There are many companies that supply paper models these days and the quality and variety of their products are improving constantly. One of these businesses is Finger and Toe Models
. (You'll need to visit their website to work out the reason for the unusual name. The pun is so groan-worthy that I'm not going to repeat it here!)
Quonset huts are semi-cylindrical, prefabricated buildings that were widely used to construct military bases by the Allies in World War II and after. They were so common that many still survive, including quite a few that have been converted to civilian use.
I'm intending to build at least part of a government "resettlement" camp for my 28mm ATZ campaign, so when the Quonset Hut kit was released by Finger and Toe I bought it immediately. That was some time ago...
For a long time (many, many months, if not even a year or two), I hesitated to start building my huts. What I had in mind was a true half-cylinder rather than the faceted structure that comes in the kit. I wanted also to be able to lift the whole building away in order to reveal the interior, so the shell had to be hollow. Finally, I figured that even the thin card I usually use for vehicles and furniture wouldn't be strong enough for the outer skin. What I needed was a 10cm diameter tube of some kind to act as a support!
The answer came to me last Christmas. I realised suddenly that the cardboard packets of various snacks were just the right diameter for my huts. Perfect! Well, not quite - these tubes were a little bit too short for the models. Hmm.
OK, the answer seemed obvious. I cut the tubes in half and then added an extra segment to increase the length. Note that I found it very difficult to make accurate cuts in a shape like this. The result was definitely a lot rougher than I would have liked!
Next, I capped the ends of the huts with semi-circles of mounting board. I undercoated the models in grey so that any gaps in the paper skin wouldn't be noticed.
After that, I cut out the roof & the 2 end walls and glued them on to the formers. This all seemed very easy, so far!
I had some difficulty in sticking the skins to the buildings. Imagine my horror on discovering that they were peeling off along the edges; the glue had not stuck properly to the matt grey undercoat. Also, as can be seen from this picture, the edges of the tubes had bowed outwards. The cheap cardboard cylinders had started to delaminate in places. Finally, each building was twisted so that the ends were no longer lined up with each other. This had happened despite my careful weighting down of the models whilst the glue was drying. What a disaster!
At this point, I gave up any idea of having hollow models. The only way to recover the builds was to cut rectangles of thick card and glue these inside the shells. Again, I used weights and rubber bands to hold everything down whilst the glue dried. This time the trick worked and the models lost their "twist".
So, here's how things stand at the moment. I've added the external hoods to the windows (though a search through Google images suggests that these were optional). Because these huts are now solid models, I've not yet done anything about interiors; I suppose these will have to be done as off-board units or replacements instead. The problems encountered have also put me off from doing any work to base these huts.
Finally, if you want to see a good example of how it can
be done then take a look at Vampifan's Quonset Hut
. I was aiming for something like this, but my ambitions hit a reality wall before reaching completion!
Smart work, nice us of , well, stuff!ReplyDelete
And we got to eat all the cheeselets first!Delete
I think these are great and the fact that you've got three, almost identical looking ones is very impressive. The hoods on the windows, although not vitalreally add that bit extra.ReplyDelete
What are the overall dimensions for the huts ?
Yeah, I changed printers half-way through this project. That's why there is some colour variation between the 3 models.Delete
Dimensions are 8" (20.5cm) long, 4" (10.2cm) wide and 2" (5.1cm) high.
Seems to work just fine now. Well done mateReplyDelete
Well, they're not what I intended, though I can still make use of them.Delete
Bummer about not being able to make the interior playable. Have you thought about printing to adhesive sheets? The only draw back I could see is if you had trouble lining things up and they got stuck on crooked. Otherwise it would get rid of the moisture warping problem form the glue. In the end they came out looking good though.ReplyDelete
I don't think it was moisture from glue that warped the structures. Rather it was the cardboard tubes' natural tendency to "unroll" when they were no longer whole. Cheap materials didn't have as much structural stability as I had hoped...Delete
Mmmm, Cheeselets! Lovely! I could demolish a tub of them in one sitting!ReplyDelete
Anyway, back to your models and you have done a good job on them. When I made mine I noticed that the "curved" sides are not exactly semi-circular but are made up of 12 angled straight pieces. This meant that I could use mounting board for the "curved" sides and is how I was able to make the "roof" detachable and add interior detail. From a distance it looks like the sides are curved but when you look closer you can see that they aren't. Food for thought, perhaps?
Many thanks for the blog mention. Incidentally, that review is one of the top ten most popular posts of my blog.
I really wanted to try to give my huts a truly round section, rather than the "faceted" style of the original kit. However I cannot imagine how I could do an opening roof (as in your version) that way.Delete
Yours is a good post, but I would never have guessed that it was that popular! Mind you, I've been surprised at some of the things that make my own blog's "most viewed" list. Perhaps that could be the basis for an article in itself: "What makes a blog post popular?"
Perhaps that should be the next blog wide topic. Everybody gives their ideas on what makes a popular post. I personally am still baffled at my top posts. A little bit of introspection and outside eyes might be enlightening.Delete
Very nice dude, at least you managed to recover from the peeling set back.ReplyDelete
The peeling was irritating but wasn't too bad a problem. It was the warping and bowing that were the real heart-breakers!Delete
Thanks, Ray! They'll do.Delete