8 : More Courtyard House Building

On with the build of the courtyard house!

I glued the kitchen’s other wall in place and then concentrated on the courtyard area. I added some texture, using baking soda again for the slabs but using chinchilla dust for the ground between the slabs. Chinchilla dust is a clay powder designed as a dust bath for chinchillas. It actually uses the same clay used to produce white clay tobacco pipes. Like baking soda, it’s pretty good at absorbing moisture – whether you want it to or not. I added some paving slabs along the outside wall, cut from cereal packets, then added some texture.

I designed a simple door for the workshop and textured it with acrylic paste. I painted the door, the lintel and the doorstep before assembly. As this is a working door, it’s easier to paint before rather than after assembly. I included just enough doorstep to be seen from outside without modelling too much of the floor. The workshop like the other buildings would have a lift-off roof but I didn’t plan to model the interior of this building as I had the kitchen with its open doorway.

I designed the front gate as a working door, too. I textured and painted the door before assembly as it would be fixed in place once the wall was glued to the base. It’s important not to texture the slabs and ground beneath these working doors as the extra thickness might jam the door. Sometimes a layer of thick paint is enough to cause a jam!

The wall, although small, closes in the courtyard, providing privacy and security. I thought of adding a bolt or bar at the back of the gate but then thought of simply having a slave sleep against the door every night. With a dog, perhaps. There’s a good chance that’s what would have happened, anyway. (Any figures available?)

I lightly filed away the sharp edges of the fibreboard piece designed as the top of the wall. This is very easy to do with a nail file. It’s a quick and simple way of giving the smoothed-off mud-brick more of a natural rounded look. I gave the top a wash of grout filler, as well.

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