Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Church 4

Not quite finished, but getting there.
Despite feeling a lot better this week (hurrah) I didn't get as much done on this model as I'd have liked, probably due to being bored with this build and of course the wall to wall football.
Nevertheless progress has been made, the main assembly work has been done and necessary little bits and pieces have also been fixed.
Assembing wasn't as ticky as I thought it would be and all the pre-cut bit seemed to fit together with only a single hiccup (the rear wall) delaying the whole process slightly.
I started the assembly with the tower and progressed to the diagonally opposite corner of the main building with the roof being the lst addition. The walls and entrances were then made to fit.
The photographs tell the whole story

Front facade with 'Oriel' cuti into it
Rear view of the inside
Start of the hatch and the front window
The internal behind the facade also had to have a the hole for the oriel cut into it of course before final ssembly. I decided to have a simple cross frame in the hole, mounted on a piece of perspex.
The photo on the left shows this (along with the  missing tower hatch - another one of those niggly things that are simple to do.

Top half of the twoarched entrances.
The 'major'  building work this last week has been the two entrances to the church grounds.
These are simple arches, made more complx by adding some decoration to them.
The photograph shows the 'detail' I added, simple enough and probably the last time anyone will notice it. The arches were based on the front door cut-out and were built up using foamcard, card, coffee stirrers and matchsticks.
These were then glued to the top of the walls and reinforced by the addition of pieces of card for strength.

Arched gateway in place.

The churchyard walls were all capped with thick card, slightly wider that the two thicknesses of foamboard making up the walls.

The other gateway (*yawn)
Net of the tower roof pyramid
The top of the tower also needed finishing off and rather than copy the domed roof of Gary Chalk's original I went for a tiled pyramid.
I drew a net of the pyramidal structure out on card  and added the stepped tiling as I done with the roof.
My first attempt didn't look right, it was too tall and the base didn't look big enough.
Another was made and looked much better.
The ridges on the tower (and the main church roof) have yet to be added.
Tiled tower roof
Another view of the tower.
Clamps !
The internal roof supports were carefully aligned with the internal walls (where the roof would rest upon) and clamped in place. Half the roof was then glued on and when dry the whole roof assembly was removed; the second half of the roof was then glued in place.
The roof has a folded piece of card across the ridge,joining the two halves and the final strip of tiles has also been added, but like the tower, the ridge tiling has yet to be done.

Half roof, showing the supports.

Here's some more views of the progress so far:

The Churchyard
Rear showing intended additional room location
There still a lot to do on this model before I think about painting it; I intend having a small room fixed to the rear of the church. I also haven't decided how to fill the rather large boring churchyard at the rear, maybe a fountain on some form of arbour. - I certainly won't be using it as a graveyard (still makes me laugh when I see model graves wrongly orientated).
I've also had to do some research on what to include internally and I'll be going for an altar (fairly obvious), a confessional, a font, a pulpit (and/or a lectern) and a few pews.
All the roofing has all the ridges to tile too and I'm sure that there's a host of other things I haven't though of yet!

Once more, that's it for this week thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are appreciated and welcomed.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Church 3

Sills and a door added
Despite having a hacking cough all week and the lure of wall to wall football over the weekend, I've managed an hour's building each day, save for Tuesday when I was just feeling too ill.
The sills of all the windows have been cut and glued in place (coffee stirrers of course) and three door have been made and glued in place too.
The door to the tower is in the wall of the tower section with just a portal into the main body of the church.
The main door to the church has been glued into another internal wall that will affix to the back of the main front facade.
The tower walls with sills and door.
Main door

 Some fiddling about, to make sure the main door aligned with the front portico, was necessary but not too difficult
I used a very thin piece of card (cereal packet thickness) to make the door, overlayed with coffee stirrers - cut to size when glued. The process being repeated for the other side of the door.
The horizontal beams were added and cut to size later.
The other two doors were done in a similar way, save for the tower door having one side left blank as this wouldn't be viewed as I'm not making any provision for figure access to the lower level of the tower.

Obligatory boring photo of glued foamboard bits
The walls that would surround the rear of the building are two pieces of 5mm foamboard, one 40mm in height (the outer wall) and the other 30mm in height (the inner wall).
The outer wall will butt onto the base whilst the internal wall will sit atop the base. I'm hoping that this will give a much stronger join than either of the two methods if used separately.
To add to the look of the walls I also made (and remade after piss-poor calculations) two corner posts for the rear corners.

The corner posts, cut into the base

The aborted post (left and the new post with walls.
Boring floor

The internal floor for the main building has been scored into 1cm squares to give some detail - very easy and effective imo.
I've ran a pencil through the cuts just to show them for the photograph. I haven't yet decided how these will be painted (badly, I'm guessing).

