Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Scratch built Saxon house

There are some good, reasonably priced dark ages building available on the web, those from Gripping Beast in particular seem excellent value for money. But if you have a little time and some craft materials to hand, it's pretty easy to build your own. Here's one I made earlier.

The first thing I did was browse the web for some ideas. This Saxon grubenhaus seemed nice and simple, it's basically an A-frame with a thatched roof and a door.

I cut out two triangles from foamboard, though thick card would probably be strong enough. Using a viking figure as a size guide, I cut out a door opening. The timber frame door surround is made from a wooden coffee stirrer, easy to cut/trim with a craft knife.

The roof is just a piece of cardboard from a cereal pack, folded in half. The two triangle ends I glued to the roof, using pva glue. There's also a third foamboard triangle glued in the middle to help make the building more rigid.

With the basic structure complete I added some texture. For the daub covering the walls, I mixed some sand and static grass with pva and smeared it onto the walls. For the thatching I was originally going to use bristles from a coco hair brush which I had bought for about a £1 from a local supermarket for just such terrain purposes. However, a quick google showed that other terrain builders used teddy bear fur. I was lucky enough to have an old fake fur cushion cover, so this would be perfect. I cut it up and glued it with pva to the card roof.

The final stage was to make a door. I chopped up some of the coffee stirrer, carved off a few bits to make it look a bit more rough hewn, then glued these planks to a bit of cereal card. I should have left a little bit of card to act as a hinge to secure the door to the frame. Note to self for next time. The very last thing was to paint some dilute pva glue on to the fur thatch and ruffle it up a little. When dry, the stiffened fur is easier to paint.

That's all there is to it. Not bad for an hour's work using a few bits from around the house. I might glue it to a plasticard base and add a few bits, like twigs from the garden, to act as log piles, maybe a spare axe. I would like to build (or buy) a couple more buildings, maybe a field or three, to make a reasonably convincing settlement for my vikings to raid and pillage.

1 comment:

TWD said...

That looks good.
I must add a Grubenhaus to my collection at some point.
If you're after plans for other Saxon buildings there's a good one on the Nothelm Chronicle blog:
I've used it a couple of times to make good looking huts:


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