Archive for the ‘Buildings on Parade’ Category

Wreck Creation

November 4, 2010

Yes it’s yet another building mainly made of cork! As a member of the sinister cult of cork modellers, all hail Matakishi, it’s my duty to try to convert the innocent to this wonderful material in yet another tired bid for world domination. Now there was a time when we used to do this via Empire but the jobs in the tropics where you’d be in charge of thousands of square miles of a foreign land with two locals and a push bike are long gone, so wittering on about Wickes cork tiles and their uses is the modern alternative. One cunning way to convert the unwary is to make simple small models for folk, like I did for chum Dan with a building similar to this one here. He liked it enough to start modelling with cork himself and a couple of weeks later had made himself a fine ruined French cafe for WW1/2 games.

In converting Dan I did make the boy Slug a trifle envious though. He’s very much into his ww2, especially the dear Parachute Regiment and, by default, all things Arnhem which this model has a hint of. Now he hasn’t got around to painting it yet, so it’s just undercoated at the moment but will feature again once fully decorated. It’s a very simple build; cork walls and rubble on an MDF base, coffee stirrers for the planking, paving textured plasticard for the front pavement, plastistrip for the lintels over the windows and foamboard for the front steps. It was made in a single sitting of around four hours.

Market Forces

October 31, 2010

Oh no it’s yet another not completely finished nor painted cork building thrown up on this humble blog as a symbolic expression for my conversion to making cork buildings – quite a few cork buildings.

This time its a bazaar, with six shops on the ground floor, rooms on the first fllor offering firing in all directions and a reasonably defendable roof. I also wanted some screened windows like above, a snipers dream.

The one feature I wanted in this one was and external staircase to the first floor. This is what I ended up with and it was pretty complex to make. I could have made it a lot easier had I not placed it in the centre, but that’s what you get for charging ahead wildly and not properly planning the thing.

Despite the accidental over complexity, it’s a sweet little building which a four or five man squad could defend easily and quite well. Why not try something similar yourself?

Confounded, Unbounded and Compounded

October 31, 2010

Heavily influenced by the rather excellent Matakishi’s Tea House, not least because he happens to be doing an Afghan project just as I am at the moment, but also because he’s rather brill at what he does plus he does a lot of it. He’s been working on a few compounds in cork tile, and I rather fancied one of them but I wanted to make mine a bit more urban as I’ve enough of the more rural looking ones.

Here’s the result, although it’s unpainted at the moment it gives an idea of the modelling involved as my aim was to have a building in which every room could be accessed but without giving away what was in the next room. This giving away of what’s on any given floor or area of a building is common to a lot of buildings which allow you to get inside. In these first few pictures you can see how this building breaks down level by level.

The idea of the seperate rooms is to make it very playable, but also a bit spooky if you’re the player tasked with trying to enter and secure the building. Imagine a hostage rescue mission, hunting for an IED factory, or taking a top Taliban prisoner etc, especially when some of the rooms are quite difficult to reach.

The whole thing is based on MDF and mainly made of cork, with foamcore for the staircases, and some rectangles cut from a cheapy placemat from the Aldi supermarket chain for the screen like windows and balcony. These stand out as they’re the only pieces with paint on them, as undercoating them in-situ might prove difficult.

The whole thing was rather a quick build once I’d decided on what I was after, which was a relatively complex building with a wealth of defensive positions and some very crafty lines of sight for shooting which wouldn’t be immediately apparent on a first or even second look at the building.

I expect painting it will be a rather drawn out affair, but once finished it will feature on here again.

Above you can see the two entrances on the ground floor, although not immediately apparent there’s a clear line of sight between them which is a deliberate part of the crafty layout of the building.

Here you can see what I see as one of the advantages of having small sections removable. Once through this entrance you can only see the room itself, and out into the courtyard beyond, along with the opposite window through which you should expect some furious Jihadist to be pointing his AK.

A good view of the other entrance, which has a wealth of defensive possibilities, namely four windows, a balcony, a doorway and two rooftops. I’m looking forward to playing this, although I think I’d prefer to defend.

What a Corker!

September 30, 2010

Although there’s a chronology to the order in which things appear on the web in my experience they don’t reflect the actuality, this humble blog is no exception as it’s typically the order in which I photograph things is the order in which they appear, except for when it isn’t of course.  My current endeavour with making buildings out of cork using techniques developed by the rather smart bod known as Matakishi is a good example. I’ve raved about it already showing really simple examples of buildings, but only because those buildings were around. So in a final bid to try to convince you how damned simple it is to make relatively impressive buildings I finally got around to photographing this, my first effort in building with cork tiles, and as you can see quite a complicated one.

