My research into Battlesystem led to an interest in fantasy mass combat gaming, and I decided to plunge into it with a purchase of Old Glory 10mm historicals. I plan on mixing figures from various eras to get that 1970s-80s anachronistic fantasy flavor. While I await the arrival of the miniatures however, I figured I'd make some terrain starting with a brick house.
First pour Durham's Rock-Hard Water-Putty into Lego molds set onto a block of smooth Sculpey polymer clay, forming four square and smooth pillars. Take the pillars and carve lines into them to make them look like large stones set on each other. The pillars form the corners of the building. Mark out a nice rectangle for the side walls on the block of Sculpey. Note: I use two small pieces of glass from 5x8 inch picture frames to mash my polymer clay between. It ensures a nice smooth pancake of clay to work on.
Take your brick texture tool and go to town. The tool is simply a chopstick with a small rectangle carved into one end. Push the rectangular brick shapes one by one into the Sculpey, making a negative brick pattern. The process is not tedious; I finished this side wall (see below) in maybe 3 minutes maximum. With a complete pattern push two of the corner pillars into the clay.
Knead up some extra Sculpey and use it to make masks at the edges of your side walls. As you can see, the masking is important as it allows you to to define the shape of the walls, including the pitch of the eaves.
Mix up some putty (3:1 powder to water ratio) and pour it in the middle. Gently tilt the glass back and forth to ensure the putty flows into all cracks. Wet water putty bonds tenaciously to dry putty, so the corner pillars will fuse with the new wall. Give it a minimum of 100 minutes cure time, but I poured mine at bedtime and let it cure through the night and all the next day while I was at work. Peel the Sculpey away gently; side wall is done! Repeat for an identically sized second side wall, using the remaining two pillars.
Knead and smooth out some more Sculpey (reuse the clay you've been using) and make a brick pattern for the back wall, which is longer than the sides. Mash the two side walls into the clay so they stand perpendicular to the surface (see below). Make some clay masks to keep the putty inside, then mix up the Durham's and pour. The two side walls will fuse to the new back wall. Realize however that the new wall is longer and more fragile, so immediately after pouring the putty, gently set a bit of plastic window screen into the setting putty to provide tensile strength. After 100 minutes of curing, I place self-adhesive fiberglass wall repair fabric at the 90 degree interior bends. Slather some putty on these corners with the fabric and let it cure 6 hours or so. Then the whole mass (shaped like a letter C) can be removed from the Sculpey without cracking.
|I did the front wall first but it still illustrates the method|
Finally, mark out the fourth wall in the clay (you may be able to use the previous pattern if you were careful). Doors and windows are cool but hard to explain. Mash out a tiny piece of Sculpey so it is super thin, flat and smooth. Use various tools to then make the negative pattern for window panes, door knobs, heavy iron hinges, etc. Cut the edges off the Sculpey pattern so it is the proper size and shape. Gently set this piece of clay where you want the door/window to be. Use your brick tool to mash down the frame around the opening. Place the incomplete house into the proper place on the Sculpey negative and make Sculpey masks for the wall edges. Pour the putty in and reinforce it just like you did the opposite wall. When it cures, use a hobby knife to gently scoop out the polymer clay from the door and window recesses. You'll be left with a couple of nicely detailed openings.
Next we'll make the roof and base. The method costs pennies and is very easy. The drawback is all the cure time for the putty. I started work on this 5 days ago, but only put about 10 minutes of work a night on it. This method is perfect for starship corridors and super high-tech Kirby-esque buildings.