by Jim "Delgrieve" Bothwell
Here is a short tutorial on how to make Trollkin stone huts. I got the idea from issues of the NQ, Primal as well as the forums. These huts represent my "Mach II" buildings—See the end of the tutorial for my original huts made for the Hordes Unleashed Event.
1/2" high density pink/blue foam
1" high density ping/blue foam
Heavy card stock (I prefer comic backing boards)
1/4" balsa strips
1/4" Styrene strips
Thin masonite sheet
Core of a paper towel roll
Step 1: Main Structure
Determine how wide you want the structure to be. Using a compass (See picture of my homemade compass). Draw out the circles with a Sharpie on the foam (1A). Make circles in both the 1/2" and 1" foam sheets then use the foam cutter or hobby knife to cut out the discs. For the purposes of this tutorial I am using 7" diameter circles. I recommend the foam cutter due to the fact it is easy to use (not to mention cutting high density foam dulls hobby blades in a matter of a few cuts). (1B)
Step 2: The Body
Determine how tall you want the structure to be. In this case, I've made three 1" sections and four 1/2" sections. Note the two bottom-most sections flair out to give it some perceived weight at the bottom as well as help to give it an interesting shape. This step is a little tricky but not as bad as it looks. Draw out the circle the same size as the ones used for the main body of the structure. Then use the foam cutter or hobby blade at a 45 degree angle to cut back into the foam which will give you a slightly larger disc. Then take this new circle with a 45 degree cut and draw out a new circle on a piece of foam and then cut it. I usually put a 1/2" piece on the bottom which gives a nice step up to the building. (2A)
Step 3: The Wall Texture
Using your hobby blade at a 45 degree angle cut slits in the sides of the circles to make the groves to give the look of the individual stones. Then trim around the circle edge to "round it up" a bit. Finally, use a real stone to distress the sides of the foam. Press and roll it in the side to give it some interesting lines/shapes.
Step 4: The Doorway
Draw out a door opening. Mine are approximately 1 3/4" wide and 2 1/2" tall. Then cut down into the foam about 1/4" to 3/8" and remove the excess. You can also cut out any windows desired. I've cut a number of large slits near the top of my buildings to let light in. My thought is the buildings would be fortified-each like a "mini-keep." (4A)
Step 5: The Foam Circles
Begin to glue the stack of foam circles together using the Liquid Nails. Use toothpicks and or the wooden skewers to give it some added support. (5A)
Step 6: The Door
Cut a piece of heavy card stock to fit the doorway. Then cut strips of balsa to match the shape and glue with white glue. Cut two strips of styrene to make the door bands and glue with Super Glue. Use a small bit of Liquid Nails to glue the door to the structure. Use the pin vise to drill holes in the styrene and then push in the pins (These will represent the bolts). Make a door handle of some sort out of styrene or some bits - be sure to distress it with your Hobby Knife.
Step 7: The Roof
Trace a circle 1" larger than the diameter of the building on the Mat board. Cut this piece out and then cut a straight line from the out side to the center of the circle. Cut a 2" circle out of the center which will form the "chimney." Pull the circle in to make a slight cone shape (Use your eye to determine what looks good). Once you have the desired shape, cut the excess and then use masking tape to glue the two cut pieces together and form the cone (7A). Use a small amount of Liquid Nails to glue the roof to the building. Also you can add some of the pins to hold it down as well.
Step 8: The Shingles
Cut 3/4" to 1" long strips of Card Stock. Then cut (Scissors works best) the individual shingles. Make them "trapezoid" shaped to fit the cone as you place them on it. Use some White Glue to attach the shingles to the roof. Leave space at the top for the Chimney unless you want to enclose the roof. (8A)
Step 9: The Base
Cut a piece of Masonite to fit the building. I like to cut it at a 45 degree angle to make a smoother transition (9A). Then apply ballast or sand.
*I also added a few extras - Like the tree, the stone grind for corn etc...as well as the "name" blocks above the doors - Hey the buildings all look the same - Wouldn't want Trollkin wandering around after a night of drinking trying to figure out where they lived...
Step 10: Painting
I like to cover the entire piece in black for a base coat and then apply colors as desired. I generally use a "very wet" dry brush of Pewter and then add in a little Off White for the main structure. For the roof I used a Barn Red.
Have fun with this tutorial,
Jim "Delgrieve" Bothwell