Monday, January 19, 2015

Tibetan /Qinghai House in 28mm

We're still a ways off from being able to start our Back of Beyond gaming, but I thought I'd take a look for some suitable buildings for western China/Tibet.  Sadly, there is very little out there in Chinese buildings for 28mm miniatures, and it all seems to be most appropriate for eastern China. Therefore, I decided to try building something myself.

For those of you not familiar with the architecture of this region, here are a few examples of what I wanted:

Qinghai Village
Source: http://www.thelandofsnows.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/DSC04586.jpg
Tibetan Village
Source: http://www.sc666.com/upimage/Scenery/2012041811114913178.jpg
Tibetan Village
Source: http://www.trace.org/sites/default/files/styles/event-poster/public/field/image/6.TTM_IMG_7377.jpg?itok=7HNqUdBB
Luckily for me, this type of architecture is pretty easy to build.  The buildings are fairly blocky (slight slope on fancier buildings), with flat roofs covered with either clay or shingles. Rather than use MDF or foamboard, I felt this was a subject that could easily be tackled with paper and card, with a few other items added for detailing.  Here is my test building, a Tibetan house:


The house was built over an inner card core that had vertical walls and a base that extended out a 1/4 inch from the core.  The outer walls are laid at an angle and secured with glue to the base and the upper edge of the inner core.  The roof is a separate piece, edged in strip styrene, than can be removed to place figures inside.

The walls were textured with stone printouts from Scalescenes.com that have been blown up 120%. For the doors, windows, and trim, these were all taken from photographs of real architectural details I found online using Google images. Most of them required modifications in Photoshop to adjust for distortions caused by the camera angles. As I do not own the original images and they were not labeled as being free for public use, I will not be making these elements available publicly - sorry!

To try to add a bit more depth to a paper building, I have recessed the doors and windows, and built the awnings and support beams on an additional layer of card.

The roof was coated in Liquitex natural sand texture gel and the chimney built from card and toothpicks. The flag stand was built from another toothpick (luckily my wife had some that were decoratively carved) supported by jewelry wire painted tan.  The prayer flags are scaled down photos, again from Google, that have a reverse image added to the back side. They were sealed over the wire using a glue stick, and the edges painted to hide the white seams.

At the end, everything was sealed with a matte spray to hide the paper shine and help hold everything in place.

Overall I am very happy with the final product, and at a cost of around $20 USD for the supplies, I think I got a pretty good bang for my buck. I still have to finish up my African boma before I can really dive into building more of this terrain, but I'm excited to try tackling some of the more complex multistory buildings.


Note: I have now put part of my architectural details collection online.

8 comments:

  1. Love it. Great little building, put together very cleverly.

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  2. Now that is absolutely brilliant! I do the same thing with images from Google for a lot of my flags, etc. Whatever did we do before it existed???

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  3. How utterly splendid, fabulous work Sir.

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  4. Excellent terrain for your project. I must say those printouts are very convincing.

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  5. These are great. I would like to contact you about tibetan miniatures. I am from Brazil. Do you have skype or facebook?

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  6. Hi Adriana,

    Thanks for the comment. The best way to reach me is via email: majorthomasfooleryATgmailDOTcom

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