatch. I've modified the method a little bit but in general it's the same idea.

I started with a porch mat that I got from a department store, one of those twine embedded in rubber jobbies. Incidentally this is also the stuff that I use to make wheat fields.

Take a pair of needle nose pliers and pull the fibres out in bunches.

While still keeping the 'bundle' of fibre together in the pliers lay it down on a piece of 2" paper packing tape. Repeat this process until you have an entire course laid down. As each course is laid down run a bead of glue along the top two thirds of the last course laid. This bead of glue will soak through the last course and also help bond the course going on. I also use a craft stick to help press the new course down into the glue of the last course, it helps bond the whole works together.

Then all you have to do is attach the thatch to the structure, I've also made the thatch slightly longer than the roof so I can curl the edges around the eves of the roof structure. Glue the thatch down and cut off any excess tape.

Here's what the finished cottage looks like, from the front...

and the back.

To make the sides of the cottage I first cut pieces of craft stick up to look like timbers and glued them onto the styrene. Then fill the gaps with drywall compound, simple really. Again I didn't really take any pics during this step but if anybody is interested I can do a more in depth tutorial on how I worked this out.

All in all I'm very pleased with the look, the materials are cheap and the model is quite durable. Now I just have to finish that damned Bloat Thrall...

Yours in Service,

The General

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