Hatch and floor
The tower has had a little bit of detailing added with flooring made from coffee stirrers and a hatch; lintels on the all the windows have also been added - as previously mentioned.
Fllor/roof - the hatch is yet to be added.
The lower part of the tower's floor has had a similar treatment (hatch still to be added) and this will be glued in place to the tower's base as its roof.

This of course meant that when the tower is glued in place with an the roof fixed in place, access for figures won't be possible, but I'd planned this.
With this in mind I've roughly painted the interior a dark brown as this would be visible from the tower's two small windows.

Boring picture of  tower's internal'paint'.

Internal view of the front
 To finish off this week here's a few photographs of the church in it's current state, but note that it has only been roughly fitted together, so many gaps etc. are present.
This final 'fitting' I'll be taking very slowly, gluing only a single wall into place before 'fitting the next.
Overall view
Front showing the facade

The front facade has had a wash of filler over it and been tidied up a bit, though it does need a lot more done to it
I've also finally decide to have an oriel added to the front, which will be tricky to line up with the internal wall, but very doable.
Another view of the front (in case you hadn't guessed)
This next week there's still be plenty to do  (that front step for one); the perimeter walls have to be finished along with the two entrances; the hole for the oriel needs to be cut through two walls and some form of window detail added. Finally the roof has to be added and although the roof supports have already been cut out (three triangles of foamboard and far too boring for a photo) these need to be fitted and as I hate doing lift-off pitched roofs this could take me a whole week.
The final stage of course will be painting the whole thing, but I've also to decide what to do with the rear 'yard' of the building, which currently is yet to be decided.

Thanks for taking the time to look and apologies for the poorer than normal photographs, but  i hope that there's something here of interest.
Comments of course are always welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Church 2

All the pieces needed for the tower.
The building work on my church continued apace this week despite me having a heavy cold (the residue of my bronchitis) with lots of cutting out of pieces and the re-cutting some others. The main cutting out was the tower that abuts onto the church's main bulding and all the relevant pieces can be seen on the photograph to the right. Four pieces for each of the sides of  tower's three 'levels' and and an additional three square pieces for either their roofs or floors.
Top two tower sections assembled.
The top-most two sections of the tower were assembled fairly quickly and their roofs were also glued in place, however the top piece of the larger one has  been cut to allow the upper section to fit into it (bit tricky but I'm happy with the result).
The photograph below shows the assembled sections.
Showing how they fit together.
At the same as I was assembling the tower, I also cut out the base for the church fromtwo pieces of foamboard glued together to give a 1cm thick base. I used a large piece of MDF as a weight to prevent the inevitable warping that would have occurred. Two features of this base are the front two steps (on the right of the base as shown) and the two smaller bits that stick out of the top edge and the bottom edge, which will be small entrances to the back of the church - as per the original model).
The tower's four lower walls
The 'T' indicates the position of the tower and the idea occured to me at this stage that I needed to allow for the 1cm drop of the base. This 'drop' meant that I had to either re-cut or alter the existing sides of the tower. I opted for the former.
This did mean a little extra work but was worth the effort to get the tower looking the 'right' height above the church roof.
On the photograph you can just about see the rabbets cut into the sides and bottom of the pieces and the extra length of the two walls that will sit at the edge of base.
I also cut a doorway into the tower and as this will be the wall abutting onto the church then a corresponding portal would also have to be cut into the wall of the church.
It should be obvious that if I have an internal doorway then I will be making the whole building with a mind to having access for figures too. Whether or not the tower will have a door or merely a doorway I'm as yet undecided and as the lowest level of the tower  will be amost impossible to have access for figures I'll probably go with having sealed access, in other words, I'll be making a door!

Having made the lower tower wall flush with the base I also realised I would have to do someting similar with one of the long walls of the church too, which once again meant cutting another wall, rather than cut-down one of the existing ones.
Thankfully this wasn't as arduous a task as I'd thought it would be and didn't take long. I also used the opportunity too cut the portal in the wall that would correspond to the tower doorway.
Spot the boring area
I did want the front face od the church to be a little more imposing than the one on the orginal and had heightened it somewhat, but I wasn't entirely happy with leaving it like that and therefore I added a little more in the way of decoration.
The photograph shows the decoration (two strips of thin card) added to the top part and couple of strips of foamboard to sepaerate top and bottom halves.
The entrance pilasters were turnerd into columns by adding foamboard columns topped off with bits of ticker card.
I did tinker with the idea of having the main doors to the church openable but I'm not convinced of the usefulness of such a feature, despite the obvious attraction of having it.
I may still add a window, or something simlar, to the main front facade, as there's an obvious large plain boring area that needs "something".
Interal view of rear wall.
The rear end church wall had the window added, as well as a doorway to another interanl area that hasn't been completly thought through - yet.
I cut the hole for the window slightly smaller than was needed and carefully filed it until the plastic window had a firm fit and then it was glued in place.
The final bit of modelling I managed this week was the inside wall to the front face, this piece I felt was necessary to enable the roof to sit easily onto the model (the rear wall would be used as is).
Of course this necessitated another doorway into the main body of the church being cut and matched to the aleardy cut front two pieces.
Internal front wall (rabbets can just about be seen)
So that's all I managed this week, one which I feel has been very productive. Despite being unable to work on this for more than an hour at a time (due to age, aches and pains, general ill-health, lack of motivation, enthusiasm and rampant grumpiness) but I did manage at least two sessions a day for most of the week, which for me is virtually unknown!

