A finished ruined house, ready for close-assault by plucky Brits (all Brits in World War Two games are "plucky" - it's the law). In front of the house is an area of rubble spill, which can act as cover for prone troops. Black smoke stains have been painted above all the windows and doors, telling a tale of burning. The red-brown brick card has been painted light grey, and then most of the grey paint has been rubbed off when still tacky, leaving the grey paint in the recesses between the bricks.
The base has been finished off with a mixture of Tetrion filler, PVA glue (as always), and brown poster paint. While this was still wet, bits of cat litter were scattered on the mixture, and pushed in with the bald end of a paint brush.
The model has been painted for the most part with poster paint. The reason for this is simple: it is cheap. Where the surface to be painted was plastic or dried universal adhesive, acrylics have been used instead.
A close up, showing more detail. The edges of the ruined wall have been painted with black, brick-red, and grey paint, and then the very fine powder from cat litter has been glued on with PVA, as well as a couple of tufts of static flock, to represent grass growing in the crevices of the walls (so this building was bombed and burned some while ago).
One advantage of modelling a house which was ruined some while ago, is that it gives one a rationale for why there are no floorboards on the ground floor, and few if any roof tiles lying on the ground. Clearly, since this building was ruined, the locals have come along and ripped up what remained of the flooring on the first floor, for firewood, and stole the roof tiles which weren't smashed to oblivion.
During the war, the British public was advised to sit under the stairs during air raids, if no underground shelter was available. This advice came after many people had spotted that after an air-raid, many houses were completely levelled except for the staircases, which often survived. If you look at photographs of ruined cities of the period, you will often see a staircase going to nowhere, standing alone. The other part of a house which tended to survive, was the chimney stack. When making ruined buildings, therefore, consider modelling a chimney and a staircase. Until very recently indeed, it was very rare for buildings to be built without chimneys.
This angle shows a length of copper plumbing pipe sticking out of one wall (bent wire, painted), and, like the last shot, wallpaper. I am particularly pleased with the way the wallpaper looks, even after I have painted over most of it with black paint, to make it look smoke-damaged (particularly along the top of walls, because smoke rises). I made this by laboriously repeating and reducing wallpaper patterns until I had something which looked right in-scale. Dolls' house wallpaper is available from many model shops, but it tends to be the wrong scale for wargaming models. Well, if you want to, and have access to a colour printer, you may download and print the file I created, which has on it four wallpaper patterns, which, in the specific context of a 1/72nd scale model of a burned-out domestic ruin, look great.
1/72nd scale domestic wallpaper for burned-out WW2 buildings (.gif file 162KB)
In the centre of the far wall, you can see, upstairs, a wall of a small room. The wall is green, and looks very smoke-damaged. This effect was simple to create. I painted the wall with black poster paint, and then, when this was dry, painted over the top with very pale green poster paint. The black poster paint partially dissolved in the mix of the green paint, since poster paint does not dry waterproof. By painting on the pale green paint in swirly motions, a swirly smoke pattern was achieved which looks much better to the eye than this scanned photograph suggests, honest.
I'll now show you a couple of the other buildings, which I have shown you in construction, as finished articles. I'm sure that you're keen to know how they turned out in the end. First, the building which you first saw as pieces of foam board, held together with pins, while the glue dried.
Again, you can see smoke stains above windows, swirly smoke pattern (this time blue) on the far inside wall, one corner of the tiled roof remaining, corner stones made from stuck-on paper strips, fallen bricks made of card or rescued from plastic dioramas, exposed brickwork, and cat-litter rubble.
Another view of the same building. A lot of card strips represent planks, all painted black, and these sit on the section of ruined first floor, half-way up the far wall. Again, you see a wallpapered section upstairs. The far section of the building is simply painted black inside. The fire must have been hotter there. There is no need to have wallpaper and wall paint differentiating every room. A couple of hints of separate rooms are enough.
The big manor house. I saw photographs in a newspaper of a manor house which burned down in Britain recently, and it looked a lot like this one. Like this one, the roof had disappeared completely, and the strong brick and stone walls remained standing. The windows and window-frames had disappeared too, which is a bit of a relief to me, since modelling all the window frames would be quite a fiddly task. Even with a building this size, the construction method is strong enough for the whole building to be picked up by hooking a finger through one window.
A close-up, showing the beams of the first floor (broken match sticks painted black), the fire-places stranded on the walls with no rooms to heat, and more of my snazzy model wallpaper.
The terrace, complete with cute painted shutters, biro-refill chimney pots, grey stone doorsteps, and a sprig of plastic aquarium plant.
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