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Other Stuff => Workbench => Topic started by: PhilB on June 24, 2020, 09:22:35 AM

Title: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on June 24, 2020, 09:22:35 AM
Didn't get much pull for this thread on the fantasy board, so thought I'd try it here.

Modelling has been on my back burner for quite some time, but I'm finally getting back to it.
Some of you may recall my earlier projects making houses for 28mm fantasy RPG games with playable interiors. My first one involved whacking apart the laketown house kit to do the interiors. After that, I built a larger house from scratch using old bank calendars as cardstock with balsa pieces to do the timbering. After completion, though, I realized that I should have filled in the spaces between the timbering, rather than just painting them. I'm trying to remedy that shortcoming in my current project.

(https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6mVjecAvuCQ/XBpk_Hu_ejI/AAAAAAAABys/7ciYrhSty9wdpKOC3EI19B56QgtR8XKbQCLcBGAs/s1600/side-roof.jpg)

Later, I got a dozen houses from a Tabletop Basement (https://www.tabletop-basement.com/) kickstarter (resin kits with blank interior walls) and tarted up the inside, assembling the kit as intended, just with added floors and interior details. I then did a second one, shortening the side walls of the ground floor to create the characteristic overhang of half-timbered houses. Here is a view of the ground floor interior of that house:

(https://gdurl.com/qJ3x)

So now, on to my current project. I decided I wanted to add some variety to my village, but all the Tabletop Basement have the same basic rectangular floorplan. Here is a view of the components of one of their kits. Notice that the pieces are of variable thickness, which is a pain, and although the outside of each piece is acceptably detailed, the insides are less than ideal with a few bubbles and especially irregular thickness within a single piece. Much sanding ensued.

(https://gdurl.com/ZqZzx)

So with my new project, intended to be a small inn, I decided to take the ground floors from two kits and put them together to make a larger L-shaped building. This involved cutting some walls to size (then dremel works wonders on resin casts!) and gluing the longer walls together from shorter pieces. Here is the base of the new house, made from 2 layers of heavier cardstock, and the L-shaped floor was scribed in 1-inch squares before painting.

(https://gdurl.com/4cgk)

 I had also learned something from my previous projects: to finish all the interior walls *prior* to assembly, since it's really hard to do any painting inside there once the walls are put together. I printed up a nice wood-slat wall texture and glued it to the interior of the ground-floor walls, clamping them in place with wax paper to prevent them from sticking to each other, but there were still some unsightly wrinkles when I had finished, doubtless due to using too much glue or rushing the project. I *almost* decided to rip the offending paper off, but finally settled on accepting it as "good enough" and added some trim for the window interiors.

(https://gdurl.com/pxkv)

The ground floor was ready for assembly. I used 2-part epoxy to glue together the resin pieces, and that seemed to do a reasonably decent job. This was also the stage when I had to prepare the doors (one included and one built from calendar cardstock and balsa) by drilling holes in the upper and lower corners, inserting short bits of paper clip and drilling corresponding holes in the resin walls and base, to leave doors that open and shut.
(https://gdurl.com/71QY)

Originally, I had imagined also doing the second floor from Tabletop Basement kit parts as well, but suddenly changed my mind. These resin kits are fine on the outside, but the interior blank walls are often uneven and require a lot of sanding and other preparation to make them work, and then require additional material to make the interior walls look right (like the printed textures I used on the first floor). I decided the rest of the building would be fully scratchbuilt. The Tabletop Basement pieces work great for the ground-floor stonework, but the upper floors  are built from timbers and plastering, so balsa and cardstock would be quicker and easier.

First step was laying the beams that would support the upper-floor flooring. I put thinner balsa along the interior lip of the ground floor, so the upper storey would settle firmly in place, then added beams with a slight overhang, like in real half-timbered construction.

(https://gdurl.com/x_uY)

I then laid the floors and started measuring the wall pieces with a very slight outward lean, about 4mm over the height of the storey, all from old bank calendar cardstock, scribed on the inside to represent planking. I cut balsa for the wall bracing to a little less than half the width of the beams, cut a few windows, and added some interior trim for the windows as well.

(https://gdurl.com/RMXx)

(https://gdurl.com/8K8c)

After initial painting, this is what the upper-storey walls looked like:

(https://gdurl.com/Vr-UC)

(https://gdurl.com/fPav)

Then began the really tricky part. In my previous half-timbered house, the exterior bracing wasn't "filled", I just painted the walls to simulate plastering. Now, I wanted to go a step further and fill in the blank spaces between the bracing beams with patching plaster. So I got a small trowel, and had at it.

(https://gdurl.com/R2TK)

After drying, however, there was a lot of shrinkage, as well as more than a few unacceptably uneven spots, so my next step will be adding another coat of patching plaster in the hopes of obtaining acceptable results. That's where I am today. I need to put on that second coat, repaint the exterior, add more interior details, and I will be ready to assemble the upper floor. After that, more beams to support the attic, more beams for the roof and dormer windows, the roof itself, and a nice styrofoam chimney down the back side.

A also snagged two excellent Mirliton kits for seated tavern figures, The Dragon's Inn (http://www.mirliton.it/fantasy-25-28mm/kits-dioramas/the-dragons-inn-kitf003) and The Medieval Tavern (http://www.mirliton.it/medieval-tavern-kit010?tag=Medieval%20Tavern), so I'll have my hands full for the next couple months.

