Thursday, June 24, 2010

Reading Tip: The Authentic Tudor & Stuart Dolls' House

I recently found this book on amazon: The Authentic Tudor & Stuart Dolls' House by Brian Long. It is an awesome resource for miniaturists wishing to create authentic historical doll houses of the Tudor & Stuart era, focussing on 1603-1625. The book is aimed at 1/12 scale doll houses but it is an equally great resource to scratch-builders of tabletop scenery. Covering all relevant aspects such as timber frames, roofing and interior, and giving illustrations and colour photos this book provides all the info you need to build an authentic half-timbered house.

Once I finish my batch of Tabletop World houses and have some free time I look forward to scratch-building a house with this book as a guideline.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dolls House supplies

I recently discovered Mollys House Miniatures, a supplier for dolls house accessories. (By the way, I found the link following this awesome zeppelin project on LAF - check it out!) Some items from Mollys range of 1/48th scale stuff is perfect for 28mm wargamers. For example, have a look at these dead cheap furniture (£1.90 for a pack). Not all of the items suit the 28mm scale - some look a bit small - but many of them are just perfect, such as the chairs and table. Comparison shots with Village Idiot from Hasslefree Miniatures (28mm to eye level):

You can easily furnish a full house with this stuff for very little money. The detail isn't perfect of course (cheap plastics mass made in China) but with a little repaint it will look really good.

That's not all, though. Mollys also has some excellent metal bits from S&D Models (who list the items under 1/43 products while it is 1/48 at Mollys). I ordered the Green Grocers Set of veg sacks, crates and scales. This will be a great addition to the stalls of my Gierburg market square. They also have some other useful stuff such as buckets and barrels.

And now for the highlight: Etched brass pub signs and weather vanes. This stuff is absolutely stunningly beautiful! I immediately started drooling when I saw these at the shop and I was afraid they might be too big for 28mm. Fortunately Mollys has good info on the sizes and I couldn't believe to find them suitably sized. Now I really really can't wait to start working on my recently purchased second Coaching Inn and make good use of these items.

Check out the 1/48 Garden/Outside category for these items with better photos and exact information on measurements. I can tell you they fit perfectly.

So far Mollys Miniatures and especially the etched brass signs qualify for my personal "Miniature Find of the Year" award. Awesome accessories for very little money (heck, one sign/vane costs £0.60 to £0.70!) - a must for every terrain builder.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Blacksmith's Forge for Sale!

My Blacksmith's Forge from Forge World is now up for sale. It's not that I don't like it, but I have been thinking about how to arrange my Gierburg gaming table and it just doesn't fit in there. I would be very happy if the piece found a new owner who will treat it good. :)

Note that I am not intending to get the mere retail price considering the effort that went into preparing and painting the building. If you are interested or have questions please use the contact form to get in touch.

Update: The build has been sold.

Figure is for scale reference only

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Gallows finished

The gallows (see WIP here) are now finished. Enjoy!
(Click photos to enlarge)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Scratch-built Gallows

As a break from painting the (fabulous) Tabletop World houses I chose to scratch-build something quick that I had been wanting to do for a long time: gallows. Every table needs gallows. You can use them in wild west games, pirate games, x civil war, Mordheim - everywhere. It's one of those standard pieces almost every gamer has tried their hands at so now it was time to do one myself. This will be the centrepiece of my Gierburg market square, where the citizens watch the charlatans being put to justice while doing the weekly shopping spree. I am also using it (already) in my current pirate games.

I searched the internet for inspirational images but didn't find anything particularly to my liking that I could flat out copy. So the design is a mix of various depictions I have seen and what I felt would be a good design for gaming purposes. Now without further ado here is the piece:

The piece is made from all sorts of wooden sticks from my "wood bitz box": coffee stirring sticks (a pack I bought on ebay years ago, which seems to last a lifetime), toothpicks, balsa, un-/used matches, tongue depressors and other stuff. It pays off to collect all sorts of wooden sticks over the years. The hinges of the trapdoors are bits of wire. I glued the various pieces with glue gel, by the way. It dries much quicker than PVA and was just perfect for this construction.

I made this small lever which will be used in the games to activate the trap doors - from then on it's only few turns until it's all over. The attackers will have to prevent the executioner and other enemy models from moving into base contact with the lever and pulling it.

The stairs have a bit of space between the steps so that miniatures on 25mm bases can be placed on the steps (a system I stole from Pardulon's stairs I used on the Governor's Mansion):

It was a lot of work filing all the wooden strips and sticks but I am pretty happy with how the gallows turned out eventually. Now on to base-coating and painting...

Update: See the finished gallows here.
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