May 22, 2012

Brickwork Houses

Having experimented with some brick texture techniques last week I ended up making this. I hadn't really intended doing another building but I just couldn't stop playing with my newest toy. Texturing foamcard isn't that easy and I have made plenty of mistakes. The biggest difficulty I have is in removing one side of the paper sheet. I don't know how it is done easily. I usually just end up ripping it to pieces and then peeling and cutting the rest off. It takes far longer than is fun. Thankfully this piece didn't need that much brick work so I still had my sanity intact afterwards. I envisaged the building as a small workshop of some sort. I added an many windows as feasible to show that there was a strong need for light inside. The door is also rather different than my standard simple design. I wanted to make it look like it was designed for something larger than just entry and exit purposes. The sliding frame is fine but I need to make it in a slightly smaller scale if I do something like that again. It was painted to represent a painted door with the paint peeling off the wood. The pictures don't do it justice. I wanted to practice the technique as it would be really useful in painting the next few buildings. I still haven't managed to make it look exactly as I want it.

All the brickwork was done with the foam card. This really helps when it comes to exactness. I am often rather inaccurate with the wooden parts of the buildings I do making it a nightmare to add details like window frames. Here is was really easy to make them and insert them ito the foam. The top part of the building is made with balse wood which I am slowly coming to hate. Bass wood is much better as it will hold sculpted detail. Balsa doesn't as it absorbs water and swells up causing the sculpted grain to reseal. It does have better texture for drybrushing at least. The side support pieces are styrene with the rivets punched out. It is fairly ubiquitous in Iron Kingdoms terrain and repeating it on my buildings helps tie them together. It also saves having to be really neat with the corners of the building. I imagine that the brick work wouldn't look half as good if I had to accurately join the corners together. The window frames are just balsa wood cut to fit. I added glass to them made from plastic cut from blister packs. I don't let anything go to waste!

I searched around online to find out what bricks really look like. Hamburg is infested with redbrick buildings but these are all reconstructions that aren't too old. They are also fairly well taken care of. Looking out from my apartment every building is made with red bricks but there is almost no sign of weathering on any of them. Searching online I found some really nice shots of weathered brick and I used these to inform how I would paint the piece. I didn#t weather the front of the building as much as the sides. I wanted to try to add some freehand sign to the front but I chickened out as that was going to be difficult. It would add a lot of atmosphere to the building I think but I most likely would have messed it up and I didn't fancy repainting the brickwork.

Painting the foamcard has to be done by hand as the propellant used in sprays dissolves the foam. This is especially important when you come to varnish the piece. The paint offers no protection and spraying with varnish will dissolve everything still. I will use my airbrush to get some varnish on this soon. Also something I thankfully remembered just in time polystyrene cement (plastic glue) also dissolves the foam. I almost glued the plastic side struts on with this which would have been a disaster! Superglue isn't great to use either but at least it is less caustic to the foam than the polystyrene cement. Everthing here was glued with PVA (white) glue which doesn't make for much structural strength. I reinforced the roof where it joins to the side struts with some of the polystyrene cement as it was distant enough from the foam. I am hoping this helps the model stand up to the rigours of the gaming table.

So far this year I have been fairly good with keeping up with my terrain pledge. January saw a large scale hill made. Recently Boosted Damage have been discussing terrain. They maintain that Warmachine specific terrain should be small, including hills. I agree in general but not with the hill. I really think that hills should be large as they have a smaller effect on the battlefield in general in Warmachine. Most often they add the elevation bonus which is more significant the smaller the hill is as the only way to counter the bonus is the be on the same or higher elevation. The larger a hill is the more easily this is done. I will discuss this more in a later post I think. Back to my resolution on terrain, I managed to finish a different structure in April and some obstacles in February. I need to make up for having failed to do anything in March. I would still love to do a canal, especially considering I want to play with the Gators soon. However it probably is too large a piece for a 4" x 4" board, especially as it is essentially a no go zone except for a few models. I think a railroad would be better as it, according to my design at least, will still have an effect on the battlefield albeit a small one. If I can get the materials together I plan to do this as the June project!


  1. I have to say I love this building!
    Thanks for sharing.

    The balance of brick, wood and metal is great and sums up IK perfectly. Might have to pinch this idea for when I get around to doing terrain of my own!

    1. Feel free to steal, I stole the inspiration already anyway.


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