Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Medieval Beehives - Skeps

A Skep is described as "an inverted basket made of wicker or coiled straw used in beekeeping for housing bees".
Placed against the barn.
"Have you tried the honey liquor we call mead?"

Whilst hunting the web I came across a few different types of beehives shown in contemporary sources, but mainly the woven skep type.
Georgics - KB 76 E 21 II, fol. 42v (c. 1450-1475) This Picture gave me the idea for the Stand, but there´s loads of others showing the Hives placed on top of table like structures (pic below) or in Special niches (Bee Boles) in walls.
Taccuino Sanitatis (14th Cent)
A 15th century Picture showing not only Skeps but also "modern" looking box like hives. Manuscrit enluminé par le Maître des Vitae Imperatorum (1410 )

I could have gone for a box type structure (as shown in the last Picture)..but why make life easy?
"How too"
First off the Basic structure. A bit of clay shaped as a Skep but  a bit smaller than the intended finished size.

Next the material for the covering. I tried a few different materials.
Thick sowing  thread but it ended up with no visible form, the rope effect wasn´t obvious.
Strands of copperwire twisted into ropes but they sprang off.

Then, on the verge of giving up...I came up with using  Baling twine (the sort made from Sisal).  3-4 strands of twine, twisted into a rope and then smeared with PVA to hold it in shape.
I tied a knot in one end of the 3-4 strands, attached that into a slit in a sheet of Card, twisted it into a rope, then tied another knot, attaching that to another slit on the other side of the sheet of Card. Then, using an old paint brush I painted thinned down PVA over the "ropes"
When both the forms and the "ropes" were dry I smeared the form with PVA..let it go a bit tacky, then starting at the bottom wound the "rope" around the form, and using a toothpick kept pressing the "rope" tightly on top of the previous layer .
When the covering was complete, using the toothpick I formed a hole between the "rope"
Using Baling twine has an Advantage...it doesn´t Need painting to look realistic.

The stand is made from Card...no Explanation rquired.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Medieval Barn

Another Addition to the Village of Boddingham.
Loosely based on a building I saw on a recent trip out, a  Barn with attached house.
Halfway through I decided not to make it as a "closed" building but to have  the inside  visible, which either meant having the doors fixed open or...
..putting them on scratchbuilt hinges so they can be opened and closed.
The door at the back of the barn area  that leads to to the living space.
I´ve even gone and made more work for myself and added a loft hatch.(pic a bit blurry..sorry)
Later..when all ten buildings are finished and based,  I can add a ladder and some other bits and pieces


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Medieval Chicken Coop

This was an Experiment to create another building, originally it was to be a storehouse/granary, but it turned out smaller than I had planned. I´d only built the walls  and clad them so it was shelved..in fact in ended up in the bin but then I had a think about it.
Make a hatch in the door, add some pillars (logically, they would have wanted it off the ground for the same reasons as a granary) and a run, also it´s tall enough to stand up in and shelving could be added for the hens to roost on = Chicken Coop.
Mary, on her way to collect some eggs, gets stopped by Pippin who is proudly showing off her new doll.
 
I couldn´t find much on how chickens were kept in the medieval era, but among the couple of Pictures I found, apart from some weaved "chicken baskets",  they Show them "housed".
Mary and pippin wearing red dresses

Friday, 21 August 2015

Medieval merchant's house

Based on the one rescued and rebuilt, now Standing in the Avoncroft Museum
In Production.
For one reason and another this proved a bit more fiddly than the others, mostly down to using thick Card for the construction as I intended to give it a thatch, but decided to Keep the strange looking chimney covering and a thatch would have hidden it.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Medieval Granary

A granary built on pillars  which lift it above the ground to protect the stored grain and produce from water seepage and the pillars are topped by the so-called ‘staddle (or Steddle) stones’ which prevent the access of rats and vermin. Being raised up, the air can freely circulate beneath the stored crops and this helps to keep it dry.
The Pillars I made from 1cm blocks of polystyrene, the Staddle Stones from squares of thick Card.
When looking for examples of Medieval granaries I came across loads of examples, some from the 15th century,  that still exist in the North of the Iberian Peninsula and called hórreos or paneras.
Hórreos are built with 4 pillars, the Paneras have more than 4.
Hórreo
Panera
nmn


Friday, 14 August 2015

Medieval Cottage/Farmhouse

Also for use in  Bodstonia as the village at the centre of the farming community of Boddingham.
And with one that was made as a "test build"
I´m not too happy with the lower floor..(all that White!!) but I prefer the thatch effect over that of the second building.
Fronts
Backs
Gable Ends.