Update: after a second coat of patching plaster to compensate for shrinkage, I found that the plaster sands very nicely, so that took care of the many irregularities in my trowel work. I'll try to post more pics as the upper floor comes together.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: ground floor kitbashed from Tabletop Basement (WIP)
Post by: Codsticker on June 24, 2020, 03:02:23 PM
I love the miniature carpentry. :D The printed paper for the interior is very clever.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: ground floor kitbashed from Tabletop Basement (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on June 24, 2020, 03:25:10 PM
Thanks, although next time I need to use less glue, so it doesn't get wrinkled. The glue on the second floor is slowly drying as I write.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: ground floor kitbashed from Tabletop Basement (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on June 24, 2020, 05:47:17 PM
Second floor

The glue is still drying on the second floor, but it's painted and assembled.

(https://gdurl.com/ZSYH)

I lightly sanded the patching plaster between the beams, then painted it, repainted the beams and touched up a few spots on the inside. My goal is to avoid having to any painting on the inside (at least) post-assembly, and so far, so good. Painting anything on the assembled interior is a real pain to reach properly.

I cut some dressing pins in half and inserted them in the balsa beams to help link the walls together, then used white glue along all the edges, assembled the walls, applied various clamps and weights, and prayed. It went far better than I'd feared, and there are few unsightly gaps.

Prior to assembly, though, I added a railing around the open stairwell, using textured cocktail sticks (toothpicks) that one of the lads here on Lead Adventures suggested for the railing on an earlier ship project, and it looks perfect.

(https://gdurl.com/T1ub)

I also built a stairway and added an interior beam to the ground floor, even adding a couple of those wooden pins they used to use to attach beam parts together.

(https://gdurl.com/szKx)

Next step will be adding some interior walls and doors to the second floor (this building is supposed to be an inn) while the ground floor will remain open plan. Then I'll need to make a floor for the attic and start planning the beams and other carpentry for the roof, with a few dormer windows, something I didn't dare try with my previous scratchbuilt house.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: ground floor kitbashed from Tabletop Basement (WIP)
Post by: Wirelizard on June 24, 2020, 06:37:12 PM
Looking good, the mix of resin for the stonework and traditional scratchbuilding for the upper floor seems to work well.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: ground floor kitbashed from Tabletop Basement (WIP)
Post by: ulverston on June 25, 2020, 07:21:52 AM
This is a really interesting project, little details/tips like the toothpick one are priceless. Keep going I would very much like to keep informed of your progress
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: ground floor kitbashed from Tabletop Basement (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on June 25, 2020, 07:28:10 AM
Yes, it was another guy here who reminded me about those toothpicks, when I was trying to figure out how to do the railing on my medieval cog. You know the ones I'm talking about (https://www.amazon.fr/Kitchen-Craft-btons-cocktail-Sac/dp/B0001IWXYC/ref=sr_1_14?__mk_fr_FR=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&dchild=1&keywords=cocktail+sticks&qid=1593069839&sr=8-14), right?

It would be hell trying to sculpt the profiling on railings (with a lathe?), but those toothpicks do the job nicely. You just have to be very careful to drill parallel and evenly spaced holes in the banner and the floor, because if they are uneven, it really shows.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: ground floor kitbashed from Tabletop Basement (WIP)
Post by: Wilgut Spleens on June 26, 2020, 08:29:47 AM
Fantastic! What a project! I did something similar from foam board, but I left the interiors as I wanted the placement of figures to be easier, now I am regretting that decison seeing the lovely work you have done, I may have tom get the builders back in for a refurb

One thing I did that I was quite pleased with was hanging some oil paintings
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/6011658442679297464/2467304258361538914 (https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/6011658442679297464/2467304258361538914)
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: ground floor kitbashed from Tabletop Basement (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on June 26, 2020, 09:11:42 AM
Hey, great idea on hanging paintings. This is intended to be a fantasy inn, so I'm thinking the upper floor will have a common room (around the stairs) two shared rooms (in the front wing) and a larger luxury room in the wing above the front door. That is where luxury furniture and paintings would be most at home.

Your windows look really good, too. I'm saving windows for last, so there's a bit of time left to think about that.

Now that it's coming together, I almost regret not making it wider and bigger, for more playable space, like on a recent Dwarven Forge inn scene I did for a game. But it would have dwarfed the other buildings in my village, so this is probably a good compromise.

(https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-q8NZecgmxZA/XVf5On7n-SI/AAAAAAAACB0/hdWf8F1UUV4xVS0YjelfGWCuH8-DsqGeACPcBGAYYCw/s1600/Auberge-LaMainCrochue01.jpg)
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: ground floor kitbashed from Tabletop Basement (WIP)
Post by: scatterbrains on June 28, 2020, 01:29:57 PM
Can smell the beer and blood from here! Great project!
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: ground floor kitbashed from Tabletop Basement (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on July 02, 2020, 10:58:21 AM
The project has slowed down (again) as I quibbled about design. Before, I didn't really worry about beam placement, since all the half-timbered houses I had seen seemed to have extremely diverse, even haphazard design in beam placement. But as it turns out (after hours of research) there is a method to their madness, and for a medieval roof truss I had several choices: king post, queen post, hammer post and, the one that appealed to me most on a visual level, the cruck frame. Now, in many cases the cruck frame rises from the ground level. It was too late for that. But I also found what was called an "upper cruck frame" that rises from a horizontal beam. That is what I needed.

