Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

World War II Project - 28mm Village Church - Sarissa Precision - The Walls Part 6

Progress has been a bit slow. I'm in the process of getting ready to head out to ReaperCon, down in Denton Texas, for Labor Day weekend. I didn't manage to get anywhere with projects I had in mind so if I take an entry it will likely be something that I sitting on the shelf, likely one of those French Halftracks at this point. Since we have a pet sitter stay with the dogs rather than using  a kennel it means we have been getting ready for a visitor.

In the meantime I have set the steeple aside and moved back to the walls. First step was to make up some interior arches for the windows, like I did with the steeples, with a slightly different approach. I cut the upper arch as a single piece and the straight sides and bottom edge will be three pieces instead of a single piece like I did with the steeple. I also decided that the interior arches need a little help so I cut out some stonework to wrap around those as well.

Now here is the potential step to far. Since I'll be putting in stained glass (plastic) in the windows I was thinking about how to take a picture of the interior with light streaming through those windows. There are a couple of options.

1) Do not glue the short walls in place. This would allow me to remove a short wall for a photograph and I could remove any of the four short walls so this would be a very flexible solution The long walls are sturdy enough that I think this would work. Down side is that its likely that the short walls would just fall out of place on regular basis. They just are designed for that type of removal, plus the exterior quoins could be damaged from the handling.

2) Working door, now I find this idea intriguing. It would certainly limit the potential camera angles, but I'm probably really only going this series of photographs once anyway (which means I could do option 1 once and just glue it together when I'm done). I went ahead and cut out the door so I could play around with it and think about how  to make a set of working hinges, or just buy some hinges. I'm sure there are some out there. Again the downside to this the limited viewing angle, but I would always be able to take photos this way.

All of that means I'm thinking about some extra interior detail. This how snowball gets started.

Cutting out the small arches, the sheet of large arches and the strips are up towards the top of the picture.

Bunch of arches cut out, a few extras for mistakes.

Gluing arches in place on the short walls. Basically followed the same process on the long wall.

Working through the arches. I used the walls themselves for the initial template then used a ruler and compass to lay everything else out. I found this oddly satisfying work.

The group shot. Lots of pieces that have been scattered across my work surface all brought together for a group shot. Well most of them, some of the smaller stuff is in a plastic storage box.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

World War II Project - 28mm Village Church - Sarissa Precision - The Steeple Part 5

I was going to set the steeple aside till I was ready to add some extra roof detail that I haven't quite figured out yet. However, I was looking it over and felt like the stonework needed a bit of texture. I found some Liquitex mat gel in the cupboard and thought I would give that a try. 

It looks okay, however, it didn't really fill in the edges the way I wanted. I let it dry and went back in with Vallejo plastic putty, again something that I had near to hand, I applied that right along the edge and got a much better fill than the gel did. I think maybe some spackle would achieve the same effect.

Here is the top of the steeple, minus the roof

Here is the bottom, I like the soft texture that the gel added I just need a sharper edge.

Here we are after the putty has been added. Fills in the the edge gap and adds a bit more texture. I had to go back and add some separation lines between the stones.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Roxborough Park Wood Jigsaw Puzzle

The photo I used for this puzzle is looking north up the front range from the entrance to Roxborough Park. I think I took this about 10 years ago now. It took about six hours to finish this puzzle including the prep and finish work.

The picture is dry mounted to a piece of 5 ply baltic birch plywood. First step is to locate the whimsey pieces. I use low tack tape from 3M and traced the pieces on to the tape. 

I have been cutting out the edge first and then work my way into the center. This time I decided to cut the whimsey pieces out first.

I cut up the rest of the puzzle into larger pieces to work with,

Here are the two small sky pieces cut into pieces. I do assemble the puzzle as I cut it.

The mid sky, and the other two corner sections.

One section left!

All cut out.

I then flipped it over and sanded the back so it was nice and smooth again.

After all that I attached a smaller version of the picture to the top of a wood box that I picked up from Michael's. I counted all the pieces (206), put them in a ziplock bag and dropped it in the box, which I forgot to take a picture of...oops. One present down,

Friday, August 18, 2023

Christmas Puzzling...Again

I eventually learn my lessons and I have started working on the puzzles for Christmas. We are doing a few more puzzles than last year and at least one of them will be my first foray into a larger version, 11x14, as opposed to the 8x10 that I have been working on so far. I expect that one will end between 300-400 pieces at the end.

So these are the photos that I have mounted to this point, there are a few more coming. I also discovered that I'm going to need more 1/4" 5 ply birch plywood so I'm looking for a reasonable source for that. So once more into the breach!

Four of the photos are mine, the Spanish windmill is one of my Dad's and the car photo is a Carol Highsmith photo from the Library of Congress. She donated her entire body of work to the LOC and they are available to the public now.

I do promise to keep moving forward on the Normandy Church though!

Thursday, August 17, 2023

World War II Project - 28mm Village Church - Sarissa Precision - The Steeple Part 4

The steeple continues to move along. From a detail standpoint I wanted to try and keep everything relatively simple, made easier since these windows don't need any glass. I simple traced the frames for the exterior on to cardboard that was about the same thickness and glued those to the interior side of the windows. Its pretty dark so no real detail is needed beyond some suggestion. I did manage to reverse one side and managed to glue an exterior detail to the inside...oops.

