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Category Archives: Warbases

French Village

French Village

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.

 

House Hunters Russian Edition

House Hunters Russian Edition

While I have some houses set in rural Russia for the Napoleonics to WWII era, it seems there never were and never are enough. So some time ago I decided to beef this up. Buying the models had been the easy part, actually building and painting them took ages it seems. So in order of their purchase dates, here they are:

Up first is a Russian Orthodox Church. Now these days there are a number of extremely nice MDF kits out there and I would be hard pressed to decide which one to use, but back when I decided to beef the numbers up there were none. So I decided to take a different route and use the Perry’s ACW plastic Church kit. I scraped off the Christian cross above the entrance, which sounds easier as it was without damaging the wooden planks, and replaced it with one laser-cut from MDF. The cross is by a small UK company. Unfortunately I can not remember their name to give them credit. The regular roof on the bell tower was left off and the resulting square hole shut off using a piece of plastic card. The onion shaped dome is from Fenris Games. All that was left to do was paint it. In real life there is more contrast to the wooden planks and also some greenish stains, but it seems the natural light when so took the photos nearly soaked that up (same also applies to the other buildings in this post).

Russian church

Russian church

Russian church

Russian church

Up next is the windmill. In a way this is kind of a kitbash as well. The basic windmill is by Warbases. I replaced the original tool with coffee stirrers, since I wanted a real simple roof there. Since I wanted it to be raised and of a kind that was able to turn with the winds I constructed an under structure from wooden strips and Hirst Arts stones. To make it all accessible I added a ladder from the same company that provided me with the Orthodox cross. I know a set of stairs would probably have made more sense, but this is easier to store and there is a door up on the rear side for lifting goods into the mill anyway, so a ladder had to do.

Russian windmill

Russian windmill

Russian windmill

Russian windmill

Up Last are two razed buildings. These are extremely nice kits from Charlie Foxtrot (you are going to see a few more of their models over my next posts). I really love their chimney stacks. They really add something to the looks of these burned down buildings. I build these two sets pretty straight forward assembling the buildings and painting them. They come with lots of separate planks and so on to allow you to mimic rubble and I decided not to paint these. Since they were thin strips of MDF they already looked suitably scorched as it was. So these were just filed in after the painting. Now once it was I all glued together this proved to be a mistake, since they looked immensely different from the way I had painted the rest of the buildings. The original plan had been to give the edges of the buildings a quick black spray with the airbrush and give it all a light black dusting to back it blend, but I realised that this would not do the trick. Something else would be needed. So I treated it all with a candle, making sure it left soot marks over the building and rubble. I also noticed that the floors looked to clean and that there was too little debris there. Thank gods it is BBQ season right now so I took some coal dust from the bottom of a bag of coals, smashed up a small piece of charcoal to get some larger pieces of debris and files that over the floor and debris to enhance the looks. And I feel it worked. If you want to try this yourselves, please make sure you are working outside or in a well ventilated room (the heat from the candle combined with the paint could cause fumes) and that you have something on hand to extinguish the fire should you overdo it. Also, sealing it all with varnish afterwards is a must otherwise you will smear things and you and other players might get dirty using the buildings.

Razed russian house

Razed russian house

Razed russian house

Razed russian house

Razed russian house

Razed russian house