Making a Shanty Town
This project had an odd start. I wasn't actually looking to make a
shanty town but while on a trip to the local pound store (well '99p
Store' actually) I came across a set of foam dominoes. You'll have to
just go with me on this one, but the size and shape of the dominoes
gave me the idea that I might be able to build some buildings that could
be taken apart for easy storage and transport. I;d also previously made
a set of ruins using a foam yoga block so knew the potential of the
This is the set of dominoes I found, each domino is around 4cm x 8cm and about 8mm thick.
Making it big enough for most 28mm / Heroic scale miniatures. For 99p
the set came with 28 dominoes, at 4 per building you can make 7 per set. That's just over 14p per building
To make this a very simple project I took each domino and cut a out
two sections half way up the domino and to the same thickness. I also
at this stage scraped the surface in parts to break up the surface and
to give a better impression of wear and tear. It will be a shanty town
In addition to the sections cut out to fit the walls together I also
cut out a doorway in one wall and a window in another. Again all the
pieces were given a distressed look.
Here is the building constructed, a simple case of just slotting the
cut out sections together. The design means the building is very stable without needing to be glued together (which was the point to this project).
For the building roof I turned to the tried and tested method of peeling
the backing of an old cardboard box to created some corrugated iron
I decided to peel the card backing off of only one side for the roof
to preserve some strength and to stop it bending when painted. Once
I had painted the roof pieces I actually cut them in half which looked
more realistic in the end rather than one big sheet.
For painting the first issue was to deal with the bright yellow colour.
I decided to spray the dominoes with grey primer which stuck to the
dominoes even while being bent. After the primer I used two different
tester pots of paint from the local DIY store. Nice and cheap source
of paint for terrain. The rusty corrugated sheets are very easy, grey
primer as well followed by any silver paint and then I used Coat d'arms
Rust watered down and applied liberally.
And there we have the finished shanty town. I bought three sets of
dominoes to make the shanty town, made a few extra corrugated sheets
for dressing and for this picture I've added some miniatures and other
scenery I had laying around. As you can see I also stacked up some of
the buildings to make additional floors.
And finally one of the key aspects of this project was to be able to
pack it away to make it easier to transport. I was very pleased at how
easy this project was to say nothing of the cost. Not including paint
the shanty town cost less than £3 quid!