The medieval half-timbered house
This campaign is about providing you with medieval timberframe houses that can be used to populate the typical town or city from around 1100 to 1500. The houses will all be in the same style, though each will differ slightly in width, length, height, jetties, roof angle, etc - so that no two houses are identical and the city looks like built by and for individuals, not like cloned townhouses. From small stables and cabins to representative 4-level buildings on the market row the houses will look like they use the same material and construction technics.
"I really want to see photographs of printed models before investing in STL files" - Poster on TMP, concering advertized STL files
We realize that there are already plenty of splendid buildings around that make wonderfull centerpieces and eye-catchers, but you will still need something around your piece to put it in a center, and not stand alone.
What you get
This campaign provides you with medievel houses to populate your medieval town or city. Nothing else, but that in plenty. For starters, you get 100 different buildings to populate your city - and you get each and any building with or without optional stone base and as timberframe model.
In addition there will be versions for 6mm (1:285) and 3mm (1:600). This allows you to create a whole city in (real) small and then just print your own building or street in large.
See our LIST of all planned buildings!
Testprint our Free Sample House A (8*6m, 2 level) !
What you do NOT get
These buildings are not individually sculpted pieces of art - many of these are already available from different artists and companies, often at quite sensible prices - but architectural models modified for printing and gaming use.
They are principally made in realistic proportions and printable for 1:100, which means they do print well for larger scales, especially 1:87, 1:72 or 1:56. They do not have individually structured surfaces however - as most surface structures scaled down even to 1:50 would be near invisible anyway. They also do not have carvings or creative gimmicks strewn around. These are plain houses - the rank and file, not the characters of your city!
As these houses use realistic proportions (see the list below) most of them look comparatively large when compared to existing buildings. In our set of 100 we do provide you with a set of 5 for a reduced footprint that are similar in size (if not in style) to some of 4Grounds buildings. If there is sufficient interest, we may add a quarter (~25) as a later stretchgoal.
On the small versions - The 1:285 (6mm) and 1:600 (3mm) buildings are largely scaled down versions of the large one, but some of the details, mainly posts, studs and shingles, need to be way thicker to get an acceptable printout. For the same reason some of the details on the smaller buildings are different, but we try to keep them as similar as possible. The dimensions will always be the same. Note that we added an inlet into the 6mm version, so that the walls are thicker, and a complete fillout into the 3mm versions. There will be no interior wall details in these, and no breakdown into different levels.
We developed these buildings using architectural software (Allplan). Thus, the approach was to create them as close to an actually possible building as we could. This means we will have no twisted walls, caved in roofs or damaged framings. People in medieval times did not like open walls better then we do nowadays. Most houses would be kept in good condition, or torn down and built anew. Medieval artisans were masters of their art, and so we tried to create templates that they would see, recognize and (hopefully) approve. If we err in our constructions, drop us a line and we may reconsider.
We used a story framed construction with the iconical jetties in a typical German style that would be not atypical to towns in northwestern Europe from around 1100 to 1500. In the earlier phase you would see more rigid-post framing and steeper roofs, while to the later phase you certainly would see chimneys and stone basements (or complete stone buildings. Thus, the main era for our houses is 1200-1400.
Half-timered buildings (Fachwerk) have many regional styles, and we deliberately tried to avoid chosing any of these. If the campaign goes well, however, we may add quarters in more specific styles, probably starting with the English (known as Tudor, though the style predates that dynasty), Franconian, Northern or Southern German, French, etc... - or the rigid framed buildings of previous centuries. We have to start somewhere, however.
Possible problems & Free sample!
A word of warning: We use architectural software (Allplan) and Python to create our buildings. This means, alas, that the transformation into STLs working for 3d-print is not as smooth as other tools allow for. We channel the output of our efforts through Meshlab (thanks to them, btw) and then process them with Cura for printing. We print all our designs both on a Dremel Ideabuilder 3D20 and an Ender 3 Pro (both printers costing around 300€ at the time of aquisition).
If you have a similar setup (especially Cura as slicer) our files should work just fine. If not, test it before you jump into this campaign. Some software disagrees with our files, or actually produces problems once you try to "fix" it - while it prints out fine without that "repair".
To this end, and to enable ALL here to see what they get before putting money on the table, we have set up a sample standard page with a single house:
Download, print, and if you have issues please mail us about it. We cannot promise to fix it all for you, but we definitely want to know about it.
Quarters of Balkenheim
If you go for the quarter-pledge, these are the town quarters available to chose:
- Single Buildings
- Row Buildings (2 level)
- Row Buildings (3-4 level)
- Special Buildings
- 6mm Balkenheim (1:285)
- 3mm Balkenheim (1:600)
- Incoming Stretchgoals
See this LIST of all planned buildings!
- 2000€ - The English Quarter - 25 Buildings in the English (Tudor) style
- 3500€ - New quarter or architectural features to be decided by backer vote
- 5000€ - Multi Color versions - two and five color versions (February 2020) for all houses (two for the 1:100 parts, five for the full building). We will test them on a Prusa i3 Multicolor. No Textures!
- be serious...
The City of Balkenheim
Why label alls this as "Balkenheim"? Mainly as an inspiration for our local gaming group. The original idea was to create a city with each and any building being individually created. While that idea needs a bit more effort - most medieval buildings were later custom built to fill out the available space to 100%, disregarding any notions of "right" angles - the idea to create different buildings in the same style stuck, and here we are.
