Sunday, June 17, 2012

Workbench: North African Village

My gaming group and I decided last year to start a project - the war in North Africa. I took the Italians, my friends the Afrika Korps and the British. After all this time we got a date to finally play - on this sunday. We've got everything - painted troops, a table... but something was missing: proper scenery. To be more precise: a North African village. So I decided to build one! Of course, my deadline was today, so was in a hurry. I started on last saturday. I wanted to use old stuff, so I could reduce my inventory and get new scenery without spending money on it. So here's what I got:
Some hobby plastic card, rests of foambord, balsa wood, etc.

I even glued some bases togehter, so I didn't had to cut out new ones (you see, I'm very economical):

I've got a problem: normally, I'm a total control freak. Before I can build something, I plan it for weeks - how big should it be, how high and big should be the windows etc. When I come to the building process, I want to work very accurate and clear. In the end my scenery looks a big artificial - of course, because I wanted to control every detail. I took this project as an incitation to change myself!
I only used rest pieces of foamboard and tried to avoid right angles - it should look awry and more natural. I also cut the windows and doors just the way I wanted and used no ruler of something like that. Everything was cut free hand.

The first sight of the buildings (ignore the rest)

Doors are made out of balsa wood, engraved with a pen.

The buildings themselves were ready, now they needed a proper texture. First I used adhesive tape to close the gaps in the walls. This was much quicker than using putty. After doing so, I applied diluted wood glue and dispersed fine sand on the buildings. I did this twice, so adding a thick layer of sand. In the end I again coated the buildings with the diluted glue, which, after drying, hardened the sand and will protect it from abrasion.

The last step was, of course, panting. I tried some different approaches. In the end I used a washing and drybrushing method. First, I primed the buildings white. Then I washed them twice with bright brown, which I mixed out of my sceney colours. After drying I drybrushed the building with pure white, using a large brush. That highlighted some areas. After this I drybrushed the base and painted the doors. Done!

Some Italians occupying the new building.


  1. Nice Work, Thomas, i think it was a good idea to do the buildings freehand.

  2. Really nice work Thomas, i will have some more looks at your site. Especially the Buildings are great. :)