Monday, August 01, 2011

The Governors Mansion, and town terrain extras

Well it has been quite a long slog this one, with a few interruptions along the way, but I am finally happy enough to post pics of my Governors Mansion that I have been busy with for the last month or so...

For those who missed the earlier post, the construction is from 5mm foamboard, and thin card for the roof. Balsa for doors, and window frames and shutters, plastic mesh for window frame inners.

Recent construction work; the chimneys are dense foam covered in polyfilla, and a brick pattern etched with a dremel. The chimney pots are styrene tube. The door pillars are wood dowel.

Here's the front, and two sides of the building highlighted. The rear is exactly the same as the front, except its waiting for a clock face that I wish to add on the rear gable.

Mansion front

A lot of chimneys? I was in two minds to put chimneys on it, but watching Pirates of the Caribbean, for the umpteenth time, there is scene where Cutler Beckitt has his branding irons in the fire, so they obviously had fires in the Caribbean. On top of this as I was busy building it, my good friend Roly had popped over and was inspecting progress of the roof, and mentioned; "you are going to put chimneys on it?". So I guess they had to be done. The more I thought about it the more I realized a big building like this would need a fire in most rooms to keep the residents, guests and servants warm, so I ended up figuring 12 as positioned looked about right. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I think it works.

Mansion mermaid side

Knowing I needed some form of decoration for the gable ends, Roly had another idea of 'Rococo' period stuff, so cherubs, angels and the like. I was going to add these to either side of the Shield on the gable front, but then I decided they may be a bit too 'gay' for this (either meaning of the word does here I think!). So I settled on dolphins, to give it a Caribbean feel.

So the rococo stuff went on the gables ends at the wings; I picked a Cherub and a Mermaid. I quite like the effect.

Mansion Cupid side

So there's just the Clock face to figure out for the rear gable.

Pirates approach mansion door

Here some pirates come to attack the mansion and perchance kidnap the Governors Daughter! Perspective in the shot has made the door look slightly small. They are in fact 3cm tall.

Coat of Arms over entrance

The only thing I am unsure of here is whether to add words to the scroll-work below the Arms. Perhaps 'Dieu et mon Droit'? I might see if I can find a suitable pen to do this with...

mermaid rococo detail

Cupid rococo detail

All this detailing was done using sheet styrene (from Macks Track), cut to shape, from silhouette template images downloaded, and resized using photo-shop, from the internet.

Back to the roof, one of the lengthiest parts of the build was doing the roof. Not that I kept a running record, but a quick count of rows, and tiles per row afterwards, I estimate there's about 1200 1cm square tiles that were cut out, and stuck on. And yes you can bet those 4 angled joins were a positive pain in the posterior to work through, not to mention fitting them round the 12 chimneys too!

Governors mansion central to port

And here's how the building sits within the town.

What I may also do, is build up the base of the mansion, to give a dias of ascending steps to the door. Another thought was to provide a separate 'grounds' with walled/railing-ed perimeter, gardens and roadway to door with fountained coach turning circle.... But at least at present it is in a useable form.

Fishing net repair

In the midst of this mansion building work, I also started and finished a couple of other smaller projects. I made some frames where fishing nets could be strung up for repairs. The frames are modelling match sticks and the netting is wedding dress veil material, stained in two differing techniques to see if effect worked. One was teabags the other was PVA glue, thinned with dark brown Wash. Both worked quite well. The nets were PVA glued to frames once dry.

Nets with pirates

I also realized my port town needed a source of fresh drinking water so I made a well. Balsa, card and dense foam covered with polyfilla and etched with a dremel for the well itself.


Another shot of the town. You can probably also see the palm trees I finally received; a bag of 160. I've done the first 30 based singly. The rest I'll do in clumps.

The port town

They were bought from an ebay trader based in china, selling model railway modelling supplies.

plastic 9cm tall palm trees

The basic palm tree is just plastic. I trimmed any plastic flash from the leaves with snips. The trunks had a mould line down either side. This I scraped off which made the plastic go 'furry'. I realized I couldn't get rid of this furriness and not wanting to cut it smooth otherwise that would look bad as well, I decided to scrape down the entire trunk on all facings to give the whole trunk a rough furry texture. This was then painted with dark brown paint and PVA mix, and highlighted once dry. The leaves were also drybrushed with a lighter green. I am rather pleased with how they have come out once based (on 3mm mdf disks). I am just dreading doing the remaining 130!

Ah well, that's several projects done and virtually there. I can now press on with my Brig.


  1. Fantastic...! Simply brilliant Scot!

    The mansion is a wonderfull center piece in your town and I am sure the final result pays back all the hard work. Congrats!!!

  2. Looking really good Scott. You have been a busy man. Palm trees and animals finish it off very well.

  3. Scott
    that looks awesome,I love all the little details bravo!

  4. *Pharaonic* with a cornucopia of fully 'in character' minutiae!

  5. Great. great job, it's all working well together. Some top notch details there, fish nets are a brilliant idea!

  6. Well done! The finished mansion looks great! I almost want to get my ass kicked again just to get a closer look...

  7. Thanks all for your kind comments. Always appreciated.

  8. Simply amazing stuff. The flourishes like the fishing nets really takes it up a level. That was a great idea!

  9. Outstanding work that man. The whole pirate set-up looks superb. Should be great fun to game on.
    Looking forward to some thrilling narratives.

  10. What a great centre-piece for your layout, Scott!
    A building like that is very versatile and can be used for plenty of different periods. I hate to think how many hours it took to get it to this standard. Well done and I'll be looking out for the completed brig.

  11. Since you like Pirates AND Science-Fiction...

    Lacepunk skyships
    (The Three Musketeers - 2011).

    One of the multiple facets of 'weirdness in the Tricornes era'

    'Pirates' are certainly the most popular of 'swashbuckling' games, and it's not uncommon for Pirates to encounter undeads of various types, King Kong-sized Godzilla type monsters...
    So it's only a matter of 'taking the plunge' and having the same 'liberty' on dry (main)land.

    Then, by the mid 18th C. vast parts of the Pacific Ocean were still to be explored, thus odd human races and cultures can be waiting for your daring adventurers in tricornes on a 'New Continent'. Or, alternatively, in an underground 'Lost Wold at the Earth Core', Pellucidar -fashion...

    Developed in a TMP post..

    Hope to be 'intriguing', if not 'inspirational' :) :) :)


  12. Very interesting Skyships Jean-Louis. Beautiful.

    I can't help wonder what keeps them up. Balloons of the period would have used hot air surely? Yet these Zeppelin like craft could not have used hot air? And I doubt they would have had access to Hydrogen or Helium...

    Still if you suspend reality...

  13. Excellent terrain! Quite like the fishing nets...


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