Scratchbuilt 1/72 WW2 North Africa Building

Here’s a step by step guide to how I made my buildings for the ISM Eye Spy Group Build.

Materials & Tools

2mm card, 1mm card, balsa wood, wire mesh, super glue, PVA glue, craft knife, ruler, 5mm graph paper, ready mixed polyfilla, paints.

I mark out my templates on 5mm graph paper and transfer them to the card by pricking a pin at every corner and then joining the dots.
This is just a Hollywood style front piece – it’s intended to sit at the back of the dio so there’s no point modelling a side that won’t be seen. The stairs were cut from 2mm card and sandwiched together with PVA
I backed the windows with a fine mesh grill attached with superglue.
Next I cut small blocks of balsa to represent the roof beams that protrude through the side of the building
The roof was glued in place and the model clamped with a rubber band while it sets.
A door was made from thin strips of card and glued in from behind. The whole thing was left to dry ready for texturing.
A thin layer of ready mixed polyfilla is used to cover the brickwork and a few heavy lines are carved into the still wet filler.
As the filler dries, you can begin to refine the detail. Remove any lumps that look out of scale and clean up around the doors and windows

Keep checking the build against scale figures as you progress.

Creating brickwork at this scale is painstaking and seldom looks right. I’ve simply cross hatched my cuts randomly to give the impression of bricks. Odd bricks can be given special attention to give interest to the surface.

Painting was a complete ‘put paint on and see what happens’. I knew I wanted to end up with a sandy yellow but wanted to vary the tones a little.

Start with a dark sand for shadows

Next, a base coat of warm sand was applied.
Random patches of sandy yellows where airbrushed to mottle the base coat

Once that had dried, I applied a gloss coat and let that dry too.

I washed the whole thing with UMP light dirt, which toned everything down nicely and settled into the detail.

Next UMP Mud was used to blotch the surface and highlight nice bits of stonework
Finally, the whole thing was lightly dry brushed with a light sand to tie everything together.

If you’re interested in how I put together a base to go with these building, check out my latest tutorial.

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