So, to start with I raided my supply stash. A CD to base it on, foam board for the house frame, coffee stir sticks. I already knew my general plan: A creepy old cabin perched on a rocky outcropping, with a tree growing through it. I originally planned to use some bark for the base and some HA shingles for the roof, but those ideas didn't last.
I'd seen people make trees out of twisted wire before, but I'd never done it myself. I found some guides on the internet and went about making the tree that would be growing through the building.
I punched a hole in the roof and folded some of the wire on top, and some underneath to hold it in place before eventually gluing it down.
At first I'd planned to use Milliput to sculpt the tree, but for the life of me I couldn't find mine! And it's hard to get in the US, so I did some research and discovered MagicSculpt, which is also hard to find in the US, and then Apoxie Sculpt, which I could get shipped to me Prime! So, this was my first time working with this stuff, but I have to say, it's fantastic! I used this, my fingers and the clay shaping tool here to make the tree.
So here's the top of the tree almost done, and some siding started on the hut. As you can see, I scrapped the entire bark plan and decided to sculpt the rocks out of pink foam (another super basic staple of terrain making that I'd never actually done before now). I weathered all the boards by slicing off the edges and scratching them up.
Sculpting the roots and using a couple of Hirst Arts pieces as supports. My original plan was to make a cage or jail cell in the hollow that maybe the witch would throw little kids into. I was thinking of putting bars between the stone supports, but eventually I scrapped that idea.
It was about this time I got the idea to do something else I'd never done...LEDs! Prime to the rescue again. I ordered a cheap pack of tea lights online, but then realized I would need some more stuff, so I ordered some battery holders and a soldering gun (yay, more firsts!) When that all arrived and I worked out how I was going to do it, I cut some holes in my rocks.
Next I used some Elmers Wood Filler to cover all the cork and tops of the foam to add a general dirt texture and began sculpting some moss on the trees with green stuff.
So, it was time to figure out what I'm doing with the roof. I ditched the HA shingles because getting them around the tree would have been a nightmare. And I really didn't want to cut out a bunch of cardboard shingles, as that drives me nuts. So, back online to research ways to make thatching! There are a ton of ways to do this, but I opted for a method that was simple, good looking and, most importantly, I had materials for on hand! So, I cut up an old ratty towel into strips (making sure the fibers wanted to lay the right way) and glued them down.
OK, time to start getting this assembled so I can finish the siding. I had some old LED holders from ancient projects never finished, and after soldering my battery holder to my LED terminals, in the entire thing went!
I cut up a round bit of blister packaging (from an old pack of neodymium magnets) to use as the base for the external furnace. Yes, I know a furnace door on the outside, on the edge of a cliff no less, makes almost zero sense. Glowing windows would have been smarter, but I had this idea in my head and it wouldn't go away, so
Nearing completion here! Siding is done, tree is finished. Added a little window for interest.
I sculpted up the fireplace with more Apoxie Sculpt, a bit from the Pegasus Chemical Plant for the chimney topped with good old Death Jack chimney on the top.
Now for bits! I smoothed down the roof with watered down glue, then started adding bits. A few Hirst Arts bits, some stuff from the bits store (Old Witch's Hut has to have crows!). The ropes on the tree were created by twisting thin wire together (I used a drill) to make a rope texture, then wrapping/tying it on to an old GW skeleton part. The door bits are more Apoxie Sculpt with a paper clip twisted into a circle for the handle.
And finally, primed and ready for paint! I was seriously tempted to leave it just like this. It looks like something out of a black and white horror film. I really tried to maintain that look in the paint, but I quickly found my skills weren't up to the task, so I just finished it up as best I could.