I also painted all of this stone work with the "neutral" stynylrez primer. Again it took a couple of coats to get good coverage the cardboard really soaks it up. I think it sets off from the darker stonework without being to jarring. Then I finally glued the lower part of the tower together. I think its looking pretty good at this point. I also finished off shingling the steeple roof.

I need to work out the rest of the details on the roof at this point.

Gluing on the extra window details on both the exterior and interior sides.

Gluing on the last of the shingles. Had to get creative with the weights since I couldn't get a clamp in this spot.

A quick look at the tower all glued together before the quoins (my new word!) have been glued in place.

Just getting a feel for how things are looking at this point. It feels like the steeple is getting taller!

A few red devils sneaking in for scale. This is a big building.

Gluing on the quoins.

At this point I still contemplating trying to avoid cutting anything till after I had them glued to the top of the steeple.

After struggling with this, I opted to cut them off to make everything easier to work with

The interior of the quoins glued in place.

The mostly finished steeple. I'm contemplating adding some texture to the quoins at this point.

Adding the top, for another look

And another dry fit. just to see how it looks. Looking good, although the height of the steeple is really starting to bother me,

Monday, August 14, 2023

World War II Project - 28mm Village Church - Sarissa Precision - The Steeple Part 3

Moving forward with the steeple. I finished painting all of the edging stone and started to glue that into place inside the upper section of the steeple. I also added the decorative arch on the inside and another matching arch on the inside. I simply used the laser cut arch as a template for the interior arch and left off the centerline detail that appears on the exterior version.

I like to include the details but I'm trying to not go crazy with it. I used the cardboard from some milk bone boxes which is a pretty close march to the thickness of the laser cut cardstock. I also trimmed up the shingles on the two of the sides of the steeple roof and started to add shingles to the remaining two sides.

The first two sides trimmed. I didn't wait long enough and managed to tear the cardboard on one side.

Here you can see the exterior and interior arch trim. I'll need to go in and clean the inside of the arch  before I start painting.

While you can't see them I'm gluing in the edge stones in the corners. Lots of little clamps to help everything stay in place. So many clamps that I can only do two opposite corners at the same time.

Friday, August 11, 2023

World War II Project - 28mm Village Church - Sarissa Precision - The Steeple Part 2

I pretty much jumped into the steeple without looking first. I just started where I had with every other wall, gluing on the stone paper. Then I started thinking about the assembly sequence. The best thing to do when thinking is to do the monotonous so I drew out the stonework for the corners, both inside and outside  Then I searched for a color to paint this stonework which I will also use on the windows. I settle on Neutral Primer from Badger . Unfortunately the outside of the cardboard that I'm using has a very glossy finish and doesn't take paint very well. I should have thought about that before I  scored the centerline on every single piece I had cut out! I think if I run some sandpaper over the gloss finish that should give me enough tooth for paint so no harm done at this point.

Here's where things are landing at this point:

Dry fitting the steeple together after all the paper has been applied and trimmed.

Looking down to see the "wood" floor

A bit out of sequence but here is a dry fit of the whole steeple

I cut out a single piece of trim to see if I had the proportions right. Looks pretty good at this point.

Cut six pieces, four for the outside and 2 for the inside (with the aforementioned issues with the glossy cardboard). I think I'll glue each corner piece on as a single piece and then cut them.

A little close up.
Throwing in a couple of paras to see what they think. Probably that this position is very exposed.

A bit out of sequence. Here is the upper portion of the steeple that the roof will rest on. Note that I remembered not to paper the inside portion that will be covered by the roof!
Gluing in the interior stone work on the bottom half which is, more or less, going to be visible.

Since I felt like I had the proportions right, I went ahead and cut out a batch of "corner" stone. This still isn't quite enough to do the whole building, but it will get me started. I also need to figure out how best to do this type of edging for the four arches on the inside, something else that should be done before I start gluing walls together.

A start on the shingles for the peak of the steeple.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

World War II Project - 28mm Village Church - Sarissa Precision - The Steeple Part 1

I continue to manage to put off working on the windows by moving on to the steeple. I'm justifying that by including the steeple as part of the roof assembly. I'm having some difficulties imagining the architecture that manages to put a stone steeple right in the center of the interior intersection (two crossing arches on the inside?) but that's what I'm working with. The steeple will also serve as the testbed for a couple of ideas I have about adding "stonework" at all the corners of the church.

I started off just like I did with the flat walls and layered on stone paper on both sides of the main and secondary pieces of the tower. I didn't completely think it all the way through and managed to glue on stone paper where it won't be seen. At least I remembered to use wood paper for the floor and not stone paper!

Here are the steeple walls all glued up.

A little weight to make sure it all stays flat!

The outside wall. On the second one from the left you can see that I cut out slot for the floor. That was a mistake! I managed to avoid doing it on the rest of them.

The inside wall. The mistake here was adding stone paper all the way down. I only needed to glue it down the the top edge of the slot for the floor. The rest will be totally hidden once I glue the assembly to the roof.

The floor, I figured wood would be more appropriate than stone  at this point. We will just ignore the fact that there is no way to actually get up here.

This is the top of the steeple. I still need to cut out the arches that will fit over the windows from the bottom part of the steeple. You will notice that this time I didn't glue stone paper where you won't be able to see it. The steeple roof will be glued on top of this.