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  1. #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.

    Materials used:
    Foam Core
    Balsa and basswood
    Cardboard boxes (crackers and such)
    hot glue
    super glue
    Exacto knife
    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.

    Lift your head up off the floor, come up screaming.

  2. #2
    Oh. I forgot. This is the structure I am attempting to build.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Lift your head up off the floor, come up screaming.

  3. #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.

  4. #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.

    Lift your head up off the floor, come up screaming.

  5. #5
    Side note:

    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.

  6. #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.

  7. #7

  8. #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!




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