Friday, 8 November 2013

Middle Eastern village in cork

In the words of 6mmPhil at LAF:
I swear this is some form of hypnotic control developed by Matakishi, however to what ends I couldn't say, but there's many gamers who've disappeared under piles of cork buildings never to be seen again. It starts with just a couple of small buildings, works it's way up to a town scape and then before you know it you've bought enough cork tiles to cover a football pitch and your home is packed with buildings of every type and there's not enough room to move.  
The only cure, partial as it is, means encouraging other folk to start modelling with cork too, so welcome to the sinister cult club.
Oh yes, I can attest to the  appeal of creating cork buildings - I've spent every 'spare' moment (for me, they are rare) thinking or doing something related to my current cork building project and have more than once, started planning for other projects to follow!

The current project is a Middle Eastern village which will see use in my Pulp Alley adventures to come. During the project, I have realised the range of uses (other than the multitude of Pulp opportunities) that they may have: colonial; modern skirmishes – giving me a great excuse to purchase some Eureka Miniatures 'modern range including the excellent Afghans and Somalis; and, possible Sci-Fi uses.

The basic shells of the buildings appeared quite quickly. The great challenges have been learning how to add sufficient detail to make them interesting and to paint them appropriately. I went down the path of using paint only rather than using a textured finish under the paint. 

Learning on the job has lead to too many coats of paint going on. :( They started a red earth colour, then morphed to a rich, sandy yellow, then to antique white (was looking better by now but lacking depth), then a raw umber wash (to pick up the texture again) and finally with a dry brush of antique white with a hint of Vallejo dark sand.

In future, I'll just paint with antique white, wash with raw umber then highlight with the antique white tinted with some dark sand. It seems to work OK.

I experimented with a bit of faded colour on the two story building (in the style used by Matakishi) and a small domed building (trying to capture a faded orange-red paint job). I think with some follow-up to mute the colour a little more the two story building it will be OK. I'm not happy with the orange-red dry brush on the central building - it's likely to go back to the standard white at some stage.

Anyway, some pictures (not the best, sorry, only had my phone on hand):

The village has a main administration building in the foreground, its Mosque in the rear right, and the market in the centre and top left. Of course, the whole thing is modular so can take many shapes.

The compound for the main administration building. I will eventually create a wall section with double gates to close it off completely giving it the opportunity of being used as a stylised Afghan compound as detailed by Matakishi

I'm planning on using the red washed building as your typical Den of Iniquity where all sorts of favours and troubles can be found! As I mention above, I'm thinking of going back to the white wash look.
The main market area will soon have many canopies on the buildings and some central under cover stalls as well.

I've recently stumbled across this British Pathé film of life in an Egyptian village (1940-49) which will be used for further inspiration. The first stand out feature is the amount of palms and plans in the village - have a look! 

Another challenge I have to overcome is whether I base the buildings (which would assist with fixing the canopies to the market buildings), or whether to leave them as they are and devise a way to make the canopies self supporting (eg. diagonal struts to the side of the building). One problem with moving to bases is it makes the use of the modular wall sections a little more difficult as they will need to sit up on the base and this will leave a gap underneath between building bases.

I'll post again when I've make the next step.

Any comments and ideas most welcome!


  1. great work. i'm fine with buildings in different colors as it adds variety. as far as canopies - just base them so that they could be used either as building enterances or as market stalls.

  2. Thanks for your comments Tom and Pete. @ Pete, great idea. I'm up in the early morning pondering this one - love your idea and am off to give it a go. Will post the results. I lost the faith overnight about the colours and have repainted! Ha ha. Cheers, Alan.

  3. Good work. I think varied colours works, but so do similar tones.