Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Build something: Shelf of the Dead- addressing the housing challenges of the living impaired Part01

If you're some sort of dead-ish abomination craving tasty human flesh, then finding some place nice to live ain't all that easy- landlords tend to be less than understanding when it comes to bloodstains on ceilings & walls or chunks of rotten meat clogging up the plumbing. If you take into account the severe problems most of the living impaired seem to have when it comes to articulating their needs and wants (or even signing Tenancy agreements), it's quite obvious that something has to be done...

Ignoring the fact that when it comes to my collection of  Undead -despite owning some of them since the late 80s- I still haven't gotten much further than gluing together a couple of them, I decided I'd built a little cemetery. Hoping this little housing project might motivate me to finally start painting those lovely Heresy Ghouls, a couple of Zombies and the Rackham Wamphyrs.

To keep the cost as low as possible, I did restrict meself to using only things & material I already had. So far it looks like this:



For the base I used some 3mm thick plastic card (mainly because I happened to find that under my bed while searching for something else). 
Since the whole thing is supposed to reside in an ikea shelf, I looked up the size of the boards online (easier than measuring them) and then marked the dimension on the placcy card/ polystyrene. Using a cutter I scored the lines and - instead of completely cutting through the material- just  did break the sheet along those lines.

I used some offcuts /styrofoam bits to build a hill. The two parts were roughly cut into shape with a kitchen knife and then attacked with some chisels, then glued together.
Searched for and luckily found some of the nice lasercut ply fences I bought a while ago (available from Fenris Games) and cut them roughly to the desired length.

I then sliced more offcuts into thin pieces to create walls for a ruined building. Using a dull pencil, I did draw a fairly random stone pattern onto the foam and glued the wall pieces together with fast setting wood glue.
I used some smaller bits of foam for the window frame and scored in some lines to simulate woodgrain.

I wouldn't be me, if building something wouldn't include creating one hell of a mess.
So I grabbed an ice cream container, some old highly pigmented tinting paints + some artists' acrylics, some bird sand and a tube of acrylic caulk. This stuff's dead cheap, can be painted once dry and is quite useful for sticking things together (it'll stick to your tools, your hands, your clothes etc)- used on its own or mixed with paint it does remain flexible after it dries however.
I put some of the acrylic caulk into the container and added black & white artists acrylics and a bit of sand and stirred that, adding a bit of water to make the mixture smoother. This was applied to the hill using palette knives (and me fingers), to give it more texture. 

I used the same mixture on part of the wall pieces, but then sprinkled on more sand that I lightly pressed into the goop.


 
A few days later, I marked where the hill & ruin would go.
I used a similar mixture to create the soil, only this time I used ochre tinting paint and a hint of some chocolate brown paint (the stuff is used to tint wallpaint, but can also be used on its own- even for painting exterior walls) and a bit more water. 
This was liberally spread over the base and part of the hill. In some places I applied a thicker layer- the result is a partly cracked surface.


I did add another layer of acrylic caulking/ black paint to part of the hill later on and used a palette knife to add some strata lines. To cover the sides of the hill, I 'glued' strips of plastic card to the foam with acrylic caulk, later on I trimmed off the excess with a cutter.

 





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