Now on to the second large project for this summer and even a larger one, than the modern US terrain.
Over the past few years one thing became increasingly clear to me… I wanted build up areas, that actually felt like a village or small town, instead of just some MDF buildings tossed onto the table.
Now long term followers of this blog will know that I have never been too happy with my 4Ground buildings due to them being easily recognisable and their proliferation across the world. Other buildings rather have a feeling like they they fit a loose hamlet. Yet others by Sarissa simply lack the footprint to give the weight I would like to see on my gaming table.
While I do have a 3D printer that I use for terrain and vehicles, I often still prefer MDF over prints. Now over the years I have grown increasingly fond of Charlie Foxtrot Models for several reasons. Colins models are fairly cheap, yet well thought out and detailed. And most importantly they all have individual features and offer a realistic footprint. So for that reason, the majority of models for this project came from Charlie Foxtrott.
But let’s start with those that did not. The first is Sarissa Precision’s Café Gondree from the Warlord Games Pegasus Bridge set. The kit itself is nice, but took a lot of work to get painted, due to all the small trim and such. I left the majority of the shutters off. While the sheets had been complete, I was still missing one shutter. So in the end, I decided to leave most of, instead of a single half shuttered window stand out. Main problem for me is the size of the building. Having been there I know that the original building is not gigantic either, but this one feels just too small (and I think caters to the short ranges in Bolt Action). But it should make a nice addition to my Pegasus Bridge as well as serving as a generic building for many western European set ups.
The other one is by Sarissa as well, this time their La Belle Alliance for the Waterloo campaign. I bought this, when I still had the time to paint Napoleomics, but have now decided to use it as a rather generic building. Maybe for the edges of a village or as part of a farm complex. Anyway, not wanting to use it in its historical role, gave me some liberties. So I added a fieldstone foundation and door / window beams, plastered up the walls and gave it all a good weathering with oil paints.
Now before I start with the completely new additions, I also made some addition to the last buildings of Charlie Foxtrot Models, namely some backyards. Again, the walls were plastered up (where appropriate) and weathered using oil paints. The plaster and oil paints will be a feature on all the following models as well, so I am going to omit that from here on. The sacks are from Stronghold Terrain if I remember correctly. The pile of firewood is simply cut up twigs.
When I did the shops the other year, I only gave them some light airbrush weathering, But I liked the oil paints version better and wanted to tie them all together, so I brought their weathering up to date as well.
When I bought the first batch of Normandy row houses from Charlie Foxtrot, I left the Brasserie out. Not sure why. At first look I did not like the building, but in the end I decided to add it to the collection. Which was a great idea, since it is as great as the other shops.
What is left now are the row houses. Obviously every village needs space for people to live in and I really liked the row houses from Charlie Foxtrot. Getting four of these is supposed to give my village what I am aiming for… gravity.
Obviously using the same large building four times means that I run the risk of it all looking cookie cutter style. To reduce that effect I made sure that all the backyards look as different as possible. The outhouses and sheds are by Charlie Foxtrot, the cold frame and chicken coop, as well as most of the chickens, are by another of my favourite companies, Warbases. And yes, I know that brick walls were not too common in Normandy, but I simply liked the brick version so much better than the plain one.
My favourite part though, is the Desire Ingouf. Once I had started on it, it became apparent that this would be a special piece. So in addition to the plaster, I also added a stone base from pink foam (which replaces the original laser engraved ones), roof tiles and custom signs / roads signs (not designed by me though)
To round it all off, I added new roads to it all, which you can see all through those post. Almost exactly a year ago (funny side story… while also on holidays in Scotland and staying in the same place I am writing this now) I stumbled about really nice cobblestone roads by Slug Industries. They were originally a Kickstarter, but if you contact Phil, he still has the moulds and sells them. They are really nicely designed and were easy and fast enough to paint. I also made some connector pieces to allow me to connect them to my existing hardened and dirt roads.
So all in all, I hope to have achieved my goal… to create a village that looks substantial and has gravity.