Monday 12 April 2021

Hang on fellas, I've got an idea...

So as I now have forces for 28mm Ancients (Infamy, Infamy) and Arthurian Britain (Dux Britanniarum), I have been thinking about terrain. Hills, Woods, roads etc, not an issue. But nothing says period like a well done building or built-up area. 

So far, virtually all of my 28mm buildings have been MDF. Untouched, when they come out of the pack, and after assembly, they are barely 'Ok', in my view. The better kits, such as Charlie Foxtrot, and Supreme Littleness, have additional pieces like greyboard or additional details that make them look less like a flatpack IKEA building, but even then, they still need a lot of work to add texture and character. (The Leanach Cottage from Supreme Littleness is in a previous update -  Painting Catch-up)

I also hate it when my buildings look exactly like every other building on display. At one particular show, I think I must have seen the same 4Ground 15mm Normandy buildings on three separate tables. Nice, but clearly just assembled and otherwise untouched. So I am trying to add something of my own to all my building projects these days. 

Anyway, I spotted a Roman Villa available from Gamecult very cheaply at £13.50 and thought it had potential. It arrived today, and I threw the basic shell together while watching TV. Then I looked at it again, and realised that not only had I bought a Roman Villa, but with a Stanley Knife (a boxcutter to our US cousins), I had also bought a Mediterranean Farmhouse for Sharp Practice in Spain and CoC in Siciliy, and a colonnade as well.  

Basic Build

I will be adding brick paper, grout texture to the walls for plaster, and greyboard details to the windows. But it has additional potential....

The basic model with the surrounding roofs and pillars removed.

What happens when you trim the base off at the visible line... you can see it running down the side of the building. (Of course, this would be easier if you did this before assembly.... )

Roofing taped for gluing
Still looks the same?

Et voila!
But now the roofing is removable as a separate colonnade, leaving the central building ideal for a Mediterranean villa. Or a colonnade as a separate feature. I will have to reinforce the front section with scrap MDF for additional rigidity, but otherwise..  

'Toothpaste Squeezer...  couple of quid from eBay

Of course, I have marked the roof line on the original building, and will line this with a couple of courses of brick paper, so the roofs slide into place easily. The rest of the building will get tarted up with grout texture, brick courses at the bases, some vines growing on the terrace, some new doors and  so on. And the roof tiles? Well, a cheap toothpaste squeezer will give me endless strips of corrugated roof tiles for this and other similar roofs.  

Groundwork and Vines to do. Tiles are a bit wonky


  1. Great use of the toothpaste squeezer. Am not sure if you follow Mark Morin (in the US) but he recently used chinchilla dust to add texture to some MDF Aztec ruins to great effect, an advantage of which might be that it would be fairly easy to mask over areas of brick paper and show the crumbling plaster look in places. Just an idea.

    I look fwd to seeing how this turns out as I am all for using models for differing periods and theatres if possible.

  2. Thanks for that, I will have to hunt down Mark's article, I don't think I have ever seen Chinchilla dust used.

    1. I heard about it and tried to track some down in Australia, but as Chinchillas cannot be imported there’s no call for chinchilla dust....

    2. And given the weight it is sold in, importing it would be pretty pricey. Though I am looking at 2.5 kg packs, which I expect will last me for years, so it might be worth it.