Anglo-Saxon Church Part Two

So, my Anglo-Saxon Church.  If I'm perfectly honest, this continues to be a bit of a love hate build. Making something like this completely from scratch has proved to be a frustrating affair, mainly because I'm creating this by using multiple layers.  As always, the shell of the building is being constructed from foam core.  The rest is, rather unsurprisingly, layers of cereal packet card.  I had hoped to get further in this build before posting, but it's taking so long that I thought I'd share the story so far.  of course, if you haven't seen how I got to this point in the build, or if you have seen it but can't remember how I did it because it was so bloomin' long ago, you can catch up by clicking this link.

What follows is a brief overview of a lot of short sessions.  There was a lot of head scratching and reinventing of the proverbial wheel on this one.  I've often cut short a session because my negativity and frustration over the limits of the materials I'm using have made me want to give up.  I keep consoling myself that I'm pushing at the boundaries of what is possible with cereal packet card and a sharp knife.  It may be a delusional approach, but there's been times when that delusion has been about the only thing keeping me going.  Hopefully what you can see shows that it's worthwhile persevering with an idea.  
Of course, having a break can also be ahelpful thing.  You tend to notice things that otherwise may get completely missed.  So what you can see in the first couple of photos is my shaping of the walls to fit the slope of the roof.  To be perfectly honest, I forgot to include this stage in my calculations when laying out the building in my foam core. I think it's because I hadn't noticed that the gable ends of the building are higher than the actual roof.  Rectifying this meant losing 5mm on the exterior walls.  This caused some serious head scratching in subsequent sessions I can tell you. I would have placed the sanctuary windows 5mm lower if I had remembered this.

My roof has a pitch of 45 degrees.  This meant that I would have to cut diagonally across the top of my two side walls.  To do so I measured 5mm down from the top of the wall.  I then used my craft knife to cut through the top layer of the card only.  I then extend my blade and hold my knife at a 45 degree angle using the top of the foam core and the cut as guides.  By using a kind of gentle sawing action I make my cut.  It's a delicate job, but is deeply satisfying when it's done.  Of course, this was made much more difficult by the fact that I needed to leave 5mm at the end of each side.  Inserting my craft knife part way along was rather stressful.
Then came the interior supports for the roof sections. As you can see in the next few photos, this simply consisted of small triangles cut to match the slope of the roof. You could easily make it bigger and provide support down the whole side of the roof. I'm using cereal packet card for my roof. It's perfectly rigid when complete and is very light. This means I don't need as much support as you would if you were using a heavier material such as MDF or cork.

Yup, there's a lot of bits to this build!
And with all the roof modifications applied, it was time for my usual dry fit. This allows me to make sure that the joints line up. More importantly in this case, it allows me to check that the roof sections are properly aligned.
Here's a photo of those pesky windows which will cause so much bother later...
Now comes the difficult part.  I need to clad the building in layers of cereal packet card to build up the layers of brickwork.  You may remember that I'm using the actual Anglo-Saxon church of St Lawrence in Bradford on Avon as the model for my model...if you know what I mean.  I'm greatly indebted to David Drage of Iron Mammoth's Studio who forwarded me some photographs he took of a visit to this beautifully atmospheric church.  You can see David's photography on his blog which you'll find here.  In addition to this, I came across the following image online.  It's a nineteenth century sketch.  And while I can't account for it's accuracy like a photograph, I have to admit that it helped me with the brickwork a lot.  
If you look at photographs of St Lawrence's Church, you notice that the stones don't overlap each other in the same way as you would expect on modern brickwork.  There appear more staggered than what we see nowadays.  I saw this echoed in the sketch above.  Now, I admit that I'm using St Lawrence's Church as a base line for my build.  I'm not trying to make an exact model.  So I looked at my ruler, mused, compared the possible sizes with my miniatures, and eventually settled on bricks that were 15mm by 8mm.  This is for the lower part of the building.  The photographs and the sketch actually reveal that the bricks become smaller about two-thirds of the way up the building.  I had to decide again how to represent this.  I settled for keeping the 15mm width, but reducing the height to 5mm.  
And with that determined, I began the laborious, time consuming and yet curiously rewarding process of laying out and attaching the base layer of stonework cladding on my trusty cereal packet card.
I also had a tentative go at edging the windows with the necessary curves.  This proved a problematic solution when it came to subsequent layers of stonework.
This was two hours of work...
Another hour and a half added the two sides...
And another hour and a bit (I'd lost the will to count by this point) had all the pieces cut out and stuck onto their respective parts.  
Then I stuck them all together.

Which is when I began to lose the will again.

What I realised I should have done is to glue the foam core together and then apply the cardboard cladding.  Because with the best will in the world, doing it the way I did meant that any slight imperfections in my cutting of the foam core left the brickwork not lining up perfectly when the building sections were assembled.  Believe you me, seeing that is enough to make a grown man weep...

However, subsequent layers of card on the corners of the building should mask this problem nicely.  so if you ever try to do something like this yourself, please be warned!
Now, with the base layer completed, I began working on the relief stonework.  In the next picture you can see my work covering those pesky windows.  I have a plan to draw the facings; cut the pieces out; attach the window edging to the facing and then attach the completed section to the building.
 Of course, it would have been much easier to have simply placed a layer of black card on top of the foamcore and just placed the extra layers on top.  That would have saved the faff with the edging.  But no, I wanted the depth that can only be achieved by cutting the windows out of the foamcore. Silly me and my big ideas.
 The above photo shows some of the relief stonework that will go down the north side of the sanctuary and part of the nave.  If you look closely you'll see how wobbly my arches are.  My poor old compass is really getting to the end of it's lifespan...
And this last photo shows the pieces in place.

Obviously there's still a long way to go with this build, but I hope to get some time to complete this in the coming week.  After all, we're not that far away from playing Blood Eagle!

As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope you have found my ramblings useful.  


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