I managed to get the wooden carcass of my mill building covered with DAS Modelling Clay over the last couple of evenings and tonight I started to work on the surface of the model to give it some detail.
After the clay has dried this method of construction gives the in progress model a touch of the Michelin Man: it looks lumpy and a little “fat”. I took to the surface with some rough glass-paper tonight and filed the window and door apertures to a rough approximation of square and it’s started to look like a building.
As I was sanding the surface of the model by hand this evening, and getting covered in a fine white dust in the process, it did strike me as slightly ironic that I’d spent the past four evenings carefully covering the box in DAS only to sand about half of it back off again. It’s quite easy to go a bit overboard with this stage in the process so sanding with an electric sander really wouldn’t be advisable. I managed to sand a slight concave trench into the surface of the leading corner and only noticed this after I’d brought the model back into the house from the garage where I was working on it and looked at it a bit more closely under good light. You can just see the pencil lines bend slightly in the inside corner (near the shadow) if you look carefully at the photo. No real harm done. You don’t notice it looking at the model from normal viewing angles.
I drew in some pencil lines to represent the sandstone block foundation. Originally I was going to make these blokes about 3’x2′ but the marks looked too big so I cut the size down to 26″x1′. I scribed in the long horizontal lines and then started to scribe in the short courses using pencil reference marks drawn in every 7.5mm and using a machinist’s square.
Because these scribed lines are supposed to represent coarse sandstone blockwork in a fairly old building, and one where the foundation gets wet from the rising river water on a fairly regular basis, I don’t want the course lines or the faces of the blocks to be too neat. The label C shows the horizontal course lines without the vertical lines scribed in and B shows these lines added. The cracks and fissures you can see in the surface of the DAS under C and B are not something I’ve added but the result of just applying and sanding the DAS. In the area under the label A I’ve started to hack lightly into the edges of the course lines and chop away at the face of the blocks. The DAS is very soft (not crumbling but very easy to work) and you can add this type of detail very easily. It’s a pleasure to work on at this stage.