As part of my ongoing efforts to produce terrain for games of Pulp Alley and Congo, I decided that I need a small, coastal village or port. Obviously that'll require an extensive water feature and some boats (such as the steam launch which was the subject of my last article) - but that isn't my immediate focus. For now, a village just isn't going to work without some houses or huts...
The Missionary's House
The first building is simple: it could be either the house for a missionary or a local trader. This MDF kit comes from TTCombat, where it is sold as "Grey Harbor House A" for £10 (note the U.S. spelling of "Harbor", even though TTCombat is, I believe, a UK-based company). It's a fairly basic MDF and greyboard kit of a planked, wooden house set on brick foundations.
I've scratch-built a thatched roof for the building; this seems more versatile than the kit's original roof for the relatively uncivilised parts of the world in which I'm likely to set games. It's the first time that I've used teddy-bear fur in a model and I'm not sure I combed it out as well as I might. One side is much flatter than the other; the fur fabric seems to have a "grain" or direction and I was combing against it on the near side you can see in the picture and with the grain on the far side.
As an aside, TTCombat also sells Grey Harbor "B" and "C" models which have a similar style but which are a bit larger (the "C" house has 2 storeys). It would be entirely possible to build a complete settlement from just these types.
Now here's something of a mess. I've tried twice to fit the interior of the building with a plank texture, printed once on paper and then (when that failed miserably) printed onto cardboard. The glued-down result has been as you can see: wrinkled, shrunken and with extremely poor colour retention.
I really don't understand why this has been such a disaster (twice!), but I'll have to do something to remedy it; I cannot leave it as it is. The floor of the model did have scribed planks, but I thought it would be awkward to paint these and I chose the printed paper route instead. I'm wishing that I hadn't gone down this route now...
As sold, the model has a simple, MDF, tiled roof. I painted this up as well; you can see it in the photo above. This gives me the option of making the building more or less "civilised" to fit in with the setting for a particular game. Indeed, the tiled roof could probably be used for games set in the present day for many of the warmer parts of the world.
I'm sure that this will be a very useful building, especially with the choice of roofs, but it's not enough on its own! And I'll need to fix the flooring; it's really awful...
That looks very good. The interior floor looks fine to me the pattern must disguise the issue you describe as I can't see them. I've never used the fur either could it be that it should of been split at the apex so the grain goes in opposite directions down the sides of the roof.ReplyDelete
I agree re the floor - it looks like a floor that was originally painted and the paint has now mostly worn away.Delete
If it were only the colour fading then I could perhaps have accepted the floor the way it is - but the cardboard has warped, shrunk and bubbled as well. It's a real mess, even if it isn't very obvious in these photos.Delete
As Simon says, Colgar6, that looks excellent and I wouldn't worry about the roof issue as they both look great to me. Lovely kit build imho.ReplyDelete
Thanks! I'm not really concerned about the roof - it's good enough. Even if it weren't, I could just make another one, I suppose :-) .Delete
What a great find! I love this and might well have to add one to my wish list for my Congo collection.ReplyDelete
It does have a bit of the colonial/plantation look about it, doesn't it?Delete
I like the idea of the changeable roofs, thought long & hard about buying that kit myself as I need a missionary for an on going project, but in the end decided to just make one, but these MDF kits are becoming so good & well priced that I know it's only a matter of time before I giving & start using them.ReplyDelete
The changeable roof was pretty much an afterthought! I was getting ready to cut out the fur with which to cover the original kit roof when I thought "I don't want to cover up all that detail!" It wasn't too hard to make a simple, second roof - especially as I knew that any faults would be covered with fur fabric :-) .Delete
I think the weathered looking floor adds character to the model and would leave it as is. It looks lived in and not brand spanking new. Also, it's nice to have a choice of roofs so you can use the house in different settings. It all looks good to me.ReplyDelete
Ah, if the weathered/worn appearance was the only thing wrong then I'd probably agree with you, Bryan! But the card is also wrinkled and distorted; it's anything but flat. I'm too much a perfectionist to let that go...Delete
Great model. Love the simple interior and distressed floor look.ReplyDelete
Thanks, DEW. The floor really isn't working for me, though.Delete
It looks good. As for the floor, it looks like a time-worn surface. I find giving printed designs a coat of Future/Clear floor polish fixes the colour without the ink running.ReplyDelete
Good idea, but I don't think that the wrinkled, shrunken cardboard can be salvaged by coating it with anything now. I'll have to try to remove it and replace with something else - though goodness only knows how I'll get the failed insert paper & card out of there!Delete
I used "Teddy-bear" fur for roofs a few times and have always done then in two halves for 'v' shaped roofs(because of the 'grain').ReplyDelete
I made the roof ridge from shaven pieces of fur laid across, then combed in the direction of the 'fur'. My son has used towelling for thatch roofs, for his Saga buildings with great effect too.
I'm tempted by these TT buildings but still wonder about the door sizes re your experience with the 'construction hut'.
I feel for your experience with the floor but alas can offer no easy remedies, but maybe re-scribe the planking into the papre/card and repaint ?
I do like the overall look of the building you've acheived though.
Thanks, Joe. The fur fabric is a new material for me; I've not used it before. Now that I've had a little practice, I think I'll be doing exactly what you say in future and working *with* the grain on both/all sides of a roof :-) .Delete
The TTCombat buildings are large (for ease of figure placement?), but I don't think this one is excessively big for 28mm figures. Not like the construction site that you remembered from one of my earlier posts; it was *huge*!
All looks good to me and another idea I can borrow ;-) For paper terrain effects, my usual strategy is to place it down and then paint a very thin wash of pva over the top. This tends to avoid the wrinkles that can occur when the glue is put on the back.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Lee. Actually, I stuck down the first insert (i.e. the paper "floor") by painting the MDF floor with gloss varnish and then laying the paper on top of that. I thought at the time that this wouldn't be too different from using PVA, but the paper wrinkled something terrible :-( .Delete
Fur Fabric can make very effective roofs at times. (Perhaps not in Modern London!) So I am all for it.ReplyDelete
Always good to see terrain as well so a joyful post for me.
Thanks, Clint. I'm trying to finish some of my medium-to-long terrain projects at the moment, instead of concentrating exclusively on figures.Delete
Great looking building C6, and I feel your pain regarding the floor (I recently had a HUGE disappointment with card glued to cork tiles - I'm still having nightmares about it!), I hope you manage to resolve it.ReplyDelete
Top marks for the interchangeable roofs, which has given you "2 for the price of 1", and a commendation for the choice of style which is perfect for your coastal village but won't look out of place in several other settings :-)
Thanks. I haven't attempted to repair/replace the floor yet, but the build is sitting there, accusing me silently whenever I go near my work desk.Delete