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

Monday, 7 October 2019

Adobe Buildings (2)

Despite feeling ill (no sympathy necessary), I've been quite productive this week, tackling three more adobe building for my Sudan project and I've made a little more progress on my large 'palace/government' building - slow but steady winning that particular race.
I decided to make a step by step photo record of the building in the centre of the photograph to the right and also photographs of the others I've been working on too, consequently this is a very heavy picture-orientated post (sorry), and as usual the photo-quality is of the usual poor standard too!
Notated plan, already deviating from the original by an extra 5mm (on the left side)
My starting place was a plan of the building, all features having some notation on them, I uses a N,S,E,W plus a number to indicate which wall is which and plan where windows , doors, stairs etc. are going to be place.
Drawing all the walls at once, gives standard heights etc.
Heights of Building, Parapet, roof/ceiling, doors all marked.,
Wall notation, similar length walls are above one another.
Walls cut out and doors, window etc. marked
Windows etc. cut out
Height adjustments made for internal walls and walls that will sit on the base, rather than on the edges
rabbets made for the four external walls
Note the use of a heavy, wood, flat board to assemble buildings (and a cupboard door for large pieces)
First wall added (Marked North 1)
I also use a handy block of wood, about 6" x 3" x 3/4" for checking corners are at 90 degrees and are vertical (it can be seen supporting the wall in the photograph above).
East wall added
West wall added (who'd have thought ?)
SE corner needs looking at - something went wrong, but is easily fixed
The SW corner is the same !
A quick trim and a bad rabbet on the right hand front wall.
Cutting rabbets can be triky and I managed to slice off the east one on the front wall making for an awful-looking joint, but glue, a knife and filler will fix anything! (Note the west one is the same)
The two walls that will sit on the base
The 'internal walls are cut to fit on the base; in the photograph above, the top wall has had about 2mm sliced off the bottom (about the thickness of the card base), whilst the internal wall has been cut to the height of the roof/ceiling base.
Door-wall added, note the block of wood being used
Internal wall added
Different view of same thing above (Ed.:This is just padding)
The stairs, showing obviously how they;re made
Approximately 5mm steps
Steps added with wall
I didn't like the way all the external walls made the model look like a shoebox, so I cut the walls around the courtyard down to about 5mm above the roof height.
Short, low added to courtyard
Overall view, showing cut-down courtyard wall.
Different view
Rear view (obligatory boring picture)
Garden cane, approximately cut to size.
Cane 'canopy' over small enclosure
Just the right size to fit a camel (or a donkey or goats - you get the idea)
Camelport with parked camel.
Camel - again (because, why not?)
This is as far as I've got with this model, obviously there is a lot more to do, but it hasn't been the only thing I've been working on. Here's some photographs of the other two 'L shaped' buildings made at the sane time as this one:
The larger 'L' shaped one
Different view of the above
Yet another view (bit bot-ring)
The other 'L-shaped' building
  Almost a mirror image of the other 'L'  
Still a lot to do on these buildings...
... but even more to do on this one!
Poundland filler I use (for Ray0, I forget the price.
That's it for the adobe building work for this week, gunging, roofs etc.will all be done at the same time, when I have what I consider is enough of the ;standard; smaller buildings, but work on the larger building will continue too. All painting will be done at the same time too.
 I haven't been idle in other things either, having based up a few figures and a daubed some paint on a few to (i still hate camels).

In other news a sand coloured cloth from S&S Scenics arrived at the weekend (great service from them btw). It's 6' x 8', which should be big enough for any game I foresee me playing in the Sudan.

So that's it then for another week, thanks for taking the time to visit and I hope that you found something of interest.

As always your comments, critiques, brickbats and bouquets are always welcome and truly appreciated.


  1. More great looking buildings, particularly like the added interior details within the structure, and a great step by step guide for anyone who hasn't made buildings before

    1. Thanks Dave, much appreciated. Finer detailing will be added at a later stage. This is intended to show my approach and I wouldn't be so bold as to call it a tutorial, nevertheless I'm sure someone will find it some help.

  2. Great post Joe and thanks for sharing the info!

    1. Haha, you're welconme Ray, water it down for a thinner wash of plaster (obviously) and adding sand gives it a nice (outdoor)texture too, though I prefer to sprinkle sand on a nearly dry piece for a more even distribution. For large amonts of filler I buy powdered filler and mix to suit the task (again from a cheap £1 shop equivalent)

  3. These look spot on Joe, so good to see the construction process.

    1. Thank Michael, though I doubt there is anything really new to most gamers and proper tutorials are in abundance on the web I'm sure.

