Culloden Battlefield Cottage

Leanach cottage still stands on Culloden battlefield in Scotland. At the time of the battle, it was one of a group of similar smallholdings each with their own individually farmed piece of land. The SLD model is based on how the building looks now, restored to what it might have looked like in 1746.

The SLD kit comes with thatching material and a choice of doors – a suitably rugged one and a much more polished version.

The model has sturdy fibreboard (MDF) walls. To give the cottage a rough stone finish, there are card pieces for all the corners and window surrounds. Giving the walls the look of the actual building is pretty simple. Once the card is glued to the fibreboard, a textured gloop mix can be spread in the gaps between the card. The card is intentionally thick to make this task easier. Rather than sculpting stones in the wall, it is much easier to apply gritty gloop in small blobs. Wait until the gloop is very nearly dry and rough up any smooth patches. I also spread small amounts of smooth gloop over the card – while avoiding the engraved lines.

The roof is made by cutting the thatching material to shape. The card pieces can help as templates before they are glued on. Use tweezers to tease out any large unwanted hairs in the material and then glue it on with liberal amounts of white glue. At the same time, thoroughly coat the hair with glue and brush downwards in the direction of the thatch. Allow lots of time for everything to dry. While drying, the whole roof may rise up as the damp card expands. Gently press it back down. It’s important to keep checking the roof as it is drying.

To give my model a look of how the stonework looks today, I first painted the walls a tan brown and then brushed over the stones with grey, finishing with a thin brown all-over wash.


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