Friday, 8 July 2011

A Lydian Temple

I have a DBM 500 point Lydian army (I/50) that I first started in 1994 (I think it was) and finally finished painting in 2010 (result!).  The army is made up entirely of Chariot 15mm figures sold now by Magister Militum (see below).  However, in parallel with painting the figures I have been slowly building up arid terrain and particularly buildings.

The general idea with these has been to make them a slightly large 15mm and have them suitably desert-like so that they could be used for any likely period including Ancient Near East, Africa (AK47) or Mexico (for my long term plan to wargame the Maximilian Adventure in Mexico). Anyway, here's an account of something I've made over the last few evenings.
I started off with my usual building materials, i.e. strips of polystyrene pizza packaging (with the pizza juice washed off) (a.k.a. 'poor man's foamboard') and thick cardboard, glued together with PVA and pinned until set.  It's worth roughening the polystrene surfaces before gluing.
I decided to add a portico to the building by using sections of compressed paper lollypop/candyfloss sticks for the marble pillars and then cutting some arches into the side panels.
I then made the roof from sections of pizza base and added a dome to the rear section, made from half a squash ball.  I'd used the other half on an Indian Mutiny building I'd done about 15 years ago (wargame rule No.1 - never throw anything away).  For larger scale buildings (20-28mm) I usually make the roofs removable but at this scale it's less fiddly to just glue the roofs on.  However, in this case I left the main roof removable and indeed, reversible, so that it can be turned over to make a flat roof if required.
Once dry I roughened the external surfaces, coated them liberally in PVA and stuck the building into a large tin of sand I have, the contents of which were salvaged from a child's sandpit that had been left in the front garden of this house when we bought it.  When that had dried I painted it in a milk chocolate brown colour, actually a Fired Earth domestic emulsion tester pot called 'Raw Earth'.  At about £2 from B&Q for a 125ml tin it's quite useful as base coat for all sorts of projects.
Finally I gave the whole building a dry-ish coating with another DIY emulsion (a Laura Ashley Home tester pot of 'Parchment' no less, very lah-de-dah), and then highlighted and dry-brushed it a bit with white acrylic.  The surrounding ground was painted with an orange-sandy coloured emulsion called 'gamboge' (I know, I'd never heard of it either) and then finished up with some Galeforce Nine static grass ('straw').
And there you go, finished.  I have to say that I have only 2 or 3 resin buildings in my collection as everything else has been built by myself (with varying degrees of success).  There is something immensely satisfying about scratch building things and using bits of packaging and waste cardboard to create something.  Not only is it 'green' but it takes you back to those days of self-sufficiency when you had to make everything yourself because you couldn't actually buy anything.

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