Friday, May 22, 2015

Crescent Root Studios - conversions

This past Christmas, I treated myself to a Crescent Root purchase (see blog post here). While quite happy with the quality of the laser-cutting and painting, I did have a few reservations about the models. First, the corner pins. At first glance, this is a clever idea. Each interior corner is held together with a metal pin that slips down into holes on each piece, as seen in the photo below (from the Crescent Root Studios website). This is meant to make the buildings easy to break down and make more manageable for storage. As I said, clever. However, big clumsy fingers make what may seem an easy task...well, frankly...a pain in the arse! I quickly decided that I would permanently fix the walls together. Not a small task but relatively simple. This included carpenter's glue at the wall corners and super-gluing the metal pegs into their inserts.

The second issue I had with the models was the roofs. While quite nicely rendered and painted, they still sported the locking tabs (in similar fashion to 4Ground and others). I certainly don't blame Crescent Root for this since they are clearly visible in the photos on the site (and in the photo above, where you can see the insert holes in the roof piece). This one falls squarely in my lap. For such an otherwise lovely set buildings, I wanted to avoid the roof peg inserts. It was then I decided to order some Warbases roof tiles and re-do the roofs.

Some action shots with the Crescent Root buildings. Quite lovely in the before shots...the contrast in the roofs with the after photos below is striking. In particular, the second shot above shows clearly the roof peg inserts.

The first task was to make the roofs one piece structures. They come as two pieces but I wanted to be able to lift the entire roof structure off in one motion. Some off-cuts of bass wood and carpenter's glue provided interior supports. There was no need to be precise and fancy with this step.

 The roof tiling in progress. The Warbases tile sheets are thin cardboard, laser-cut in various tile designs. Simply clip them from the letter-sized sheet and glue in overlapping rows. This can be rather tedious but curiously soothing at the same time.

The finished tiling with a peak cap added from thin card. Already this is a considerable aesthetic improvement.

And sitting atop the now permanently-constructed walls.

Before progressing with the roofs, I decided to also reinforce the buildings themselves. They come with no interior floor on the bases so in order to strengthen the whole, I cut a thin card base to fit and glued it on. The entire structure now is quite sturdy.

The newly-added roof tiles were base-coated in black and dry-brushed with two (or three?) greys.

Then was added a thin blue-grey ink wash. As with the dry-brushing, I was careful not to attempt a uniform covering. I much prefer a rather haphazard application of all dry-brushing and ink layers. This makes for more pleasing result (to my eye, at least).

Next up were some thin sepia and green ink washes. 

And the final result!

This is not the end of conversions for these buildings. I plan to add some posters etc to the exterior walls. However, I want to make them usable for England or the continent (France, actually). French posters would not look good in a sleepy English village (and vice-versa). I'm toying with the idea of magnetized posters that can be swapped out, depending on the locale. As well, perhaps some bases. Currently, the two largest structures sit atop wooden platforms. But if I want to use them without the platforms, I'd prefer bases to match my other buildings. I may just create the bases and have the buildings detachable in this case.

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