Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Strange Aeons: Dave Graffam Print n Fold Cardstock Buildings



I wanted to share these PDF print-on-cardstock buildings I picked up from Dave Graffam Models. Look, seeing and playing is believing. I didn't think I would get such a great match for the other Strange Aeons terrain I have been building, much less in card stock terrain, both in terms of value and appearance. But I did! Check it out...


I have been wanting to do something like an Innsmouth board for Strange Aeons. I didn't want to put out hundreds of dollars for resin or plastic kits. I saw Dave Graffam's PDF kits and DL'd the free Coach House, the aesthetic of which seemed to match the tone of my Strange Aeons stuff really well (Gothic horror, 1920's New England.)

My main concern was how resilient the card stock would be, not the build itself. So I made the coach house according to directions using matte Mod Podge and based it on MDF, finishing it with texture paint, some balsa flagstone and the usual flock treatment. This would let me see how sturdy it was with no modification.



Frankly, it looks so damn great you can forget it's card stock and also, free. The only thing I did to the building itself was darken where any white paper shows through in the corners. I used Army Painter Strong Tone, which the paper drinks up without wrinkling. Once based, it is strong enough to hold up to most gaming. Yes, it is card stock and yes, you can demolish it. But it came out really strong when based. I would not put an old GW metal dred on it but you probably could. The PDF plans also average 3 or 4 bucks US for as many models (with variations) as you want to print and build, so you can't argue with that, really. Every so often the 2D sorta jumps out at you from strange angles or the roofs catch sheen under the right angle of light. But that is so infrequent so as to matter much.

Did I mention the buildings look great?

Build time averages about 40 minutes to an hour for most kits. After a few, I managed assembly of a few buildings in a sitting. And it was fun!

Even without any ink on the folds on these two other buildings, they look pretty damn fine. Some finishing and basing will take them over the top and fill up a table fast and beautifully.
Calling the Coach House a success, I bought about US$20.00 of plans and that got me an Inn, a Church, ruined Church, Maritime buildings pack, some warehouses, outhouses, cobblestone roads, sheds and such. I have been really impressed with the ability to change graphic layers before printing, to add different features like windows, doors, weathering, stucco or wood features and other details. With that editing and some creative cutting, you can easily vary these buildings and make a village with just a handful of plans, in less time and less money than plastic or resin kits.

I can see using these for Strange Aeons, Warmahordes and Bolt Action, to name a few. Note too that all plans come with a print scaler, so you can easily make these bigger or smaller for different scales.

Grab a metal ruler, some cardstock and Mod Podge and the free PDF's yourself, using the link above.




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