Here is one of many schematics I found in my search:

(https://gdurl.com/VL4x)

I decided the end frames would be half-thickness, backed by bank calendar cardstock, so as to match the lower floors. I would need too intermediate frames, which would be full thickness, and leave a reasonable amount of interior space for the playable 3rd floor. Here are two views of my frames. the two intermediate frames are designed slightly shorter than the ends, so as to have a bowed roof, as if the timbers had settled over the years.

(https://gdurl.com/IDP5I)

(https://gdurl.com/UnwSv)

Of course, there's always something you don't think of at the moment. I want to be able to lift off the roof to expose a playable 3rd floor / attic level. But the lower beams of the intermediate trusses are in fact the support for the roof flooring. So, now that it's all glued together, I'll have to figure out precisely where I'm going to whack it apart, so that the roof lifts off, leaving the attic flooring exposed.

I also have yet to face the conundrum of how to set up the dormer windows.

So, while that all stews in the back of my brain, I'm working on installing the interior walls on the upper floor. Scrathbuilding may be free (or close to it) but there are a heck of a lot of steps to undertake to achieve the intended results.

More soon.




Title: Re: Half-timbered house: kitbashed lower floor, scratchbuilt upper (WIP)
Post by: Burgundavia on July 04, 2020, 11:57:39 PM
Amazing work. What about making the roof come off as one piece?
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: kitbashed lower floor, scratchbuilt upper (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on July 05, 2020, 02:36:57 PM
The plan is to have the roof come off in one piece (including the roofs of the dormer windows) leaving the attic floor and rooms as playable space. So one of my next steps is to separate the upper parts of the roof trusses from the lower, which I probably should have planned for during the design and construction phase, but didn't. Still, I have full confidence that it'll come out all right.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: ground floor kitbashed from Tabletop Basement (WIP)
Post by: Codsticker on July 05, 2020, 04:02:09 PM
One thing I did that I was quite pleased with was hanging some oil paintings
THAT... is a really nice touch I don't see very often. I am envious of your miniature timber framing- it looks very tight. 8)
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: kitbashed lower floor, scratchbuilt upper (WIP)
Post by: 6milPhil on July 05, 2020, 04:06:43 PM
Good build but outstanding timber work.  8)
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: kitbashed lower floor, scratchbuilt upper (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on July 18, 2020, 02:33:42 PM
The project continues, slowly but surely. I cut another piece of bank-calendar cardstock for the attic floor, scribed both sides, and painted it. I assembled the 3 end pieces and got the intermediate timbers lined up right, so that I could do a lower layer of beams, under the attic flooring, and have them line up right (more or less) with the timbers in the upper floor walls. I decided that the timbers with the "upper cruck frame" would remain a visible part of the attic level, still allowing miniatures and furniture to be placed on the attic floor when the roof is removed.

The beams that you can see in this first picture will be attached to the underside of the roof piece, so they will not obstruct fat-fingered gamer access. The key part here is going to be getting the angles between the two roof parts right, not to mention the dormer window above the front door right. I breifly considered making five dormer windows, but it's going to be hard enough to get the roof right with just one, so I decided that the current project is complicated enough that one single dormer window is going to have to be sufficient.

(https://gdurl.com/QGtv)

In the second picture you can see the attic level just about as it will look when open for gaming, with the balustrade around the open stairwell going down.

(https://gdurl.com/7Th9)

Once I get the templates properly sized for the roof pieces and get them cut out and glued to the roof beams (hopefully without glueing them at the same time to the support timbers), I'll need to do roof tiles  and build the fireplace that will run from the ground floor to the roof, out of carved polystyrene. After that, I'll need windows, shutters and a little ground clutter before seriously working on the interior furniture.

Making buildings with playable interiors is turning out to be quite a chore. I can see why many gamers don't bother. Perhaps I should fill out the village with a few buildings *without* playable interiors, and just resort to printed floorplans set off to the side, should the action take us in there. Are playable interiors really worth it? I'm curious what the rest of you think.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: kitbashed lower floor, scratchbuilt upper (WIP)
Post by: Cubs on July 18, 2020, 02:36:10 PM
Holy crap, are you going to move in?! That's amazing work! How do you bend the beams like that? Did you steam the wood or just hold it in place with clamps?
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: kitbashed lower floor, scratchbuilt upper (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on July 18, 2020, 03:16:42 PM
Good question, Cubs!
Although balsa is a very forgiving material to work with, and in theory it would be possible to steam or soak beams and then bend them to shape, I find that in practice it's really hard to get a consistent bend. Once you bend a piece to shape, even after full drying there is a degree of "spring back" and so it would be a devilish proposition to get just the right shape.

So I did it the easy way. I sketched out the facades on paper, and cut out a template piece for the curved beams of the cruck frame. I then transfered the curved shape onto sheet balsa (3mm-thick sheets for the end pieces that are backed by cardstock, and 6mm-thick sheets for the freestanding interior frames) and carefully cut to form. Then came a period of adjusting and gluing, including cutting a dado joint (a grove in each piece) where the two curved pieces overlap at the top. Tricky work with small balsa pieces and I had to do a couple pieces twice, since I ruined them by cutting too aggressively.

