Wednesday, May 7, 2014

British site is even older than they thought...

It seems they've found the oldest settlement in Britain --- again. At Vespasian's Camp near Amesbury (famous for Stonehenge) scientists have carbon-dated auruch bones back to 8800BC. Follow the link to read the article on

(Courtesy the University of Buckingham)

Dark Age house test wall (part 4)

So last I left you I had primered test wall #2 with cheap black acrylic. It's easy to see below that it's much harder to hide the PVA under the skinnier balsa wood.

The wattle & daub dry-brushed with some greys and a white.

The wood was done with browns mixed down repeatedly with light ivory.

I still need to weather the door pull. Probably just dry-brush with silver.

Here's a comparison between the first and second test walls. It became pretty obvious the foam core has a grain to it. I'm not sure which I prefer looks-wise, but the horizontal seems less resistant to warping.

I'm very happy with the way the second wall came out. Looking forward to moving on to a corner...

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Dark Age house test wall (part 3)

It took a while for my to source some balsa, but I'm liking it better than liberated coffee stirrers for the bracing on the new test wall. It cuts more easily, it takes texture better, and it looks more true to scale. 

I bought 3" x 1/16" x 36" balsa sheets and trimmed them to size. I cut it into more manageable 12" sections as soon as I got it home. I'm a big fan of the Alumicutter ruler, but it's still harder than I thought to keep the cuts straight. Might invest in a stripper if I keep this type of work up.

Went with balsa sheets and cut to size
Basic structure in place
Didn't fancy the last carved foam door, so went with balsa
Didn't want foam showing by the door jam, so cut in some shims
Close up of the knotty door and jam
Jazzy door pull courtesy of the wife's jewelry making supplies
Close-up of the door & pull
After two coats of dilute black craft acrylic

I'm thinking I should use 1/8" balsa (2x thickness) at the corners and door jam. Basically anywhere you can see two sides of the wood. Guess we'll find out when I attach another wall to this puppy!

That's all for now. Looking forward to dry brushing this one up.