Balkenheim is a typical medieval city somewhere in that construct called the Roman Empire - or later the "Holy" Roman Empire, when the Emperor and the Pope clashed again and Friedrich claimed the "holy" for the Empire to show that he did not need the approval of the Pope to get gods blessing. We divert...
As an "imperial" city it is independent from the local lords and clergy - just responsible to the Emperor directly. A status much sought after by cities, as the Emperor was usually far away and even when on the scene was unable to excercise direct power, so this was a de facto independence, as long as the Imperial law was upheld. Understandably neither lords nor clergy were amused, especially not when these cities were directly in their territory and they were still obliged to protect them. Many a nominal overlord tried to occupy "his" city, and minor wars were not uncommon. For OUR fictive Balkenheim this means there are a lot of "groups of interest" in and near the city, from Bishop, Priest and Abbots to Duke and Castellan. A Kommende of the Teutonic order, a Kontor of the Hanse (and other ássociations) and of course different factions of the local inhabitants, from traders over guildsmen to various unguilded groups down to rivermen and outlaws, add to the variety of the political life.
Did I mention that Balkenheim and its Hinterland is riddled with mines, and that Balkenstein - the local castle in the hands of the earl, has extensive dungeons?
None of this has any bearing on this camppaign or the available STLs, though.
Half timbered/Timberframe - Fachwerk - a construction method that goes back at least towards Roman times. Its not entirely clear wether "half timbered" in english refers to "timber and infill" or "1st level stone, upwards timber". As we (yet) do not use stone or brick in these houses, both terms refer to Fachwerk - timber framework filled with plaster of various material.
Jetty - Kragung - the overlap of levels over the lower one. Often asymetrical using the avaiable space towards the street and/or side/back. Note that early medieval houses were often constructed in a way that did not allow for jetties.
Post - Eckständer - the outer posts of a house, usually a bit on the more sturdy side.
Stud - Ständer - the other vertical bars that usually do have a static function.
Girt - Riegel - Horizontal bars that have usually static functions, but are sometimes just fashionable.
Brace - Strebe - bars that connect studs and girts at various angles. Often - especially at the sides - with static functions, sometimes pure ornamtental.
Infill - Gefach - whatever is left when you put in the bars needs filling. An infill is framed by bars. Usually wattle & daub, but bricks or other materials were not uncommon, too.
Doors & Windows - these are currently in a prototype version that is just scaled to fit the available space. Before the campaing ends we will have replaced these with a Macro that produces non-distorted versions.
Chimneys & Hearth - Frankly said, there were no chimneys in medieval times. They used a fireplace in the entry hall, perhaps one in the cooking niche. For simplicity we left them out - for now.
Roofing - Dachhaut - We decided to for slightly irregular shingles here. There are other options - mainly thatches - but when scaled down these look either pretty bland, or when structured they are badly scaled down. In addition, thatching was often prohibited within medieval cities as in a city build of wood without chimney having thatched roofs was an invitation to desaster.
City Walls & Towers
As you might see on some of our photos, there is a set of city walls and towers. These are largely prototypes with flat surfaces, so they work well for 3mm and might work for 6mm, but for anything larger they look bland.
We got a couple of requests to make them available - and since they DO exist we decided to make them available in the 3mm and 6mm Quarter pledge and with the full pledge. Note that they were originally testprinted on 6mm, so some features do not work with 3mm, and there will be no addons to this line. A coming update will detail the list of walls, towers and roofs that are now part of this campaign.
If you are interested in a custom house you can set up your personal preferences on this House Design Page.
The sample data put in there is one that leds to a version of our Sample House.
In short, you can decide upon the footprint, the timberframe design (within limits), the rough number of windows and bracings, the exact amount of jettying on all levels and directions, the roof angle and direction of doors & windows. The resulting house will look like the samples given above, using your settings.
See the chapter "construction details" for our usage of the terms - if you find any mistakes, please inform us. We usually work with the German terminology, so awkward translations may have crept in.
If you think that may not be what you want, you should either skip the "custom design" or - if you want it, but different - contact us directly. We do custom work, but that will be a bit more expensive then the +20€ you pay for this one. If demand for the same request is high enough, we may add it to the template.
Unless you chose a "private" custom design, your building will be made available to the other backers, too, and you have the option to release it under your name or anonymously.
You can use the files to print as many buildings for yourself or your friends as you want. You may NOT print these buildings to sell (or barter) them, nor may you forward or sell these files to somebody who does so. Note that we MAY have individualized the odd feature on the building (like shingles) to recognize the origin and connect it to your Kickstarter-account.
If somebody is interested in printing buildings to sell them physically, contact us at email@example.com. We will provide you with unique files (very similar to, but different from the files in this campaign) usually for 10% of the sale value or a negotiable flat fee.
Risks and challenges
See the text for possible problems with the files. If the sample works, all the rest should work, too.
We already do have most of the houses done and can create and finalze 4-8 additional per day, beginning the moment the campaign starts, so December 19 is not only realistic but highly probable even when all custom buildings are ordered (which we do not expect). If nothing weired happens, we will have a relaxed christmas!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)