Making a 28mm Fantasy Cabin

Buildings are possibly the most useful and versatile pieces of terrain you can have in any 28mm game. If you only have one, it could be the farmhouse in the middle of a field. If you have a few they could be the edge of a town. If you have a lot they could be a city. Its quite easy to spend a lot of time, and money, developing a catalog of buildings for all sorts of scenarios.

For this build I decided to make a simple stone brick cabin with a few tools I have gathered so far in my terrain building journey. Part of my mission was to see how fast I could do this. My main material was some sheets of 5mm and 3mm foam from Woodland Scenics. Our club was lucky enough to score a few packets of foam sheets, which was kindly donated by Milsims Games. Milsims is a spacious store with a wide range of tabletop miniature and board games, who excel at online purchasing and delivery.

With some foam in hand I made some quick measurements for the cabin. I cut out all the basic shapes with a straight edge and a hobby knife.


The next step was to use my Green Stuff World textured rolling pin to imprint a brick shape onto the wall pieces. The foam is quite resilient, and I didn’t lean hard enough on the rolling pin so the brick impression turned out far lighter than I had planned. I then assembled the structure with PVA glue.


With the basic shape assembled, I cut a door, some windows shutters, and some wooden beam pieces from the 3mm foam. These pieces where to look like wood, so I roughed up the edges with my knife and used a pencil to imprint some exaggerated wood grain.

I attached all these pieces with PVA glue.

Finally I cut pieces for a roof and added them to the structure. At this point I had spent less than two hours since I began.




For the roof, I decided to try making some quick shingles which I had seen done on Blackmagic Craft. This method is quite simple, if a little tedious. I suggest you watch the video for all the details, but here is a quick summary. Firstly, cut a strip of XPS foam, then cut a rough shingle pattern along the bottom edge of the strip with a hot wire cutter. Next, I used a wire brush to score a wood grain pattern on the top surface of the foam strip. Then I took a thin slice off the top layer of the foam strip. This gave me a strip of shingles which I glued along the bottom of the roof. I went back to the foam strip, applied the wire brush again, and cut another slice off the top for a second row of shingles. I glued this strip half over the first strip I had already glued to the roof. I continued this all the way to the top of the roof, offsetting each successive row of shingles. I did the same on the other side. For the roof capping at the peak of the roof I used a similar process with a rectangle block of foam, folding each slice over the peak of the roof and glued it down, layered the next one over the previous. I finished the side of the roof with some wood plank pieces to cover up the edges of the shingle strips. About two hours later I had a shingled roof that looks much more difficult to produce than it really was!

For a bit more interest I decided to add a chimney to the back of the building. Since this was an afterthought, I had to cut out a section of the shingled roof and one of the cross beams. The chimney is simply a block of XPS foam with a brick texture made with the same textured rolling pin. I added a slightly wider rectangle cap piece at the top which I textured with a ball of aluminium foil to give it a stone texture.

Then it was off for a basic paint job. I started with a Blackmagic Design protective base coat over the entire piece. I was going for a stone brick look, so I used a medium grey across most of the building, a leather brown for the door, window shutters, and wooden beams, and a dark brown for the shingles. I dry brushed each part with a lighter version of the original, then covered the entire piece with a liberal amount of homemade black wash. Finally I lightly drybrushed everything with a cream/off white.

It’s not be the most detailed 28mm building around, but it was so fast to produce. This is a great way to make a bunch of buildings quickly, or I just to create a specially shaped building for a one off  scenario.

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Crudboy's initiation into war gaming was with Battletech way back in high school, where he spent more time creating 'mechs with his friends, and not nearly enough time actually playing the game. Since then, Crudboy has dabbled in so many different tabletop games that he no longer remembers which rule goes with which game. His latest loves include, but aren't confined to, Frostgrave, Gloomhaven, and Gaslands.

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The Monday Knights are a gaming group based in Melbourne Australia.  We are happy to play just about any game at any time.

We meet every Monday night at the Auburn Bowls club in Hawthorn East, Victoria, from 6pm onwards.

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