Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Spanish Town - San Lorenzo Mártir (basic construction)

In addition to the other buildings for my Spanish colonial town (details of the first building can be found here: Part 1, Part 2), I wanted to have a large church. I wanted an imposing structure that would dominate the center of the town visually, and felt a church would be the perfect thing.

I began looking for inspiration by looking at the church that Gary Chalk built in an article for Wargames Illustrated.

Church built by Gary Chalk.

I am a big fan of Mr. Chalk's work, and decided I'd follow his lead, My church is designed a little differently and has different dimensions, but has a similar look.

I began work on the bell tower portion of the church. As is my custom, I built the main structure of the church from foamcore, using wood strips and pieces to add relief and detail.

Bell tower construction begins.

Main tower structure assembled.

I sketched the front wall of the church directly on to the foamcore, and set it beside the tower to test size and fit. Unless I am working on a particularly complex building, I am a "trial and error" builder, and cut out the walls and parts as I need them, test fit them, then trim or re-cut them as needed.

Tower beside sketched front wall.

Once I was happy with the size of the front wall, I cut a matching rear wall. I built an alcove into the back of the church in which I would place the altar. I used a couple of layers of foamcore to build up the rear of the church. I cut the front door from balsa, scribed lines and nail holes into it, and glued it into place. I also cut some decorative beams from scrap pieces of wood and glued them on to the front of the church. I also cut out circular holes for large windows on each wall.

Front and rear walls.

Bumped out section in rear wall.

Following that, I cut out the side walls. I cut out small rectangular windows on the sides, and added a door near the altar for the priests to use. Then I glued the four walls together and the main structure was finished.

Main structure of church completed.

Once this was done, I realized that the tower would need to be elevated in order to fit properly against the side of the church. I cut a piece of pink insulation foam to use as the tower foundation.

Artizan pirate shown for scale.

I measured the interior dimensions, and cut balsa wood to fit for a floor, scribing planks along the length of it. I felt the church definitely needed a cross behind the altar, so I built one and glued it in place. I also glued the church down to a thick MDF board that I had cut to size.

Aerial view of interior.

Cross behind the altar.

Interior view.

The roof is made from thick cardboard, onto which I will glue Plastruct Spanish Tile sheets when it is complete.

Roof in place.

Rear view with roof in place.

Side view with roof in place.
On the top of the bell tower, I cut cardboard triangles and built a pyramid-shaped top. Over that I also glued Plastruct tiles.

Bell tower roof.

At this point, I took another look at the overall church, and decided I was not happy with having an open door into the bell tower. So I cut a sheet of balsa to size, scribed planks into it, and glued it over the door opening. I think it looks much better this way.

Open door (left); new wooden door (right).

As you can see, it's a much better match for the main church doors.

Doors at front of church.

The Spanish tile applied to the entire roof really made the church stand out, in my opinion, and it began to look like a complete structure.

Front view, with completed roof.

Rear view, with completed roof.

Now that the structure of the church is finished, that's it for this installment. In the next post, I'll detail the painting and finishing touches that will make this a complete piece of terrain.

'Til next time.
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