I still have the perimeter walls to cut and fit, two entrances to model and the whole thing to assemble, which once done will be covered in filler to hide all the mistakes!  I've a small building to add to the rear of the main one, doors to make and the list goes on and on, before I can even think about painting!

So that's it then for this week, thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments, good bad or indifferent are always welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Chalk's Church

The Church as shown in Wargames Illustrated
The title of this post is of course a reference to the excellent Caribbean style Spanish Church (shown right) made by Gary Chalk. The build was featured in Wargames Illustrated magazine back in 2000, made from a combination of materials but mainly foamboard. 
This week I had intended to dig out my collection of pirates to dust off and post about but alas I have been struck down by a lurgy which has left me coughing, producing phlegm from two orifices and generally being unable to do anything remotely physical. So being chair-bound, so to speak and surrounded by tissue I instead found the three magazine articles related to Gary's piratical builds ( a harbour, a town and the Church).
Gratuitous picture to fill this post
The church, as previously mentioned, was mainly made from 5mm foamboard, something I have in abundance and is on first sight a fairly easy build, being two 'boxes' (the main building and tower) and had no interior.
The roof. whilst looking fit for purpose was made from corduroy clot painted red - something I didn't like then and still don't now.
I could easily have made up my own version of this model, but I have no doubts that I would have ended up with something four times the size of this model. I resolved to more or less stick to the dimensions as given.

The four main walls
Surrounding my invalid station with the necessary, I cut out the four walls of the church to the plans obtained from the magazine - not normally a great chore, but taking much, much longer longer it should have.
The long walls have rectangular windows in the original version, I've rounded mine out at the apex of each, which in my opinion give a more 'church-like' appearance and individuality.
You can also notice the circle scribed into one of the end-walls for a circular window, rather than the arched ones in the original.
The facades.
 I wanted my version of this church to look a little more grand and worked out a simple facade that would make t a little more 'grand'.
 The faced  for the doorway is taken directly from the plans in the magazine.
Also shown is a piece of what I call plastic canvas (others also refer to it as granny plastic), which I'm sure everyone is familiar with. I've cut it down by three 'rings' for  a better looking fit.

Corrugated cardboard (Obligatory boring picutre)
For the roof I've reverted to the old standard of corrugated card for which. I've had a very large roll of for many years. This has been cut into 1cm strips (more than I needed and longer than needed) along with 2cm  strips of very thin card which the strip are affixed to.
The corrugated card and card strips are alliteratively glued atop one another; the card forming the base for the corrugations.
The building pieces for the roof.

  I always make some mistakes with this but they're easily corrected and after the initial cutting out of all the bits goes together very quickly indeed and I do draw a central line on the card but it isn't essential.
The steps are:
1. Take a 2cm card
2. Glue a corrugated card strip onto it.
3. Glue another card piece onto the still exposed half of the previous card piece.
4. Glue another corrugated strip onto the new card strip, butting it onto the previous corrugated card.
5. Repeat as necessary from step 3.

Add caption
If you manage to glue all the bits in sequence, you'll end  up with a very solid, stepped roof structure looking something like the two shown in the photograph. Whilst it's not a perfect way of doing tiled roofs, I think it's a pretty fair representation of them and it's cheap and quick to do too.
The final exposed piece of card you see is where the join will be made between the two roof halves, a pre-folded card piece will be added then two more corrugated strips of 'tiles' will come together at the apex of the roof.

Reverse of the roof, showing the stepped appearance.

If I hadn't been so ill this last week I reckon all f this would have taken me less than half the time I spent cutting and gluing, but I'm pretty happy with what I did achieve given my circumstances.
I also managed to finish off  'Pyles' Book of Pirates - a far easier read than Defoe's and featuring pirates from both the the 'buccaneer age' and the post golden age, neither of which Defoe covers.

Still do do on this build -  cut out and build the tower; decide whether I want internal access to the main building (and all the inherent work that that  will entail); determine the base size and form for the church; painting and detailing too - of course.

But that's it for this week, not much but at least I managed something!
I hope you've found something of interest here and haven't caught anything from me whilst reading through.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Ship's Ahoy !

