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!

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