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Making scenery: BUILDINGS (page 2)

Remember all those bits I cut out for a "more ambitious" house? Here they are glued together:

This is to be a burned-out manor house. Here we see the model before the paper rending has been glued on. Some stonework is to be left exposed by broken plaster. The stonework itself is made from some diorama bases which come with Matchbox 1/76th scale vehicle kits. Next to the stonework, card has been glued, to build up the walls to the level of the stonework, so that when the paper rending is added, there won't be a rather unconvincing ramp up to the exposed stones.

This is to be a short terrace of buildings with pantiled roofs. The buildings are made separately, but with flush sides, so that they can be placed next to each other to make the terrace. As with all these buildings, the roofs are to be made detachable for wargaming purposes. Understand now that making roofs detachable means that the buildings will take quite a bit longer to make. If a roof is not detachable, it can be glued on firmly, and it adds to the strength of the model. If it is to be made as a separate piece, then it must be made very precisely, so that it fits properly, and this is not always easy. Notice the blue stains on the wall of the building on the left. These were made when I marked out the blotting paper for cutting out. Alas, a felt-tip was the first pen to come to hand, and the ink from this soaked into the blotting paper. This was a swine to paint over when it came to the painting stage, so I'd recommend that you use pencil or a biro.

A close-up, showing details of construction. The roof tiles are made from strips of corrugated cardboard. Each strip (apart from the bottom one) has been glued on top of a thin strip of cereal packet card. You can just see the ends of the cereal packet card strips, in this close-up (blue). These little strips raise the bottom edge of each row of tiles, above the one below, much enhancing the tile-like effect of the corrugated cardboard. I cut the strips of corrugated cardboard with scissors held at an angle, so that the bottom edge of each strip protrudes slightly, over the one below. Along the apex of the roof, are the top tiles, which are made from drinking straws. These were quite fat straws, stolen from the refreshment stall at a local multiplex cinema (why do they call them "concession stands"?). I cut the straws in half lengthways (there were handy red stripes along them which acted as guidelines), then filled the channel of each half with all-purpose adhesive (I used UHU but other makes, like Bostik would doubtless do), and then, when this had gone tacky, I cut the bifurcated straws into short lengths, each to represent one apex tile. I put a long thin sausage of Milliput along the apex of the roof, covered this with UHU, and then stuck the tiles on, overlapping. The result is quite strong. Having tried several methods of making the detachable roofs, I would recommend the following. Cut out the flat sheets of card which will make the main roof parts, then measure the angle of the roof on the main building walls (ninety degrees looks right, and is an easy angle to work with), and cut a triangle of foam board at this angle. Glue this triangle in place on ONE of the roof sides simply by putting a lot of PVA along one edge of the triangle, and placing it carefully edge-down on one roof side, which is lying flat on a table. The thickness of the glue should hold it in place, without need for pins, clips, pegs, rubber bands, or the like. Only when this is dry and strong should you then glue the other roof side on. Attempts to glue both roof sides at once to the triangular struts, will end up in mess and frustration. The shutters on the windows are just rectangles of plastic card, bought from a model shop, with a louvrelike surface. I glued the closed shutters with the louvres angled to shed rain, and the open shutters with the louvres the other way up, to represent the inside of the shutters.

Here you see the ruined building shown on the last page, at a more advanced stage.

On top of the chimney stack is a rectangle of card, with three cylinders, cut from an old plastic biro refill, to represent the chimney pots. A staircase has been added. This was made by gluing lengths of polystyrene rod, bought from a model shop, right-angled triangle in cross section, to a large rectangle of plastic card. Each length of triangularsection rod made one step. Little random lengths of plastic rod, round in cross section, were added to the end of the steps, representing broken banisters. A ruined first floor has been added, made from a sheet of card, with broken matchsticks glued to its underside to represent floor beams. Similarly, some remaining roof sections have been added, with matchstick roof beams, and plastic card roof tiles (backed with cereal packet card). The polystyrene of the model-shop tile card does not glue well to matchsticks and the like, so I used UHU to stick the plastic card to the cereal-packet card (scoring the back of the plastic card to give something for the glue to key into), and then was able to use PVA glue to attach the roof sections to the building, and the beams to the roof.

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