Monday, 31 October 2011

Tutorial - Old West Buildings

Old West Buildings

Being lazy when I started my Old West Collection I looked around for 28mm buildings. I was frustrated in my quest to find suitable (i.e. inexpensive) buildings, so my greater personality trait overrode my laziness (frugality, although other have a less kind description).

So I decided I would DIY some, I started off making some Major General Tremorden Reddering inspired foam board buildings.

I started off thus:

Not entirely satisfied (big foot print, small interiors due to foam board thickness) I moved on to:

Popsicle (a.k.a. craft) sticks, since they are easily found and quiet cheap, the buildings are quite sturdy and look OK. 
It is difficult to place the doors and especially the windows at the proper heights, might be easier with wooden coffee stir sticks.

I then had the idea of putting new siding on the buildings I made out of Popsicle sticks. I got some Bristol (art?) board from the corner store and cut out the doors and windows, lightly scoring the side that would be the exterior to look like planks or siding, I had to make some of the holes for the windows larger, so I could get a more proper look. I then glued the new exterior onto the Popsicle stick buildings, paint, and voila!. I looked upon it and it was much better.
The same building as in the previous picture but with new siding
So I decided to see if I could make them easier, now I get a single piece of Bristol (art?) board, draw all four sides of the building plus a gluing tab (so you can glue it), then position and cut out the windows and doors, score the outside to simulate planking, cut Popsicle sticks (I use a little saw that came in an knock-off Xacto knife set) set and glue them on the inside, at the corners, along the tops and bottoms of each side, leaving gaps for the doors and around the edges of the doors and windows.
Outside of Orr's Hotel

Interior of Orr's Hotel with Popsicle stick bracing, just needs some more around the windows, the doors are in place. Also shows what happens to a good table if you don't use a cutting mat.
Base, paint and add details like window frames, posters signs, et al. The stairs were made separately and added after construction. I don't detail the inside of my buildings, but if I did I would add an interior of Bristol (art?) Board to which I would add printed interiors.

Doors: I first started off making hinges, similar to what I saw on Gisby's door page but mine looked quite ugly and far too much work, then I went out and tried to find small hinges, like for a jewelry boxes or doll houses, but they are difficult to find and if you can find some, they ain't cheap! Now I glue a piece of Bristol (Art) board on one side behind the door opening 

Window and/or door Frames: I originally made made my frames out of matchsticks, I then tried printed card stock but I think Balsa or basswood strips are going to be better.  

Roofs: Probably because I have seen too many Westerns and I like to put figures on my roofs, most of my buildings have slightly sloped tar papered roofs (use black construction paper), But when I make peaked roofs, I first make the building then I make the roof. Because no matter how carefully I measure, the front and back peaks are almost always slightly off.  Get a piece of thick Corrugated cardboard cut it to the length of your gables (plus 1/2" each side for overhangs) then score it in the middle cutting almost all the way through, then cover up all the exposed corrugations with masking tape, add shingles and paint. 

Shingles I used to take strips of Bristol (art) board or breakfast cereal box cardboard the length of your roof + 1/2" and about 1/2" to 3/4" wide, then cut almost all the way though about every 3/8" to 1/2" glue the first strip along the bottom and work to the peak offsetting the next strip so that each the joining of two side by side "shingles" is in the middle-ish of the one above it. If your not careful your shingle strips are in a slight downward arc the longer the strip the more pronounced the arc is. Now I make individual shingles, it takes a lot longer to make and install but the extra time is worth it.
Roof section with shingle strips, i also shortened some of the shingles to increase variety

1 comment:

  1. Not bad at all. You can have a look here if budget allows..