The Dragon's Inn
Steps for using mold #51 to create the model shown here.
This Page Includes:
Building Instructions
Painting The Model
Making A Thatched Roof



Building Instructions

You will need to fill this mold 20 times to have enough blocks to build the inn. Be sure the blocks are completely dry before gluing them together. For detailed instructions on pouring the blocks, see the Casting Instructions Page.

1. You can download the plans shown here from the Building Plans Page and print them out yourself. If you're building something else, be sure to draw a plan on graph paper.

There are several ways to do the floor of your building. For this example, I will use a cereal box as a base. Cut a large section of a cereal box. Place a thin even layer of glue on the section and spread it around with your finger to even it out. Place the floor plan over the glue. To keep it flat, place a heavy book on it until it dries.

2. Glue your floor tiles directly down on the floorplan. If your floorplan starts to curl up, tape it down to the table.

The next step is to place your row of wall bricks around the outside. Do not glue them down to the floorplan or to the floor tiles! Instead just glue them to each other all the way around. Later we want to lift the finished wall away from the floor so we can paint the inside of the building easily.

3. While gluing the walls, occasionally use a straight piece of cardboard, foamboard or wood to make sure the walls are straight. Be sure to check all sides after gluing each row.
4. You will notice a flat block divided into four small bricks. These are used to decorate the edges of the windows and doorway.

When gluing these along the inside of the windows, you will notice that they are too long. Simply use a hobby knife and cut one of the small bricks off the end. Now glue the shortened block along the inside of the window.

5. This shows the finished building. Notice that I placed flat decorative trim blocks around the edge of the fireplace inside.

Be sure to let the model dry thoroughly before moving. When dry, you should be able to lift the walls off of the floor to make painting easier. Eventually, we will glue the walls down to the floorplan after it is painted.

Trim the excess paper off from around the floorplan.

Painting Instructions

For information on types of paint and supplies you will need, refer to the Painting Instructions Page.

For the Wizard's Tower, I used shades of gray by mixing black and white paint. For the Dragon's Inn I'm going to try some earth colors. If you like gray, feel free to use it instead! Throughout these building projects I will introduce new techniques. That doesn't mean you have to do them for the project to turn out nice.

1. The first coat of paint is a dark brown. For a recipe of the exact color, refer to the Earth Tone Painting Instructions. If you're using house paint, it's about 1 cup paint to 1/4 cup water. If you're using a tube of paint, add more water.

Using a 3/4 inch soft bristled brush, drench the paint on so it runs into all the cracks. If you used water based glue be careful! The paint will soften the glue. I usually paint the inside and let the model dry overnight, then paint the outside. Once the first coat is on and dry, you don't have to worry about the paint softening again.

2. Be sure you test out your paint colors on scrap blocks before you paint your whole model! I must have mixed up six different colors for the second coat before I found out what worked.

I wanted the rock to have a golden earth color, but I could never get the oranges or yellows to come out when I dry brushed it on. I finally mixed up a bright orange for the second coat and it worked! By the way, if you're using tube paint, it's too thick to dry brush effectively. You should thin it to the consistency of house paint.

The last coat is a mixture of white paint with a little yellow added. This is dry brushed on very lightly.

3. Now compare my paint colors to the finished model. It's hard to believe how different they look on the model. You can't predict how it will look unless you test out the colors first.

For complete painting instructions, and the exact recipe for these colors, refer to the Earth Tone Painting Instructions.

4. There's 2 ways to paint the shutters. The easy way is to paint them brown, then take a soft cloth and wipe the paint off. This is like applying stain to it.

The second method is to dry brush lighter colors on later as shown in the far right picture.

5. Here is the finished building with the shutters glued in place. If you are using this model for wargaming or other heavy use, be sure to spray it with a coat of flat lacquer or varnish. At this point, you can go ahead and glue the walls onto the floor.

Making The Roof

This example shows how to make a thatched roof. If you would like to make a shingled roof, go to Tips & Tricks. If you would like to make a clay tile roof, go to Tips & Tricks 5.

1. You can find a roof template on our building plans page. Just look for the plans labeled "Dragon's inn plans". Lay the template over a piece of corrugated cardboard (be sure the corrugation is running the direction shown on the template). Using a pen, poke holes through the template into the cardboard on all the spots indicated.

Using a pen and ruler, connect the dots on the cardboard. Be sure to draw the line that represents where the roof is folded (to form the peak). In big letters, write "Glue This Side" on it.

Cut out the two roof pieces (there is a smaller square piece not shown here). Using a butter knife, crease the roof peak and fold down so that the words "Glue This Side" are on top of the roof.

2. We are going to use aluminum foil and glue to give the roof a thatched texture (sort of like an art project I remember doing in grade school).

Cover both roof sections with a thick coat of white glue (Elmer's). Spread it around with your finger until it's smooth with no bare spots.

3. Cover the roof with aluminum foil dull side up. The dull side is easier for paint to stick to. Take a comb and run it down the sides of the roof to give it a thatched texture. Work it over good with the comb to put some deep grooves in it. If you have any air bubbles under the foil, poke them with a knife to release the air. Be sure you apply the texture in the direction shown here.
4. Trim the excess foil off leaving 3/4" all around. Glue and fold this excess under the roof.

Place the roof on your building to see how it fits. You will most likely have to do a little trimming to make it fit right.

5. Position the smaller roof section on and hold it temporarily in place with some tape. Flip the roof over and tape it securely on the underside. Remove the first strips of tape you placed and let the glued foil dry.
6. Paint the roof with flat white spray paint. You could also use white house paint, but spray paint is much easier. Let the paint dry completely.

Now mix up a deep yellow with a touch of brown in it. Thin the paint down (to the consistency of milk) and paint it on liberally. Use a soft cloth to wipe off the excess (like a stain). Repeat the process if needed.

7. Drybrush straight white onto the roof for the highlights. Use the thickest paint you can find. It will also make the roof not so deep yellow.

When finished, spray a coating of flat varnish or lacquer to protect it.

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For more information contact bruce@hirstarts.com.