Building a Southern Mansion

One of the most characteristic buildings of the Civil War South is the plantation house or mansion. Often built in a sumptuous neoclassicist style, it served as the home for the planter and his family. Many examples survive and a quick internet search reveals a number of inspirational images.

My project started with a quick sketch and an outline of the necessary parts which would make up the building. Those were then cut out of plastic sheet. I then glued on windows and doors from Auhagen. Those are made for H0 model railways and are in 1/87, but they work perfect with 15mm figures.

I by all means wanted to have the characteristic weatherboarding effect and decided to cover the walls with thin strips of cardboard. This is labour-intensive work but the result looks rather nice. By the way, it turns out that the best cardboard for this purpose comes from spaghetti boxes – a welcome excuse to eat even more pasta!

The walls were assembled and the structure was strengthened with some pieces of wood. My models are gaming pieces and I always build them to survive the rough handling of eager wargamers.

WallsAssembled

For the columns of the balcony, I used wooden dowels. They have a nice structure but of course no capital; however, I decided I could live with that.

The rails of the balcony were made from fancy toothpicks I nicked at a buffet – when I saw them, I immediately knew they would be perfect for such a project!

WallsAssembled2

I decided to make a removable roof and built a quick mock-up out of cardboard. This is something I sometimes do with more complex structures – I’m prone to making errors in my calculations, so it’s better to check it before cutting the wrong shapes out of plastic.

RoofMockup

The roof shingles were made out of cardboard – again a mind-numbing work but the result looks nice.

When everything was finished, I assembled the whole structure, primed and painted it. And that’s how it looks:

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7 thoughts on “Building a Southern Mansion

  1. emjenic October 13, 2017 / 11:23 am

    That is absolutely spectacular! A great piece of work sure to draw attention on the table. Well done sir!

  2. Steve Baker October 13, 2017 / 6:12 pm

    I think it really needs shutters – those are such an iconic feature of those houses – especially since they were really the only splash of color in the building, so they stand out a lot.

    • cptshandy October 14, 2017 / 9:35 am

      Thanks, that’s an idea I haven’t considered, I’ll think about it…

  3. Mikko October 14, 2017 / 11:46 am

    Beautiful work! Very Gone with the Wind.

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