Thursday, March 8, 2012


Hi, folks. A few days ago there was an ad on TMP about a new Stoelzel's Structure Firehouse. The Stoelzel's Structures are 28mm paper and designed to be used on foamcore. The thing I found most interesting is that they have interiors, also. You don't often get that with paper terrain. Also had plenty of interior furnishings. The price is great on them, too, ranging from $4-8. After looking at preview pics on Wargames Vault I ended up buying 3 of them and went back and bought 2 more yesterday. I will eventually be building and posting all of them.

I'm using mine as an old Firehouse which has been purchased by the "Occult Research Center" for their HQ.
The Occult Research Center or O.R.C. I guess I can have a "Man From O.R.C.". :) If you're younger than me, you may not remember the old "Man From U.N.C.L.E." tv series. I cut out the windows from the original design and replaced with 1/4" chicken wire. I also cut out the garage-type door and hinged it across the top. The windows on the garage door were also cut out and glazed with clear plastic. As you can see, the garage door is too small to accommodate a big vehicle, but I found something to fit.
This pic shows the partially open door and something happened to the address number sign. Something bad...
A view into the ground floor. That Pontiac Solstice fits in here fine. The urban camo wearing Man From O.R.C. is not gonna let some Undead scumbag eff up his car!
Side view of the O.R.C. building. Sister Maria confronts a Zombie. Sign from a model RR site. The rooftop vent is from a Hirst Arts Sci-Fi mold. I'm using it as a handle to help remove the roof. One thing I didn't mention about this build yet is that I printed the wall pages out on full page label sheets. Then you just peel off the back and stick them to the foamcore. That was one of the suggested methods for building this in the instructions. I had some label sheets so I decided to try it. The method has pros and cons. Pros: Quick, easy application (at least for outside walls) and not messy at all. Cons: They're not sticking too well in some places, even though I carefully burnished them. Fixable with Tacky Glue, though. Another con is that it is difficult to line up the print-out well for the interior walls. Hard to reposition. I think I'll just stick with Tacky Glue from now on, but it was worth a try.
Rear of the building. Sign added from another model RR site.

Other side of the building. As you can see the side door is hinged to open and close. I cut out the windows on the door, and applied some more of the silver puff paint for the doorknob. The sign is another from a model RR site.
Interior view of the first/ground floor. The 4 pillars support the next floor and have some nice graphics on them. I wrapped the paper for the pillars around some square basswood dowels for added strength. The stair at the rear of the build has been kit-bashed. I had a hell of a time trying to build the stair the way it was designed and decided to just keep the paper as a skin to apply over a frame I made from 3mm mattboard. (Using mattboard for these paper builds is something I learned from Vampifan). Basically the two stair sidewalls are spaced by some Hirst Arts 1" bricks. The stair treads are popsicle sticks cut to size and glued atop the risers. In the foreground is a firepole left in place from the building's origin as a Firehouse.

 View of the 1st/ground floor interior toward the front of the building. The firepole goes up all the way to the to top floor.
Here's a shot of the 2nd floor (1st story for our cousins across the pond). The stairway is designed to be open on the front so you can slide the front edge of a mini's base into the opening to help hold it in place. Sister Maria has a 30mm base and the stair can keep her in place. The firepole in the left foreground is coming through a hole in the foamcore that has a sleeve made from a black plastic drinking straw. That was done to strengthen the spot where the pole passes through the foamcore and to help hold it in place.

Pic above is just a different angle showing how minis can climb the stairs. If you make some be more careful on the heights of your risers. :)

An interior view of the top floor. I cut the hole for the firepole out completely to make it easier to get the pole into the building, because the 2nd and 3rd floor are designed to lift up and out of the building for access.
The 2nd floor has been removed in this pic and set aside.
Here's the removed 3rd floor.
I always have liked the notion of multiple level gaming.
The Zombie Ho' seems to dimly recollect something about poles. Perhaps she was once an exotic dancer. :) The Firehouse kit includes a nice texture for the pole, either brass or wood, but feeling lazy I just painted a piece of round wooden dowel with silver spray paint. You can see the rather crude base I made for the firepole. I took a piece of black plastic drinking straw, split the bottom into 4 sections which I used as flanges to glue to the wooden disk base piece. I then superglued a small metal washer on top of the "flanges" to help hold them in place, and to add weight and stability. Then I put some wood glue into the well made by the straw to fix the pole to the wooden base. 

My obligatory looking through the window pic. Something I didn't mention about the windows. They're not glued into place. The sides of the grid were trimmed flush with the edges. I left some longer chicken wire spikes on the top and bottom and stuck them up into the foamcore to hold the windows in place. 

Well, that's all of the pics. This is a very nice little kit and for only $5 you can't beat it. Not pictured in this article are some very nice exterior and interior furnishings. Eight pages of them. There's 3 different rooftop vents, bunkbeds, lockers, vending machines, picnic tables with benches, upholstered chairs, desks, tables, refrigerators, stoves and ovens. Only thing missing is bathroom stuff, which I found in the Hospital set I also bought. 

Another caveat I should mention is that I think with a better printer the texture of the print-outs would look much better. They certainly look better on my monitor before I print them, and even after repeated cleaning of the printer, I'm still having trouble the yellow.

If you're looking for some very nice, affordable terrain designed to be used with foamcore, and having nice playable interiors, Stoelzel's Structures really fits the bill. 

