Monday, October 20, 2008

Super Sculpey Building - Round 1

So this is something I've wanted to try for a while now. I have always wanted to find a system for making houses time- and cost-efficiently. I purchased some Linka molds , but those seem to be better suited to 15mm-20mm scale (they work great for Flames of War). Then I came across this tutorial over on TMP. It was for 15mm, but I thought it would work great for my WWI stuff. I wanted to have a decent number of French townhouses so that I could do a little more urban gaming with my WWI figs.

I picked up some Super Sculpey and set to work making the first level of an early 20th century building...

To start, I sketched out a rough idea of what kind of building I was going to make, then made some measurements on the rough sketch (the sketch can be seen in the background in the image below). I then use the sketch and measurements as a guide and drew out the plan of each wall on card stock. I envisioned a townhouse-style building with a shop of some sort on the first floor. I decided to make it a corner shop, and drew up a plan that put a picture windows on two adjoining sides.

Also, at this point I might mention that I bought a glass cutting board at Wal-Mart and I am using that as a makeshift drafting board, and it will also be what the scupley is cut out on and what goes into the oven. I was looking for something that was smooth, as flat as possible, and could withstand the oven and the cutting board seemed to fit the bill.

I then cut out the plan with an Exacto knife and ruler.

These are the finished card stock templates. The townhouse will be a square 4" and 2" high per floor. These dimensions match with the Ruined Brick Corner Townhouse that i have from Miniatures Building Authority.

The first step in the sculpting process was planning a Sam-Fisher-style covert operation to retrieve the polytetrafluoroethylene-coated cylindrical pressure-exertion apparatus from the kitchen without my wife's knowledge.

I then followed the basic directions from that TMP link. I used a double-thickness of hardboard to control the depth of the Scupley as I rolled it out.

The double thickness seemed like it would be too thick, and I would be able to make more buildings if I used less clay, so I rerolled the sculpey using only one thickness.

The final thickness was about 1/8 of an inch.

I got so wrapped up in cutting it out that I forgot to take any pictures of the process. It's pretty obvious, though. I laid the templates on the rolled-out scupley and cut it out with the Exacto knife. It's a cutting board so I wasn't worried about scratching it. After the first couple of cuts, I did use my metal rule over the template to make the lines a little straighter and preserve the card stock. The card stock could flex slightly or be shaved by the exacto knife. It wasn't too difficult, though.

After cutting out the pieces, I left them where they were and baked them. There seem to be hundreds of recipes for baking scupley on the Intertron, and a lot of them start off with something to the effect of "First, throw out the directions on the box..." I actually decided to follow the directions on the box and it seems to have worked out fine. 275 degrees for 15 minutes...

Here are the final pieces propped up with my MBA buildings. It looks like this just might work!

Until next time...


Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

Oh so cool! Your buildings look great! I love how you stole your wife's 'cylindrical pressure-exertion apparatus' from the kitchen!! LOL Just make sure you clean it well before you return it or your next pie will take like plastic... and that can't be good for the body! ;-)

Nick said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Cindy. Stay tuned, because my objective is to make this a 3-story townhouse. We'll see how that goes!