Friday, March 29, 2013

Save 50% off Selected Paper Models

Until April 2nd, save half off some of the largest and most popular model kits and maps from Dave Graffam Models. This sale is in effect at Wargame Vault, RPGNow and DriveThruRPG.

Included in this sale are the Inventor's House, Rake's Corner Map, Cobblestone Streets Map, Townhouse, Village Chapel, Watch Tower, West Gate, Willow Brook Inn, Ruined Church, Wrecked House, and Bunker Deluxe Kit.

Visit the Dave Graffam Models catalog at Wargame Vault:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Country Brewery work begins

I started working on a new model, just a few hours after publishing my last one. I'm on a roll, apparently.

The Country Brewery is one that I've had in the back of my mind for a while, and folks have mentioned their interest in something like this ever since I hinted that I might design one.

Right now I'm still working out the geometry, and I do everything in 2D to start with, so even I won't know what it really looks like until I assemble my first test model. But it's looking good so far. I'm going to include some fun 3D details to make it really interesting and quirky, which is something that has worked for me before with big models like the West Gate and the Inventor's House.

My inspiration for this model comes partly from the Greenberry Tavern in Corvallis, Oregon. It's a watering hole a couple of miles up the road from where I live. It has a funky shape and a certain vibe that always draws my eye when I pass it (I've only stopped in twice, not much of a drinker...). I may ask the owners if I can take some photos of the red-painted walls and some other features and incorporate those into the Country Brewery.

Anyway, nothing to show yet, but I'll post pictures of my progress, as it happens!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Frontier Barn update #2

Roof moss on the Frontier Barn. Think I'm finally getting the hang of it!

Frontier Barn update #1

The roof moss took forever! Well, it seemed like it, anyway. But to get believable looking moss, you have to get in between the shingles, and that takes a lot of patience.

The trick I'm using here is one I use a lot. I start with a bright color, in th
is case pink. I create a new layer, and paint (in pink) all of the areas where I want the moss to go.

Then I get a full page of a prepared texture, which happens to be a layer of grass that I've altered a bit. I lay the prepared texture field over my layer of pink markings. I use the Magic Wand to select "around" the pink markings, then hide that layer (or put it in my "NOT USED" folder of layers). Then I select the layer of grass, and simply Delete the unwanted areas. What I'm left with is "moss" only in the areas where I want it. To give the moss some depth and life, I use Layer Styles: Drop Shadow (or Outer Glow, making sure to set the layer type to Normal instead of Screen), and also some Bevel/Emboss.

I'm pretty sparing when it comes to Layer Styles, since any Photoshop user can detect them when they're used -- or abused.

Looking at the roof of the cottage next door, I can see that I could actually put more moss on the roof of the barn, so I'm going to go back and be more generous with it.

Then, ground textures. I've photographed a bunch of new grounds here in my new place (I rent a cabin on a farm in Oregon) and I'm eager to try them out.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Frontier Barn work in progress

The Frontier Barn is my next paper model project. There's a jutting hayloft hatch on the north wall, a room extension on the south wall, and a cupola. I got the idea for this barn from a couple that I'd seen here in Oregon, my new home. It's a composite of two particular barns, both around the little town of Bellfountain. Yeah, I'd never heard of it either.

Here's a peek at the texture work in progress.

The next step is to hit the whole thing with some Dodge and Burn in Photoshop, which will give some nice shading effects. I also need to work on the ground textures, some moss for the rooftops (I'm going to try to make the moss as realistic as possible, using an all-new technique) and snow layers. That should let this work as a companion model to the Frontier House and Frontier House Winter Edition. Color options will be the two shades you see here, rough gray and brown. Door and window positions will be on their own layers so you can customize those access points. It doesn't really look like it, but there will be a lot of layers on these PDFs...

At the rate things are going, this set will be available by Friday.