Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Building buildings for SAGA - Part 1

I've been playing SAGA for a little while now.  It is a pretty good game.  If you aren't familiar with the game it is a Viking era skirmish game published by Gripping Beast in 2011.

My group has used just basic terrain for most of our games.  You know stuff like hills, trees, rocks, and the occasional river.  Well I decided I wanted to add a little more flavor and have decided to build a few Viking buildings.

My plan with these is for them to be usable in a miniature game and have a generally historic feel, but I don't plan for these to be exact replicas.  This is an idea of my inspiration.

To start with, I drew out some rough sketches for my buildings.  This gives me a place to write down rough dimensions and think about different options.  I plan to build 4 buildings of similar, but different sizes.

The next step is to draw out the design on foam core board.  Once the layout is drawn on, I grab my trusty exacto and start cutting.  Make sure you use a sharp blade and cut slowly.  Don't try to muscle through and cut through the board in one swipe.  make multiple cuts a little deeper each time.

With the shape cut out, I go back and cut out a gap where the corners will fold onto themselves.  This means that I will only have 1 joint to attach.  To do this, I measure the thickness of the board and draw another line on to tell me where to cut.  I then cut through the top layer of paper and the foam, but I am careful not to cut through the opposite layer of paper.  Again, GO SLOW.  You don't want to cut into the opposite side of the paper. 

Now you can fold the building together.  I use masking tape to join the ends together.

Now, I use masking tape and cover all the exposed foam.  This will protect the foam from glue and spray paint.

Now I start adding in the wood.  The first thing I did is cut strips to be glued into the interior corners to give the building a little more rigidity.  When you do this, try to make sure the corners are squared or at least close.  The I started with the exterior of the building.  I have thin strips of balsa, probably around 1/16" or 3/32" thick.  I cut the pieces for the side walls all at once as they are all the same length.  I just put a couple of dabs of glue on each end (for longer pieces i will use more glue along the length) and then stick it onto the building.  I leave a small gap so it will be easier to see the planks with the project is finished.

If I really wanted to spend some time on this, I would get a couple of different thicknesses of balsa and alternate between then.  Then I would butt them up against each other, but I'm not that worried about this and this method takes less time.

The end of the wall can be a bit tricky.  You likely won't have spaced things perfectly so that a piece fits at the end.  So what I do is glue the end piece on before I do the last few pieces on the wall.  Then I can trim on piece along the wall to fit and the end piece isn't just a sliver of wood.

With the first side finished, I moved onto one of the end walls.  This takes a bit more time, but not much.  I hold my stick up to the wall and mark the length leaving some overhang.  I glue that piece on and repeat.  I will trim the tops when I finish the wall.

I'll keep you posted as I make progress with these.  Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

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