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02-08-2015, 09:56 AM #1
Building Scale Buildings for Miniature Wargames.
Disclaimer: I have no idea what I am doing. I started by just trying to make one. One turned into eight. I was asked to put together a tutorial of how I build by several people. This is the method and the materials I use. There are others out there, but the materials are what I had on hand, so that is what I used. There are many companies which make scale siding, roofing and such. I just went for a complete scratch-build.
Balsa and basswood
Cardboard boxes (crackers and such)
Many, many facto knife blades
rulers and triangles
The houses I build and I am building are designed around 28mm miniatures. I used them for creating the size and scale of the structures.
So lets start:
I start by sketching out a design for the building I want to build. Sometimes I find a picture online and go from there. For this instance, this building was originally designed by WETA Digital for the Laketown scenes in the Hobbit.
The first thing I do, once I have my design figured out, is size up the walls and such. I do this by placing the miniature near the wall and figuring out what looks good scale wise.
Once I that figured out, I start to mark the walls with windows, doors, etc. I then cut the walls to size. Usually I just go by how big I want the structure to be. I try to keep measurements even, so it is easier down the road to figure out centers and such.
I "cut corners" to add stability to the walls and also to make sure they are square. This is something I learned as I went along, as some buildings were getting a bit "wonky" as I put them together. It really strengthens the walls as well.
The next thing I do is label the walls. This helps me keep track of what goes where. Sometimes I add arrows so I know what is the top and the bottom. I get lost in builds sometimes, and realize I glued the wrong piece in place after the glue dries. This helps me keep track of what I am doing.
IMG_0709.jpgLift your head up off the floor, come up screaming.
02-08-2015, 09:59 AM #2
Oh. I forgot. This is the structure I am attempting to build.Lift your head up off the floor, come up screaming.
02-08-2015, 10:03 AM #3
I have added the two remaining walls and shored them up with some supports.
My next step is to construct the second floor. I measured out an appropriate plate for the base of the second floor and marked where the first floor will attach.
At this point I have not attached the first floor to the second, as I felt it would be easier to work with the separate.Lift your head up off the floor, come up screaming.
02-08-2015, 10:09 AM #4
Going off my measurements of the wall height for the first floor, I added a peak for the roof to the front and back templates of the second floor.
More triangle supports are cut. I used scrap foamcore for these.
The walls get double supports. The bottom and the sides are supported and to help keep them square.
Construction moves along.
IMG_0717.jpgLift your head up off the floor, come up screaming.
02-08-2015, 10:10 AM #5
When I am gluing the walls, I mark the thickness of the walls to the areas I am gluing them too. This gives me an idea where to put the glue and prevent glue from going in the wrong place.
Oh, and I am using hot glue on a low setting for this part of construction.Lift your head up off the floor, come up screaming.
02-08-2015, 10:16 AM #6
So now I am getting close to being finished with the basic construction of the building. All the windows will be added later, when I am putting the siding on. An after thought caused me to think how cool it would be to light these things up. Too late for this batch, but for future builds i may incorporate that. Not sure how yet, but its an idea.
Birdseye view of the walls and their supports. This structure is very sturdy.
I added a third peak to support the roof when I add it. The roof will be made out of basswood, so I want to make sure it will not sag over time.
First floor attached and done!!
Next up the roof !!Lift your head up off the floor, come up screaming.
02-08-2015, 11:26 AM #7
02-14-2015, 10:51 AM #8
Great tutorial! The triangles are a great idea. I have just been working in plain ole cereal box cardboard and it is extremely difficult to keep things straight and squared.
My arse has hardly hit a chair in the past two weeks, but after today things should settle down a bit and I can get to work on some things. I shamefully admit, though, it's not anywhere near as neat as your work!