Monday, January 6, 2020

More Townscape buildings finished

My blog may have been a bit silent, but that didn't mean I didn't get things done. Without finding time to type about it, I've been continuing my Townscape project. With some pride I can now state that I've finished the first of the three pages from the 'assembling a building' instructions. Here's three of my latest additions in a row.

It almost looks like a street if I put them like this.

Aside from the Tall House with Veranda (I should redo the doors), Dairy and Tower House I've also completed the Store, Shed, House with Veranda and Low House. All except for the Low House can be seen on the next picture.

Another three buildings done. 
As I suspected this project is going to take a lot of hobby time, but I think it is well worth it as the buildings each have their own character while at the same time they form a real neat group to fill a village with. Let's have a look at some individual buildings now. After that I'll blab a bit about 3D printing terrain components and I'll show the latest WIP's of the rest of the Townscape.

5. Wooden Bridge
That's a bridge, now I should look into making a river.
I finished the Wooden Bridge with the first batch of buildings. It took a bit longer to paint and complete because I wanted to use the Water Mill as a test piece for the river parts of the Townscape. One of the elements I'll need to make to complete this set of buildings will be a small river so the Water Mill, Wooden Bridge and (upcoming) Stone Bridge don't look silly.

7. Store
A store is not necessarily a shop as I've learned by constructing this small shack.
I did not miss number 6. Shack, it was already discussed in my previous post. The store turned out to be quite a bit smaller then I expected. Apparently the word 'store' has an equivalent meaning to 'shed'. I was expecting more of a shop and had already planned a sort of 'dry goods' sign you get in the better (Spagetti) Westerns. I decided to copy the Keep Out sign from the original. I usually avoid using language on my buildings as I think it takes away from the imagination, but 'keep out' just works (and is iconic to this building (in my imaginings)).

The back of this shack needs some posters to break up the surface.
 The back of the building is a bit boring. After painting this one I decided never to use an (almost) full length coffee stirrer again. Its just too monotonous. I will save this building later on by adding a few posters and signs to break up the length of the planks. But for now, I'll just put it here as a reminder to myself.

8. Shed
The cardboard variant of this building frequently featured my battlefields in the early nineties.
Looking at the index of the Townscape I realize I should've added a wooden deck between the pillars of this building. I'll just write that one off as 'creative re-imagining'. This building was hell to store without a base as the two wooden pillars kept breaking off. I'm very happy it can now exist in a more stable (based) condition.

What are the Whatleys hiding in their shed?
Once again a rather brown back of a building that should most definitely get some added signs. I'm quite happy with the flowers by Gamers Grass to at least keep things a bit interesting.

9. House with Veranda 
Don't mention these doors, I'm still not happy with them.
After the series of sheds it was nice to build a proper house again. I made a mistake while building it (impatiently adding plaster without giving the glue time to dry). This caused ugly straight rips down the sides of the house. To cover it up I got creative and put down a line of PVA glue, sprinkling it with dried oregano. I rather like the effect of ivy crawling up the side of the building. As an aside I've used a different technique to make this roof, cutting up strips of 200gr. paper instead of applying individual cardboard tiles. Although it is a quick way to build a roof, I'm not fully sold on it. The time won while building is lost while painting it.

Never forget to add a trace of soot to a chimney (just blast some dark wash at it with an airbrush).
I do not really like the doors just yet. I'm thinking about upgrading the paint job on these. With these buildings (as with all terrain) I experiment a lot with different paints and techniques. In this case I've been applying some of the (not quite so new anymore) Contrast Paints here and there. So far I've had no real luck making these work. The doors turned out so bad I washed them down with a green shade and then used a different red to apply fat semi-highlights. Still not quite what I wanted, but maybe all the failed paint has (excuse the pun) colored my vision on the matter.

10. Tall House with Veranda 
The name checks out: its tall, it's a house and it has a veranda.
Here's another victim of my 'apply plaster before letting the glue dry' impatience. I do rather like this building and the balcony/veranda on top is large enough to hold a 32mm based model easily. I can't wait to stick a wizard up there, just for effect.

Coming soon: me overdoing the ivy effect.
Even more ivy creeping over this building. I have to be very careful not to overuse this effect. A small bit I'm very satisfied with is the exposed brick near the roof of this model. I'm really getting the hang of this particular effect.

11. Low House 
And at that point I ran out of flock...
The Low House is not in the group pictures. As you can tell by the base I ran out of flock. That was unexpected. I thought my supply of Citadel Scorched Grass was nigh-on endless as I bought the Scenery Painting Pack years ago. I was wrong. I've just replaced it with a large plastic bottle of Woodlands Scenics Green flock, but I still have to mix that with some other colors of flock to get a reasonable grass to continue working with.

I'm also almost out of flowers. Perhaps I should place a fresh order in the near future.
The doors on the Townscape houses have a variable height. Perhaps different artists drew the houses without coming to agreement about the proper heights. For now I've just been cutting along and varying the height as originally drawn. In future I'll probably adjust some of the larger doors to suit my taste.

