Posts Tagged ‘cork’

One flew over the machine gun nest

July 5, 2011

Regular readers will recall my conversion towards table mats and drinks coasters as bases for structures thanks to Daring Dan. Someone gave me four old drinks coaster for this very purpose and here is the last one finally finished. It’s a machine gun nest for the jungle made mainly of cork cut to strips, DIY filler, and coffee stirrers. There’s a bit of various flocks, a plastic plant but most effective is the spagnum moss donated by Wobbly Steve.

It’s a very simple build, crudely slapped together and saved by the filler render and the liberal use of flocks and moss. I did try to make it as unobvious a bunker as possible. When I find my hessian I will cut some to cover both gun port and door and remove the contrast they produce.

As is my preference I’ve made it so you can get inside with enough room for a based machine gun and crew. The interior could do with further detailing. Perhaps a pin-up of Betty Grable or a photo of the Emporer.

It’s a jolly piece which I like a lot not least for it’s simplicity as well as another coaster based project where the base didn’t warp in the slightest. HURRAH!

Roller Coaster

April 7, 2011

Whether you’re a seasoned oldie or a fresh new comer to the world of gaming one thing is very obvious. The standards of both manufacturers and gamers have rocketed in the last decade due, in part, to the gaming world being able to share globally everything they make, paint , play or even think. The negative side of this increase in brilliance is it can be daunting to many, and not just the new gamer, to have a go themselves. So I’ve thought of a simple idea which I encourage you to share and try. That’s very small projects literally based on a drinks coaster. Those and place mats make excellent ready made bases for buildings and scenics. The idea with coasters is to keep it small and therefore simple.

This one makes use of cork scraps from the pile of other buildings I’ve made in the Matakishi Temple of Cork way. The first few layers are just lumps of cork glued on top of each other, with some carving on the side to make it look like large brick work. Then I’ve cut individual bricks from strips of cork, and laid them with superglue. The floor is scraps of plasticard, irregulary cut and laid on the floor.  Then the walls had a little dollop of mock plaster in a few patches.

The whole thing was undercoated, washed with an orange yellow ink, and dry brushed to suggest sandstone. A small piece of wooden fencing was made from coffee stirrers, the sand bags were from Warlord. Originally I was going to use two and have half of this building sand-bagged, but I’m still waiting for the order to show up and I’ve grown tired of delaying projects while suppliers catch-up. A mix of plants, Ivy both usual and brass etched, four types of flock, grass tufts, brass ferns, and a few slivers of paper painted with green ink help to make the vegetation varied enough to look realistic.

Despite being quite tiny there’s plenty of room for figures, and I made sure of this from the start because as much as it’s a piece of art it does have a gaming function and there’s little to no point making something which doesn’t play well. Although this is quite a specific piece I have tried to make it generic in as much as it would work in the deepest jungle as well as the heart of Europe, the table would set this piece’s origins rather than the model itself.

Here you can see a couple of pieces from the Warlord/Bolt Action plastic Brits set forming the in-house armoury as well as a plaster box from a 1/48th supplier from many years ago.

A much underlooked element is sanitation, so this model addresses that by providing full toilet facilities en suite.

Now despite what you might think this was an easy build and being tiny didn’t take long and won’t insist on a lot of storage space. I seriously recommend you have a bash at similar, plus having another five coasters left it should encourage you to make more – it has me so expect to see more of this neatly sized features soon.

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.