Caravan Wagons

Caravan Wagons

We wanted to explore trade and transport in the lands of Gautria, so my husband began plotting a Caravan Campaign.

Before we could start our travels in North Gautria, we would need wagons.

These were mostly constructed with balsa wood. My husband made a few rough sketches and started building.

My character, as the caravan leader and primary financial backer, got the fancy wooden carriage. This wagon came complete with locking door and attached chests.

The other merchants’ wagons were constructed of balsa beds, with canopies of glue-dipped packing paper draped on wire frames.

All of the tops come off, and various cargoes can fit inside.

Orc Hall

Our Great Northern Orc Tribes needed some heavy fortifications (and feasting spots!) of their own.

Orc Temple

“What does a Great Northern Orc Temple look like?”

That question was asked at the crafting counter one fateful day. Those type of questions usually result in a hobbying frenzy and output of newly-actualized factions or architectural style. This question was no exception to the tool.

 

Orc City Dwellings

After construction on both the Great Northern Orc Temple and Orc Hall was complete, the workers and lesser chiefs got housing as well. 

Fantasy Jarl’s Hall

The most recent (and ambitious single building) project in our workshop is a jarl’s hall/inn with front deck, rear room overhanging the street, removable roof, and removable top story.

This building went from idea to foam pretty quickly.

Here you can see the roof removed, and the upstairs with wood-grain carved foam floor.

The upper story comes off, revealing a large common area with 2 smaller rooms.

The two downstairs rooms have doors that open into the main hall. What appears to be the front door in the ground floor is mostly a hallway, as you’ll see further down.

The details outside are balsa, placed into a layer of wood glue.

The foam is then carved on the inside to match the posts. Wood glue is then smoothed onto the carved side, and the details are scraped clean of excess glue with a toothpick.

The “wooden” overhang is foam, carved and coated in wood glue.

Even the roofs are carved foam.

We wanted a stone floor in this hall, I like the way the ground looked in the orc fortress. That needed to be carved and plastered.

You can see the front hall, and entry door set in place here.

So, time to paint 24 individual sections, front and back.

My husband began to glue the walls by himself, but soon needed another pair of hands.

I had to put the camera down to help, and by the next day, we were able to play with this:

The top roof comes off to reveal the upper story.

Then the upper story comes off.

 

Many patrons were found in the inn tonight!

 

Some patrons retired early,

While others drank the night away.

 

Castle Courtyard Houses

The workshop wheels are turning. Since repainting the castle & walls, we decided it was time to replace the 20+ year old card houses with something a little more fitting.

Choosing pink foam and balsa wood as our materials, my husband designed a set of four buildings that would fit up against the inside of a castle courtyard set-up. The roofs are removable.

He began with simple walls.

Then applied a layer of white glue, and the balsa for timbers.

(on the left is a trial piece, we kept the spacing between timbers much smaller in the final pieces).

The bottom piece of foam was carved, then layered in spackling.

Timbers on the inside walls were carved to match the outside, then a layer of glue to give the foam tooth, followed by a couple coats of black paint.

The front wall detail:

inside:

and the rough out:

I took over with paintbrush, and laid down a base coat of dark browns: one for the plaster walls, another for the “timber”.

A few dry-brushes and washes later, and the walls looked liked well-worn wattle and daub.

 

However, a slight miscalculation has resulted in the bases being too small, so we made other houses to fit the finished bases.

The rooftops are a very simple construction of carved balsa wood.

Some glue on each edge-to-side and a little tape to allow the house to dry in shape.

Then we glued posts over the corners, and secured the walls to the bases.

Completely painted, the half-timber houses were ready for use in the capital city of Mosveld.

 

Modelers in the Making

Our children have always been interested and inspired by the games and models they have grown up in the midst of so when Daddy started the next foam construction, our youngest wanted to make pieces for the set of structures.

First he had a little free building fun with some leftover bits.

He soon asked for marker, ruler, and material to build his own walls. He also wanted to know if we thought he could learn how to carve so he could make the entire pieces himself. Daddy explained the basics, and the little guy was off.

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Big Brother saw how much fun Little Brother was having, and started on his own creation.

While Daddy put together a new set of walls, the boys meticulously lined and carved their walls.

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They were both so proud of their work, and thought Mommy should put up a new section on the website, titled by them. Next step for them: painting!