zondag 27 januari 2013

Far from humble dwelling

It is, isn't it? Far from humble I mean, rather large and posh even compared to the previous models. Length wise it is the max my cabinets will take (28 cm's) so if I start making compounds, they won't be wider then these unless I split them down the middle so they can be used at the edges of a board as well. Well, maybe...

A rather large 2 story building with lots of windows except on the side where I envisage the neighbours to be, with a wall, later expanded into a covered hallway, ending at the, what could be seen as, carpark.

The front of the building has the fancier wooden doors, and I'd love to make one of those iron doors with all of the metalwork I've seen in several documentaries now, but I'll leave that to it when I get to do a compound door (after a bit of practice). The top floor is just a piece of cloth, being blown in the wind so it moves a bit to the side, and the doors in the rear are either open (painted black) or a simple metal door. Windows are without framework this time, for the size of the building I assumed the owner could afford that.

Open courtyard, I'm not in the mood yet to have it all walled in, mostly cause I fear I won't be able to have proper acces to it to paint it all. Plus the open end makes for cramped alleyways when I slot it all together.

You can propably make out the lines on the building, thats done with a ruler and a toothpick. 1 coat of Gesso doens't fill it in, so I now have a way to make bits of brickwork visible in future models. For this one I won't do much to it, maybe some extra weathering to show there was a new addition made on top of the first floor. In a future one I will be adding square blocks with wire sticking out to represent a future expansion as you see all over the middle east.

Right, I've got a small village now.

An added benefit of the building material is the weight. Since it is so light, you can easily stack em, thus making better use of the room available for storage. Also very handy for transport, just line a box with some protective wadding and you can haul it everywhere without risk.

Cause everything is based on square shapes stacking is also very easy for these models.

But, adding concrete columns to the top with bits sticking out ruins this a bit. Solution? Simple, like every addition I make for the junkyard, they are all seperate bits you can just put on and off at your leasure. Bonus is that if anyone bumps into them they will just topple over and not break off.

Now, who makes a decent 1/72 wheelbarrow? :)

woensdag 23 januari 2013

Methods of madness

I just want to take some time to tell you that making buildings this way is a quick and cost effective way, and all you need are some basic tools.

Let me show you what I mean.

The current building I am/was working on is made up out of 3 blocks, of which the largest is show in the photo. In the back is the 2nd, smaller block, already made, glued and wrapped with 2 rubber bands to keep it all tight while drying. It also shows 2 of the 3 basic tools you need, a sharp knife (which needs to be replaced a lot) and woodglue. A metal ruler would be the third.

At the moment I'm not using templates, but make it up as I go along while looking at one or several pictures, or off a sketch I made. In the future I might make some templates, but since I'm doing everything of a basic set of measurements there is no current need.

A doorway is 15mm wide and 25mm high. A window for this particular set of houses is 10mm x 10mm. A normal level house is 40mm high per level.

Anyway, 4 blocks of 10x8cm form the basis for this house. The roof is a seperate piece of non standard size, but in this case 10cm x 9,4 cm (as you lose 3mm per wall). Scrap pieces are used to form a line on the inside 10mm from the top of the wall. This will become the support for the roof.

In the back of the photo you can see a H column made of strips of foam. This is used to support the roof of houses of a certain size or height. The roof is perfectly capable of supporting a full assortment of metal models, but to prevent the floor from sagging too much this ads extra strength for something that is made in seconds.

How this works is shown here:

And when reversed and glued to its base, it will give full support to the roof area.

I also add strips to the sides of 2 of the 4 walls, just for extra grip. Since I use very thin layers, 30-60 minutes of drying time is all you need, so if I have little time I just make the basic parts one night and glue them together on the next, or try and cram it all in one go. And by cramming I mean 90 minutes tops for one or more blocks.

Now windows and doors I do differently then most. When I look at others making these buildings I see removable floors and open windows, but I'm not part of that school, lovely as it looks though. I'm more cautious and want my stuff to be durable, modular and light weight. Open windows and doors tend to weaken a structure, so I glue doors and windows shut with bits cut from a cereal box.

This looks like this:

I put glue on the foam, press the cardboard on it and then use a toothpick to fold the woodglue over the paper, covering the sides and sometimes all of it. This soaks it in well and makes for a durable bond. But if you really need to, you can take a sharp knife and slide it between the glue and foam and then rip it all off, carefully. But a bit of planning makes sure you never have to do that.

Doors and windows can be made with just one sheet and painted black or like glass, and doors can be the same, black, weatherd metal, or, if you layer it with strips of cardboard first, (weathered) wood.