Like any technique you learn the more you actually do it, and start developing your own knack and style to doing things. In the photo above you can see a drop in roof, which I’d very likely not model like that again for practical reasons. If it’s removed while there’s figures on it the figures would very likely move about, and without  a lip to it would fall, and bugger up your paint job. You’ll notice in later models yet to be revealed how they have lipped roffs.

Here’s a shot of the first floor, just a couple of simple rooms, and the sniper’s delight, otherwise known as a balcony. Also a staircase, well a hole above the staircase, so that a figure can be placed at the top of the stairs on the ground floor, and maintain his position when the above floor is in place. I imagine all this is rather obvious to those with a long history of playing 28mm, in 6mm units are either in or out of buildings none of this internal detail really, so it’s new to me and hence I share it because it might be new to you.

The ground floor with a not very square internal wall, and the staircase which is made out of foamboard which is sealed before painting. I’ve deliberately left the interior bare and not filled it with props, etc, simply to have more room for maneuver and to save time. Slug believes this verges on the barbaric.

So a reasonable building, done cheaply and relatively quickly. Great fun too. The one thing you will have to consider should you try similar for yourself is just how rapidly joints will seal using superglue gel, so keep your wits about you and move fast.

Put a cork in it.

September 27, 2010

Although this one is still a work-in-progress it shows what I consider a personal breakthrough in making buildings for 28mm. I was reading through a pile of Matakishi’s Tea House gaming web site, when I came across a load of old nonsense about making buildings with cork tiles. Imagine trying to make buildings from floppy tiles, it just wouldn’t work, hence I set about disproving the whole damn thing by buying some cork tiles. Lo and behold not only does it actually work, but not only that it’s very quick and delighfully simple.

The humble abode here took just a couple of hours to create from scratch to the first coats of paint you can see here. Like all techniques it takes some practice and not a little thought but it’s totally worth trying. I’ll be showing more of these buildings as I take photos, but for practical info just make your way to Matakishi’s via the link above and read his “making things” sections.

Dave’s Burqa Bar

September 25, 2010

This model is very simple so therefore quick and took just a couple of hours from base materials to near finished structure. This was also an exercise in capturing the spirit of a building without having to make a totally accurate model of it, this is the main difference between building for gaming and model engineering, but some folk seem to forget that. This building is a rough copy of a chum’s business and just about everyone I’ve shown it to know it’s “Dave’s Hamburger Bar” – well known fast food emporium and fresh doughnut dispenser just down the road.

I’ve only modelled the basics of course, and will rename it as Dave’s Burqa Bar just because it’s really meant for a Jihadi style game. I imagine there will be calls for a model of “Dave”, will I may or may not do, depending on just how well I can sculpt a reasonable looking turban.

Compound Interest

September 25, 2010

From my highly evolved research for playing ultra modern Afghanistan I’ve kept my eyes on a number of sources when it comes down to the architecture of the area. One surprisingly informative source has been Ross Kemp’s documentories on Afghanistan, which tend to focus on the rural areas and give a very good view of things, plus these are all available on Youtube  so anyone can watch them.

A few things seem self-evident about Afghans and their homes, they do like their privacy and so rarely seem to have exterior windows, plus they like to put high walls around everything. Also everything looks ancient, irregular and roughly finished, so that does make modelling easier and a bit more fun.

These photos show the bulk of the compounds I’ve made.  For these I decided to use MDF of 3mm and 6mm thickness. This did mean drilling and jigsawing doorways and windows, which rapidly became a chore rather than a hobby, but thankfully they’re quite crude buildings with few of both. The walls sections and bases were all pinned and glued together, although I have gone for the baseless look which I think suits them better.

The roofs are typically all drop ins and removable for playing inside the buildings. The walls have all been finished with the very wonderful Basetex from Irregular Miniatures, a fun packed endeavour verging on finger painting. The floors were coated with PVA glue, covered with sand, and then painted just before the whole thing was washed with a dirty finish.

The final result varies between the okay and the reasonably good. MDF is solid but you can’t do much with it without power tools and getting covered in dust. These models all weigh on the heavy side, and could easily be used to clobber opponents to death and very likely without damaging the paintwork. Appealing as that might be the hunt continues for a better and faster way of making things.

Figures used for scale are Eureka US Marine Scout and Stan Johansen Miniatures Jihad Civilian ranges, and very nice they are too.

