I set this up so that I can ramble on about my lead (and plastic) mountain, my endless gaming, miniature, and terrain projects, and other

insights into various games.

You'll find lots of 'pretty pictures', various modeling techniques, and hopefully some inspiration for your own lead pile. You're bound to

find something amongst my games and photos that interests you.

Sit back, open a cold one, and enjoy.

If you need something, feel free to contact me at: dglennjr at yah00 dot com

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hip Roofs: Simpler than you might think.

Someone asked me about making hip roofs, so I sat down and sketched out how to make them as simple as I could.

For buildings with hip roofs, it's much easier if the building is rectangular, so that it has some type of Ridge. (see the diagram) You can still do a hip on a square roof, but you end up with 4 triangular pieces which are more difficult to connect and keep 'square'.

I know you don't want to hear this, but it does take some basic Algebra and geometry to figure out the dimensions to make your templates.

The Width (W), Length (L), and Height (Ht) of the roof are givens, or at least you figure out what they need to be.  The Ridge (R) length is simple enough to figure out.  The only challenge is figuring out the length of the line H1.  (It is the hypotenuse of a right triangle, drawn perpendicular to sides W and L) H1 is a line drawn perpendicular to either side of the W or the L for the end or side template.  The equation for H1 is pretty simple and can be done with a standard calculator with the square and square root functions.

For line H2, you don't even need to calculate it.  If you can accurately draw lines W, L, and H1, then you just connect the points A and B to form the line H2. (See the diagram)

**Note:  If you cut the roof panels out of anything thinker than cardstock (I.E.: Foam board and etc.), then you may want to 'chamfer' the interior surfaces so that they fit snuggly together.  

If you follow these simple rules, you'll get a pretty accurate hip roof, without all of the continual "trim to fit" that it seems a lot of you do.

See the modified hip roof of the building in the upper right of the photo. 

This Anglo-Saxon/Viking era building is a variation on the hip roof I just explained.

Happy Roof Building!

Friday, January 25, 2013

2011, Local Terrain Competition

Since we were bored, I issued a challenge to our group to take a pre-cut wood art's & Craft building and turn it into a 20mm, WWII terrain piece.

Here were the rules:

1st Annual Dragon's Lair Terrain Building Competition


1. The Model to be used is the pre-cut wood puzzle ‘Villa’ from Creatology. Also included is a 7”x8”

rectangular, 1/8” thick, MDF base.

2. You must use all of the pre-cut wooden pieces to create a 20mm scale building(s), mounted to

the base, and appropriate for WWII, European gaming. (I.E.: France, Germany, Russia, Italy,

and etc.)

3. You are not required to put the model together per the puzzle instructions and may cut the pieces

in various ways. You are encouraged to ‘not’ follow the instructions as included.

4. All terrain must fit on the 7”x8” base provided.

5. You may, and are encouraged to, add any number of terrain details, materials, or textures as you

wish. (I.E.: plaster, card stock, balsa wood, styrene, flocking, rocks, trees, and etc., to name a


Here is the $1 craft kit.

Wood Sheet #1 

Wood Sheet #2
Here is my submission (and a sort of step-by step process):
German/Italian House (with a Nazi/SS secret inside)
Here, I've redrawn the 'new' wall sections to the back of the two sheets of wood provided. (The old walls are die-cut into the sheets, so I had to add some glue to keep all the pieces together.)  Yes, I did not use the wall shapes as provided. (It wasn't against the rules.)
 Here is a mock-up of the building using card stock. ("Measure twice, cut once!")

The site actually has two buildings, with the smaller shed structure detachable from the main base.  See below. 

 Here, the walls take shape.

You can see the 'detached portion of the base.  It still makes a 7"x8" base as required. 

The roofs are added for their initial fitting.

Here, the interior is taking shape. It has entries at the lower level and main level, and an upper story. (3 total stories, with removable floors.)  

More details are added. Cereal box is added to the shed for a wood shingle appearance. Corrugated cardboard sheet strips are added to the roof for a 'mediterranean look.'  A foam chimney was cut, and stones carved into it. More cereal box 'squares' are added to the lower level as 'flagstone' paving.
Here, the stone steps up to the main level, and the retaining wall are taking shape. (More use of the wood scraps from the original model.)
Here we see the 'front' of the house and the main entry and walled entry garden.   

One of the main secrets of the house..a hidden communication & planning room located below the entry.  It is accessible from the interior lower level, from behind an actual sliding bookcase.

Here we see the hillside taking shape around the house. Where'd that secret room disappear to?

Here is the model, primed black and ready for paint.
 Here is an aerial (from the bombers?) after paint has been applied.

 Here's the back.
 Here's the side (chimney).

 Here's the front.

 Here's the front entrance patio.

 Surprise I tell you...a secret Nazi Communication/Planning room below the house.

 There's a radio system in the corner on a desk, with assorted Hitler pictures and propagansa on the walls.

 The other wall has a bookshelf full of codebooks and etc., as well as another portrait of Hitler.
(It just wouldn't be complete without the details.) 

 The roof is off.  Here's the top level at the top of the stairs. 
There are numerous rugs on the floor.

 The third floor is removed to reveal the main level (2nd floor).  A door goes out to the balcony.  There are a few tapestries and paintings on the various walls.

 The second floor is removed to reveal the lower level (1st floor).
A door goes to the outside, under the balcony.

 On the lower level, here is the bookcase.
(Of course the hidden entrance is located behind the bookcase.)

Here's the hidden entrance to the secret (or not-so-secret anymore) nazi communication/planning room. The bookcase slides to the left under, underneath the stairs.

Japanese/Samurai Era Village-Part 1.

Here I go again.  I've agreed to build another village for a gaming friend. Though, I am getting some good 20mm miniatures in trade.

This time the theme is Feudal Japan and the age of the Samurai.  The task is to create a village in the general style and size for a skirmish war game.

Some Inspirational Pictures:

Here's the Plan:
  • Large House
  • Shinto Temple & Gate
  • Small House
  • Barn
  • Shed
  • Bell Tower (Storm/Danger Warning)
  • Water Well
  • Wood fences & gate(s)
  • Plastered stone walls & gate(s)
  • Rice Field
  • Vegetable Field
  • Bridge
  • ...and possibly more if time permits.
Here are some pictures of the progress.

Large House
Most of the construction is basswood and Foamcore board.  the base is made from 1/8" mdf board with sanded/rounded edges by a router.
 The raised floor is done.
 The walls are cut and in position.
 The trim is proceeding and the porch wood columns and beams are built.
The wood siding is added in places for a variety of texture. The white portions will be plastered. 
Shinto Shrine/Priest Quarters
The columns and beams are in place. 
The wood floor is done and a ladder is built.  

The Shinto Shrine Entry is built.  


 The wall frame is mostly scrap basswood.  Next up is to add the wood siding and the roof.

Bell Tower

The tower is finished, again, out of scrap bass wood. the three main columns are left over chopsticks from the local Chinese take-out.  (A good use for bamboo.)  It will get used more throughout the project.

The bell is a piece left-over from a ruined Christmas ornament. It actually can ring.

...to be continued in Part 2. (coming soon!)