Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mr. Stoelzel's Neighborhood

You ever notice how a project always gets bigger and bigger? If you remember, I posted a Day One scenario for All Things Zombie a while back. The first destination was an ATM. That went like a breeze. Then my second destination was home. I was getting ready to do that scenario but realized I didn't have enough suburban houses (I live in the burbs of a small town). I had one Plasticville house I was planning to use, but no other suburban houses.  This is the house I was going to use. You may have seen it from an earlier ATZ batrep.
 It sort of resembles my real house in that it's white with black shutters.
My real house.
Anyway, I was going to use the Plasticville house and make some paper houses for the rest of the neighborhood. I chose some Stoelzel Structures paper terrain houses. The houses are very cool and come with playable interiors, and even furnishings. Unfortunately, the paper houses were much larger than the Plasticville house. So, then I had to scratchbuild a loose replica of my house as well as build 3 Stoelzel Structures houses, in order to play the next scenario. I built a Stoelzel Structure Cape Cod style house, Split-Level house, and a Farmhouse. I also bought the Raised Ranch house, but haven't built it yet. I'm using a 3x3 board and a Zuzzy Ruined Forest latex mat for the base of the terrain. That meant I needed roads. So then I had to make roads to place on the mat. I took a page from Morbious's website and made some roads. Instead of using hardboard like he did, I used my cheap vinyl floor tiles, painting them black and adding lane and edge lines with paint pens.  Really quick and cheap and they came out pretty good. I named this post "Mr. Stoelzel's Neighborhood" because 3 of the 4 houses are from his kits, and the last one is a scratchbuild using some of his textures as well as textures from WorldWorks Games.
The Mean Streets. 6 inches wide, 12 inches long. 3 sections traverse the board.
Pic above shows a little of the Stoelzel Farmhouse in the left foreground, the white scratchbuilt house on the right foreground, and the Stoelzel Cape house in the background.
This shot shows the Stoelzel Farmhouse and Split Level on the left and a little of the white scratchbuild on the right foreground.
Here's a shot of the back and side of the scratchbuild LuckyJoe house in the foreground, with the Stoelzel Cape house in the background. The balcony is made from a piece of foamcore with toothpicks (cocktail sticks for our cousins across the pond), and coffee stirrer pieces for the top rail. I use that balcony to spray paint minis and such in real life. Could also prove a good vantage point to cap Zombies in the coming Apocalypse. I'm just sayin'. :)
View from a different angle, showing at least some of all 4 houses.
Yet another angle. The Cape house in the foreground has an upstairs. I may kitbash it to make a Ranch-style one story house. One of the really cool features of all of these Stoelzel Structures houses is they have multiple colors of exterior walls. Usually a yellow, green, red, or blue. You can get a great tabletop variety from just one kit. 
This shot is primarily featuring the Split Level in the foregound right and the Farmhouse in the background. The Split Level was made using one of the alternate color schemes. It also has a chimney which I chose not to use. I did use the chimney for the Farmhouse. That chimney is solid, made with 5 layers of 5mm foamcore cut to size. I like my terrain tough.
Another view down the street. The window frames were made from 1/2" square chicken wire painted white and inserted into the window openings. The shutters were printed and mounted onto mattboard (a technique I learned from Vampifan). Each of the Stoelzel houses has a page of 6 different  colored shutters with 12 shutters of each color (Brown, Green, Black, Blue, Red and White). I really love the variety of builds you get from each kit. For example, the Cape house in the left foreground has five different exterior color schemes, has optional dormers (having 0, 1, 2, or 3 dormers means 4 different houses) and an optional rear roof extension. When you consider all of the possible combinations of colors, dormers, rear roof extension or no extension, you can make a lot of houses from one $4 pdf. 
This shows in the right foreground the red Split Level version I chose, featuring the side and the rear. The little black (asphalt) driveways by the houses are made from pieces of vinyl window blinds painted black. I really like the design of the Split Level house. It makes for a nice change from 1 or 2 story buildings, though I had a hell of a time making the interior stairs between levels. Could have used more detailed instructions. In the background on the left is the white LuckyJoe replica house. It's not a perfect replica, but it's close. I stole the windvane from the Plasticville house for the replica.
This shot shows the back of the red Split Level house. The stairs are my usual kitbash of the Stoelzel Structure stairs. I used his very nice brick texture for the sides of the stairs, mounted onto mattboard ala Vampifan, then used coffee stirrers painted white for the stair steps. The gaps between the stair steps allow you to slip the slotta bases of the minis into the space between steps, so minis can be placed mid stair, if you wish. Across the street you see the LuckyJoe house. Note the red door. My wife and I painted our front door red recently. It gives a nice splash of color against all that black and white. 

Well, that's it for now. I've now got a suburban terrain board to use, and can now proceed to do destination 2, home. Next will be a big box store, and then a Supermarket. Hey, Dave Stoelzel, can you please make a Walmart-ish kit, and a Supermarket? :) Thanks for looking, everyone. Have a great day or evening. 


Morbious said...

Hey LJ,

The neighborhood looks fantastic. I really like Stoelzel's building too. They are the perfect size.

As always your detailing is top notch. Any chance a Mr Stoelzel zombie lurking around or maybe even Mr. Rogers lol.

Keep up the great work.

Stoelzel's Structures said...

