Skorne Building 2
Tutorial by Pat "Pat" Ohta, figures painted by Danny Lam

Home is where the heartless is...

My task was to build a skorne building that you would find in one of the clan settlements. The terrain piece will comprise of three buildings and a central tower all linked together with elevated walkways.

Skorne architecture is a mixture of differing styles all melded together to form what we see in the savannahs and deserts of Eastern Immoren. The main structures are adobe, a natural building material of earth, weather and fibrous materials. It has a look similar to what we might find in Northern Africa and the Middle East. The roofs are reminiscent of baroque-style domes. For inspiration look at the architecture in Star Wars, in particular Naboo and Tatooine.

Materials Needed:
Casting Foam
Plant Pots
Cellophane Tape
Mold Release
Sand Paper
Foam Board
Hobby Knife
Hobby Saw
Push Lights
Rotary Tool
Polystyrene Strips
CA Glue
Plastic Glue
Hot Glue
Crochet Mesh
Basswood Strips
Aves Apoxie Sculpt
Sculpting Tool

The Structure
Step 1: Start by making the conical-shaped buildings. The building needs to be wider at the bottom and narrower at the top. Use plant pots of various sizes (4"-6" high) to make this shape (1A).

Step 2: The plant pots will be used as forms. Seal the bottom of the pot with tape. Coat the insides of the pot with mold release (2A).

Step 3: Mix up 2-part casting foam and pour it into the pot. Be sure to follow the instructions for your casting foam as a little will go a long way (3A).

Step 4: Watch it expand, this part is fun (4A).

Step 5: When cured, remove the foam from the pot. Improve the shape of the foam by sanding it down This will also help remove any mold release on the surface (5A).

Step 6: If you do not have access to casting foam, you can make the same shape with foam board. To make it out of foam board a piece in a curve as shown in the image (6A).

Step 7: Draw lines every half-inch (7A).

Step 8: Score the lines with your hobby knife (8A).

Step 9: The score lines will allow you to bend and shape the foam board (9A). Make a tower the same way. Make the tower 7" tall. This will connect all three buildings.


The Dome
Step 10:
Skorne building domes are shallow. To make this use the tops of push lights. Take the building forms into a store and find a push light of the appropriate size (10A).

Step 11:
Disassemble the push light and take out the cap. Trim off the edge using clippers or a rotary tool. This will be the top of the dome (11A).

Step 12: Sand down the edges (12A).

Step 13: Add seam lines to make the dome look as if it were made from sheets of metal (13A). Use thin .030 x .080 polystyrene strips to make the seam lines.

Step 14: Draw a pattern on the push light and glue the strips into place using cyanoacrylate glue. Don't be afraid to vary the patterns of the seam lines on the domes. Make some of them closer together and others further apart (14A). To vary the heights of the domes, stack a smaller one on a larger one.

Step 15: You can also build blind windows. To do this, draw out a pattern and trace it onto plastic card (15A).

Step 16: Trim these out and glue them onto a sheet of plastic card. Glue this in lace and add a small push light to the top and you have a different kind of dome (16A). Some skorne buildings have cones on the tops of their domes. If you want to add a cone, find any appropriate sized piece and glue it on. In this case I used the cap from a piece of novelty candy. (16B & 16C)

Step 17: The bottom portion of the dome fits into the upper section. To make the lower section I turned to my vacuum former. If you don't have a vacuum former, use a smaller-sized push light or read how to make one by reading the Broken Coast tutorial by TheBugKing on this site. Vacuum forming allows your to make a plastic shell copy of many simple objects. To make a copy of the dome light I heated up a sheet of 1mm PVC foam (17A).

Step 18: Next, the plastic is placed on the object I want to copy. In this case the push light. The vacuum former sucks the plastic down and makes a copy of it. (18A &18B)

Step 19: Using a hobby knife, trim out the dome copy and clean up the edges. (19A & 19B)

Step 20: Insert the smaller dome into the largest one and glue into place (20A).

Step 21: Cut a depression into the top of the building so the dome can sit nicely. Hot glue the dome into place (21A).


The Windows
Step 22:
Make the windows using crochet mesh (22A).

Step 23: Make an arch window pattern and trace this onto the mesh. Trim these out using your hobby knife(23A).

Step 24: Cut these at an angle so it will have a diamond pattern, rather than a square.

Step 25: Use the same window pattern and trace windows onto each of the buildings and cut them out with your hobby knife. Since the inside of each hole will be hard to paint once the mesh is installed paint it now with black paint. You will not have to worry about this if your building is made out of foam board.

Step 26: When the paint is dry, use hot glue to secure the mesh in place (26A).


The Doors
Step 27:
Cut a 1" x 2" rectangle out of plastic card. Trim the top so it has a dome-like appearance rather than a square. This will become the door's backing. (27A & 27B)

Step 28: Attach .0416" x .125" bass wood strips to the plastic card using Cyanoacrylate glue. (28A, 28B & 28C)

Step 29: Use your hobby knife to trim the bass wood to the shape of the plastic card door (29A).

