Saturday, 3 March 2012

High Density, Low Cost Housing Estate

Scenery of the Day

Following on from the Previous Article about using foamcore to create small tabletop townships, here is a another approach using an even simpler construction technique.

Here is a High Density, Lost Cost housing estate for my 18th/19th  Century tabletop Central Europe.

For this attempt at a town, I have gone for using little wooden building blocks.

Found some of these at the art shop - they are 15mm cubes made from cheap wood, and come in a bag of 70 for around $4.  So I laid these out on a 5x7" canvas board, and built up 2 storeys for each house.

I then added some extra matchstick and bits to add provide roof supports and add some weight to the centreline of the building (which holds the blocks in place as they dry).

Add the basic structure of a little wall around the housing estate. Looks rough here - which is fine, as all this is about to be covered in stucco paste.

Using the blocks is awesome if your carpentry skills are as bad as mine, since everything automatically conforms to right angles and straight walls. Very simple !

Build up the texture with modelling paste - nice and thick, and then stipple it with an old brush.

After that is all dry, I will use those roofing frames as a foundation to put down the roof.

For the low cost houses, I chopped up the liner for a hanging basket ... don't know what you call the stuff, but I assume it is some sort of coconut fibre.

Cut to shape, lay it down over the frame (with PVA on the frame first), and then tie the roof down with loops of cotton thread.

Give that an hour or so to dry for the roof to be firmly attached.

Here are the roofs all finished now.

The modelling paste dries white, so leave that as it is, and then add the finishing touches by adding windows and external woodwork with lines of black paint.

Finally flock the base, add some gardens - Done !

The wonders of photography always show up little details that need fixing.

I really should run over the roofs with the trimming scissors !

Before finishing off this one, I hit a few parts with the airbrush - its the only sensible tool to use to add shading to the thatched roof.

I have also given all the edges of each building a light hit of grey primer with the airbrush to add a small touch of depth to each building.

Being a high density development for the working masses, the buildings are jammed together in this settlement, and therefore there is little, if any, room for adding bases of troops.

For gaming purposes, this denotes that the settlement is too dense for stacking battalions of formed troops inside them  .... however, there is ample room in here for adding up to a dozen skirmisher bases.

So this one offers some tactical differences to the more up-market foamcore township I did in part 1.

Plenty of hidy-holes for voltigeurs, tirailleurs, jagers, and those pesky British riflemen !

A great little firing position on this flank as well.

Very happy with the way this one came out.

Cost - under $2 each.

30 minutes assembly time for gluing the blocks together and getting the roof frame built.

Around an hour of finishing off work.

By the way, these are the same wooden blocks I use
For doing Soviet style appartment blocks in 2/3mm scale, for big operational scale games.

Useful little blocks they are !