Monday, 11 March 2013

Terrain Tutorial: Frontier Watchtower

Hey up, folks. This is another in the series of buildings that fit on a CD. This wooden watchtower would be good for games set in the French and Indian Wars or for low tech sci-fi colony worlds. Without further ado, here's how you make it.

* Hot glue gun and glue sticks
* Foamcard
* Bamboo skewers
* Sharp knife
* Ruler & pencil
* Paint and brushes
* PVA glue
* Sand
* CD or DVD or some other base
* Balsa wood

1) Grab your base, and get an idea of how big your building can be. You will be making a square on a circle, so you might want to sketch out the layout first. Once you have the base, you can get an idea for the height of the building. I decided to make a building 120mm tall with walls 70mm long. So I marked out two end pieces of foamcard 120*70mm, and two inner walls of 120*60mm. The foamcard is 5mm thick, so the two end pieces will bring the 60 up to 70mm. See Fig. 1.

2) Pin and glue these pieces together, and leave them to set. See Fig. 2.

3) Glue the building's framework to the base, and cut out pieces of balsa and bamboo. See Fig. 3. The bamboo should be about 70mm long so it matches the walls. You will want a pretty thin balsa. The balsa will be for the door, for the window shutters, and for the top part of the building. Mark out the spots where the balsa will go, and glue it in place. Then glue the bamboo around it with the hot glue gun.

4) For the top of the building, I decided to make the model open to the elements. So I marked a line about 25mm from the top of the wall, and put a piece of foamcard in here, having glued offcuts of foamcard in as supports. I used a pencil to mark the balsa, making it look like planks of wood. I then took a piece of thin balsa and cut a 25mm square out of the middle of it. I turned this sideways, and glued this thin layer of balsa atop the foamcard layer. The square now looked as though it were a trapdoor.

5) I then cut some more pieces of thin balsa, again scribing them with my pencil to resemble planking, and glued them to the internal walls. I levelled everything off with my knife, then glued a single plank of balsa atop this to hide the foamcard. See Figs. 4&5.

6) I added a handle (made from twisted staples) to the trapdoor and the front door, and pressed the tip of my pencil into the ends of planks to give the impression of nails. Then I undercoated the model black, and painted it. See Figs. 6, 7&8.

That's all for today, folks. I hope you find this handy. Until next time, happy gaming!

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