Confession time– I just invested in a new FDM printer and a pretty amazing series of files for terrain building, so it’s hard to say how much of this kind of building I will be doing in the future. That being said, I love a good scratch build, so I’m almost certain I’ll keep at it to some capacity.
Plus, western civilization collapsed a few years back. It’s hard to say how long we’ll be able to pick up spools of plastic for printing. You can decide whether I am joking or not, because I sure the hell don’t know anymore.
With the base of the building established, it was time to get to work on some components for the rest of the structure. I am using really cheap foamcore that I picked up at Dollar Tree, because the paper peels off super easy, leaving a dense, easy to carve foam ready to play. For the shingles on the roof sections, I just carved my shapes with a ballpoint pen, then went at it with a blade to get the slopes and shaping.
This technique allows me to do some pretty cool effects, like this dormer that I put in on the lower floor of the tower:
All of the detail is just carved directly into the foam, either with a balloint pen or a good pencil. The ballpoint gives crisper detail, and I think it might be my favorite technique. This is also the first time I assembled a building like this with hot glue, which sped up the whole process incredibly.
It was time to add the next floor up. I opted to go with a full interior at first, but changed my mind as I went along.
I decided to go ahead and do the support beams in foamcore, too, since everything will get a couple of coats of wood glue to seal up the foam and strengthen the sculpt. Wood glue has a bit of resin in it, so it will help toughen stuff up quite a bit.
The whole build took about four hours, and ended up being pretty cool!
I put in a balcony for snipers in a skirmish style game, and plenty of exposed brick and timber to go with the stucco.
The chimney was easier than any that I have ever done before. I used Gorilla Glue to bind to pieces of foamcore together, which is easier to carve into than traditional glue. Plus, the foaming action of the glue really binds the foamcore together. A little hot glue to add the top, and it’s pretty spiffy!
My other favorite detail of this piece is the curved slant in the roof, which throws the “safe” feeling of the building completely out the window. It’s something that I was never able to to with traditional foamcore building, but without the paper holding things in place, the foam form was easy to bend into place. Hot glue just made it stay there once it got there!
Next up, the whole thing gets sealed in a mix of black paint and wood glue, then it’s time to paint!