Sunday 9 January 2011

Restoration - part 1

This topic could really be posted on either of my blogs, so I thought I'd place it here as it'll keep H&A ticking over. This will probably be a mid-term project to get to completion, as I'll do bits on it when I can.

The Hudson and Allen fortified farm has been a favourite terrain piece of mine for many years, but it's only recently that Ben at Vatican Enterprises has got the moulds back into production - so I was keen to purchase one last year (along with some of the castle walls which have gone for serious 'upgrades' - a subject for future posts). The service at Vatican is first-class by the way, for anyone thinking of ordering from the US; all items arrived safely and speedily. The original model has been changed in the making of the new moulds. Basically the farmhouse building is now larger and has a tiled roof rather than thatch (see pic above taken from Vatican's website). For me this fundamentally changed the building to be more early-modern, perhaps most suitable for ECW or TYW rather than medieval, so I've undertaken a modest 'restoration'.

Luckily the original upper storey casting was based on one of the village buildings thats available, so I purchased this also. Although it lacks the chimney of the original, it fits exactly and the only task was to remove and fill in the cast-on door with dawb walling using modelling putty. This leaves a dormer shape in the roof, but I can live with that.

Secondly I re-cut the walls and reformed them to the original size, bracing the joint with plasticard and some pins embedded in the walling. The cutting is easy as the castings are made from a lighweight expanded foam material, that sets hard and retains a high level of surface detail (one of the things that I really like about these buidlings). I then filled the small gaps and carved out stonework to hide the joints.

Lastly I've made some wooden gates, as none are provided. These are cut from plasticard; scored and brushed with a hard wirebrush to create a pseudo-woodgrain (thats not showing up in the pics, but should do when paint is applied). I'm planning to fix them via a pair of small brass hinges, which need to be embedded in the gateposts. The joint of the hinge will inevitably show, but hopefully not too noticeably.

Next step is a black undercoat and then to build up the tones for the building - lots of deatils in this piece, so I'm expecting it'll take me some time. I feel the need to invest in a new flat brush for all that dry-brushing...