Step 30: Use the back of your hobby knife or a small saw to add wood grain texture to the strips.

Step 31: Place the door on thin plastic card and trace around it.

Step 32: Draw decorative iron work onto this piece and cut it out. To make this look like a Skorne building use a lot of sharp angles and curves. For inspiration look at pictures of Skorne models (32A).

Step 33: Cut this out using your hobby knife and glue it on (33A).

Step 34: Use a rivet punch to make tiny rivets out of plastic card. Attach these to the door using plastic glue. (34A & 34B)

Step 35: Make the door handles by shaping wire into a staple shape (35A). Drill small holes into the wood using the tip of your hobby knife or a small drill and glue the door handle into place.

Step 36: Cut a hole in the building where you want the door and glue it in place with hot glue (36A).


Connecting the Buildings
Step 37:
The tower will be connected to one of the buildings. To do this, cut two large triangle pieces and one rectangle piece out of foam board. The size of your pieces will depend on the size of the gap you need to fill to join the two buildings. Hot glue these into place. Don't worry about little gaps because it will all be filled in later. (37A & 37B)

Step 38: Make a bridge to connect the other two buildings to the tower. To make the walls, cut out a 6" x 2" piece of foam board. Cut an arch into the middle of the bridge (38A).

Step 39: Make the floor by cutting a piece of foam board 7" x 2". To make the floor conform to the arch score the foam every 1/2" along the 7" length (39A).

Step 40: Glue the floor to the bottom of the bridge.

Step 41: Using hot glue, attach the bridges to the buildings.

Step 42: To add some variety to the building, make a covered entrance. Use a permanent marker to mark out where you want your door. Trim this out using a rotary tool (42A).

Step 43: Place a piece of paper into the hole and trace the trimmed edge of the light cap on the paper.

Step 44: Take this pattern and transfer it onto plastic card. Cut this out and glue it in place. (44A & 44B)

Step 45: Add doors to the second floor (45A).

Step 46: The building is now ready to be covered in clay. (46A & 46B)


The Adobe
Step 47:
Cover the outsides of the entire structure with Aves Apoxie Sculpt. Apoxie Sculpt is a two-part self-hardening synthetic clay (47A).

Step 48: Mix up a batch and work on one building at a time. Apoxie Sculpt has a working time of 2 hours (48A).

Step 49: Spread it on the buildings using your fingers. Be sure to press into the foam and make sure it has adhered properly.

Step 50: Dip your fingers in water to help you sooth out the surface. If the clay is sticking too much to your fingers use Aves Apoxie Safety Solvent. This product is specifically formulated for use with Apoxie Sculpt and will help smooth out the surfaces and keep the clay from sticking to your tools.

Step 51: Use a sculpting tool around the windows and doorways to help build up the surface (51A).

Step 52: Take your time and add window hoods and ledges (52A).

Step 53: If you want your building to look old add cracks in the surface with a sculpting tool.


Skorne Reliefs
Step 54:
Adding reliefs to this structure will really sell it as a Skorne building. First, start by looking at the Skorne models and illustrations in the books for inspiration.

Step 55: Draw a simple pattern on a piece of paper and place it on the building to make sure you like it.

Step 56: Make any adjustments you need to your design.

Step 57: Applying the design to the building can be done in many ways. The first is to sculpt it on.

Step 58: To sculpt it, first apply a thin layer of Apoxie Sculpt.

Step 59: Next, lightly draw the design on the Apoxie Sculpt with a pencil.

Step 60: Take your sculpting tool and start to press around the design. Be sure to smooth out the edges around your design (60A).

Step 61: Another way to make your relief is to carve it on. To do this, draw the design on your building with a pencil. Then take a carving tool and start removing material.

Step 62: The final way to apply your design is to make a stamp. Apply a think layer of Apoxie Sculpt and carefully stamp your design into place.

Step 63: When you are done set the building aside to dry for 24 hours.

Step 64: Then sand the building down to remove any rough spots and use spray or paint on primer. (64A, 64B, 64C & 64D)

Now your building is ready to paint and you will have a truly unique terrain piece for your gaming table.

Additional Ideas
To add more variety to your Skorne buildings you can change the shapes of the cones on the domes. Make them taller and sharper looking, or you can go in the opposite direction and add an onion dome. On the building's surface you can add more metal work, torches or lanterns.

Painting Tips
Eastern Immoren is a hot and dry place. Be sure to reflect this in your paint scheme. Paint your adobe structure to look bleached or dry. The metal work shouldn't be rusty. Your bronze or copper domes will not have the strong bluish green patina. Instead it will look more like an old penny.

To make the surface of this Skorne building look weather beaten, I painted the band where the reliefs are and sanded down the carvings.