Building Site for Sore Eyes

September 24, 2010

Having been relatively recently corrupted towards 28mm gaming by the boy Slug one thing was rather obviously apparent, my distinct lack of suitable scenery. Buying it doesn’t seem right especially after all the bits I’ve made for 6mm, plus the expense which is a fair bit greater for 28mm. Now for playing modern, or ultra-modern as some folk call it, means there’s plenty of popular culture to influence the eager scratch builder, particularly films. This piece was originally supposed to be a generic, but is based on more third world goodliness influenced by “Blackhawk Down”.  There’s a similar looking building site during some of the night scenes, typically packed with “skinnies”.

It’s a two floored concrete looking structure, the floors being MDF, the pillars wood and the walls foam board, which has been scored to look like breeze block brickwork. The fencing is a mix of coffee stirrer planking and corrugated paper, and atop of each exposed column is string doped with liquid super glue to look like bare rebar.

The exposed rebar look is very common in the less developed world, or at least the parts I’ve seen. In fact it’s quite common for finished buildings to have quite a bit left exposed on the roof in case the owners want to build an extension in the years to come. This is one of the first buildings I’ve made for 28mm and I’m quite happy with it.

I’ve got the scale and detail just right, and it’ll fit in most of the games I’m ever likely to play without sticking out. The working with wood was time consuming, scoring the brickwork wasn’t quick but surprisingly was fun.

Double Dutch

June 25, 2009

DSCF1242=A delightful pair of Timecast buildings which I’ve spent quite a while getting right as they’re a couple of beauties. Firstly that penny isn’t part of it, it’s just I know some folk have trouble imagining the 6mm scale so for them here’s an idea, a penny and a cent are around the same size, and even one of those Euro coins is the same size although I’ve no idea which one. For the scale savvy that’s a GHQ jeep, and it shows how perfectly on scale the buildings are. DSCF1244= This pair are rather obviously the same model twice, based on the No14 Zwarteweg where General Urquhart hid in the attic at the invitation of the Derken family for some of Operation Market Garden. Every detail is pretty sharp, although a couple of windows have lost a little detail, and once I’d based them I also realised they sat with a slight slope to them. Now these are minor details which insane spods such as me, and very probably you dear reader, notice mainly because we spend hours working on these models. It’s not a problem and typically we expect such minor flaws, however I have to reiterate how minor they are, one to be fair to the fellow gamer but also because Timecast are similarily mad when it comes to their range and the quality of it. Once before on a forum I mentioned a couple of bubbles and a missing corner to one of their castings and within nano-seconds one of the Timecast team was there replying how if any model wasn’t up to the expected quality they’re gladly replace it, etc. Now marvelous as that kind of offer is, especially when it’s in addition to their excellent quality, it’s not needed. Timecast products remain top-notch, tiny flaws are easily addressed, so if you’re one of the Timecast quality control cavalry don’t feel my comment is anything other than a simple observation. DSCF1246=One thing I did want to do with this base was to make it urban, but passable hence the paving in the middle. I finally found a reasonable paving slab texture plasticard, so made use of that as you can see. Usually for fencing I like it rough and tend to hand plank the whole thing to get a nice rough and ready kind of fencing. Of course this isn’t really suitable for the tidy Dutch suburbs, so instead I’ve cut strips of plasticard and scored the planking effect to them. These have been painted green and superglued into place. However I left the rear fences until last, this allowed more room to put the lawns and the plants in. DSCF1248=The hardest part was the painting. Getting the colour scheme correct was important to me, so a brief look at A Bridge Too Far helped. There’s lots of white detailing which for some odd reason I always fine the most difficult to get right. I’m happy with the finished piece, just hope I never find my command pieces hiding there, although once photographed under two lamps and a flash it does reveal the occassional blemish, which I’ll blame on the Flemish.

A place in the country

June 25, 2009

DSCF1228=Another beauty from the Timecast range finally makes it to the usable in a game stage, but as per bleeding usual what looks to me a near perfect piece reveals my painting flaws only after having been photographed.

DSCF1231=This is a sizable building as the GHQ Panzer IV shows, sits on it’s own little hillock which is fine by me as I do like irregular surfaces on bases. Two sides have the not-very-good Javis hedging, which I’ve hacked to look more rural and reflocked. The other side has some of the excellent Irregular Miniatures metal fencing, while the front has a couple of those cheapo Chinese trees and well vegetated ditches using the offcuts from the Javis hedges.

DSCF1233=Until you notice it you can barely tell how large the front door to this is, it’s more 10mm than 6mm but works none-the-less for it.

DSCF1234=Here’s the reverse, with the delightful detail of three stone piles supporting the rear of the building. One thing I did notice is how this would make a great conversion for anyone seeking a watermill, the back wall seems to be almost screaming out for a scratch built water wheel.