Scratchbuilt cottage

“Process, not product” is one of those saying we use a lot in my house. It is about how sometimes it is the way we do something that matters more than the final, end effect. It would not be difficult to print out a small cottage, complete with intricate detail and playable interior, in a day. But I have been missing more of the creative element, and since I am not working towards some goal like “build x number of terrain pieces” but rather just “enjoy my hobby,” I decided to learn more to do detailed terrain from scratch.

This piece is made from foamcore, XPS (extruded polystyrene foam), and taskboard (the underlay of the roof). I carved the “grain” on the wood, and added texture to the stucco walls. The shingles are made from XPS cut into very thin strips and then individually notched. This was probably the most time-consuming portion of the process. In the future, I may use a Cricut to cut shingles out of heavy cardstock instead.

The cottage is pretty small, only 3″ by 5″ of a footprint. I’ve actually been a fan or smaller, even under-scale buildings, especially with wargaming, because it adds more options and diversity visually. It’s simple math: a 4″ by 4″ building and a 3″ by 3″ building uses the same table space as a single 5″ by 5″ building. Sure it isn’t realistic, but it does make for a more interesting looking table.

All told, it was a good learning experience and in terms of “process” I feel good about tackling a new skill. I’m going to continue growing this skill set over the upcoming year.

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