Thursday, September 15, 2011

Malifaux Terrain: Frontier Town Part 2

 Once you have your roof constructed, it is time to put some shingles on. The job looks harder than it actually is and gives a nice effect. To start, get some cereal boxes and lay them flat. With a ruler and pencil, measure out some strips between 1/2" and 3/4". Use a razor to cut them out, keeping the edges neat and smooth.

With these strips cut out, take a pair of scissors and snip off pieces that are about 1/4" wide. These will be the individual shingles. For an even look on the finished project, keep all the shingles exactly the same size. For a more haphazard or rough look, vary the width and angle of the cut slightly. Make more than you think you will need, since each roof will use a ton of thses. I cut these by the hundreds and keep them in a dish for future use.

Take your roof and run a couple beads of glue down the length of it to start the first course of shingles. Put the colored side down as the plain side will paint up much better. They should overlap the edge of the roof slightly. If you push them down firmly into the glue you will get a strong bond pretty quickly. If you then spin the roof and work on the other side, this one will be dry by the time you get back to it. When ready, run a bead of glue over the top half of the shingles already laid down and another right above that on the roof itself. Start laying down the next course, being careful to overlap the gaps on the previous course. Repeat all the way to the top. For the top of the building, cut some shingles that are twice as long as the other, fold in half, and put them along the top of the roof.

Some buildings had tin roofs as well. This is a much easier technique. Cut some strips about an inch thick and glue them evenly to the roof. Cover the seams with a narrow 1/8" strip and you are done! To paint, pick a metallic shade that you like and then wash it with some brown ink to weather it.

Once your buildings are done, it is time to paint them and finish the interiors. I turned one building into a jail by making some cells out of rabbit-hutch wire. Another became a bar by adding a long narrow barrier inside. The general store has shelves and a counter. The hotel has a removable floor so models can be placed on the first and second floors. Use your imagination when constructing this stuff and put your scraps to work.

Paint prep:
Keep in mind that spray paint will melt all exposed foam. Take your white glue and a paint brush and paint over all the exposed edges. Make sure all glue is dry before spray painting.

To begin painting, take your buildings out to the garage and hit them with some black spray paint. Don't bother using your $15 GW Chaos Black here. Go to the hardware store and find something for a buck. Even if you use ten cans you are still ahead! Put on a couple coats and make sure you get everything covered. Once dry take them inside, lay out some newspaper, and get painting.

I used a pack of cheap brushes from the hardware store for most of this work. I started by covering all the exteriors with a coat of dark brown. You could also use a shade of dark red or sandy yellow. Now highlight with a lighter shade of the chosen color. Drybrushing should be fine as long as you follow the grain of the wood. For the interiors I went with some brighter colors: blue, red, and green. You can also download wallpapers from various websites online and glue them in for a fancier look.

Finishing touches:
I wanted some signage outside, so I downloaded some Wild West fonts an made up some signs on my computer. Having a color printer is useful. I printed them on tan cardstock and built a simple frame out of balsa wood, painted in the same fashion as the building. A little glue will stick it right on. I dressed up the porches with some barrels and other effects. You could put some static grass in the gaps on the boardwalk or glue some fines or bushes to the side of the building as well. More little details will add lots of realism.

Feel like a shootout at high noon?

Trees and fences came from a Christmas town set.

Easy, Huh?


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