Wednesday 29 January 2014

Roman Insula. No1

Due to an influx of workers, there has to be somewhere for them to live and as the area available
isn´t that great, it was considered by the town planners to go upwards instead of sideways.
The small courtyard.
View along the shop fronts.

The back stairs

Just to prove that the building is hollow...a view through some upstairs Windows
 What to build next???? :-D

Saturday 25 January 2014

Roman buildings - How to

After a lot of Messing about I´ve  got the last two pics uploaded.
Basically, if you can measure and cut at a right´s easy.

First of..what do you Need? For the structure (walls) I use 1cm thick insulating foam. It´s cheap and one pack should allow the creation of  dozens of buildings.

Then some fine dry sand, some PVA glue, a sharp knife, right angle, some board Pins, a pen, corrugated paper from a biscuit packet (or similar)  and some normal dress Pins, some card (Cereal packet or similar) and a ruler.
Yes..the PVA is in an old washing up liquid´s easy to use and the cap doesn´t get all clogged up which means an airtight seal.

Paints I use are cheap acrylics, the sort used for painting walls. You´ll need White, chocolate Brown and red and a 1" Paintbrush.
This building will be a Taverne with a small storehouse attached but after making a few your Imagination can lead you anywhere, curved arches, complicated roofing with Loggias, balconys and and......
Mark up and cut out the wall sections. For marking out the pattern, don´t use felttip pens or biros with blue ink.  They can write easily on the polystyrene but the ink bleeds really badly into the PVA - sand mix and later bleeds into the paints. I found this out when I made the Roman baths.  I had to glue tinfoil over the effected Areas, then cover that with sand and PVA mix to seal the ink in. Okay, I found a solution but it wasted time.
After prefitting to see if the wall sections match up and the building looks square, glue them together. The Dress Pins are used to hold the parts in place as it drys. I´ve recently found out that toothpicks are also good. A short length of one pointy end and then push it in completely. This doesn´t work where there are openings like doors etc but the toothpicks hold way better than the Pins.
When it´s dry, remove the Pins (in the case of toothpicks they stay put) and  smear PVA over the walls (just a thin layer) and sprinkle fine sand over them. As can be seen, I´ve added a floor to this one. This building  will have a removable Roof so the floor is necessary but in general the flooring  doesn´t have to be added.

As the flooring is made from the same 1cm polystyrene it means the door will end up higher than the outside floor and steps will have to be added. As I´d planned to add a floor I also made the doorway 1cm higher to take this into account.
When the sand has dried, paint.
Another step, window and door Frames. Like the flooring,  these aren´t  necessary but it adds to the General look of the finished building.  These are simply made from coffee sticks, cut to length, the top and bottom of the Frame glued in first, then the sides. Any small gaps can be filled by putting some PVA on your fingertip and smearing it over the cracks. The easiest way of placing the pieces of coffee stick is to use an old pair of tweezers.
Now the Roof. Thin Card folded and cut to shape. Put PVA along the top of all the walls and then attach the Card, Holding it down with the board Pins. It´s best to start the  pinning down from the top of the Roof and working down to the bottom.
The tiles. On the left is the back of the corrugated paper which is first marked off (on the back of the sheet, not the corrugated side) in 1 cm strips. Then paint the corrugated side with chocolate Brown paint. It´s best not to paint the whole sheet in one go but cut it in half because as it gets wet it warps  and you can cover half of the sheet faster before it warps than the whole sheet. 
When the corrugated paper has dried cut it into strips.  Simply apply glue to the back of each Strip and attach, overlapping each new Strip a tiny bit over the previous one.  It doesn´t work as well if the glue is just smeared on the Card as the overlap doesn´t attach properly to the previous layer.
Finally the tiles for the top of the Roof. These are made with  0.5cm wide strips of Card cut into lengths of about 0.8 cm´s. Each one is then curved lengthways over a Paintbrush handle.

Keeping hold of the Paintbrush, dip the end of the handle into some PVA, smear it under the tile and attach. It´s a good idea to keep a tissue handy to occasionally wipe off any excess PVA from the Paintbrush.

When it´s all dried, paint with chocolate Brown, then let  it dry (a hairdryer Speeds this up) and dry brush firstly with mix of brick red and chocolate Brown, then a final drybrush with brick red.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Scottish command - Bannockburn

The "big" man himself, Robert de Bruce along with  Alexander Scrymgeour plus trumpeter.

Alexander Scrymgeour, the Royal banner bearer to Robert de Bruce
Un-named trumpeter. He´s been given the Annandale coat - of - arms  on his nag. Or a saltire and chief Gules .
The man himself.  I don´t want to ever again paint his  coat-of-arms, the royal Standard, Or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory counter-flory .....or  an easier description - Gules (Red) lion rampant with Azure (blue) claws and tongue, within a red double border having a motif of alternating heraldic lilies, on a Or (yellow) field.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Roman Baths /Thermae

I was going to post a Roman building  how to but Blogger is playing up and I can´t upload the last two it´s a Roman bath house for now.
Without going over the top with Detail and accuracy,  a representation of part of the Roman Baths in Weißenburg, Germany. I left off the buildings at the back,(Parts of the Atrium)  replacing them with a building for servicing the heating System.   Also, I built only one Laconicum (the curved section to the right)
HERE is a link to an interactive site about the Baths at Weißenburg, showing what the southwest of the baths looked like with the complete Atrium, excercise yard and additional Laconicum
As it grew,  I realised that it would get a bit big. The total length of the Atrium,  Apodyterium, Frigidarium and the Tepidarium is 55cm´s and storage would be a Problem, so it´s built in two sections. The curved Roof for the Laconicum is made from a 1/4 section of  a plastic ball.