Thanks very much for looking. I hope you find some useful information here, and that you will check out Stoelzel's Structures. He has a total of 14 models, I bet you'll find something you'll like.


The Angry Lurker said...

It's an amazing building, great bloody work, how long in total for all the work?

Brummie said...

Dude thats sweet. Nicely done interior. Need some furniture to barricade those stairs against all thse Zeds you have though

Mathyoo said...

Very nice!

Lead Legion said...

Damn good construction and modding again Lucky Joe. Thanks for the tip on those card buildings. They'll do great for Post Apoc play as well.

Adam said...

That's a solid building, will fit in great with everything else you have.

Jay said...

Great work, Mighty Joe! You've gotta lot of time on your hands, and you are using it wisely! Hail ORC!

Vampifan said...

I like the Stoelzel's Structures models. Although I have them all, I haven't made any yet (too busy making a certain police station!). So, it was nice to see you make one. You've done a good job on this, Joe.

Lord Siwoc said...

Very nice indeed!

I actually do remember the man from U.N.C.L.E.

Zerloon said...

Wow! :D

Just... WOW!! :D

Mecha Ace said...

Really nice building there, I must admit I've often looked at paper terrain but I'm a bit hamfisted when it comes to these things.

Ray Rousell said...

Excellent work Joe, top job!!!

Carl Stoelzel said...

LuckyJOe, I am the designer/owner of Stoelzel's Structures and fortunately Google pointed me this way. I have to say, this build is absolutely lovely, the swinging garage door is brilliant, I wish I had thought of doing that. Hope you enjoy the Hospital. Again, gorgeous pics, thanks.

Luckyjoe said...

Hi, folks. Thanks very much for the kind remarks. I appreciate your support and encouragement.

@Fran: There was probably a good 6 hours work on this over a few days.

@Brummie: You're right. I've got the print-outs for the furniture sitting on my work table. Just have to find the time. Maybe this weekend. I find I can get a building made a lot faster than I can do furnishings.

@Mathyoo: Thanks very much.

@Lead Legion: Yes, I think they'd be great for Post-Apoc,Gangster, Modern and SuperHero, too.

@Adam: Thanks, I wasn't sure at first if I should mix paper with the Sarissa Precision mdf, but I think it does look good with them.

@Jay: Thanks, I did have lots of time and decided to make hay while the sun shines. :)

@Vampifan: Thanks, it was seeing your beautiful builds that got me interested in trying some paper, again. And the Stoelzel's Structures Firehouse was just too nice to pass up.

@Lord Siwoc: Wasn't that a great show? How about "Secret Agent Man"?

@Zerloon: Thanks! This was a fun project.

@Mecha Ace: Thanks. I'm kinda hamfisted, too. But mounting the printouts on foamcore makes the build a lot easier, and a lot stronger.

@Ray: Thanks very much. I've been looking at your blog lately at the "How to Build FIW Indian Longhouses". I want to make a couple.

@Carl: Thanks very much for dropping by. You did a great job with these models and have packed so much value into these. I love the interiors and furnishings. My favorite model so far is your Modular Lair. I'm planning to make a huge version of this. It is so cool.

sonnema said...

nice building, following for more !

justMike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
justMike said...

Great looking building, and cleverly designed also. By the way; this wouldn't be the same Lucky Joe who built all of those great Hirst Arts projects back in the day would it? If so, you can call me justMike

Anne said...

This is really nice and complex as well. You also do one of the best jobs I've ever seen with photographing your work. What kind of a camera do you use?

Zabadak said...

Good looking building Joe, your city is coming along in leaps and bounds. - great stuff !

Luckyjoe said...

@Sonnema: Thanks very much, and welcome to the blog! :)

@Anne: Thanks a lot! I've been trying to improve my photos, but sometimes it seem kind of hit or miss. :) I have an old Sony Cybershot 5.0 I've been using since about 2003. I got it for free as part of a government grant to include technology in the classroom back when I was teaching. :) I used to use to take pictures of some of the wounds and other stuff I was seeing in the ER for Emergency Medicine lectures. Still going strong, though the battery is getting pretty bad. I should probably get a new battery.

@Zabadak: Thanks. I'll probably work on one of the other Stoelzel's Structures next to further grow the city, there's a very nice Food Market I want to do next. It could be very handy in ATZ as a place for Survivors to hit to search for food.

Luckyjoe said...

@JustMike: Hey, great to hear from you. Yeah, I'm that Luckyjoe. How have you been?

Anne said...

It's a good camera then, especially if the battery is still jugging along. It looks like you and I were in West Virginia at roughly the same time teaching Med School. I taught Gross Anatomy, Histology and Neuroanatomy. I had some students that really didn't belong there and I always hoped I never woke up in the ER with one of them standing over me. Especially not if I failed them on their exams!!

Luckyjoe said...

@Anne: LOL. I know what you mean about not wanting to look up and see students over your gurney. :) Sometimes we would have to dismiss a student from the program for academic or other problems and that would often be one of the arguments: "Would you want to see So and So standing over your ER bed?" :)

You were certainly teaching some of the hard classes. I always liked Anatomy and Neuroanatomy, but Histology always kicked my butt. :) I wish I had been able to meet you when we both in WV, that would have been cool.

Zombie Ad said...

JOe that is superb, great job and great to see how those buildings work too!

Luckyjoe said...

@Zombie Ad: Thanks very much. I hope it was helpful. I'm working on another one, too.