(https://gdurl.com/VBXh)

Without the framing plan on paper, I don't think I could have achieved this level of uniformity for the three end pieces and the four intermediate frames that you can see in the previous post.

Oh, last thing: after assembly, I shaved off the square edges of most of the beams, so it looks more like they were carved using hand tools. It really improves the overall look, but I don't know how much that really shows, in the photos. None of this is really "hard" as such, but there sure are a lot of small steps involved.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: kitbashed lower floor, scratchbuilt upper (WIP)
Post by: scatterbrains on July 18, 2020, 04:00:13 PM
Holy crap, are you going to move in?! That's amazing work!

I blew air through my nose really fast at that  lol
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: kitbashed lower floor, scratchbuilt upper (WIP)
Post by: Cubs on July 18, 2020, 04:57:43 PM
So I did it the easy way.

I don't blame you. I looks supoib.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: kitbashed lower floor, scratchbuilt upper (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on August 02, 2020, 08:46:35 AM
After many interruptions from real life, the project continues.
I knew that cutting strips of shingles/roof tiles was tedious, but somehow I'd forgotten just how many of the buggers I'd have to prepare! It takes a lot of roof tiles to cover a roof!

(https://gdurl.com/rdue)

In the upper left corner you can see my raw materials: old medicine boxes. I find the cardboard used to be stronger than, say, cereal boxes, as well as thinner. And since the strips of cut tiles get layered on top of each other once glued to the roof piece, I didn't want the whole thing getting too thick. But I have to say that I feel like I need to find a simpler method for doing a roof, because cutting these strips of tiles takes a *lot* of time. There's got to be an easier way. I suppose I could make larger tiles, but this size seems to fit the scale of the project: 1cm-wide strips, with notches between 2/3 and 3/4 of that width.

(https://gdurl.com/e0_M)

But before even reaching that stage, I had to make some templates for the roof pieces, out of scrap cardboard (old Paizo shipping envelopes). Measuring the model only goes so far, I had to test and actually fit together the roof pieces, re-making a couple pieces several times until they meshed properly. It's at this point that I'm really happy with my decision not to add more dormer windows to the model. I've got enough complex roof pieces to fit together as it is.

So now I *think* I may have enough strips of tile prepared to finish the remaining two roof pieces, then the tricky part will be assembling them so the roof can not only lift off, but not be completely destroyed in the process. Then the chimney and fireplace will need carving, there are windows and shutters to add, more interior furniture to build and these seated tavern drinkers to paint.

Maybe my next buildings *don't* need to have playable interiors. <g>
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: now working on the (removable) roof (WIP)
Post by: ffrum on August 03, 2020, 04:46:30 PM
I developed a process for making shingles for the many building constructed.  Paper/cardboard strips wider than the shingle (length) size and 6-8 inches long are cut on a paper cutter.  I make a jig of pieces of Masonite and wood spacers to hold the strips, stacked 10 deep or so, about 6-8 inches long.  The jig has notches cut in it for the shingle width dimension.  Then the strips, held in the jig, are cut into at each of the notches with a scroll saw.  This operation results in "mass produced" strips of shingles to be placed and glued, overlapping horizontally on a building roof.  The glued strips of shigles are cut to fit the roof.  Crown rows are added at the peaks and flashing is placed on the roof joints (before shingles are added).  Painting then is completed with dry brushing and weathering.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: now working on the (removable) roof (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on August 03, 2020, 06:15:50 PM
Ffrum, thanks for the suggestion. I'd heard of this method, but I'd need the right tools to do it, and I do tend to like the irregular appearance of hand-cut tiles. It's very tempting, though, after having spent untold hours with an xacto knife cutting notches in 1cm-wide strips of light cardboard.

I have finished applying tiles to all the roof pieces and will post more photos once I've completed the removable roof assembly - or bolloxed the whole thing up.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: now working on the (removable) roof (WIP)
Post by: snitcythedog on August 03, 2020, 06:59:44 PM
Bravo on the trussing.  Something that I would never think to do.  I just hide that part of the building. 
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: now working on the (removable) roof (WIP)
Post by: DS615 on August 04, 2020, 01:25:32 PM
I developed a process for making shingles for the many building constructed.  Paper/cardboard strips wider than the shingle (length) size and 6-8 inches long are cut on a paper cutter.  I make a jig of pieces of Masonite and wood spacers to hold the strips, stacked 10 deep or so, about 6-8 inches long.  The jig has notches cut in it for the shingle width dimension.  Then the strips, held in the jig, are cut into at each of the notches with a scroll saw.

A brilliant idea!  I am working on buildings at the moment, and have been dreading the roof tile cutting portion. Your idea is fantastic, and something that appeals to my own building habits.  (build a thing to make another thing easier, even if doing so takes longer that just doing it the "normal" way).
I'm going to do that tonight!
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: now working on the (removable) roof (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on August 05, 2020, 02:00:29 PM
The roof is assembled, glued and ready to paint! It was a real dog to build, since I chose to make such a complicated system to allow the roof to be removed, and had to glue the roof beams in just the right place to make them correspond to the slots and supports on the trusses. Plus, first time round, I glued the dormer window roof on *backwards* and had to detact it, make several further cuts for it to fit right, and reattach it. Looks just about right now, though.

