Scottish style blackhouse – using Meadow fences and Walls.

I was watching Rob Boy lately, (a  film  I recommend to everyone, even if only roughly based on real Rob Roy’s life) and that inspired me to make this:

RR_1Meet Robert Roy MacGregor and his wife Mary MacGregor (and his cow – Cow MacGregor :P) in front of their house in the Scottish highlands. The characters are of course just a 5min sketches to set the mood, as the subject of this post is the house itself.
I love the look of the Scottish blackhouses. It’s like they were grown or pushed from under ground rather than build, and they blend into landscape as if they were always meant to be there.

Such houses built with dry stone walls with earthen core,  roof covered with thatch or (as on this model) with turf, are actually one of the branches on an ancient tradition (reaching back to neolithic) of Central and North European longhouses where people and livestock were sheltered under one roof. Most these neolithic longhouses (where resources allowed) were build either of logs or  wattle and daub, but where wood was scarce (as in Scottish highlands or Islands) stone or turf was used. Germanic or Viking longhouses stem Read more…


Gabion gun emplacement – using Meadow Fences and Walls

Here comes another gun emplacement made using elements of Meadow Fences and Walls set (and a linen thread).


This time it is more modern gabion emplacement. As the firepower and widespread of firearms and artilerry increased in renaissance period, medieval wooden shields and hurdles proved not to be enough to protect the artillery crews and were replaced with gabion fortifications. Esentially a predecessor of modern sandbags or steel gabion fortifications these early Read more…

Medieval cannon emplacement – using Meadow Fences and Walls.

As promised, here comes the first idea of what can you do with Meadow Fences and Walls. – a medieval cannon siege emplacement.


Shield lowered, as the crew is reloading the cannon

To be effective early cannons had to be placed and operated relatively close to the walls, often within range of bows or crossbows or other engines of defenders. To protect the crew against missiles and to hide operations from the sight of the enemy wooden hurdles and shields were erected at gun sites. Read more…

Paper rolls: some old things, some incoming and a little tutorial.

Making my model I often use thin paper rolls to create handles, poles, stakes, gun barrels and other elements so I decided to make a little tutorial on how I make them. Below you can some examples of potential use of such paper rolls, and btw some models that lay on my workbench for some time waiting for a better times :).

130323-foglerz6 I used quite a lot of rolls making the Veuglaire model and the gunners tools on the first photo. The hammer is made of two such rolls glued together perpendicularly with proper textured caps. The sponge pole is another with the sponge itself being a roll upon a roll. The powder chamber handles here are also rolled although could be as well just “folded to three”. Another roll here (although not visible) is the wheel axle.

Below you’ll find photos of three more models I used paper rolls with. First is an auto-cannon I made some year ago trying to make equipment for a military checkpoint its barell is a paper roll approx 1mm thick. Never had the time to texture it, but I keep it somewhere visible not to forget about it. (Probably when I will finally get to it I will redesign it anyway.)
On another photo paper rolls are used to support a primitive plank fence. It is a first photo of a set of pre industrial era field and maedow fences and walls I’m working on now. The set is actually almost ready, and I will post some more photos and info soon.
In the last model the paper rolls are used for lamppost and cantilevers (obviously). I made this victorian era gaslight lamp today with no drawing and design (that is why it is a bit crooked and uneven). I will probably make it into a design, as I like the effect pretty much and following the success of Aspasia Achsenberg in Papercuts I intend to make some more steampunk/victorian/gothic stuff.

CP131230   MF131230   GLL1312330

Going back to paper rolls, most elements I used paper rolls for I could probably make of wire, toothpicks or cocktail sticks, but there are several reasons I prefer to make posts and barrels of paper.

First is my paper purism. I like to make my models of paper entirely or at least as far I can make it of paper. There are rational reasons to it. PVA glue bonds differently with different materials. Making models of paper only ensures the bond is even on both glued surfaces. Furthermore I’ve found out that it is easier (for me at least) to destroy by accident a paper model containing rigid non paper components, while smashed 100% paper models can sometimes be straightened up or fixed.

The second thing about paper rolls is that I can always make them when I need them to a diameter I need. I’m usually to lazy to look for wire or sticks to suit my needs – especially when designing and testing models, when I’m  not sure what will I actually need.

Finally printed, textured elements IMHO  look better with printed textured models. Elements made of different materials even painted to suit the colour palette of the model will always look like an alien component that is somehow out of of the set. Of course you can wrap a wire or toothpick with printed texture, and sometimes I do that for stakes or poles 3-4mm thick. For small diameters (below 2,5 mm) it not as easy as it seems, and for diameters larger than 4-5 mm I prefer to make a hollow paper pipe and don’t need a tight roll at all.