Just for nostalgia's sake, I thought I'd post a photo journal of the loft games room as it progresses from the empty space above the house into a purpose-built gaming room. I'll add photos as and when major stages are completed, so you can see the whole project take shape.
Here are two digital images of how the loft should look, once it's finally finished. This was made in interior design software, and then doctored to give it the low sloping ceiling and stonework walls. The finished games room should have the following cool stuff:
Wooden planking for the 'top' half of the room.
Paving stone-effect carpet tiling for the rest of the games room, so we don't get cold toes!
Stone-effect castle walls on all sides, textured out of styrofoam.
Fake fireplace, just to give it a castley-feel!
Hidden storage room concealed behind (yes, you've guessed it) the fake fireplace, which swings out on hinges.
Leaded glass window, to give a feel of being inside, as opposed to outside, a castle.
Medieval wooden wagon-wheel light over the table.
Purpose built gaming table, with concealed storage space for three gaming boards. When not in use, the boards can be tucked away underneath the wooden tabletop.
Leather-topped bench stools, which hopefully should be sectional/movable if needed.
Lots of bookcases for displaying our models and armies.
...and a few cool accessories - swords, beer barrels, chests, etc.
Room completed!! (June 2008)
Oh my goodness - it's finally done!! After 17 months and many, many hours of painstaking work, I finally finished the games room. The fireplace was a simple job of sticking scorched logs together with a hot-glue gun, and the 'leaded' window pane was a slightly more complicated balsa-wood structure glued to perspex, and scraped with silver onto black. It looks convincingly real, and even opens too when we need the extra ventilation! The last job was the chandelier, which meant burying wiring cables inside a wooden wagon wheel (a replica one!), and hanging the whole thing from three chunky black chains. For atmosphere we can turn all other lights off, for a very dark feel - perfect for those Mordheim games around Halloween!
So with those notes completed, I'll finish up this little construction journal, and leave you to enjoy the photos of the final version at the top of the page. See you!
Bookcases completed and carpetting finished (May 2008)
As you can see from the photos above, the Dungeon room is almost complete now. The two bookcases have been stained to dark wood colours, and the shelves have been filled with (mostly unpainted!) warhammer and 40K models. I took a long 6 hours this weekend to cut and fit all of the carpet tiles, which certainly neatened up the room. The 80 carpet tiles are split between 3 different shades of grey, and a random pattern was used to produce the effect of stone paving slabs - at least that was the intention! So with the flooring completed for the entire room, I've made a start with painting the walls in grey. A very rough drybrush has been done in medium grey, and again I'm planning to create a random stone effect by using three or four shades of grey. I've even drybrushed the fireplace (top right) a lighter tone and also the airconditioner (look carefully in the left photo - can you see it?). Hopefully the wall painting should be done in a couple of weeks, and then it's final extras.... chandelier, fireplace and window!
Bookcases fitted (March 2008)
We're almost there now... both the bookcases have been put together, and I'm very proud of them. In fact it seems a shame to hide them away in the loft, where nobody will really see them - oh well. There are plenty of shelves, but they're only about 6" deep, so ideal for displaying models. I'll be darkening them with woodstain over the next week, and then it's back to the walls for drybrushing (on a BIG scale) and finally carpetting. Phew!
Table motif finished (mid February 2008)
After a quick poll on the clubpage, most of the voters thought a Warhammer or Sigmar's Comet would look good on the table, and the comet seemed easier! So with a router I managed to dig out the outline of the comet design on the tabletop, and then stained the whole table in various shades of brown - it looks perfect for the games room! Just the bookcases to go now...
Furniture Frenzy! (mid January 2008)
This month has seen a huge lot of furniture finished, with a painting desk built to go against the tall wall. 6 sectional stools have also been finished, and stained a very dark oak colour (see the 'before' and 'after' versions, above). The inside of the stools double as storage for the mass of scenery and terrain items we've now got (Thanks, Makoto!), and they are usually lined up 3 either side of the table, to be used as long benches. I was planning to cover the seat cushions in plain black leather, but found a more interesting snakeskin material in black and dark silver - so we'll be sitting on the trophy skins of a war hydra or something, I reckon!
The only remaining bits of furniture still left to do are the large bookcases either side of the room, for displaying models. Watch this space...
Walls primed (early December 2007)
Wow. That makes a big difference! A very messy afternoon with an electric spray gun and a pot of dark grey paint resulted in a really gloomy effect for the whole room (the photo above shows the room with all the extra lighting on). You can see that the fireplace blends in well - you might not even suspect it's a door?!
I've also mounted the picture frame on the wall, and my large dragon-hilted broadsword, just so you get the full effect. Need to drybrush all the stones next. Other recent changes included the completion of the gaming table, which has hidden storage for 2 gaming boards inside and also large storage for another scenic table underneath, and the flooring of the 'upper level' platform of the game room in wood planking. Next comes the seating...
Stone walls (November 2007)
I took the summer off from loft construction, as it was getting mighty toasty, and it was just about ready for some wargaming in that state anyway. So in September I splashed out on some airconditioning (seemed a waste to have room we couldn't use 4 months every year), and then started staining all the wood beams a darker brown. Next came the ceiling, which I painted a burnt-brown colour, and then messily sprayed with a lighter shade. That gave it a very odd 'bronze' effect, but was close to the 'smoke-stained pub' effect I was going for. Made the room really dark, though - and I haven't even painted the walls dark grey yet!
Finally at this stage it was time to cover the walls in styrofoam 'stones'. That was a real labour of love - about 30 hours it took, I think. But I was able to have some fun with the fake fireplace, which is built out of a mixture of styrofoam, polystyrene and wood. It gives it a good, chunky feel, and was topped off with some decorative fleurs-de-lis motifs. Next comes the wall spraying...
Walled! (January 2007)
We finally got there... a walled and insulated room. It looks lovely and tidy, right? Well, it's not going to stay that way for long, as the next stage is to create a partition wall at the far end, to separate the raised area from the rest of the room. Note how light and clean the room looks, and then take a look at the next photo.
Wall insulation (Xmas 2006)
Now it almost starts to look like a room, right? You can see a dark hole on the far side of the room, and that's the doorway into the rest of the roofspace, which will actually be built into the wall of the hidden storage room. Complicated huh?
Ceiling insulation (Xmas 2006)
I've tried to fit in as much insulation as possible into the 5cm space between ceiling and outside roof. But, as Jean-Luc can confirm, on a sunny summer's day it gets pretty toasty!
Floor finished (mid-December 2006)
Doesn't it look a whole lot better now? You can see that the floor isn't perfectly flat, so I've had to incorporate several beams and raised bits into the overall design. Hopefully once it's done most will be disguised under furniture, except for the raised bit near the camera which will become a separate area.
Starting the flooring (December 2006)
In this photo you can see that the loft ladder has been installed, which made things so much easier. Imagine having to crawl through a 40cm hold every time?! Yukiko obviously had misgivings about cutting a huge hole in the ceiling of our newly-completed house, but she extended a little faith! The flooring joists have all been laid out and fixed down, and the sound insulation (the black rolls in the middle) went in shortly after that.
How it all started (November 2006)
This is what the loft space looked like the year we moved in, without any walls, floors or ceilings. Cool, huh? When I was planning the house originally, I decided it was the ideal space to add some storage. And all I had to do was convert it properly. What a dummy!
In the photo you can see the large amount of lumber used for the floor supports (which I had to put in while the house was still being built), and the extra insulation I added. The white ribbon on the far side marks the extent of the room.