Sunday, March 27, 2016

Greene Family Farm (The Walking Dead)

Happy Easter!

The recent Kickstarter by Mantic Games featuring their new miniature game "The Walking Dead: All Out War" triggered my building itch.  The iconic barn filled with walkers at the Greene Family Farm is what I decided to started with.

The barn will be 28mm scale measuring about 11" x 11" primarily built from balsa wood.  The roof will be constructed of tin from pop cans.

To allow for placing miniatures inside and moving them around on both the ground floor and hay loft, the barn will come apart in three pieces.

I actually started this project a few weeks ago, but didn't get around to writing up anything until now so this post is a bit long and has a lot of photos of the progress along the way.  To the right is a photo of the start of the balsa frame of the ground floor.  I initially thought I'd base it on a 12"x12" 1" thick foam glued to a piece of 1/4" MDF, but I think I'll put it on a 12"x24" base instead.  It just looks too crowded on the smaller base and it will be nice to add some grass and driveway area in front of it.
 All of the ground floor walls have wood on them at this stage.

You can see a close-up of the walls below.  The wood has been distressed with the great little tool called a Distressing Pen.  It basically amounts to a little wire brush with controllable length of bristles.  It produces a texture that does a pretty convincing job of looking like old weathered wood.  Perfect for this project.

To the right is a photo looking in from the main doors up through the hay loft.  The hay loft is on and the second floor is starting to be framed.

The top floor and roof peak have both been framed up.  All that is really left as framing goes is the awning that goes out the side.  I'm holding off doing that as well as the inside ground floor posts and fences until I glue it down to a base.  

Here the roof peak has been removed to allow miniatures to be placed in the hay loft.  

The back of the barn has wood siding attached.  The siding consists of 1/16" thick balsa which I cut into strips about 1/4" wide.  I initially looked for the pre-cut strips, but it turns out 1/16" thick balsa strips are fairly hard to find.  I suppose they would have a pretty high breakage rate given how thin and soft balsa wood is.  Fortunately, a very helpful guy at my local hobby shop Hobby Haven pointed out this very useful little device called a Balsa Stripper.

To glue all the balsa together, I've been using Loctite Gel Control.  It is a bit expensive for what I'm using it for, but you can find it on sale at Walmart for $2-3.  I could use Elmers or other much cheaper glue, but this stuff dries quickly and really allows fast progress to be made.  To glue all of the wood together I've used about three bottles of the stuff.  It doesn't take much to glue each board down, but with hundreds of boards, it kind of adds up...

Below is a pretty cool photo of the hay loft looking in through the yet-to-be finished wall of the barn.

Below is a photo of about where the barn is as of this afternoon.  All the major wood work is done and it now awaits tin for the roof.

The tin has proved to be quite a challenge.  The texture is different than the regular wave pattern I've done in the past.  The next post will have more information on my various experiments with forming the tin and the process I will use to cover the roof.

Well, that is all for now.  Hopefully the photos have been interesting and my descriptive text has been somewhat clear.  Please let me know if there are any questions or comments using the mechanism below.

Thanks for taking a look!