The Atrium.
The bath section with the Apodyterium, Frigidarium,  Tepidarium and  Laconicum.
I´ve added extra Service rooms to the southwest wall to break up what would otherwise be a boring expanse of White wall.

The whole town so far, I´ll have to make some paving for the streets and get hold of a decent Background.  Arena still under re-construction. Planned is still the Lupinaruim a insula or two and A section of town wall with a gate house etc might be  a good idea ....or ? :-D

Saturday 11 January 2014

Roman Taverna - MKII

The original tavern (the one in the Basement) Tabernus Cellarium, had to move to the new town and take up residence in a new building.and a new name Tabernus  festivus.
Quickly the old clientele get used to their new surroundings.
The "bar" is made from high density polystyrene, covered with a printed mosiak pattern. The holes for the wine pots are made from the eyelets from shoes.

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Roman housing for "plebeians"

Before the town gets filled with big communal buildings and  becomes "unbalanced" a few more living quarter type houses need adding. No point in having lots of  big Flash looking civic buildings and nowhere for the plebeians, to live
A merchants house ?
A couple of old previously built houses upgraded with new roofs and some steps added.

Saturday 4 January 2014

English cavalry - Bannockburn (complete)

All the english Knights with Squires/Sergeant-at-arms required to cover the numbers needed, a grand  total of 50. If they were represented  1:1,  they would cover (based as they are) an area of 2.80 meters by 1 meter.
Some Scottish Knights who fought for the english are planned, Umfraville, Brechin and Comyn etc

A couple of the new kniggits; from left to right, John Maltravers, Robert Boynton, Sir William Pennington and William de Ridre.

Strelets Sets used (along with a lot of conversions and alterations)
Army of Henry V
English Cavalry of Edward I
The Scottish Army of Wallace
Mamelukes  (for the horses)

Knights  represented, alphabetically by Sirname.  (Edward II not included)
  1. Sir Giles de Argentine  (Royal Bodyguard)
  2. Sir Robert Boynton
  3. Rodger de Clifford - 1st Baron de Clifford
  4. Thomas de Berkeley - 1st Baron Berkeley 
  5. Gilbert de Clare - 8th Earl of Glouchester
  6. John Grey - 2nd Baron Grey (Lord Ordainer)
  7. Hugh Despenser -  1st and last Earl of Winchester, Chief Advisor to King Edward II
  8. John de Engaigne  -  Sheriff of Essex and of Hertford
  9. Sir Thomas Ercedekne   - 
  10. Robert Fitzwalter  -  1st Baron Fitzwalter
  11. Thomas  de Furnival  -  Lord Furnival
  12. William Latimer - 2nd Lord Latimer of Corby
  13. John Maltravers -   1st Baron Maltravers
  14. Edmund de Mauley - Lord of Ascot
  15. William Marshall -  1st Baron Marshall
  16. Rodger Mortimer - Baron of Chirk.  Marcher Lord, (Royal Bodyguard)
  17. Sir Roger Northburgh - kings shield bearer and keeper of the Privy seal
  18. Sir William Pennington
  19. Sir William De Ridre
  20. Pain de Tiptoft - 1st Baron de Tibetot (Royal Bodyguard)
  21. Marmeduke de Tweng - 1st Baron Tweng
  22. Amer de Valence - 2nd Earl of Pembroke
  23. William de Vescy of Kildare - Retainer   to Aymer de Valence
  24. Robert de Vere   -   6th Earl of Oxford
  25. Aymer de la Zouch
Not included in the list, because he will be based alone, Sir Henry de Bohun. His uncle, Humphrey de Bohun 4th earl of Hereford will be represented at some Point as well,  in Charge of the archers and foot.Wether he´ll be mounted, time will tell.  With Henry de Bohun  and Thomas de Ufford (English camp post) that makes so far 27 kniggits. A couple of the Knights etc,  may or may not have been at the Battle but checking through all the ancestoral lists, then rechecking sources, then finding reliable sources for the coats of arms,  has caused some major headaches and taking up hours of time, which might have been better invested elswhere.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Big Bang........theory

The FIREBALL XX1 is ready for the big day.  Now towed out of the top secret hanger...
.............Pre/flight checks are carried out.........
..fuel is loaded, ignition systems checked and rechecked and....
...the Pilot, Major Stephan Ostin, poses proudly for one last publicity shot before....
..the FIREBALL is taxied to the start ramp and the countdown Begins...
The flight (as usual) didn´t go entirely according to plan. A Crash investigation Team has recovered the wreckage and Initial reports assume a total failure of the main drive Systems..possibly due to a fuel leak.