  4. Excellent tutorial, Zab. Your construction skills are needed in Zamazonia. Are you ready for a long trip?

    1. Thanks Jay, my local travel is somewhat curtailed, let alone interplanetary travel (as much as I'd like to)

  5. Great buildings in these posts Joe - what type of glue do you use to glue the foamboard?

    1. Thanks MJT, in the past I've used UHU (£1 for a large tube from Poundland, but used sparingly as it melts the foam; I now use it solely for card on card contact (such as the stairs above). For these buildings and most everything else I use Evostick pva wood glue, its more expensive and takes a lot longer to dry, but gives a very strong bond.

    2. Thanks Joe. You've inspired me to try using foamboard for a little building or two!

    3. Good luck and don't be deterred by any initial efforts, my first attempts were nothing to write home about either !
      (Remember, glue, filler and paint are your friends too)

  6. These are all coming on nicely. Do you rebate the corners for the look of the thing or because you get a better glued joint or some other reason, I've never used one but it looks like quite a bit of extra work and possibility for error?
    I'm assuming your filler coating on the wall will cover the joint satisfactorily.

    1. Thanks Vagabond, the corners are rebated both for appearance and strength; compare the front view of the arched gateway above, with any of the other corners - rebating is a more natural and realistic look. In addition it gives a stronger join (more surfaces glued together) and in real-life one of the reasons why dove-tail joints are used.
      Filler covers the join well, but takes more effort to cover a butted join.
      The corbers are a bit extra work and can easily go wrong, but I reckon it's worth the extra effort - each to there own!

  7. Wow, great looking buildings Joe! I'm just amazed by your scratch building, especially the interiors and your 'camelport' with the canopy 😀

    1. Thanks Ivor, but like everyone else I started as a complete scratch-building novice (about fifty years ago - *gulp!) and I still can't get away with using wood (even balsa!).
      Accuracte measurements, continuous checking right angles, a well thought out model before starting and very sharp craft blades are all a must - but it's still not that difficult imo, given that I'm quite hamfisted too.
      I was going to make the 'cammelport' removable and wish now I had as it;s going to be a pain to paint.

  8. Replies
    1. Thanks you Michal, I do wonder what you use for your builings and imagine them to be masterpieces too, like your brushwork.

  9. Very nice buildings and a report that is my cup of tea.Informative pictures and lots of tips and in chronological order. You could apply for a career within the area of assembly-instructions.Good work and also models that will be very useful on the gaming-table!

    1. Thank you Ptr. it was done at a fellow bloggers request and I'm so pleased that it has neem so wellrecieved by others too. I doubt very much I'll be looking at any new career prospects as I'm enjoying being retired.
      It does make me wish I had access to a lazer cutter though.

  10. Wonderful stuff Joe & I have to say as a carpenter I was very impressed with the lesson you gave John on making joints :)

    1. Haha, thanks Frank, but no-one should take any advicce from me about anything to do with wood. I have however had many years with cardboard and foabnoard

  11. Great set of instructions and step by steps of your building technique! I used to build/assemble foamboard buildings for a living and while the initial drawing/plan would be more complete ,it followed much the same way, the only addition I would add , would be that I tend to use dressmaking pins to hold the joints together as I go, it means you don't have to wait for glue to dry and you can push on and either take the pins out when almost done or push them in enough to cover with filler/ paper etc. My only other variation is I tend to roughly mitre the corners,so I can cut everything to the external size,cut an angle pin and fill with PVA. Interesting and entertaining post as ever!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain, foamboard is a relatively new building material for me, mainly because of its availabilty in the past, so I rarely used it. In the last ten years or so though I've used it more and more(and consequently my use of carboard is much less). I bought a mitre block to try and mitre corners as my previous mitring attempts were at best very poor, but as you say it's a very valid method. I noticed the modeller at "The Colonial Steamboat Company" uses mitres on all his joins too- it's just a method I can't get the hang of. I haven't used pins in the past as I only ever used "UHU", which dries very fast and thus the use of pins I found unnecessary. As for the PVA taking a while to dry, I've not found it too much of a problem as I can't model for any prolonged length of time (I tire very quickly - eyes, old age, grumpiness, wife and other excuses). I also found some (very expensive) tools for working foamcard on the Interweb, cutting rebates etc. (both edge and centrally), so if money allows these tools could make my method even more accessible.