Quick "how to".
As ever..the template. This time I´m using thicker card...1mm thick, or thereabout.
I was Clearing out a few old dogeared plastic covered ring binder folders and to make them more compact so they didn´t take up too much space in the bin,  I sliced the spine off one and found it had a loose Card core. Not glued in at all..a perfect Sheet of heavy Card.
With a modelling knife it took seconds to remove the Card from the front, back covers and the spine....and reduced the amount of space taken up in the bin by a massive amount.
Both the buildings are produced from one lot of Card from one Folder and there´s enough left over for further Projects.
When creating the Tabs it´s important  to make the gap between them as Close as possible. The Tabs were a bit "devil may care" on  the test build and   as the clay dried the Roof covering warped, pulling it off the small tabs which meant having to  contantly  re-attach the Roof by gently pushing it down.
This time, for a bit of variety,  I´m going to add walling on the ground floor so I´ve added a 2cm wide recessed Strip so that 1cm is sticking out the bottom.
Thin strips of high density foam added to the recessed Strip  along with some steps from the same material.
Thin strips of Card added to represent the Boarding. Window Frame made with thin strips of the "thick Card"
The thatch. I´d tried Teddy bear fur etc in the past but it just didn´t look right to me ....and took Ages,so....
..Clay. Bog Standard modelling clay. The Dries White, pots can be made from it, type of clay. Rolled into thin sausages, squashed to about 3-4mm thick and glued on with PVA.
One Problem, apart from  the roofing warping if it isn´t properly stuck down,  is that you Transfer some of the dried clay (from your finger tips) onto the house walls etc..but it isn´t a lot and gives it a bit more of a  "lived in" look.
I suppose I could paint the rest of the building after the Roof..but I´ve got into the Routine and it works so why Change?
The Chimney now gets added (pushed into the clay to make a hole and then glued into place with PVA) and the thatch  scratched into the clay with the tip of a needle.
All that´s left to do is wait a couple of hours for the clay to stiffen, then paint it. I added a bit of PVA to the base colour. Shame that the clay goes White when it´s dried.. unpainted (below) it Looks fine already.
The combination of the thick Card and the clay makes These quite heavy Little buildings.



Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Klopstockhaus

My rendition of the Klopstockhaus, in Quedlingburg The birthplace of the Poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock(July 2, 1724– March 14, 1803)
The rear of the house I made up by adding  stables and a rear extension
Added to the two previous buildings

Slowly the town grows...and grows..............and work has started on a small village.


Friday, 7 August 2015

Medieval/18th century street - Forced perspective Experiment

Bit of a Long post this one.....so here goes;

After seeing THIS amazing  Medieval town terrain in forced perspective by Neldoreth I had to have a go...I thought it would be easy...but it isn´t.

First the final result
I haven´t got any medieval bods smaller than 1/72nd to put in the Back so I´ve used some of the good folk from Bodstonia.
A cavalryman from the risk game
The cavalryman takes a risk....... No? Not even a titter?

