Monday, 27 January 2014


As you can study at Colonial Williamsburg, town houses - at least those of the better-off - were normally accompanied by a variety of outbuildings. There were outhouses (American English for privies), summer kitchens, kitchen wells, smoke houses, dairies, strewn across the estate.
Photo from Williamsburg, VA, showing summer-kitchen and well (on the left) and an outhouse (on the right).
Having built my store house and looking at some of the photographs of the renovated building I discovered something in the background that looked very much like a comfortable and luxurious outhouse, well becoming a wealthy landlord. So I decided to build one.
Part of the plan of a luxury outhouse
On the net I found several plans of historical outhouses and let myself be inspired by them. So the first outbuilding was a luxury privy!
The outhouse under construction
I started with a square foundation of plywood. To its sides I glued stripes of quarry stone. These I got by filling a mold I bought some time ago at a model railway shop, with some kind of model plaster (Stewaform), and then cutting two rows off with a metal jigsaw. The clapboard walls I made of soft plywood into which I cut the boards with a chisel. The sash window I made of remnants of my window production for the store house. The roof was made of cardboard with rows of cardboard slate over a plywood base. On top you can see the end of a tooth-prick and a wooden bead.
The construction of the roof is to be seen here
The roof is detachable (you could use the outhouse as a decorative box if you feel like it).
View of the interior with two toilets
The finished outhouse
 The next building on my work bench was a summer kitchen. These were more or less chimneys with an attached building. The foundation and the chimney were to be of brick masonry. To produce this, I had first to make a mold (as I didn't want to use the "wallpaper" method again as with my store).
So I first cut a module of a sheet of fine-structured polystyrene (about 10 to 7 cm), pasted it on to a board covered with a plastic material layer, and dug the joints into it with a pin. 
The module (sheet of polystyrene)
This brick structure module I surrounded with some old ledges. And then poured in the two component rubber material for the mold.
Ready for pouring in the material for the rubber mold
Filling the mold with my model plaster again I got several tiles with which I could construct the brick work of my model house.

A tile of model plaster
Then I started building the kitchen. I laid the foundations with plywood and three layers of brick at the edges. The walls were done in the same method as those of the outhouse. The voluminous chimney consists of a piece of wooden ledge, layers of 3mm plywood, and pieces of model plaster tiles cut to size with the jigsaw.

The kitchen with its fire-place (by Thomarillion)
The construction of the detachable roof
For the slate-roof I used sheets made by my friend Bernd Kufahl (again cut to size with the help of the jigsaw).
The finished kitchen house
The chimney side
The entrance
 The next - and last - building of this set was the kitchen well. It was made of 3mm plywood and cardboard. As a base I used the bottom of a box of French cheese.
The kitchen with the well
The most intricate part of this latter model was the bucket. I made it of a piece of round wood, some thin wire, and cardboard. It turned out to be quite some challenge for my poor old arthritic fingers! But what can you expect at the age of 80?


Chris Stoesen said...

That is just fantastic. Those are the details that make a table come alive for a scenario. When I get back to my AWI gaming, I will have to do this. Thanks for sharing this.

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

Fantastic stuff! These will make a scene for sure. Almost cries out for using Sharpe's Practice and skirmish based single AWI figures for a little "Morgan's Practice" just to coin a name.