Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Saga - Viking building completed!

I have finally finished painting up the Viking dwelling for my Saga terrain! (The first part of this post, detailing construction of the building, can be found here.) For me, this is quite an accomplishment, since I am a notoriously slow modeler. Whether it comes to painting figures, making terrain, of any other aspect of the hobby, it is a rare occurrence for me to actually finish something before getting sidetracked onto another project.

I had a great time with this piece, from beginning to end- from drawing it up, to making the parts, to assembling and painting. I was inspired by the great terrain pieces available from 4Ground.

Their buildings look great, and from everything I have read, they are a breeze to assemble. And since they are pre-painted, they can be on your gaming table quickly.

While they are reasonably priced (from about $20 for a small building, to $80+ for a set of three), for a table full of terrain depicting even a small village, it adds up. That's what motivated me to try and build my own.

After getting a basecoat on it, this is what it looked like:


One thing I found out is that even after sealing the thatch (teddy bear fur) with water-down PVA, it still absorbed a lot of paint, and the paint stayed wet on it for a  long time. For my next efforts, I think I will use a less watery mix of PVA. Also, for thatched roofs, I will try priming with white rather than black. The black undercoat made all the following coats look quite dark, which is not the effect I wanted. It took several coats of paint, and many layers of drybrushing, to get a look I was happy with.
Complete with ground cover.
After the clear sealing coat was dried, I took the building outside to get some photos in natural sunlight, which I always think looks best:
Front view
Three-quarters view from the front.
Three-quarters view from the rear.
And this is my favorite shot:
Sun sets in woods behind Viking house.
The only thing missing is a band of wild Vikings gathered around the building. I am working on that, and hope to have at least a unit or two of Hearthguard finished by the weekend. I know this is a poor image, but this is where I stand on that:
So, was it worth it to build my own Viking dwelling from scratch, rather than go the manufactured route?

Absolutely! I think the 4Ground buildings are a fantastic option for anyone short on time, but for me scratch-building the terrain is a good option.

I estimate it cost me about $5 or less in materials, especially using scavenged coffee stirrers for the planking. And it took probably about five to seven hours of work, spread over the course of a couple of weeks. Now that I know what is involved, I am planning on building several more structures. I think these will go more smoothly and quickly, and I will use a factory-style method and complete each step for all buildings (I'll cut out all the end pieces first, plank them all, assemble them all, etc.) before moving on. But that will have to wait until I have painted a couple of 4- to 6-point warbands for Saga.

'Til next time!
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