(https://gdurl.com/QC2W)

The shingles on this side (next pic) are the most irregular, I did this side first and it shows. Hopefully it won't be quite so glaringly obvious once I have some paint on it.

(https://gdurl.com/gAEI)

(https://gdurl.com/xQJV)

Whilst various bits were drying, I also pulled out a piece of scrap styrofoam, measured and carved the chimney and the ground floor fireplace. Due to lack of planning and foresight, I had to put the chimney in over an existing window, but since I also wanted to make it wide enough to hide a tea-lamp led inside, that worked out fine. The upper floor fireplace will have to be wide enough to cover that window too, but I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

(https://gdurl.com/Aebe)

(https://gdurl.com/rEVm)

Next step is painting the roof, carving the upper floor chimney and the roof-based part of the chimney, painting and assembling all that, then windows, shutters and ground clutter in the yard. Only then will I be able to turn my sights on painting up the figures and furniture that will go inside.

Title: Re: Half-timbered house: now working on the (removable) roof (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on August 11, 2020, 11:52:55 AM
No, it's still not done yet.

But we had a game this Sunday, so I pressed it into service. The roof tiles have got two base coats and the beginning of some detailing, but it still needs lichen, moss, and the upper part of the chimney, not to mention windows, shutters and ground clutter. Still, it's starting to shape up nicely. Here it is, as mid-grade tavern in a shady corner of the vast city of Freeport.

(https://gdurl.com/5HpD)

And here is the ground floor, with some temporary tavern furnishings:

(https://gdurl.com/cdcA)

And the upper floor, tarted up with some scratchbuilt and some prefab Dwarven Forge furniture:

(https://gdurl.com/YZ92)

And the attic floor, with a bit of clutter and some half-painted bedrolls pressed into early service:

(https://gdurl.com/tfaz)

More soon.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: now working on the (removable) roof (WIP)
Post by: CookAndrewB on August 11, 2020, 07:27:50 PM
That is basically the inn that my brain imagines at the beginning of every D&D game I've ever played lol. Well done!
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: now working on the (removable) roof (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on August 12, 2020, 12:08:42 PM
"Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine."

Although, as it turns out, all the action took place in the tavern courtyard. The adventurers (Luciano the Varisian, Alarielle the Sorceresse and O'gral, Servant of Grome) had leant, after interrogating a few prisoners and speaking with the young women who'd been kidnapped for human sacrifice, that the serpent cult would try to kidnap a visiting Mwangi princesse. (Mwangi being the Golarion equivalent of Darkest Africa). A Varisian (=Gypsy) fortune-teller drew this Mwangi princess into the courtyard just as the serpent cultists provoked a stampede of all the horses in the tavern stables, then tried to eliminate the princess's guards. Naturally, the adventurers managed to thwart the serpent cultists' plan, killing several of them and following the others deep into the ancient ruins beneath the city.

Kidnapping
(https://gdurl.com/lVI3)
Attempted sacrifice
(https://gdurl.com/bnJv)
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: now working on the (removable) roof (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on August 19, 2020, 07:17:21 PM
Windows and shutters are done. Exterior landscaping is done. The upper part of the chimney is done.

(https://gdurl.com/tYWB)

The windows were made by taking 3x3mm basswood strips and cutting them down to less than 1x1mm, then each window had to be custom fitted because during construction I neglected to use a standard window size.

(https://gdurl.com/7u0Q)

The shutters were made by using scribed bank calendar cardstock, painted, then thin strips of medicine-box light cardstock, cut to get a maximum number of braile bumps to represent rivets, pre-painted and glued across the top and bottom of the shutters. A little post-cut touch-up, and they were ready to be glued in place.

(https://gdurl.com/MoOm2)

Here are some additional views. I took the longest time to decide what to add in the rectangular area left by the L-shaped building, and eventually decided on a well, carved out of dense insulation foam using Xacto knives, since I still haven't sprung for a Proxon foam cutter. With PVA covering the building's base, I added first some sand, painted in with a few shades of dark brown, then added flocking, leaving a few paths in the dirt, to represent traffic.

(https://gdurl.com/x0hT)

(https://gdurl.com/UoLg)

The outside of this house is pretty much done, except for some climbing ivy on the walls, which turned out fairly nice on previous projects, then I'll try to put the finishing touches on the furniture inside, and finally get the seated taven patrons painted up.

My takeaway from this project is that it was far too involved. Future houses will be simplified so as to reduce construction time and effort. But as you can see in some of the earlier photos, I'm starting to have enough buildings to do a nice-sized corner of a big fantasy-medieval city, and our first game (Pathfinder 2e) in this setting went over really well.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: Getting close to finished (windows, shutters, chimney)
Post by: Codsticker on August 21, 2020, 05:31:13 AM
 Very nice work, really impressive construction.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: Getting close to finished (windows, shutters, chimney)
Post by: PhilB on August 21, 2020, 07:05:16 AM
I still don't see how you manage the patience to use *individual* shingles on the roofs of Kodsticklerburg. In this roof, it felt like even the number of shingle *strips* was huge enough.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: Getting close to finished (windows, shutters, chimney)
Post by: syrinx0 on August 22, 2020, 03:12:19 AM
Wow.  A very impressive build.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: Getting close to finished (windows, shutters, chimney)
Post by: PhilB on August 22, 2020, 06:50:06 PM
Thanks! I'm very pleased with it. We have another game coming up next Wednesday, hope to get some good pics.

