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Friday, 14 April 2017

A Gated Clock Tower...A Very Weathered Clock Tower!

Nothing fancy. An 8" x 5.5"(210 x 140mm) white box.  Cut a 4" (105mm) archway on two sides. Cut out a rectangular window.
Cut out a length of packing cardboard and, in this case, I used "No More Nails" high power adhesive. There are many types on the market but they all have immediate grip so you need not struggle keeping the cardboard in place.  Also, as its not PVA (wood/Elmers glue) there is no buckling and I don't rate hot glue guns with this sort of work -but they can be used.

Above -side view. Below: piece of polystyrene cut out as a chimney stack and I brushed on some All Purpose Filler ("Spackle") that had some PVA glue in, same but with  a dab of grey paint added to it for the building walls. The guttering is simply to hide the card edges and it a plastic drinking straw split up the middle and "clipped" on using glue. The shuttered windows are lollipop sticks cut up. You'll notice I started texturing the passageway.
A little piece of ceramic bead I found added between the windows.  That black oak beam is in fact a strip of black card -I used to cut up lollipop sticks for beaming, plaster the buildings then paint the 'beams'...hours of work cut out by black card!  I used the No More Nails adhesive to stick them down as PVA or even superglue tend not to prevent the card peeling off.
Closer shot of the chimney stacks.  I pinned the two chimney pieces onto the larger part with toothpicks covered in PVA and everything was then stuck together with No More Nails.  Once dried, which is quick, a light brush with filler.
The passageway.  That is a door mid way along the right side. A toothpick run over the filler covered passageway floor gave the texture.
Ahh, there's the Marine!
Below. I had an old watch somewhere but could not find it (until after).  So I printed a clockface and...

Some dry brushing on of colours and this meant the cardboard was not saturate and buckled but brought out an almost tile effect!
Gaps in paint have been taken care of. I wanted a sort of very old crooked roof look and with that you see a lot of crooked chimney stacks -remember these are battered by storms, snow and winds all year around.
A quick look down the passageway at the door to the clock tower. Nice floor texture as I didn't like the other look so use a plastic net and pressed it down into the wet filler (its some kind of oven mat that you can buy for £1 and cut up it makes great looking fencing too).
I added a 'wood' arch (cardboard again) and cut up two bamboo scewers and painted them black either side
Side of the building.  Suitably grotty after years of wearing down and it shows the recess in the roof giving enough room for a figure to be positioned if needs be!
A piece of lollipop stick chopped up to be a black notice board behind the marine.
So, enough room for a wagon or even horsemen to ride through. But, of course, gates are needed!

Front....I may weather the gates a bit with paint but they do their job!  Notice the black painted bamboo scewers cover up that corrugated cardboard arch
 Rear. Someone needs to fight to get in and then make it along the passageway....and then need to get through another set of gates.
Ignore that the tower is on the 54mm Sheriff's office!  Those tooth pick gate posts are now painted black and give the whole building the old, weathered look I wanted.

The tower can be used as either a small, walled town's main entrance or even farm entrance. Even mid-bridge as a gate house.

When it comes to scale you might think this is far too large?

Now you look at that Hat Industrie Napoleonic Marine, which is 23mm (in real scale that's 1.66 m tall man).  The thing you have to remember is that most 1/72nd or 20-25mm buildings are not in "true scale".  The reason for this, manufacturers and gamers say, is that true size buildings would look massive in comparison to the figures themselves.  Bad excuse in my opinion.

If you are into wargaming you probably have seen the classic Airfix Waterloo farm set?

Box looks great. As did the one for the Roman Mile Castle, Fort Sahara and so on.  However, if you think you can set all your men up in one to stave off the French attack, or use it for any later conflict including the Franco-Prussian War and even World War One and Two....think again.

Look at this (and I apologise as I have no idea where I got these images from a good while back -could be the Airfix forum? But the first is from

The thinness of the plastic gives you no bulk and you are over cluttered with just a few men. I even expanded mine to include one of the old Airfix (now manufactured by Dapol) thatched cottages.  Did not help. Just too small.  The whole scale looks off.

Richard Caldwell's Waterloo set up (not the farm but the church) and, again, no idea where I got this from.  But look at the scale of the buildings compared to the figures. Yes, you do need more space to set these up but that's half the fun.  I don't have an 8 ft x 4ft standard table but a wallpaper pasting table is large for my space.

The thing is, if you want to, and if you have the cash, you can buy MDF (hardboard) laser-cut buildings that you need to construct.  There are resin buildings, too, but they do cost a great deal. Making your own terrain out of old boxes, polystyrene and so on is creative, relaxing (that I need) and fun.  H. G. wells made wallpaper houses and put child's wooden play blocks in them for stability.

You make what you want with what you have got. These aren't going to be contest pieces or for display.  They are for your game.

It is THAT easy.  I can do so can you.

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