12. Dairy
I'm quite chuffed with the hay effect on the dairy's attic.
I love the Dairy building and took some time to add a fully wooden interior to the open attic on top. As its all painted black (well ok German Grey) its not visible at all. I also wanted some loose hay on the attic. This turned out to be ridiculously easy to achieve. I pushed blobs of clay down and just made a lot of scratches with my scalpel. You may disagree but I call it an instant hay-effect.

Yes I should definitively add a poster to the back of this building. 
Having had a lot of fun with the ivy on the previous buildings, I decided to go wild with the Icelandic Moss on this one, adding a bit of a creeping bush effect on the back. I think I'll be repeating that on a few future buildings as well. I should also add a small faded sign to the back of this building. I think it'll look nice there.

13. Tower House
The old pushpin chimney trick still works like a charm. The old GW 'How to make wargames terrain' books are investments that just keep on paying for themselves. 
Last but certainly not least is the Tower House. I'm not sure what kind of maniac would own a house with an unbanistered balcony, I'm just glad he or she is not my employer. I am rather sure that a properly placed wizard would be even better posed on this building than on the Tall House with Veranda. On the other hand that wizard would just be begging to be turned into the next Saruman (as per the movie to be sure (and I still like the book's version of events more)).

The slightly speckled effect on the bottom of this house was achieved by stipling.
A small and easy to miss detail on this building are the windows. This is the first house in my set that is outfitted with ready made 3D printed windows. Frequent visitor of my blog Lasgunpacker modeled these for me and through my brother I got access to a 3D resin printer. Talk about high-tech meets Oldhammer.

3D Printing scenery components
Printing in 3D takes an humongous amount of time, but it is well worth it for the result.
The biggest challenge for me was adapting the printer files to the 3D printer, but with a bit of work (and some guidance) I finally learned all about printing beds and supports (and STL files). Above is a small batch of the windows after cleaning up the sides. It takes the printer I have access to about 5 to 6 hours to print a batch of them.

Amateur mold-making in the foreground, a Stone Bridge in progress in the background.
As I'm going to be needing oodles of windows (and my brother for some odd reason did not invest in a 3D-printer just to keep me supplied) I've resorted to making a couple of silicone rubber molds. Using the tried and true method of borrowing Lego's from my son I poured a simple mold.

I pour resin on the mold and then use an icicle stick to push it in place. 
Next I mixed and poured a dollop of resin and instead of 5-6 hours, I 'only' wait for about 1 hour.

Some windows in my mold have broken sides or crossbars, but this'll just add character to the buildings later on (or so I keep telling myself).
And I'm the proud owner of a lot of extra windows. As you can see I'm not a master moldmaker. But these'll be good enough for the upcoming sets of buildings and I can make as many as I need for the foreseeable future.

Here's my collection of windows, enough to fill the frames of the buildings on Townscape page 2.
Here's a shot of my collection of windows for the upcoming set of buildings. Please ignore the ones top left. These don't exist (am I succeeding in Jedi-mind tricking myself out of a stern conversation about copying Mordheim windows here?) .

Next up: page 2
Yes I've not been sitting still over the past month. 
I did not sit idly during the new-year's holidays. Aside from painting the page 1 buildings I also got to work on page two. I decided to go for a slightly different approach this time. After building the Dog Kennel and the Rough Inn I decided to cut and model the walls (and roofs) of all the other buildings first. This'll give me a chance to apply plaster (and half-timbering) to all the buildings in one go. That'll cut down on mess-cleanup and with my ready made windows I can quickly continue dressing up the buildings. I did get carried away while buildings the ruins. I decided to make an actual floor with beamed supports to make the hole in the floor look better. All these buildings will feature 3D printed windows (or recasts of the prints) which will save me an enormous amount of time. So thanks again to Lasgunpacker for helping me make those.

Breaking bits of coffee stirrer for the Watchtower took a lot more time then expected. As an aside, I've also run out of coffee stirrers, another thing I never expected to happen. 

As for the rest of this project, I think I'll be busy with it for a bit longer (especially as I'm still getting distracted by other things on my painting table). But what a joy it is to see these buildings come to life. Above you can see the wooden watchtower I wasn't planning to build. Aside from that I also started on the wind mill. I'm still in doubt about building that one as it is an odd building (and I have to make some chauvinistic sounds about wind mills to honor my proud nation). On the other hand I am a bit of a completionist and the wind mill is a part of the Townscape...

...we'll see. Thanks for reading along and here's to another year of me blabbing about this crazy hobby.


  1. Those buildings turned out fantastic!

  2. Inspiring work!

    The buildings have turned out really nicely and some of the techniques require pilfering for my own building project!

    1. Thanks! Good luck with your building projects, let me know the results. I always love seeing other hobbyists building away.

  3. Wow, you now have a great looking town! I am sure that you are waiting to get the second round of buildings done, but maybe you could do a sneak peek of all the completed ones together? (and with a proper square based regiment marching by if you have any left!)

    And glad to see that the 3d windows are working out! Although had I known it was a resin printer, I would have put in more detail... let me know if you need anything else modeled.

    1. Square based regiments. I'll have to improvise on that one :) Give me a few days and hopefully the weather will turn right for some reasonable photography. The amount of space the first set takes up is already rather impressive (making my jury-rigged 'studio' utterly useless). Who knows I may have some buildings to add to that by then. I have been rather hard at work in the evenings on the second set of buildings.