I'm thinking about making a smial (hobbit house) out of a spare piece of not-dense polystyrene. A quick project, compared to this one. The plan currently is to have non-linear interior walls, and I'm not sure how to do the interior woodwork and wainscotting. Maybe with paper-printed interiors, rather than scribed cardstock, so as to better follow the curves of the interior. More soon.
Title: Re: Half-timbered house: Getting close to finished (windows, shutters, chimney)
Post by: PhilB on August 27, 2020, 03:06:58 PM
Well, our game last night went off without a hitch. You can read the after-action report on the fantasy adventures forum (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=126568.0).

(https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6obRCc-9f2o/X0e6wENgTcI/AAAAAAAACYA/90TXSN2WQO4KQFeLTa7ElCuKMbH7N3cRQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1421/Villa03a.jpg)

I'm particulary pleased with the way the Dwarven Forge walls blend in with the three half-timbered houses. The two on the left are kitbashed from Tabletop Basement kits, with most of the work going into the playable interiors. We got to use the interior of the first house on the left during the initial information-gathering phase, as two characters posed as visiting merchants asking for samples of the fine silks on display. But the main action took place inside the main house, on the right, and around back during the later part of the mission.
Title: Re: Half-timbered houses: Bringing the models together for a game.
Post by: PhilB on September 04, 2020, 10:55:27 AM
Since my master plan is to make a fantasy-medieval port city section, I also need ships. It isn't my first rodeo (my first cog can be seen in this city scene (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/images/15549/300507.jpg)) so we'll call the two I'm working on now cog2 and cog 3.

I began my first ship by cutting a hull core out of extruded polystyrene. In a minute you'll see why I won't be doing this any more.
(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_08/covid-ships01.jpg.a39757642047c77e17d7bb2822c39b1e.jpg)

The idea is to make a waterline model for the gaming board, so no need for the part of the hull that would be below the waterline. The foam core is intended to give the basic shape to the ship, and it's what I used to prepare a cardboard template for the hull flanks. I got my hands on a new recycled material: the wood box used on some French cheeses (which you can see in the upper part of the previous photo). I decided cog 2 would have a pointed bow and stern, and follow the basic plan of a viking longship, albeit shorter and wider, with a side rudder. Cog 3 would have a flat stern and a stern rudder, so I used the same hull template but truncated the stern a bit.

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_08/covid-ships03.thumb.jpg.0f8d8ce261e334a7a1d6049415e71e2e.jpg)

After a long pause to finish my latest half-timbered house, I finally got the brie box bottom back out and cut the hull flanks. Real ship modelers do this differently: they start with the keel and the ribs, then lay individual planks over this armature. I'm not ready for that yet (maybe someday) and wanted a quick solution. So I scribed planking into the wood of the hull flanks, and set them to soak (8 hours turned out to be enough) in a fish kettle, then clamped them along the inner edge of the brie box lid, to give them about the right bend.

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_08/covid-ships06.thumb.jpg.dd050676108230ae46930efca4e37684.jpg)

The next day, they were just about the right shape. I was originally intending to glue the hull flanks around the foam core, but I got to thinking: the shape of these pieces was just about right, so I could get away with gluing a small wooden block in the bow and the stern, around a flat piece of balsa scribed to represent the planking along the bottom of the hull. I then proceeded to glue ribs to both inner sides of the hull.

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_09/covid-ships07.jpg.1546dc132a32cfeb192e5537bcc489a1.jpg)

The plan is to add the inner timbers supporting the upper deck, but to have part of that deck be removeable so that I can use the lower hold area as a playable space (even though there won't be enough headroom to leave figures there when the upper deck is in place). I'm just starting to add the mast and some of the interior transverse beams.

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_09/covid-ships08.jpg.12ec71983b2d61cf4997303b3dba74e1.jpg)

So that's where I am today, just getting ready to put on some initial paint and begin work on the fore and aft ections of the keel, the upper deck, and then the fore and aft castles.

I still don't know if I'll add rigging to these ships, or if that would just interfere with placing and moving figures during a game.
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on September 06, 2020, 02:26:42 PM
So, I got a first coat of dark brown paint on the hull and started on some of the lateral bracing.

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_09/covid-ships09.jpg.ddde8205ef849e73e9d8444513065c0d.jpg)

I also made a cardboard template for the bow and stern segments of the keel, as well as another cardboard template for the fore section of the upper deck, which then transferred to balsa (with a few adjustments, but some of the notches for the ribs were still too deep - sigh) on which I scribed planking. Once all the lateral bracing is in place, and the stern gets the same treatment as the bow, I'll hit that all with the dark brown paint and then lighten it with a grey-brown drybrushing.

This project is going a heck of a lot more quickly than the last one. As soon as I have 2-3 ships done up, we can play boarding actions!
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: Ray Rivers on September 06, 2020, 03:12:38 PM
Looking pretty good to me.  :-*

I think the only really obvious notches with gaps are the last 2 of the inner most left group. You could always press some green stuff from below and fill the holes.

