Saturday, 12 March 2011

All work and play... with added foamcore!

I guess as I'm a Town Planner by day, it should be no surprise that one of the aspects of the hobby I enjoy is making scenery, more specifically buildings. Sadly I'm not very quick at it!

Over the years much of my attention has inevitably focused on Warhammer, and buildings compatible with my human armies (Empire and Dogs of War). I'm always sketching ideas for buildings (often in the more dull type of meeting, in the margins of my notebook), sometimes inspired by buildings I see out and about or through work (protecting built heritage is part of the job). Here's the collection so far:

Anyone who's been to Derby might spot 'Ye Olde Dolphin' pub just to the right of centre

For construction I usually use 5mm foamcore board; it's relatively cheap, easy to work with, takes paint well and is quite sturdy. Details are added using balsa off-cuts (for the timber framing), card and, occassionally, textured plasticard and wallpaper. The roof tiles are from cereal packet card. The first few I did one tile at a time. Realising that I wasn't going to live to the age of 500, I've since cut back to doing them line by line instead!

Here are a couple of buildings I have 'in progress' to show the construction detail:

This will be a 'posh' town house - loosely based on a building in Derby city centre

and this one's a corner shop,based on sketches of old building's in the 'Shambles' of Chesterfield, where the butchers would originally have traded from open stalls

And a sketch for another one, this time based on 'The Old Grammar School', a preserved medieval house near Birmingham (I think this was the result of an extremely tedious team meeting).

I've also done a few buildings for friends, including three buildings for my Friend Matt. He wanted something that he could transport easily to tournaments, so I came up with three buildings: a Manor, Cottage and Hut, that would fit inside each other for transport.

The 'Russian Doll' houses, prior to painting

Of course my dream is to be able to fill an entire table with buildings and do a fantasy/medieval cityfight. Maybe when I retire... ;-)


  1. That is simply great Alan!!!
    I always thought that Half-timbered houses would be a pain to make.
    But you delivered nicely mate!!!

  2. Wow, these are beautiful!
    That inspires me for my project :)
    I need to get some foam-core stuff! I use a foam called Selitron in Germany. But cutting it does not result in such crispy clear edges...

    Keep going!

  3. Great buildings! And a good sketcher to boot!

    I've always avoided foam core fearing it'll warp. At least all ours in the agency's creative department are warped to some degree.

    I'll give it go! thanks.


  4. I have nominated you for a style award.