Imperial Artisans > Empire Crafts and Skills

Getting some fantasy terrain done at last....

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The Black Knight:
Wow, thank you for all the comments gents, this forum is so alive it feels like it's 2010  :happy:!


--- Quote from: Naitsabes on November 02, 2018, 07:56:04 PM ---
--- Quote from: The Black Knight on November 02, 2018, 07:08:20 PM ---
(pro tip - this stuff pops up in gardening centers around christmas time and costs near to nothing, avoid the model shops).

--- End quote ---

super-pro tip: depending on where you live, this stuff may just be hanging from the trees in your friendly neighborhood forest...year-round.

Great post, enjoyed the read as I can relate to the need for proper terrain. Looking forward to the next update.

--- End quote ---

That is indeed a very good observation! I havenít bumped into this stuff while hiking, it must be found further up north.

So here it is Ė my main project right now and a reason that I feel that this blog belongs on the site Ė an empire household!



Believe it or not, but the blueprint for this house was actually downloaded from the GW site around 2002 or 2003. Back in those days GW published modelling articles that were actually helpful and which did not claim that the only way to build a peace of terrain, is by kitbashing 200 quid worth of plastic. They also werenít so reluctant to admit that exotic items such as plasticard, PVA and expanded styrofoam  existed, and can be indeed used as a slightly cheaper alternative.

Anyways when the teen version of me got hold of the blueprint, I remember turning to my father Ė an avid modeler himself Ė for help. Now, the article recommended foamcore for the walls, which he said isnít very sturdy and can be messy to work with. So instead I used expanded PVC. Itís basically the same white stuff from which plastic plumbing is made of. You can buy it in sheets in varying thicknesses, itís not as hard as plasticard/polystyrene so it can be carved easly, yet it is sturdy enough to withstand gaming, transport and being occasionally dropped off the table. In short, this stuff is great and should be used be terrain makers extensively.

So Iíve built the walls out of it, added some wooden profiles to imitate the timber-frame constructionÖ. and then I put it into a box and moved on to another project, as all normal people do. Fast-forward till now Iíve dug it up, dusted it off and started to think what to do with it. I did some serious googling of XVI-XVII c. era buildings and decided I will try to finish-off the timber frame look, with bricks peeking from under cracked mortar. Hereís two inspirational pics by a certain A. Durer.





In my mind this would be a small merchantís house. Not very large nor rich looking, but a start to a small settlement, located somewhere in the empire. The house would be a bit run-down, but with plenty of detail, bags of grain, crates, barrels and all sorts of other stuff surrounding it.

So as a start I tidied up the haphazardly glued timbers with strips of balsa (sorry no pics from this stage)! Then I added random patches of green stuff and quickly formed the bricks.

Then Iíve mixed my mortar to go onto the walls, between the timber frame. I knew it had to be thick so that I could make the bricks look like they were peeking from underneath it. So Iíve mixed a light coloured acrylic wood filler with some ballast Ö namely chinchilla sand! That thing is super fine but adds a bit of volume to the filler and the appropriate rough texture (normal sand is too coarse Iíve found). I applied it using a putty-knife and then pushed it around and evened it out using a peace of sponge.



The stone underpinning at the base of the buidling is strips of PVC that were carved up and stuck into place using superglue.

After all of it was dried, I brushed the balsa parts using a wire brush. This adds a ton of fantastic looking grainy texture to the wood and will definitely help with painting (nicked this idea from The Terrain Tutor on youtube). 



Stairs were added, made of PVC rectangles glued together and carved using a x-acto knife.



After having the walls done, it was time for the roof - to be continued!



ps. let me know if the pics aren't too big/small. I am extremely rusty when it comes to posting pictures on forums.

Artobans Ghost:
Love the stucco look. That is going to be a great building. Iíve had endless problems with roofs so will look forward to the next indtsllment

GamesPoet:
Awesome!  Thanks for the tutorial approach to sharing how this was made, yes!

I like the idea of using plasticard for the structure of walls, although it is a bit more expensive around here than the foam board.

Midaski:
The beauty of foamboard is that you can usually pick it up for free from out of date shop advertising/promotional stuff.
Big sheets too.

If you intend to use Polyfilla (spackle ? to you yanks ) then it doesn't matter what colours or writing is on it.
I got a couple of big boards that hung from ceilings by wire in a bed shop.

I find balsa a bit too lightweight and have used wood battens and wooden lolly (popsicle) sticks or coffee stirrers for the framing.

The Black Knight:

--- Quote from: GamesPoet on November 04, 2018, 01:18:03 PM ---

I like the idea of using plasticard for the structure of walls, although it is a bit more expensive around here than the foam board.

--- End quote ---

Thanks GamesPoet! I don't think what I'm using for the walls etc. is plasticard. I always have a problem describing what it is exactly as the names for these various plastic products differ in various countries and are not very consistent. What I think I'm using is this: https://www.curbellplastics.com/Research-Solutions/Materials/Expanded-PVC - expanded foam polyvinyl chloride (sounds like I'm planning to kidnap someone for ransom I know). It's often used for producing advertisment boards etc. and it's super cheap when compared to plasticard.

Plasticard is much tougher and much more expensive, I do have both. I'm not 100% sure but I think that the proper "trade" name for plasticard is high impact polystyrene (help, is there a chemist on board)? Plasticard would be very difficult to shape like this, you will see what I mean when I get to the roof tiles  :smile2:.


--- Quote from: Midaski on November 04, 2018, 01:47:54 PM ---The beauty of foamboard is that you can usually pick it up for free from out of date shop advertising/promotional stuff.
Big sheets too.

If you intend to use Polyfilla (spackle ? to you yanks ) then it doesn't matter what colours or writing is on it.
I got a couple of big boards that hung from ceilings by wire in a bed shop.

I find balsa a bit too lightweight and have used wood battens and wooden lolly (popsicle) sticks or coffee stirrers for the framing.

--- End quote ---

I have some foamboard that I have acquired just as you have described here, I need to experiment with it I think. And yes, what I meant by acrylic filler is polyfilla/spackle. It's my second favourite product after PVC!

You are right, balsa is very brittle and I try to use it only when it's supported by PVC or some other strong material. Battens were used for the framing too and for the roof. I'll get to that part soon, I just need to snap a couple more photos.

In the meantime, work has also been progressing on the scatter pieces. Got the lichen stuck to the bases with a hot glue gun (that thing is a horrid invention and leaves a terrible mess):


EDIT: a sneaky pic of our 40k board as background

I then gave the lichen a quick blast of green paint with an airbrush:



I know that they were green already and I could have left them as they were, but to my experience lichen tends to get really soft and upleasant looking after a couple of years (I guess it just rots away). Maybe the paint will seal it and help preserving it better. I am still planning on spraying it with glue and adding clump foliage  to it, and then probably varnishing the whole thing just to make sure. I'll let you know if it worked in 10 years time....

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