22 May 2011

Basic Building Blocks.

For some time now I've marvelled at some of the 28mm buildings that are presented on the Internet from the many makers and sellers. I've also been appalled at the prices being asked for them. Being that I'm naturally shy of spending the hard earned readily, I thought there must be a better way. I think I've found it.

Surfing through the Web I chanced upon the site of  "Hirst Arts Fantasy Architecture". They specialise in making moulds so that you can cast your own blocks and there bye create your own buildings or their designs. Initially I thought "This sounds like a lot of work for a very limited output ". So I let it slip for some time. However after a rather unsuccessful search for English Civil War/30 years war Buildings within my price range I revisited the site. Caught the bug and ordered about 10 of Bruce's moulds that I felt would supply me with enough variety of both stone and various roof types. True not many of the buildings on the web site will be useful outside of the Fantasy/dungeon genre, however its a system that can be adapted to represent the more historical gamer in my opinion, though you will need to design and draw them up for your self.

Having ordered the moulds over the Internet I sat back waiting for them to arrive. They arrived in good condition and within 5 days, which was brilliant. I concentrated on two buildings and started casting the required bricks to construct the models. It takes a lot of casting of the moulds so you need to be patient, though I found it to be not boring and must confess that I actually enjoyed the experience. Once the requisite number of casts of each mould has been done then you can start the building. I worked for about 2 hours a day for about a week to produce what was needed. My wife referred to my casting bench as my "Meth Lab" when ever anyone asked what I was doing in the garage. We were probably lucky that we weren't raided by the Police Special Operations Group (SOG).

If my wife thought I was acting strangely then you should have seen her face when I suggested that on her next shopping expedition could she stop by "Toys are Us" and pick up some Lego Blocks. Needless to say that I went out and obtained the required Lego blocks myself, naturally for my Grand children I don't have!! Another story for another time.

Front View
 The first Project I tried is called the "Dragon Inn". Designed for 25mm to 30mm they appear perfect for 28mm miniatures Pictured right it sits roofless until painted. You can build the model so that the roof can be removed from the walls or the building removed from its base for placement of miniatures within. Depending on the period and the location the roof can be thatch, wooden shingles, Slate or Terra cotta or a combination thereof. It is a large building as befits the center place of a village and its social life. I think the "Kings Arms" will be its new name fairly soon.

The second building I tried was "Warlocks Tower". This required quite a deal of casting of multiple moulds to produce the needed bricks. I found this easier than multiple casting of the same mould as in the Dragon Inn. It is however a much more complicated build and therefore requires considerably more time and effort.
Pictured below are a series of photo's of the build during its progress.

As you can see from the photo's both buildings look good and should serve well on the games table. Some kit bashing of the basic models should provide an endless succession of affordable good looking Buildings.
Below are the two buildings awaiting their roofs and Paint jobs. Some indication of their size can be seen by the ruler on  the work bench.

So until next time.


Neil W

PS. The leggo blocks are used as tools to keep the blocks straight and square.... simple really.

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