So now everything has dried, you got 5 parts, you just glue the sides, put them together and add a rubber band across the top where the roof goes first and then one at the lower end. Don't make them too tight though cuase they will damage the foam. I then leave these overnight to fully dry, or, when they need it, I add some more glue to the seams on the inside, and spread that out with a toothpick.

The next day I cut out a base, trim the sides, sand them a bit, score them with a sharp knife and apply glue to the underside of the model. Set down and wait another night. Give it time to set and don't be too hasty, you don't want to ruin them. Especially with the limited time that I have.

The next evening, or weekend, whatever comes first, I sand down the corners of the buildings with a cheap disposable nailfile and then coat them in Gesso with a big brush. Then use a smaller brush and fill in the sides and corners of the windows and doors. I use thin coats so 30 minutes later you can add another. I use thicker coats where buildings meet to strenghten corners or to cover seams. Set aside to dry while you work on something else, or read up on a forum, or what not, and I give them another coat before going to bed. Only takes a few minutes to do them properly.

Next day, sand the base, just plain woodglue over scored plasticcard coated with sand, and you are set for the next stage, paint. But thats for next time.

maandag 21 januari 2013

A less humble dwelling

Did not feel like painting but did feel like modelling, so added another residence to the pile. A bit more height in this one, but sparce on windows. For me, a wargames building is just a representation of the real thing and not 100% accurate, so when people occupy a building they can shoot from it on all sides...even if it is a blind wall. Keeps things consistent really.

The house is basically made of 3 premade blocks stuck together, of which the seams I hope to remove with another coat or 2 of Gesso.

Now I realise they are not Afghani per se, but have more of a generic Arab feel to them. Being pragmatic, I can see them getting used for Iran-Iraq, Lebanon, WW2 North Africa and whatever I think is appropriate. Keeping them geneic is a good thing in my book, and financially sound as well as I don't have the dosh to spend on buildings for each period I want to get involved in. And don't get me started about the lack of room :)

donderdag 17 januari 2013

A humble dwelling

And the final testpiece. Just needs a final copat of Gesso and a sprinkling of sand around the base.
Doors will be painted a weathered metal and no, I left the doorknobs off on purpose. Or maybe not.

I've experimented a bit with damaging the model on purpose and seeing what it will look like with a coat of 2 of Gesso. Doors and windows are cardboard, with slivers of coardboard for the windowframe. K.I.S.S. as always.

Bit of a bare open spot at the back, but it does create a nice back alley when joined to the other 2.

Next up, finishing, basing and then painting.

zondag 6 januari 2013

Bazaar test

Bazaar test, bit bigger building, supported the construction in the middle with a 5x4 cm H-beam construction so it can take the weight and. I won't put my flightstands on it though.

A closed Bazaar. First clue troops would have of an impending attack would be closed doors and windows and no people on the street. When I'm more advanced I will try and make a working bazaar with a gunshop etc. For now, this will have to do.

Now, onwards with building 3, and after that I shall make time to do some minor detailling and then paint the 3 in one go.

zaterdag 5 januari 2013

Workshop test

First building test. Took me under 2 hours to make mainly due to figuring out what worked and what did not. Used a 30x10cm sheet of foamplate to make this plus a cardboard tissuebox. Cutting and glueing that together cost me more time then the building.

It is supposed to be a small workshop with a rear exit. It has 2 coats of Gesso now, I might add a third just to be certain. Hope you like it, if you do, let me know, and if you don't well, please don't hold back :D

dinsdag 1 januari 2013

2013 is the Year of Afghanistan

2013 is the Year of Afghanistan.

Time to reboot the Blog. I lost a lot of time lately due to overtime at my new job and being dead on my feet, but I want to make a new, fresh start so here goes.

Forget what I said in my last Blogpost, there is no point for me having so many options to choose from, in the end nothing gets done and that would mean I don't get a game in. Focus is todays word, so focus it is. As I know 3 mates who have Coalition forces for Afghanistan I've decided to focus 95% of this years efforts at Afghanistan, and then just the Taliban/Mudjahedeen and Scenery. I want to be able to get the most out of it with the least amount of money as well, which means spending my money and my time wisely.

So in comes scratchbuilding. Back to my roots so to speak, working with cardboard, balsa and my hands to create stuff. Should also beef up my self esteem so good therapy as well ;) I picked up a large pack of expanded foamplate used for insulation which I will be using to make my buildings of. Results here soon, as I need to do some testers first. Been ages since I did this.

I hope to resume my previous speed of 1 weekly post or more.