But I don't think it is really necessary.
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on September 06, 2020, 03:29:53 PM
What I really *ought* to do is redo the fore deck with a new piece of balsa.

Then again, if I add some bracing, along the edges of the deck like in the following pic (not my work) the unsightly holes will disappear.

(https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tYUesD8UYXE/XOwDoTocZuI/AAAAAAAADQA/bh_I2CM_o64NFySKFOCrPcF_DQVE32NhwCEwYBhgL/s1600/zvezda%2Bcog%2Bthomas%2B%25284%2529.JPG)
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: Ray Rivers on September 06, 2020, 03:45:25 PM
Then again, if I add some bracing, along the edges of the deck like in the following pic (not my work) the unsightly holes will disappear.

Was thinking about that too. An easy fix.
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: Codsticker on September 06, 2020, 04:40:00 PM
All in all it looks pretty amazing to me (even with the gaps). :D
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: Pattus Magnus on September 06, 2020, 06:47:01 PM
Are the fore and aft ribs in the model structural and helping to keep the hull shape? If not, another option might be to glue the deck sections in place before fitting the ribs, and cut the ribs to extend to the deck, since the part of the rib below the deck wont be visible.

It is a beautiful model as it is, in any case. Im looking forward to seeing how the rest of the fleet progresses!
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on September 07, 2020, 06:26:33 AM
Are the fore and aft ribs in the model structural and helping to keep the hull shape? If not, another option might be to glue the deck sections in place before fitting the ribs, and cut the ribs to extend to the deck, since the part of the rib below the deck wont be visible.

On the first ship in this series, I made the upper deck removable, so as to leave playable spaces underneath. I'm still debating whether to do that here, especially since the plan is to have fore and aft castles as well.

More or less like this:
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/04/Kogge_stralsund.jpg)
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: Dr. Zombie on September 07, 2020, 07:07:30 AM
Those look very cool. Could we perhaps see a pic with a miniature in it. I am having trouble visualising the scale.
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: Ragnar on September 07, 2020, 11:18:31 AM
Just wow, amazing work on the ship.
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on September 07, 2020, 05:45:12 PM
Construction continues. Here is a pic with both the fore and aft upper deck sections in place, as well as the keel segments, which will be radically trimmed down at some point. In the foreground you can see my first test ship, and in the background my first cog, with all its faults -erm- learning moments.

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_09/covid-ships10.thumb.jpg.6213afbea701410d2566b0bb50d3f269.jpg)

Next step is to get some paint on all the bits I've added, and do a much lighter greyish-brown wash over most of the wood surfaces before some of them become inaccessible. I still haven't decided if I should make the upper deck sections removable or not. There's not a lot of headroom under there, but I suppose I could still model bags, barrels, coils of rope and such stored in those spaces, but I couldn't place a miniature and then put the lid over it. Not enough space.

The plan is to add a railing along the top edge of the hull, as well as some additional braces inside. And then I have to decide if I want to leave it as is, or add bow and stern castles. What do you think?
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: Pattus Magnus on September 07, 2020, 06:00:05 PM
I think if there are going to be fore and aft castles, gluing the deck in makes sense. You can develop the castles fully to get the playable spaces.

I am incorrigibly lazy, though!
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on September 12, 2020, 12:40:58 PM
Now the deck is glued in place, just waiting for it to dry before going after the paint. I slimmed down the mast by about 20-30% and trimmed down the bow post and the stern post to close to half their original width. I think it's looking much better. I've also begun applying some grey drybrushing, but I want to be careful not to lay it on too thick.

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_09/covid-ships14.thumb.jpg.2265b74d403305775d2a6f0266847935.jpg)

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_09/covid-ships15.jpg.d90093037c7fd897333d6b22c284dff8.jpg)

I've got a few more hull and interior details to get ironed out before deciding how to build up the forecastle and sterncastle. Here is a view with cardboard templates in place. My gut tells me that the forecastle is too big. But I also want enough space for several figures with 25mm washers as bases, so it's a tough call.

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_09/covid-ships16.thumb.jpg.5523eadd6c1c55b6d48899f9ce55947c.jpg)
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: Belisarius on September 13, 2020, 03:05:29 AM
Fabulous builds on both the houses and the ships . Im in awe of your carpentry skills . This is a great thread. ✔️
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on September 13, 2020, 08:34:15 AM
Thanks, Belisarius. But one of my goals in posting all these details is to show that building a model ship needn't be laboriously complicated. I know that serious model ship builders spend ages shaping the strakes and planking the hulls of their ships with fine woods that make them real works of art. My effort is a quick & dirty version of that, with a single sheet of wood for each side of the hull, not comparable at all to the wonderful ships of serious ship modelists.

I've tried to show that anybody here could build a similar ship with minimal tools and few cheap materials. The plywood veneer from a box of Brie cheese was a wonderful discovery, for this current model, I love using materials I've scrounged from the recycling bin.
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on September 26, 2020, 05:51:37 PM
Construction continues after a brief interlude to paint our new carport.

