This can be a bit tricky since we are working with steeply pitched roofs at angles greater than 45 degrees. Unfortunately, it’s largely a matter of trial and error, which will see you uttering a a few choice words and throwing away the first few pieces of balsa wood that you cut until you have the angle just right. Then, your model chimneys should stand straight and tall (more or less ) . If you are lucky, you’ll get it right before too long.
Here’s how I do it. Once the basic house is all glued together and thoroughly dry, I take a long piece of balsa, from which I’ll cut my chimneys, and stand it on end right up next to the rear gable -- the triangular, rear end – of the house. Holding it firmly against that gable with my left hand, I trace the angle of the roof along the piece of balsa with a fairly soft-leaded artist’s pencil. I now have a faint angled line across the piece of balsa wood that is complimentary (remember your basic geometry from school?) to the angle of the roof.Using a tiny saw, I carefully cut along that line on the piece of balsa wood, taking care not to force the saw. If all goes well, I soon have two pieces that will fit onto the roof of my model house nicely without too much trouble. See the photo below. Next, cut two chimney pieces to a length that satisfies your visual sensibilities. If you want more chimneys on your house, repeat the above mini-steps. Yes, all of this does sound a bit abstract, but the accompanying photos should make things clearer.
Once you have two or three chimneys, glue them onto your roof. I usually place them off to one side at either end of my model houses and maybe a third somewhere in the middle. You can see what I describe in the next picture beneath this paragraph. If your chimneys are not perfectly straight and lean a bit, don’t fret. Just ignore it. A slight lean will simply add to the whimsical and rambling nature of your model. Once everything is painted and you have amassed several of these houses, you won’t really notice minor imperfections anyway. After all, these are not architectural models, but rather serious toys for use in your games.
So, there we are. The outer shell of our basic structure is finished for the time being. Next, we’ll look at cutting and assembling the interior “ruins” on the base of the merchant’s townhouse that now stands fully assembled. See you then!