Lucky Lunch
by Gisby

I keep finding test shots for laser-cut buildings that eM-4 did a few years ago, LONG before the flood of laser-cut products on the market now.

The other buildings I made with the same front piece can be seen at 'Bailey's Meats' and 'The Cowtown Chronicle.'

I thought I'd use another of them, because they are a nice start to a scratch-built building. I trimmed the triangle decoration off the building front and added a cornice and framing for the door and window.

Once again, I built a flat-roofed building: They are easy to make, and provide a stable space for shootists to gain a bit of elevation.

Long ago I discovered that it's easier to build walls on frames, then trim the boards to size when it is dry. Likewise, I don't cut window or door openings until the walls are assembled.

I started by gluing coffee stirrers to popsicle/lolly sticks uprights, to make the side walls. The height was determined by the corner post on the front of the building, the length was chosen by eye.

The upright braces were set at the correct distance, and the stirrers were glued to them. A bottom brace was added between the uprights. They were left to dry under some books, to prevent warping.

When dry, they were trimmed flush with the outside edges of the uprights.

I drew a line from the top corner, to the back, with the back edge two boards lower, to define the slope of the roof. I glued a brace along this line, between the uprights, and put it back under the books.

When dry, I used the top edge of the brace as a guide to trim the top edge of the stirrers.

Both walls have a central upright brace added for strength, and one has two extra braces, on either side of a window. (If the boards were vertical, the window braces would need to be horizontal)

The braces guided the cuts for the window, I added an outside frame that both strengthens and 'cleans up' the hole.

When these were all ready, I made a floor from craft sticks, as deep as the length of the back walls, and as wide as the front wall less the thickness of the side walls. Again, I dried it under a stack of books.

The floor was glued to the front wall, between the side walls. It strengthens them and keeps them square.

To keep the rear upper corners square, an upper brace is glued at the top between the side walls. The rear wall is then built in place: The outer boards were glued to to the side walls.

Upright braces for the door were added, then a bottom brace. Finally side braces for the window.

When all was dry, the door and windows were cut out, and the external framing was added.

To break up the lines of the building and make it look less boxy, I added a false balcony and upper windows (quite fashionable, in fact) a rear awning, and a small shed on the side.

The front balcony and walkway are made from coffee stirrers, with uprights from fireplace matches. To keep them from warping I clamped them between 2 pieces of steel while they dried. Give them some extra drying time because they really really want to warp. The signs are made from Craft sticks.

The (removable) roof is styrene sheet, painted to (hopefully) look like tar paper. Boards on the back of the sign are drawn on with pencil.

Forrest Harris of Knuckleduster Miniatures has some excellent articles on his blog: