This is a ruined city house, with its roof destroyed by a fallen meteor.
And it all started with this nice looking little wooden house. I had seen it in my local second hand shop a couple of time. I picked it a few times, wondering what I could do with it, and always put it back. I thought the scale was off, and that fixing the giant holes in the roof would be a pain. And even if I did, it would make playing in it pretty hard.
Then one day, it occurred to me that the giant holes might not need fixing; that they might actually be desirable if I wanted to craft a meteor-destroyed house.
So I started adding wooden beams on the outside, to better delimit the ground and first floor. Those are made from insulation foam, and textured with a wood scraping brush.
I also put the same kind of wood/foam at the house angles. I hat laying bricks at angles, so this provides a nice shortcut to cover the angles and still make it look like some kind of medieval construction.
I then started laying bricks on all walls, even the interior ones. I decided not to glue this build on a base. Because the structure is already so durable (trust me, it's some really heavy and strong wood there), I knew I could just pick the build and lay it on the board anywhere and it wouldn't need a base.
More bricks, and a chimney. I glues some pins at the top of the chimney to simulate a top exhaust. Not sure if the illusion works though.
More and more brick laying. This took some time, but I did it while listening to the Dungeons of Drakkenheim podcast (very fitting in terms of atmosphere), so I had a good time.
Almost there. As you can see, I can hold the whole structure in one hand and everything stays attached. This is one of my most (if not the most) durable builds.
Now is time to cover the top floor with some wood. I took a lot of ice cream sticks, cut their rounded ends and textured them to add wood grain.
Here is what I use. It's a corx screwdriver, it has a star-like shape and with two or three passes on a stick, it simulates veins of a wooded plank.
Then I cut them into smaller bits, so I could glue them into some sem-irregular pattern (one long and one small, in alternate rows).
For durability, I used a glue gun to glue them all, but this required some precise timing as I had to glue them quickly before the glue got cold and some were sometimes hard to get to.
I wasn't exactly sure at first about what to do with the round windows. I decided to glue small "wood" blocks all around it. It does not make much sense from a real-life POV, but the crafting result looks good.
Covered the first floor walls with some matte gel to give it some texture.
And then started painting. My modpodge/black paint mix was a bit too diluted. I used china black ink instead of craft paint thinking that the coverage would be better but... china ink is very liquid compared to craft paint and even if the pigment is stronger, it also added a lot of "water" to my mix, resulting in a way less covering result.
Still, I started painting on it. In hindsight, it was a mistake. I should have covered the whole structure in a second (or third) layer so it would be completely black. Because I skipped this step, the underlying red can be seen between the cracks of the bricks in some places.
After a few coats, it starts to look good!
With a mini for scale. Now what I need to do is add the shingles around those giant holes.
I went with shingles of greatly varying sizes, to give this a disarrayed look, which is how I envision the old cities of the Warhammer world, with their crumbling turrets built in defiance of gravity.
For the top ridge, I wanted to add some decoration and had this plastic snake laying around, so I glued them and covered it in more shingles. In hindsight, this was a mistake. The final look of the top of the roof is weird, and I should just have cut the snake head and glued is below the roof line.
To kinda make up for my mistake I added another wooden beam on top. I honestly can't say if it's better or worse.
This time I applied several coats of my highly diluted mixture, to be sure to cover all the shingles well (I don't want to have any Golden Grahams logo showing through!)
First coat is a deep red.
Drybrush of a more orange red.
And finally a real orange on the last layer. The several layers of mixture I added to the shingles added some irregular grit which is a fortunate side effect.
The effect under my desk light was very dramatic!
I then added a wash, which had the unfortunate effect to create rippled on some of the shingles. I think it's because the pigment of the paint somehow interacted with the plastic coating of the cardboard, dissolving it. It sure added some interesting texture to the build but not what I had been looking for.
And once dried, it gave way to that pretty nice gritty effect.
I went on and colored more individual shingles in various tones of red and orange, more like a real roof.
This, alongside a similar effect done on the wall stones gave a lot more life to the build.
I added another wash on top; otherwise the colored shingles were way too visible.
And then, we could move to flocking the whole piece.
And putting watered down PVA glue on everything to really seal the flocking. This phase is still a bit scary to me. The build looks like a real mess at that stage with all those white splatters everywhere. Thankfully it all turns transparent when it's absorbed by the cardboard.
And a few glamor shots of the final results. I'm very pleased with this build. Mostly because it is durable and that's one of the main qualities I look for in my builds. But also because it conveys this feeling of decrepit city hit by a meteor very well.