Long Road To The Harbor City, Part XII: How To Make Hinges

There are two eternal questions in terrain making which every builder has to confront at some point on their glorious terrain career. A) Will you make stairs which are scale accurate OR make them so that minis base will fit them and B) Will you make doors and windows which can be opened. This article address the latter one. Of course if there is no interior on the structure there is no point of making a working door but usually if there is a chance to move inside, many wont make a door at all. I belong to that order who always make the stairs so that minis can actually use them and yes, if I build a door or window it can be opened and closed. It has a HUGE influence i ngame when you can slam the door close when some bad ass meanie is chasing you.

There are many ways to make hinges and here is one of them, a bit time consuming one. First I measured and cut the windows from 1 mm thick balsa.


Then I took 1 mm plastic sheet and cut long thin strips from it. From these strips I cut short pieces which will be a part of the hinge itself. I glued these pieces on to the windows



Then I took some thin plastictube, cut short pieces from it and glued these pieces on the ends of the previously glued strips. Now we have one part of the hinge ready. I also dry fit the windows just to be sure that everything is OK. Note that I’m making a two part window shutters but I haven´t separated the pieces yet because it´s easier to handle them in one bigger piece.



If you look closely the picture above you can see that I made little marks on to the frame. These will be my guidelines for the second part of the hinge. Again I cut some strips from plastic sheet and short tubes and glued them together. Then I glued these on the the frame.




The next phase is something that I don´t use any more but I explain it still and after that the new way. I took some thin plastic rod and cut pieces which were as long as the two tubes on the hinges. Then I cut very thin pieces from the plastic tube and glued these on the top of the rods creating small bolts.



Then I cut the window shutter in two pieces, fitted these to the frame and slipped the bolt to the hinge. A working window!!


OK now, don´t do this like I explained. All tough this is a working technique there are few downsides on it. If the bolt isn’t tight enough it will slip off when you turn the house upside down for some reason and the windows will fall off. Of course the bolts will drop also and will be eaten by your cat, children, spouse or some other indoor creature.

What you should do is to make the bolts as I described earlier BUT don’t make the “hats” on them. So no tubes on top of the rods. Then just glue the rod to the lower part of the hinge like I did with the steel doors for the Mercs house


Then just push the upper part of the hinge in place.


I encourage you all to add working doors on your houses because they look cool and they also force you to construct the inner parts of the building. This adds realism to the gaming board but also consume insane amounts of time from your every day life. Once upon a time one great, and little bit stupid, man said:

“When your life hinders your hobbies, You have chosen wrong…”

´Til The Next Time!!!



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