A beautiful day to see such a great looking neighborhood (I think I need to grab my sweater, and change my shoes).

I was glad to see you found some time to build again, and boy looks like you've been busy. BTW you scared me a moment when I came across the word "unfortunately"

Your road look great. Another material I've had luck with is simple rolled up cork sheet from a fabric store. Thick layer of house paint to seal it, and it keeps a nice slightly cracked texture.

Thanks for pointing out the instructions for the stairs of the Split level. It was one of the first projects I wrote up, so, certainly due for revisions.


oh, and I had already drawn together the templates and basic texturing of a bigbox store. I've been distracted by some Victorian inspired things recently, but I promise to get back on the bigbox shortly.

Jay said...

Beautiful work, Joe. It's a shame Zeds have moved into the neighborhood.

The Angry Lurker said...

Those are really good, I'd live there!

lrqan said...

Outstanding. Iknow exactlty what you mean about projects blowing up in your face. I made a decision to get on with the gaming and kerb my enthusiasm for modeling. It's fab how your hosue matches your model. Great stuff, keep up the good work.

Vampifan said...

Outstanding work, Joe! That's a really nice-looking neighbourhood you have there. Mainly thanks to seeing your work with the Stoelzel's Structures models I have decided to make one myself. I am busy working on the Cottage, as that seemed nice and easy to begin with. It would fit in well with those you've just made.

Mathyoo said...

Can't say anything but wow...just wow. Few trees here and there and you're as good as done. Great job!

pulpcitizen said...

Great set-up. Impressive work Luckyjoe. :)

Michael Awdry said...

Great looking 'burb. I have a sneaky feeling that trouble is only just around the corner.

Luckyjoe said...

@Morbious: Thanks very much. I agree about the Stoelzel Structures being the perfect size, plus, you gotta love all the variety and interiors.

@Carl: Thanks! I'm so embarrassed I called you David instead of Carl. It must have been because I was just yelling at my son David, while typing the post. Sucks getting old. :) I hope you don't mind my taking your name in vain for the post title. I just wanted to make sure your models get the credit and attention they deserve. That is great news about the Big Box store! I'll be looking out for it. And thanks for the tip about the cork sheet for roads, I'll have to try that. It's good to hear that you will address the instructions for the stairs. There's not many artists who will take the time to make those kinds of minor changes and I appreciate the way you do that.

@Jay: Thanks very much. LJ can just stand out on his shootin porch and pick them off. "Damn Zombies, get off my lawn!" Bang. :)

@Fran: Thanks. That would be great to have all of us bloggers in the same neighborhood. Imagine the game nights we could have.

@Irqan: Thanks. It was actually a tough decision to stop building for a while. I have two more Stoelzel Structure houses that will fit in fine.

@Vampifan: Thanks very much. I'm looking forward to seeing your Cottage. I know it will be fantastic. The Cottage is one of the two Stoelzel models I have remaining to build. Now I'll be able to use your post as a go-by to see how to do it right.

@Mathyoo: Thanks very much. You're right, how could I forget the trees? Next pics will definitely have trees.

@PulpCitizen: Thanks. Now I feel like I can get in a game. :)

@Michael: Thanks very much. LOL, I'm pretty sure you're right. Though the way I've been rolling for PEFs, it'll probably just be a stray dog or something. :)

Adam said...

Those are some great houses, and really bring the suburban feel together. Thanks for sharing, I've got to check out Stoelzel's now.

Rovanite said...

Those are some really great houses! Great neighbourhood! :)

The Extraordinarii said...

awesome job on the burbs Joe, you have managed to capture the right feel of it, now lets get down to it, feel them streets up with Zombies and terrified survivors, MUHAHAHAHA !

Brummie said...

Very nice neighbourhood your character lives in :D Cracking work on the roads the look real good.

Lord Siwoc said...

Amazing!!! This looks pretty cool!

Looking forward to the next report! And to see some more trees....And zombies...And a burning car....

Zabadak said...

That is truly an inspiring effort on your part LJ, it's no wonder you've been so quiet recently.
The more I see of Stoelzel's structures the more I like them.
I've definetly got them on my to get list now.
Great neighbourhood

Luckyjoe said...

@Adam: Thanks very much. I'm glad you are going to check out Stoelzel's Structures. They are very nice and excellent value.

@Rovanite: Thanks. This was a fun build.

@The Extraordinarii: Thanks. Filling the streets with Zombies is indeed the next step. :)

@Brummie: Thanks very much. The roads will come in handy for a lot of different game settings, I hope.

@Lord Siwoc: Thanks. Trees and Zombies, no problem. Burning car, now that's an interesting project...

@Zabadak: Thanks very much, Joe. You should check out his Modular Urban Center Kit (M.U.C.K.), you could fill a whole tabletop with that set.

PapaSpanky said...

Great idea, I was kicking around a similar one in my head when I finished my town. I wanted to make a replica of my own cul-de-sac. You continue to inspire!

Luckyjoe said...

@PapaSpanky: Thanks very much. That will be a cool project. I'll be watching for some pics.

Ray Rousell said...

Wow That's some beautiful terrain, I love them big wide roads you've got, is that the new you on your avatar??

Luckyjoe said...

@Ray: Thanks very much. I switched my avatar to my Hasslefree Gruff mini. He's my mini-me.

Lead Legion said...

Another great looking board Joe. Now where's that batrep? :D