I'm struggling with the aft castle. I've got the underlying structure done, but can't decide if I should leave it completely open like in this first pic, with all the beams simply dry fit (and so a little tippy):

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_09/aftcastle01.jpg.42cf5c76a034550c1102c8782ed9cf88.jpg)

Or if I should blend the aft castle into the ship's structure with a sort of "skirt" like in this picture, with a cardboard template temporarily clipped in place:

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_09/aftcastle03.jpg.8b8c494e4438dd19b0805bd0f115a4bc.jpg)

Some period artwork shows the aft castle fully integrated with the ship's hull, even when it overhangs the sides of the stern, as it does here. But those are invariably ships with a stern rudder. This one will (soon!) have a side rudder, so it can't be fully enclosed. But I'm tempted by this skirt idea. What do you think?
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: Codsticker on September 28, 2020, 05:09:28 AM
I don't have enough knowledge of the subject but my inclination is enclosed. In any event, I think your work so far very impressive.
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: Gangleri on September 28, 2020, 11:11:44 PM
Love the curved roofs on the building and the "paintings" on the interior!  Ship looks great too.
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on September 29, 2020, 05:34:09 AM
I finally took the decisions that were necessary for the aftcastle: no skirt, just arched supports branching out from the supporting beams, and the aftcastle will not be removable - too many fiddly parts that could easily break off.

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_09/aftcastle06.jpg.36806a1053a3154a20654e29cdc6e20b.jpg)

The crenelations on the aftcastle walls needed to be supported by some sort of braces, so I spent a few hours doing them. I had to plan carefully so that the corners would fit together, but that planning paid off. Another thing I would change for a future project is use slightly heavier wood, like 2mm instead of 1mm, and perhaps a *different wood*, for the decks and castle walls. With 1mm balsa, once you've scribed planks into both sides, there's not much margin for error. <g>

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_09/aftcastle07.jpg.5703dcb46a49b7591c58ef3a26d06daa.jpg)

I had to take this pic before actually gluing on the aftcastle walls, but I like the overall look. Next will be finishing the forecastle, building the side rudder and a pair of ladders. Then I may dare to venture into the arcane art of rigging... maybe. A minimalist approach to rigging might not interfere with placing and moving figures too much, we'll have to see how it goes.
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: Ray Rivers on September 29, 2020, 11:41:53 AM
Nice progress!

1mm balsa?  o_o
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on September 29, 2020, 01:18:10 PM
Yes, the decks, the fore and aftcastle decks and the castle walls are made out of 1mm balsa sheets. Works great, as long as there is some sort of bracing to reinforce it. I know I should have gone and ordered some 2mm-thick balsa at the same time, but didn't, so I'm working with what I have. The next step up (that I have on hand) is 4mm, which is far too thick for any of those purposes.

When I need some sturdier material, I use cardboard from old bank calendars that I stock up on every year. They hand em out like candy, here in France.
Should be bank calendar season soon!
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: Coronasan on September 30, 2020, 03:34:38 PM
The ship builds are excellent, all from scratch, much more authentic than my conversions of Playmobil ships. I am impressed that you get them symmetrical, when I have tried, they get a bit wonky.
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on September 30, 2020, 04:32:15 PM
I am impressed that you get them symmetrical, when I have tried, they get a bit wonky.

That is actually very, very tricky and not 100% successful. For example, When the ship only had two sides and a bottom, and I was first installing the ribs, I lined up the ship on my work mat and tried very hard to put them in symmetrical positions on the two sides (and fore to aft, but that's less critical. Later on, when I had the upper deck in and was adding those little L-shaped knees, it became apparent that I had not been entirely successful. But you have to look hard at some of these details to realize that it's not fully symmetrical at all points.

I think once you have the basic hull shape successfully in place, the rest is a question of testing, fitting, eyeballing and re-doing abything that just didn't work out. Of course, the *real* ship modelers build elaborate jigs and place each strake or plank individually. What I'm doing here is waaaay down the scale from the true ship modelers.
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: Coronasan on September 30, 2020, 05:53:05 PM
Of course, the *real* ship modelers build elaborate jigs and place each strake or plank individually. What I'm doing here is waaaay down the scale from the true ship modelers.
Everything I make is with game play in mind, there has to be easy access to place and move models and there has to be plenty of space for models to fight to the death! When I have converted ship models, I go very light on the rigging so I can get my hand in there to move stuff around. It is the same for my buildings as well, they are terrain for games, not historically accurate buildings.

I have huge admiration for the *real* ship modellers out there, I have seen impressive work that I could simply not attempt!
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: Cacique Caribe on September 30, 2020, 08:15:18 PM
What a beauty!  Fantastic results.

Dan
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on October 02, 2020, 07:31:13 PM
The pirates are celebrating the completion of the forecastle!

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_10/forecastle02.jpg.ac52e62b1daea0088c26d9ccb061706c.jpg)

Next are the ladders, the side rudder, a few hull details and a host of smaller details.
Title: Re: From half-timbered houses to more early medieval ships (WIP)
Post by: PhilB on October 05, 2020, 06:34:27 PM
I finished the side rudder, a ladder for the forecastle, and I tarted up the hull. It's looking better. Next is rigging - that will be a new one for me.

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_10/hull02.jpg.c54f128294c1cd52848d18871473499a.jpg)

(https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/monthly_2020_10/hull03.jpg.98516e3e2b46e93207f82b09190b9156.jpg)

I'll also need to do up a crew in 13th-century garb. My 17th-century pirates seem just a bit out of place on this 13th-century nef.