Build a House – In a Day!!

If there is somebody who has followed my terrain article series about the harbor houses, he might be thinking, “Darn, it takes ages to build a single house on my game board”. That´s quite incorrect! It does take ages IF you build three different house at the same time, and try to add every single detail idea from your mind on them, which doesn´t even show when you see them on the gaming table. This article is all about speed building!

This article is if you have about 8 hours of spare time and you need a house to fight over. I was in this situation because we needed a house for our gaming day and I had one day to make it happen. No problem, I said, and this is what I managed to pull off:

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What you need:

  • Bluefoam
  • cardboard
  • MDF or similar
  • balsasheet
  • PVA glue
  • some paints
  • wood varnish
  • Static grass and glump foliage (optional)

First cut a base from the MDF. Smooth the edges with sandpaper. Then cut the desired wall sections from the bluefoam. I cut four wall parts, two smaller foam parts for the shack on the side, two A-shaped pieces to act like a roof truss and a small foam piece for the stone fence on the front side of the house. I also cut holes for windows and doors. Glue all the parts (but not the A-shaped pieces) together and on to the MDF. I used tape to hold the pieces together as the glue was drying. When the glue is dry, you can carve the tiles to the foam and the stone fence. You can also glue thin cardboard strips inside of the house to resemble boarding.

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Then cut balsa strips and glue them around the windows and doors and also on the corners of the house.

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Here you can see that I built these in a hurry. Those balsa strips are waaaaayyyy too wide and when you place a mini beside them, they look HUGE!!! But who cares about proportions when you’re in a hurry?

Then it´s roofing time.

Put the A-shaped pieces on top of the walls (so you get the wideness of the house spot on) and then glue a few sturdy cardboard strips to create a framework for the roof. After this, glue two wide cardboard sheets on top of the strips. This becomes a solid base for the soon-to-come tilework.

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Take the framework of and use this shingling technique for the roof.

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Glue two wide balsa strips on top of the roof to create a roof ridge, and repeat all of this on the side of the shack. You can also cut and glue some balsa strips to the side of the roof, and shack to mimic boards.

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Here is the house with a miniature at this point:

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After this I used sand to give the baseboard some texture. While I waited for glue to dry, I pondered that it would be too easy to fortify the house with some uberhardmini who could just stand and slaughter everything that would come close to the door. So, I decided to try removable walls. This was easier than I thought. I used a hobby saw to cut along the tile markings, and in this way created two wall parts. Because the foam I used was quite thick, it´s easy to remove the parts when somebody rams trough the wall without worrying that the parts would break.

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I don´t want to brag, but this was a great invention from the gaming point of view. Here is an example of the use of the breaking walls: It was the last round of the game and, as expected, one dwarf (which was harder than rock) blocked the doorway. Behind him was the army’s General and this side was winning. The opponent didn´t have enough action points to move to the dwarf, wipe him out, and still manage to slay the General. He almost surrendered, but then he remembered the walls. We had made up rules to cover how to break the walls, so the losing side player attacked the walls. They rolled enough, crashed the wall on top of the General who rolled low, and was slain! So as you can guess, he wasn´t on the losing side anymore. What a great end!!! It still brings back a smile for me (and still is a quite sensitive subject for the almost-winning Player, haha!).

Then I painted the house/roof black and the MDF brown. I also noticed that the shack didn´t have a door. I constructed it from balsa (glued six horizontal balsa strips together and two balsa strips onto both sides of the door) and glued it on. I drybrushed the bricks with couple shades of gray, and then gave them a brown wash. For the roof I did the same thing without the wash. I also drybrushed some green here and there to give the house some age. For the balsa I used some wood varnish. I don´t remember what color it was. I just dipped a sponge (from a blister) to the varnish and wiped the balsa parts with it. I think that the result is quite good! Then some woodland scenics static grass and clump foliage with PVA glue and vóila, we have a house!!

Here are few pics from the finished house taken by a professional photowizard. There is also few home-made trees in the pictures.

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You don´t have to spend ages with our terrain projects if you don´t want to. This was an example of fast build project. Somebody may have noticed that I added few things to the house before the photo session. But mainly everything was built and painted in eight hours!.

As always, comments and critiques are more than welcome!




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One Comment;

  1. Mugu said:

    Really nice. Do you have any advice for those of us trying to make buildings out of styrafoam?

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