Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Whimsical Terrain Project: Paper Mache House

You know you love building terrain when not only can you spot junk in a craft, toy or grocery store and see miniature battlefield components, but when your six year-old son spots something and says "Daddy, couldn't you use that for train"(he means "terrain").  The other day I was at Michael's(craft/art store) to pick up some paint brushes and my son spotted one of these...
The label underneath this says "Paper Mache House"- but all I saw was a Cygnarian house!  Now as you can see from the next picture, it is really a box....

...but the scale was perfect for Warmachine.  I love building structures from styrofoam and foamcore, but here was the basic structure of a house- ready to go.  Before getting down to business I set out some parameters for the project....
1. I wouldn't alter the basic structure with serious exterior additions.
2. I would only embellish the structure with small add-ons(rivets, tiling, etc.)
3.I had to disguise the gap between the two pieces of the structure, while...
4. ...leaving the structure in two pieces so that it could still function as a camouflaged container.

First I made the roof look more separated from the structure by using cardboard rectangles(cut from a cereal box) for tiling...

Then I decided to do some metal frames from plasticard.  Now the plasticard I chose was the from the cheapest source imaginable- a cut up $1 "for sale" sign from a discount store.  The upper horizontal frame was placed strategically to disguise the gap where the two paper mache components connect.  With the same plastic source I punched out rivets using a rotary hole punch(such as the ones used for leather-working). The rivets around the chimney are a bit different as they are cut from modeling putty.  The wooden horizontal frames and door are all "etched in" with an x-acto knife- the paper mache can be detailed quite easily.

And below you see the final, painted house.  It's less that perfect, but it's a fun, QUICK project.  I probably got carried away with the rivets, but sometimes fantasy gaming is about getting carried away!

I noticed that the space above the windows was a little too "spacious".  Perhaps I should have made this a two story house, but the location of the separation made this tricky.  One could cut down the bottom a piece an inch or two if they wanted to( but with parameter #1, I wanted to see what I could do with the intact structure.  As a partial remedy, I added the sign(to fill this void) as a finishing touch.  It bears a frothing flagon of beer and the word "ale" in both Cygnarian and Rhulic(as the dwarven merc patrons would surely flock at reading it!).

 Now what I really like about this little terrain piece is that it's more than a terrain piece- it is still a box.  This last photo shows that I can hide away a bunch of gaming accessories inside(a faction deck, templates, tokens, dice and a measuring tape).  I could easily have placed more inside but I wanted you to get a clearer view.

So that's about it.  Head to Michael's, pick up your Cygnarian house/tavern, and get to work.  Oh, did I mention the house only cost $2?

It's not the prettiest terrain project in history but it was a fun one.  

You can view a video description of this project below...

1 comment:

  1. Man, this is really cool. The last house I made took a lot of time and wasn't very good. I'll have to stop by Michaels and pick one up.

    Thanks for the tutorial.