Friday, May 29, 2009

Frontier Cabin Tutorial

Well, I just ordered me some Conquest Miniatures 19 woodland indian troops. While I wait for their arrival, I decided to put together this frontier cabin. The great thing about it is it will be used as a miners cabin for the wild west as well.

The first step I always take for creating a terrain piece is research. I like to use the interweb, books, or movies for inspiration. Once I find a building type that I like, I will sketch out the idea. Once the sketch is done I like to do a mock up for a new piece in cereal box card board. This way I can adjust my scale so it looks like I want it to.


Cardboard scale model.

For this project I found the long walls at 4 inches and short walls at 3 inches makes for a good one room frontier cabin. I also wanted to add an exterior chimney since the photo I found also had one.

My first obstacle was to figure out the lightest and easiest way to make stone for the chimney. I asked for advice on TMP but settled on using balsa wood scraps. What I did was to cut scraps in various lengths and widths. Then I would round off the two exterior facing sides and then carve in some variations to each. No pics of this boring and time consuming part. This took two days of on and off work.

I also wanted to do planed wood with chinking instead of round timber. Since I have flat balsa this is the way for me to go. I used my templates as a guide and cut out all of the walls. I then scribed the walls with a dull pencil and tried to make the scribes wide and uneven. This would leave space for the chinking. I then assembled the pieces for the walls and the roof. I made the chimney form from balsa as well and glued all the balsa stone to the structure.


For the roof I decided on using the tried and true method of strip shingles. This is where you cut a strip of cardboard the length of your roof with a slight over hang and then cut shingles half way through all the way down the strip.


You always start at the bottom of the roof and work your way up. Once I got to the last run of shingles I cut each one out individually and glued them in place one by one. This should give the illusion that the whole roof is made this way.


Once the roof was complete it was time to get the model ready for paint by using primer. I always use black on all my models, it is a personal preference. I just find it easier to paint this way. Sometimes one coat is not enough and two coats are required. I believe the wood sometimes absorbs the paint and expands as some of my scribes seemed to have narrowed.


The model is now more unified with the one color primer

The last and easiest part is to paint the model. I wanted a simple paint job for a simple model and just used two coats of brown for the wood and two of grey for the stone work. There you have it simple but a little labor intensive frontier Cabin.


Cabin ready to repel indians!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Capitol Infantry Squad

I was feeling nostalgic and painted them over the past 3 days. I saw some Bauhaus over at the Excelsior Entertainment forum in chocolate chip and urban chip so I decided to try a Jungle chip pattern. You'll have to look at the photobucket page to see them more clearly. They need a few tweeks but I call em done.


Sunday, May 17, 2009


I put together this warcaster as a kitbash of the Privateer Press Epic Warcaster Pirate Queen Skarre figure as well as one from Reaper miniatures. My biggest hurdle was trying to get the miniature onto the bow sprite thingy (yes it is a technical term just ask Richard Dean Anderson). I wanted to give the ship an old and mold covered appearance which is why I chose those colors. I still want to add some water effects and will trying out some clear silicone for that.

You should got to the photobucket account and look at the larger pic as the detail is lost on this one. I just found her horns so I have to paint them and add them too her.

She is the leader of my Cryx army that I am building. I will be doing a pirate theme arrrgh. I will be branching out soon as I found some interesting aliens that I wanna build called the Quar.

I am also interested in trading away some Cryx figs that I have and have posted them over at bartertown. If anyone is interested you can contact me there or look for Soldat on the miniatures page.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Sheriff's new friend

Weeel looky here we gots us a hangin contraption. Be on the look out all ye ne'er do wells and other lowly criminal types. The town gallows has been built and is ready for use noose and all.

This actaully ended up being slightly more complicated than I had expected. I kept changing the heights for the legs as well as the gallows supports so it would look right. I might fashion a handle for the trap door. I was going to etch both sides of the structure but have found that doing so really weakens the balsa. I will need to make a stairs for it. I was trying to cut some stringers but the way the grain was they kept breaking.

I made the noose out of cooking string and painted it the same color as my WWII russians. I was surprised that I was actually able to tie a noose with this string and I think it looks right. I will use this string as a bell pull for my church as well. I used a clove hitch knot to secure it place on the cross member and support beam as well.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Terrain Tips

I posted this over at TMP and thought it good enough for my blog as well.

Laying out the buildings, I can't recommend enough of using a thick cardstock for your basic shapes like the walls, roof ends, roof, windows, and doors. I also tend to make a rough sketch of what I want to make so I don't stray too far off. I ended up resizing my Livery Stable after I wasn't happy on how it was turning out.

For all my roofing needs I use left over cereal boxes and open them up carefully to get max use out of them. I cut them in strips and start off with the lower run first. I cut the strips half way and bend each tile the opposite way then smooth it out before glueing.

Once the first strip is glued I use a pen to mark the follow on cuts on the next strip. I always stagger these, like a normally shingled roof. The next run is then placed halfway down the previous run up until you reach the apex. Once both sides are complete, I take a final piece of card stock twice as wide as the shingle strips and bend it in half and glue it down.

If I want to do a simple flat tin roof I just cut out on big
piece of card stock and add some thin strips spanning the whole roof.

I also put the shiny side out for paintable cardstock and use the dull brown side when I want to mount a sign.

For scribing the ends of boards I selected a straight edge and just marked every other board then did the same on the opposite side of the building.

You can also recycle barbeque skewers for round stock or adobe poles or make a whole fort out of them.

I used 1/8 inch thick balsa for all my buildings including the roofs in order to make a more solid piece.

Originally I was going to drybrush the buildings but immediately found out that was a waste of time and simply sloshed on as much paint as could done.

Hope this helps have fun building.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Li Shan's is open for business

Finished painting the Chinese Restaurant/Laundry. I added a few doo dads for the rear of the facility. A meat cutting table, wash bucket and scruber, I also did some laundry poles and some drying cloths. As you can see there are already customers waiting to get in :)



Monday, May 11, 2009

Old Church added to Cerro Grande

Just finished (95%) a spanish style adobe church for Cerro Grande. It still needs a bell for the tower. I borrowed the idea to make it a dice tower from fellow TMPer Gungnir. I found some pics off the net and drew a sketch of what I wanted and it came out pretty ok. I re-did the missing adobe and brick technique on the sides of the Church and bell tower.


I covered the balsa wood structure with spackle and then primed it black as usual. I also used my typical cereal box roofing strips. The dome didn't come out as well as I would have liked but it will suffice.

The Chinese restaurant is primed and will be painted shortly. I will be adding an adobe house or two once I see a design I like.
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