Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Small Cottage Tutorial


This is a tutorial that I've been building using Adobe InDesign.  It is for a small cottage that measures about 4.50" x 3.75" in size. I'm still in process but I want to get what I had out there before I forget.  I'll share those using Google Drive eventually.  

Materials, Supplies, and Equipment

I used basswood clapboard and wood-flooring in my project.  I also used some laser-etch spruce for my doors and windows.  In the PDF that I'll provide I've given proxies that can be cut out and used instead.  As for equipment and supplies; these would be the usual suspects such as glue-gun, wood glue, matt-knife, metal ruler, cardstock, cerealbox paper, styrene, foamcore, acrylic paints, paint brushes, etc.

The Photos

Here's what I've got as far as photos.

The Templates

Template for all four walls.
Template for floor. Includes two proxy
floor patterns in lieu of basswood
floorboard material.
The roof and support.

The Walls

Cut out the wall and floor sections from foamcore.

Glue and trim the clapboard to the walls.
Glue and trim the floorboard to the floor.

Clapboard is cut with a direction.
Ensure that the groove is facing down.

Build the chimney. It's about 2" wide at the bottom
and about 6" tall.  About 0.75" wide at the top.
Brick pattern is from this other tutorial

Melt the styrene

Build the hearth.
Score the inside face of the chimney.

Dig out the interior.

Continue this until the hearth is deep enough.

Use the hot-glue gun's nozzle to melt any
remaining particles within the hearth.

Cut a hole in the north wall section about 1" x 1".
It should line up with the chimney stack and hearth.

Build a fire-place out of three pieces of
styrene.  Glue it about 0.25" above the
bottom of the wall.

Here's what it should look like.

Glue the chimney stack to the outside
of the north wall.

Reduce the sides of the walls by removing
about 0.25" of foamcore on the sides.
This will need to be done for the bottom
of the north and south walls as well.

I got these laser-etched windows and door from
Rusty Stumps.  The PDF I'll provide has
proxies for these.
I positioned the door and windows.
The templates can only do so much.

I marked the positions and dimensions.

Here's where I carved the holes.
The door is fixed and doesn't need a portal.

The Roof

Build the roof using cerealbox paper and foamcore.

I built the roof tiles using the technique
identified in an earlier blog entry.

Heres's that join row.

Applied to the top.

Here's the bottom of it all.

After trimming with some heavy scissors.

Painting Early Steps

I primed it with latex black (Krylon H20).

A painted the walls an ochre or medium yellow.

Here's a close-up.  I left some of the black
primer to show through in order to
give a sense of grittiness.

I dry-brushed an off-yellow on all of the
walls.  Here you can see the first coat
of brick-red for the chimney.  I left
some black primer showing here
as well.  Looks more interesting.

I did a green ink wash at the bottom half of three
of the four walls.  The wall with the chimney
I didn't alter.  The idea is that these buildings
had been subject to some wet weather in the past.

After dry-brushing the chimney.

For the floor the base-coat was a medium-brown.

I then dry-brushed it with the off-white.
Afterwards I applied a chestnut ink wash.

I painted the inside walls a bit.

Here you can see I got creative and dry-brushed
some black smudge with some white smudge.

This deep blue was very nice.  The inside walls
had already a funny texture because the
black primer didn't evenly apply.

On the two remaining walls I used the wallpaper
texture.  These will be in the PDF.

After gluing in the door and window(s).
I painted those an off-white.

The inside wall I also added
another laser-etched door.
I glued a small matchstick adjacent
to form a door jamb.

Painting the Roof

I cut a notch for the chimney stack.

After painting a base-coat in medium-gray.

Applied a blue ink wash.

Dry-brushed with white.  It is ready.

Final Assembly

Assemble the walls by gluing them to the floor.
This diagram demonstrates the positioning and
reveals why we need to trim the foamcore earlier.

Playing around with the walls.  Last chance
to do this before everything gets glued together.

Here's everything glued together.

View of the interior.

Another angle.

The north face.  Flash was on; oops.

The south face.  What a beauty!


  1. Thanks, I am going to print this at work and setup to do this after the holidays!

  2. Wow thats looks awesome. Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. Very interesting. Thanks for share it.

  4. Nice job, I'll check out Rusty stumps for those widows and doors.

  5. Could you put this into a PDF to download? I wanted to print out those templates but when I cut and paste to word they go all weird!

  6. @styx; I'm still working on the PDF but I'll have it soon. In the meanwhile try printing the image directly after downloading it. It is at 150 DPI which should be proper resolution.

    @Brummie; you're welcome!

    @Senyor Verd; thanks!

    @Scott; cool. Rusty Stumps 0-scale stuff is 1:48 which fits most 28 - 33 MM figures.

  7. Nice work Robert. The finished product looks great!
    I cross-posted your last few updates on LAF by the way.

  8. Very useful post Robert!

    Looking good!

  9. @aggro84; thanks, buddy. You got me started on this stuff and it seems to be something I like to do. I'm glad that you like these!