Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Building Sarissa Old West Buildings.

Yesterday, I announced my recent decision to start collecting mdf-buildings for my gaming purposes, and that I had already purchased and started assembling some Sarissa Prescision Old West models.

Today, I am going to take you through building such a model. I know, most readers of this humble blog could probably easily figure out their own best practise for this, but I'd still like to share my experience.

First step is to remove the parts from the mdf-sheets. The parts are held in place by some tiny 'pegs' or 'tabs' left there in the laser-cutting process. The larger parts can be removed by force quite safely, but the more delicate pieces. like window frames, door frames, and the supports for the porch 'awnings', need a gentlier approach.

I prefer to use my trusty X-Acto to take care of all the little pegs, best done form the backside of the mdf-sheet.


After removing the parts from the mdf-sheets, it is time to remove the leftovers of the pegs. I use a P80 sandpaper, then a P240 to smooth out the surface.

I also sand all edges with the P240; it makes the buildings less clean-cut, and it also provides an instant highlight.



The Sarissa Old West buildings almost all have a flat roof- For some reason, only known to himself, the designer has left the roofs completely devoid of features, apart from the 'slot' that fits over a tab in the back wall. It would have been so much nicer with some texture, but I guess it would be easy to paint it as tar paper.

However, a pitched roof upgrade is available for all the basic 'main street buildings', containing an alternative back wall, two roof supports, the roof, obviously, and a door frame.



For this building, I opted for the upgrade, and I have thought up a little trick for those:

I sand down the tabs holding the roof pieces in place by about half a millimeter.



This means that a shallow recess is left where the tabs are connected - and thus I can use filler to make the otherwise rather unattractive joins disappear.


Using the upgrade kit, I suddenly have TWO door frames, which is rather handy, as you will see quite soon.

I use an old size 1 (or maybe a very worn size 2) brush to apply un-thinnd PVA glue to the backside of the door frames (or any other ornaments)


And then apply them to the outer walls.


AND the extra door frame goes on the inside to mark the door, which will be a boon when gaming. Later, when I add interior details, I shall of course decorate the door adequately.



Window frames are done the same way. Excess glue is wiped off with a wet tissue, alternatively removed with the tip of the X-Acto blade when slightly dry.

What looks like window glass, here, is actually just a newspaper photo...


When the glue on all the ornamenting has dried up properly, it's time to put up th outer walls. The building is all but finished by now.

As you can see in the picture, though, this building is designed with an 'awning' over the porch/sidewalk, so I'll have to attend to that one when the glue is dry.


Apart from the flat, featureless roofs, the design of the awnings is my only real point of criticism; the supports do not have tabs to connect to the roof, and the post holes in the sidewalk are too large for a snug fit, making this last step in the construction process the only slightly frustrating part.

In this picture, you can see what the tiny 'tabs' look like before sanding.


Although in my book a design flaw, it is a minor nuissance, and with a bit of patience - and making sure that the model sits on a flat surface - a nice result can still be obtained.

The finished building can be seen between the other two 'stores' in the picture below. You can also see, that I hadn't figured out the little trick with the roof support tabs when assembling the shack - I shall just have to see what I can do about it when I get around to painting the roof...


That is all for now. I hope this has been useful information for anyone considering to get some of the Sarissa stuff for their Old West setting - I shall not be looking for anything else than mdf when buying buildings in the future, that is for sure!

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