My three ships
So, following on from my regained piratical interest, I've dug out the three ships that were intended for my  first foray into 'pirate' wargaming. Bear in mind that these ships were all modelled about sixteen years ago and haven't really seen the light of day since then, save for a quick 'filler' post on this blog that can be seen here "Pirates-versus-zombies?"
 They're pictured from left to right in ascending order of completeness, the one on the right featuring in the above-mentioned post.
Time hasn't been that unkind to them and other than gathering dust, they've faired pretty well in their forgotten state.
The unfinished one - obviously
The first model shows the very crude building technique I used. The base is polystyrene foam, carved and filed to shape even if a little too pointy for the time  (period (1700's). The main hull sides being very thick (but softish) cardboard that would have planking inscribed into it.
All the other bits for the sides, back  and front-end decoration (I know all the technical terms) were added using a slightly thinker card. The base of the ships was covered
Still covered in sixteen year old dust
in wall filled and filed flat, so they are a little heavier than expected, but they are solid! Deck planking was achieved using the then equivalent of coffee stirrers (tapers), cut to size and glued in place directly onto the polystyrene (if memory serves). The deck hatches are all 'plastic canvas' and  edged with stirrer scraps, as are the windows in the back end (the blunt end for those technically minded). The ladders are scraps of plastic and masts and spars are all dowels of various sizes.firmly embedded into the base, I used some bbq skewers for railings and other 'trim'
I did wonder where my stock of cannon for this vessel had been , but all was revealed when I 'opened up' the cabin at the back, as can be seen in the picture.
The windows for the back cabin were the grating we all use for fences, from auto-repair work.
Doors, iirc were simply etched onto the card with coffee stirrer frames, unlike the first model where I'd left the doors as merely holes.
On this model the front cabin-space bit was left as a solid piece and the roof doesn't come off!
The blunt end.
My attempt at some form of decoration on the blunt end can be seen in the photograph, as can the card-framing of the windows in the rear cabin. 
The second vessel
The second model was in a far more advance state than I'd recalled (a pleasant surprise) and has a few more bits of detail worth pointing out.
There a few extra side railings, a balustrade (of sorts) embedded in the rear  and another balustrade-type thing on the upper rear deck. These were all made, more or less,using the same technique of cutting bbq skewers to a length, then filing the top to make a peg that fitted into previously drilled holes and glued into place. The protruding bit of peg was then cut off and filed to shape.
With top deck removed
Masts,  as said previously were solidly glued into place using filler and pva.
The rear cabin was left as one large space for ease and you can just make out that in this case I used plastic canvas once more, this time for the windows, as can be seen in the next photograph of the back end.
The etched planking can just about be made out on the rear-end photograph too, as can my feeble attempt at some decoration - prominent on nearly all ships, from what now I gather
The blunt end (rear of the ship)

Showing the top deck removed
The third ship (and the one most nearly in usable state) has three decks in the rear of the ships, all of which can be accessed.
No doors have been added to this model and I can't remember whether this was done on purpose or that it was yet again something that needed to be done.
The most awkward part of this build was the placing of the rearmost mast, as this would have to come down though the bottom cabin roof.
Bottom deck cabin
The 'problem was solved by a small part of the upper mast protruding beyond the deck bottom and a sleeve into which the upper part of the mast would fit, making a very solid 'join'
Most of which should be fairly obvious from the photograph, I hope.
 The separated three decks can all be seen on the photograph to the left and the assembled rear of the ship can be seen in the photograph below (again with a little attempt made at adding some decorative detail.
The rear end.
Pointy end cabin.
The front end cabin and deck grating can be easily made out, as can the very steep stairs to the upper front deck - made purposely so as to accommodate more figure space on the main decks.
Whenever I've made models I've always thought to accommodate figures first before the aesthetic look of the model (and yes I know it shows).  Therefore you won't find many of the normal fixtures and fitting associated with, in this case, ships. So, no capstans, anchors or the like (and I wouldn't know where to fit them in case), though I do have a steering wheel on each vessel as I did think that this was a fairly important addition.

I also remembered that I do have a commercially model, bought back when I could afford to do so.
It's a resin model (very brittle) I think I may have bought from the now defunct 'Village Green', but is likely available from other sources.
From the photograph you can see it is dwarfed when compared to my own scratch-build vessel, but is nevertheless usable and even in its current state is what's known as a fixer-upper.

The box of all things nautical bits
 The very small boat-like object may be familiar to some - it's a pontoon from the Airfix pontoon bridge set, sadly a little too narrow to fit any figure with a 20mm or large base, but could (at a pinch) be used for scenery.
The resin model came with a hoard of metal bits and pieces (no guns), which will take time and research to find out what they are and what they do.
That's it then for this week, I'll be looking unearth and dust off my pirate collection to post about next time.
Thanks for taking the time to visit, whilst I indulge myself in some nostalgia and of course your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.