Sunday, 30 September 2018

Nice Bit of Planking

I've been making buildings again.  The idea was to construct some more structures for my 15mm AK47 Project, which I previously started by making a tembe and then a walled compound.
In this case I thought I'd draw on my observations of the types of buildings I'd seen in Gabon, when I was there on a project a few years ago.  In case you don't know, Gabon sort of sits in what I would describe as the armpit (or oxter, as we say in Scotland) of west Africa, south of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea and north and west of the Republic of Congo (and beyond that, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)).  Sweaty and humid it certainly is.
As with much of west Africa it is (or was) covered in forest and therefore wooden buildings are common; and because of the size of the trees the planks used can be very wide indeed.  In fact it was interesting being there to see felled trees with only the central trunk cut into planks and the rest of the tree just left there, presumably because it wasn't worth cutting up the rest of it.
Therefore, as wide planks are utilised in the real buildings, I realised that even at 15mm scale I could make use of those wooden stirring sticks I'm always collecting from coffee shops when getting my regular latte.
Construction was therefore bits of wooden stirring sticks cut to length using a pair of small pliers, with matches used to form the supports inside.  Normal wood glue (PVA) works great to stick everything together on a cardboard base.
Once dry, rough shelly sand was glued to the base and the building was undercoated inside and out in black paint (I have a tester pot of black emulsion I use for that).  The planking was then heavily dry-brushed with Dark Earth (Revell 82) and then lightly dry brushed with Afrika Braun (Revell 17).  Thin washes of black were applied to the lower walls and to emphasise shadows.
Although I'd intended these buildings for AK47, I did make them a slightly large 15mm scale because I do have a lot of 20mm figures in other periods.  I had also thought to make them modern African buildings by adding posters and things like corrugated iron but realised that by leaving them plain I could use them for 20mm ACW set-ups as well.
However, the other buildings I am making will be specifically for AK47 and this last one is aimed at that.  In this case it has some pieces of corrugated iron attached to it, made from corrugated cardboard with a narrow ridge spacing, that once covered, I believe, a set of annual accounts from Historic Scotland.
In addition, I made the roof look like it was made of thatching grass using the bristles cut from an old floor brush, these being natural fibres rather than nylon or something like that.  Painting was the same all over, except I treated the corrugated iron with a rust colour, followed by patchy colour (pale blue & off-white) and then some dry brushing to bring out the highlights.


Phil said...

Looks great, Home Sweet Home...

Jay said...

Great scratch build!!