Normandisch huis

Normandy House Building Tutorial #1

repost van Thanos Efstathiou, blog Miniatures&Terrain
Last weekend I started making a new Normandy house for my ever-lasting Normandy Project (perhaps I should rename it this way), but while I was planning it I thought to use it for a tutorial post in my blog!
I have taken photos for each step of the building-making process, so as to make it as clear as possible for anyone interested in making his own buildings!
I reckon that it is an easy process - but believe me, I have ruined many buildings up until now, and yet I have plenty more to learn! If you face any problems while making them please feel free to contact me! I do commissions!! :-)

So, time for me to start:

1st Step - Materials needed:
The first and most important material you will need would be good old coffee!!!A nice cup of good blended coffee (especially if you work late at night as my self does)!


2nd Step - Other materials needed:
* A ball point pen
* A steel ruler 
X Acto knives
* Sheets of foamcore cards. I usually use 0.5cm sheets, for durability reasons. This width, tends not to warp when you apply materials on it (plaster, colours).
* 0.5cm Card (windows and doors casings)
PVA Glue
UHU Stick glue
Vallejo's White Pumice
* A big Flat brush
* Acrylic colours. I personally use Crafter's Acrylics. They come in many colours and they apply really well on the house's surfaces.
Cotton buds!! Yes, yes, cotton buds. I personally use them for the chimneys - you know the three spikey things... :-)
Balsa wood. I use 2mm sheets, for my second's storey floor.
* Plastic doors and windows. I personally use Wills materials - OO Scale. In this tutorial I will use Wills SS86 Doors and windows kit
Plastic floor tiles.I get them from a local manufacturer here in Athens. They come in 30x30cm pieces, 3mm height and they get cut very well and hold their shape, without warping!I believe you can find sth similar in your local store, wherever you are!

I believe that this is what you will need in general. In case I forgot about sth, I will mention afterwards.
Now, we are ready to move to the third step!

3rd Step - Placing the templates and cutting
Use UHU stick glue to glue the house templates. After the cutting, take off the paper templates from the foamcore.

I have made some templates for my buildings, which I usually use on the foamcore sheets, so as to be able to save time and patience credits, while cutting!

4th Step - Cutting the templates


5th Step - Cutting the Doors and Windows cases
I use a sharp X Acto blade and a steel ruler, so as to cut the doors and windows cases (gaps). Be very careful while doing this! You either may lose a foamcore sheet or a finger. What suits you best! ;-)
After doing that, remove the paper templates, and let the foamcore sheets ''free''!!


6th Step - Gluing the wall components
After cutting the walls, use PVA glue and pins to attach the wall compontents together.
Simply apply some PVA on the places you want to be glued and after that stick the pins to the side of the walls for better stability. Before applying the pins, remove the pins heads!


7th Step - Making the second floor preparation
In this photo (I apologize for the blur photo - it was taken late at night), I am showing 4.2cm height foamcore pieces that I used in order to be able to make a second floor in my building.The second floor will be made from balsa wood (2mm sheet). The exact height of the foamcore pieces (4.2cm) might vary, but I used a kneeling firing figure for reference. When you want to put figures in the buildings, you will want to be visible behing the windows slits! I know it seems generic, but the building is made primarily for wargame reasons. When I improve myself I'll try a different approach on this aspect of building making! So please be tolerant! :-)


8th Step - Making the Doors and Windows casemates
In this photo sequence, I am showing you what I used for the doors and windows casemates. It is 0.5cm card. The dimensions may vary to taste, but what I did was:
Doors: W:2.5cm H:0.3cm
Windows: W:1.5cm H:0.3cm


9th Step: Applying the White Pumice
In this photo sequence I am showing the application of Vallejo's White pumice ''plaster'' on the buildings' walls. It can be applied very easily, with a simple flat brush.
After the application you need to let it dry overnight. After that paint can be applied.

10th Step: Painting the house inside

For the inner part of the house I decided to use some spray paint to finish it quickly. Being afraid of not ruining the foam parts while doing this, I first gave the ''naked'' foam parts a simple coat of acrylic paint.
The outcome was not very successful, but since I will be using it for wargames purposes, I wouldn't bother so much about it! :-)

11th Step: Making the chimney

For the chimney I used a small piece of plastic tile (they can be cut very easily) and 3 small parts of a cotton bud (yes, yes, yes cotton bud) to represent the chimney components.

12th Step: Painting the building (Outer walls)

In this step, I painted the buildings' outer walls with Crafter's Acrylic 'Country Maple'. This colour would be the base colour.

13th Step: Making the second floor

Using some 2mm width Balsa wood, I made the second floor. As you probably already know, balsa can be cut and engraved very easily, so in order to represent some woodwork, I took my pen and engraved some wood planks on it.

14th Step: Outer walls drybrush

In this step I used some Crafter's Acrylics 'Sandstone' to drybrush the building's outer walls with a flat brush. The brush had enough paint on it while drybrushing.

15th Step: Painting the doors and windows casings

Using some White colour (any acrylic colour would do), I painted the doors and windows casings.

16th Step: Making the windows shutters

With 3mm paper card and some strips of plastic rods I made these window shutters, in order to enhance the building a bit more. They were made very easily, I only had to be careful while cutting the components.

17th Step: Painting the doors and windows

In this step I used some Flames of War 'War Paint Spray' Russian Tanks green. It gives a nice even effect when applying.

18th Step: Gluing the windows

In this step I used some 'Super' glue to glue the windows in the window casings, in the inner part of the walls.

19th Step: Painting the second floor

With some dark brown acrylic paint, I painted the second (wooden floor).

20th Step: ''Washing the doors and shutters''

Using some Vallejo's Black wash, I gave a 'rich' wash on the doors and window shutters, and I let them dry for an hour.

21st Step: Making the roof

In order to make the roof, I used some Wills' Plastic sheets (Slates) and a square plastic rod, for some stability and also for making the roof removable (vital for the wargames).

22nd Step: Enhancing the doors and window shutters

After the wash had dried I used some Vallejo's 886 Green Grey, and with a simple drybrush I gave the doors and window shutters some 'age' (The photos 'speak' better English than me, so you will understand!!). After that, I glued them on the building. :-)

23rd Step: Gluing the second floor.

While trying to glue (with some PVA glue) the second floor, I had a small accident and I broke the balsa wood floor. This part was very fragile. Be careful when you reach at this step!

24th Step: Painting the chimney

For painting the chimney 'spikes' I used some GW's Foundation Paint Mechrite Red. It may look very 'bright' but when it will be washed, it will be perfect!!!

25th Step: Gluing the building's components

After the steps I followed for this tutorial, the time has come to glue the buildings' components. The base is a piece of plastic tile as I said in the first Tutorial (post).

26th Step: Drainpipe!

Using Wills' SS46 - Chimneys & Drainpipes, I glued a piece of a drainpipe on the outer wall, in the place where the wall and roof will meet.

27th Step: Painting the roof

After priming the roof with an Army Painters' Black Primer Spray (any black primer would do really), I gave the roof two successive coats of grey (Medium and Light) with the drybrushing method.

28th Step: It's raining wash - Badab Black Wash!!!

In this step I used GW's Badab Black Wash, in order to 'weather' the roof and the chimney a bit.

29th Step: That's it really.... :-)

In this photo sequence you see the finished model. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to finish the base. But as you fellow modellers would know, some sand, brown paint, static grass and PVA glue would suit the task sufficiently!