Home Forums Terrain and Scenery Recreating the Old West with LASERS

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  • #179367
    Avatar photoJay Adan
    Participant

    The design started with a set of elevations I found online for an existing building from the period.

    I brought the elevations into Lightburn which is the program that I use for cutting with my laser and has a full package of design tools as well. First I had to scale the plans to fit with 28mm minis which involved scaling the drawing to get it in the ballpark, printing it out, then check the size next to actual minis. When you’re scaling for miniatures using actual scales rarely works like you’d hope.

    Once I had the scale where I wanted it I just had to essentially trace the design to get the basic shapes in place. I ended up simplifying the entryway, eliminating the back door and changing it to a window and generally looking for things that didn’t need to exist.

    When designing for cutting you need to keep in mind the thickness of the material you’re going to be using because that’s going to come into place if you add tabs to help hold the pieces together. I’m personally in the “fewer tabs are better” camp rather than the camp that likes the corners of all of their buildings look like intricate jigsaw puzzles. Anyway, my main material is 1/8″ birch plywood so that was figured into the design. FYI – for surface details I used 1/16″ birch plywood but the thickness of that material didn’t play into how I was designing things at this stage.

    Cutting everything out was really the easy part. I’ve already done a lot of tests with various materials so that I had a sense of the settings I would use to get good cuts and etches. One thing I wasn’t sure about was my roof. I was planning to do the shingles in 1/16″ plywood but that turned out to be way too thick. So that’s why that isn’t done yet. Otherwise, I only had one failed attempt due to material that was warped more than I had initially thought. Otherwise, it was a smooth process.

    Gluing on all of the surface details was where the thing really started looking good. This is also where I got to see things that I will probably change in the design to simplify it yet again. Areas that didn’t need to be as complex as they were and a couple of things I forgot to add – which I can still add now.

    Painting was also pretty straightforward. I used the laser again to create a stencil for the General Merchandise sign on the front and airbrushed that on. I had considered adding an actual sign to the front rather than painting the front of the building. The period buildings did it both ways – but I opted for paint on the walls. It’s turning out cleaner than I thought I wanted initially but I’m leaning towards the idea that this is a newer store from a wealthy businessperson so it’s going to stand out from the rest

    The inside looks so nice I’d like to fill it out with shop goods but I don’t know if I’m going to be that ambitious.
    Building a general store by Jay Adan[/url], on Flickr

    Building a general store by Jay Adan[/url], on Flickr

    Building a general store by Jay Adan[/url], on Flickr

    Building a general store by Jay Adan[/url], on Flickr

    The General Store by Jay Adan[/url], on Flickr

    #179372
    Avatar photoMike
    Keymaster

    That’s alright that is.

    #179374
    Avatar photoJay Adan
    Participant

    Thanks!

    #179428
    Avatar photoian pillay
    Participant

    Well that was a cracking surprise. From the title I thought it would be about laser wielding cowboys! The build looks brilliant. What laser is it you use?

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..
    http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/

    #179515
    Avatar photoCacique Caribe
    Participant

    Fantastic!  Nice buildings.  Very nice indeed.

    Dan
    Loads of WIPs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/9593487@N07/albums/with/72157710630529376

    #179720
    Avatar photoJay Adan
    Participant

    Well that was a cracking surprise. From the title I thought it would be about laser wielding cowboys! The build looks brilliant. What laser is it you use?

    It was a bit of click-bait.. lol.

    The laser is an Aufero Laser 2. It’s pretty low-end but it turns out that low-end lasers can accomplish a lot these days.

    Several years ago I bought a K40 laser. It’s a type of cheap, Chinese CO2 laser. In theory pretty powerful and versatile. In practice (at least for me) a huge pain in the ass. My new laser is a diode laser and far less powerful and has a much more limited set of things it can cut but for hobby purposes I’ve found it to be amazing.

    #179721
    Avatar photoJay Adan
    Participant

    FYI –

    General Store 28mm by Jay Adan[/url], on Flickr

    General Store 28mm by Jay Adan[/url], on Flickr

    #179725
    Avatar photoian pillay
    Participant

    Wow that’s a really good laser for the price! The end results look really good as well 👍

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..
    http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/

    #179726
    Avatar photoJay Adan
    Participant

    After everything I went through with my K40 I was SUPER hesitant to try again with a laser that was even less powerful. Turned out it was the best thing I could have done.

    FYI – The problem I had with the K40 stems mainly from the difficulty I had in getting the laser actually zeroed in. A CO2 laser is positioned behind the gantry so the laser itself has to bounce off three or four mirrors before getting the the lens that then focuses the laser on the material you are cutting. Getting all of those things properly aligned is absolutely necessary in order to make the laser work properly. I was never quite sure at the time why I couldn’t get the cutting power out of the thing that I wanted but I eventually let it sit for a year before giving it to a friend of mine because if it was just going to take up space in the shop I needed it to go away. He was able to make it work for him so I’m happy about that.

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