Recently I was digging through old copies of White Dwarf and found the old Modelling Workshop articles and building plans. This series of articles started in issue 130 back in October 1990 and ran for several issues and covered a number of projects. The first of these was for the famous Warhammer cottage that I know was my first build back then and I'm sure it was for many others. I went on to make a number of buildings all of which have been lost to the sands of time now (aka. brutal clearouts). I thought it might be nice to relive the old days though and have a stab at making something. Where better to start than the cottage from that first article?!
Here the walls are assembled, timbering in place and the door has been started. I gave the balsa wood a going over with a wire brush to bring out the grain a little. I thought it might fuzz up badly doing that but it didn't which was great. I did find that a thin coat of watered down PVA helped to settle any bits down though. I also skimmed some of the hard edges off the timbers so they didn't look too machined. Could have roughened them up even more I suppose but this is my first build since the early 90's so I didn't want to get too crazy.
The infill for the walls was a new method for me. I used to brush watered down textured filler (Tetrion) onto the panels but I didn't think it would really look good enough. I decided on a mix of filler, some fine sand and a pinch of static grass (barely noticeable really) and I roughly plastered each panel using a strip of plastic as a spatula. It totally changed the appearance of the building when finished and seemed to give me the touch of realism I was after.
I also detailed the door. Something I failed to do consistently in the past. Plastic strip, green stuff nails and a piece of brass wire for the door handle.
The next step which I'm still on was the chimney stack. The article says to make stones out of putty. Back in the day I took the easier option of just rendering the surface like the walls (quite reasonable) but I wanted to give the stonework a go this time (like a big boy!). DAS is suggested in the article but I found it useless so I ended up going with good old greenstuff. Wasn't too sure what I was doing at first but got into the swing of things pretty quickly. The article suggests placing the stones randomly at first to avoid things looking too even. Works well but I found that doing a little at a time and leaving it to dry was helpful as well. I added a bit of texture by pressing rough sandpaper onto the surface of the putty. I wasn't sure whether my stones were a little small at first but as I've added more and done some of the edge stones I think they look alright.
It's going to take a bit of time to get the stone work finished but then it's just the roof to do and then perhaps think about basing it.