Some of the  residents posing

How I did it.
The easy bit
First the base. Large  bit of card..this one is 22cm´s Long and 11cm´s wide.
Draw a Middle line then 2 converging lines (which represent the row of houses converging)  4 cm´s from the centre at the bottom and 2 cm´s from the centre top. The base was then raised at the furthest end by 2cm´s. Why 2 cm´s? It´s purely random, ie; I didn´t think about it, it  had nothing to do with the 2cm´s at the top but thinking about it it probably has some relationship with the effect....or not?
The hard bit.
I held a Piece of Card alongside one of the sloped sides, drew a line which would be the street level. After creating the first house it became obvious this wasn´t going to work..I had no fixed reference Point for the "horizontal lines".  The Vertical lines were ok but the "horizontal lines" were totally wrong!!
Then I thought about things a bit.....and went for the disappearing Point method. This meant adding a bit to the end of the base, extending the lines until they met.
This gave me the Basis to create a template. For each individual house I added placed a Piece of Card over the template, then drew the lines over the Card.
The line in the middle acted as a base for  drawing the vertical lines.
The vertical lines are easy..to create the "horizontal" lines I used a Long ruler,  fixed to the "Dissapearing Point". For the end house, the one nearest the camera I used similar sizes as if I was building a house in scale..for the next two it was by eye
Test shots...the effect seems to work.
Pre-paint on the base..the horizontals and verticals work.
Painted, Windows and doors added,  and on a Level surface. Halfway through the tiling I realised the normal size of tiles (the house on the far right) would look way too big on the end house...so I had to make three different sizes.
Both sides and the end house finished...and they  are now on a wider Piece of card.
A couple more test shots.
Can you see the tiles!!? Nope!? Did they Need to be smaller? That was a ..kin waste of time!!
Bod in front ..
Bod at back.... The lines on the base were as an aid  for adding cobblestones but I gave up on that idea. (the tiles are base painted and pre-drybrush)
From above.
To create a similar optical depth as the "forced perspective" model (22 cm´s Long),  I had to line up 6 full sized buildings with a street length 60 cm´s plus.

Working out the angles proved the biggest headache but it was a fun Experiment. Exactly what I will do with it now I still don´t know..but I´ve learnt a lot about the technique so at some Point I´ll have another go but with a slightly different technique and subject period and try a more compressed Version.

And... a wee bit early but I´ll post about it as the time draws near.....

1. "Dioramica" 2016
Message from Wolfgang Meyer;

"Saying large dioramas is saying 1/72nd scale. Figures in that scale have become extremely popular with modellers over the last couple of decades, and they are produced by a growing number of small series manufacturers. These figures now cover a huge variety of historic subjects as they were formerly offered by flat figures only. Over the years, there have been created real works of art, ranging from the masterly vignette with just a few to superdioramas with tens of thousands of figures.
We, i.e. the members of the ‘History in Miniatures’ society, have been pondering for a long time how we could make our fellow hobbyists, who are dedicated to the building of historical dioramas just as we are, join us for an exposition to present their work.
This has been a big dream of ours which is now coming true.

For the first time ever, some of the best sculptors and painters of small scale figures, as well as some of the most ambitious diorama builders from all over Europe and nearly all the well-known vendors who provide for our hobby will meet at a single venue.

An exposition-plus-fair as we are planning requires painstaking preparation. First of all, we had to find a date that would be okay for all, and we think we succeeded.
The First Dioramica will take place on the weekend of November 19‒20, 2016. The venue will be our diorama museum ‘Geschichte in Miniaturen’ in Hann. Münden. In addition, we will be able to use the spacious premises of the hotel in which our museum is situated.
A large number of sculptors, figure painters, modellers, diorama builders and vendors from all over Europe share our enthusiasm and promised to join us. This will be a singular opportunity to get a life view of many of the dioramas which have been known from the internet or from diverse expositions and scale modelling fairs only.
The dioramas ‘Rome 170 A.D.’, ‘Cröbern 1813’, ‘Möckern 1813’, ‘Northern Italy 1813’ are centre pieces of our museum and ready for viewing. In addition, we are working frantically to finish our ongoing projects in time ‒ the large dioramas ‘Teutonic Order 1329’, ‘Rosenberg Fortress 1806’ and ‘Auenhain 1813’.

Furthermore, a great number of dioramas made by some of the most well-known modellers from all over Europe will be on exposition, covering all epochs from antiquity to World War One.

There will be a diorama competition and workshops on figure sculpting and painting, as well as on the making of model structures, terrain and water for dioramas. The hotel will provide catering and accomodation, and the town of Hann. Münden and its pleasant surroundings offer many attractions for the entire family.

For additional and up-to-date information see our Website;"