I like Hirst Arts blocks. I know some people have problems with them, but some people also like to hear their own voices gonging around in their heads just for the hell of it. To those people I say "Fie on you!"
With a little imagination and some forethought, Hirst Arts can be the basis of exceptional pieces, lending a titanic and substantial quality to a model, that cardboard or thin plastic cannot convey. Of course, at the same time the pieces can look blocky and heavy, without any real attempt at architectural interest or significance.
Like something Albert Speer might have made out of Lego.
In my opinion, restricting yourself to only Hirst Arts when modelling may lead to exactly that sort of feel. I have found that following the maxim of "there are no hard and fast rules to modelling" has helped.
This was a neat little ruin, built for CBW as part of a much larger cityscape, which will eventually develop into a 6x4 foot table (if not larger).
I then hacked a hole in the lower floor and fashioned a burst grill from a GW photo-etch set. Just for a bit of atmosphere.
The dome was built after pieces were hacked out using a set of cutters to make the sniper hole. All these elements were then left to dry, as I built the floor of the dome using spare bits of wood from old ship models. Once the floor was built, I made it look like it had been destroyed by . . . destroying it. I twisted it until parts snapped and bent, and then set it alight with a butane lighter. Love the smell of butane in the workroom, smells like . . . modelling.
A surface of gravel and sand was spread out over the ground and floors, leaving the embossed plasticard to show the brickwork.
The rubble was a combination of resin pieces from Reality in Scale (cheers, Otto), pieces of shattered Hirst Arts bricks and columns, and bricks from a weekly collectible magazine that builds a medieval castle (after 100 weeks and about a thousand bucks - I gave up after about 6 weeks, although I do have the complete Fokker Triplane kit from the same company if anyone is interested, unmade and unopened - would like to sell, I'll don't have time - there is a website with a weekly how-to for it. Follow this link: http://www.wakelin.org/redbaron/magazineframe.htm).
As I laid the rubble down, I was aware of the need to have plenty of room for figures to be standing behind the cover provided. The apse will take a terminator base, the dome fits a sniper, plenty of space in and around the ruins for all manner of figure.
Painting was relatively simple. Sprayed various shades of brown, sand and black, in almost a camouflage style all over the model. Left the dome and wooden floor off to make it easier to paint and treated them in the same manner.
While these were drying, I made the bronze nameplate, out of plasticard and plastic lettering, and Scibor resin Templar shields. The plastic lettering came from Slater'sPlastikard (follow the link: https://slatersplastikard.com/index.php ). I bent the pasticard sheet first.
I'm sorry, it's been a long day.
Anyhoo, after the paint has dried and, apparently, the fumes have dissapated, I dry-brushed like a bandit from a mix of brick red, tan, yellow and white, with a touch of black to dirty it up, through several layers , lightening all the time, throwing in some yellow or a bit of blue as my taste dictated until the final colour is as you see, sort of a dirty, battle-scarred, smog-blasted sandstone, very familiar to Sydney-siders (battle-scarred, not so much - peaceful place, Sydney, great for a visit, beautiful city, pissing down rain at the moment and cold - love it).
The wooden floor gets a drybrush as well as does the brickwork on the floors, using more red and tan in the mix, with a lighter yellow-brown highlight, and blackened at the edges.
Once all the elements were put together I was well pleased with the outcome. It can be considered complete, but there are a few things I might add, like a bit of foliage, vines up the front wall in places, grass tufts, just to age the piece a little, and maybe a bit more rubble on the dome level. The idea of some tattered battle flags is tempting as well, but one must be careful not to gild the lily. Detailling is fun, but also can be a pit of despair and can lead you into ever-decreasing circles of "touch-up".
You got to know when enough is enough.
So enough for now. But just wait until I start the step-by-step on the Moghul fort. You will all eat your heads with jealousy.