Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Village of Marengo Part 2 - Scratch Built Buildings

It's been a bit of a trying time at home, with one of our kids not very well and going into hospital, and then finding out that I have arthritis - which will only get worse as I get older. So my painting projects have been neglected yet again, but things are now a lot better and I'm getting back into my blog.

Recently I posted pics of the first building to represent Marengo, the village that was the focus of the battle and campaign which inspired this project. Although the model from Total Battle Systems was very nice, I didn't feel that it looked very Italian. I searched through the major suppliers and although there were some building I thought were perfect they were also very expensive.

I decided to put my creativity to the test. I decided I didn't want absolutely perfect models - just something that looked right. I had a pile of strong mounting card lying under my desk and had some corrugated food packaging that could be used as roof tiling - so I started work. I built a house from card, used a coating of tiling grout to cover the walls, waited until it was dry and painted the walls with some cream wall paint that was sitting in the garage.

It looked great. It also looked huge. It was much too large for a games table. The scale was right, 15mm figures looked fine alongside the model, but when wargaming with figures at a scale of 1:20 it makes sense for the buildings to have a reduced footprint, all of which most gamers know - but I hadn't considered when starting my model.

So, start again. I knew what I was doing this time, so with the help of a keen 7-year-old daughter who would have preferred me to be building a fairytale castle, and using the Total Battle Systems building for inspiration and a size reference, I built another building. Here's the result...

I was happy with the result so next up was a large barn-like building.

After the barn I built another house, this one a smaller two storey building. Each one was taking less time to build, and as I wasn't trying for perfection, the rough look was fine and actually helped these buildings look right for the period and area.

The models still need a little finishing off and touching up to the paintwork and the ground on the last one needs painted, but when they sit together I feel they look like a small Italian farming village. Here they are together and with some 15mm figures for scale.

I feel that these will suffice to represent the village of Marengo. I've searched the internet for any pictorial evidence of how the town looked and the best I found was an old photograph (obviously not from 1800) which may or may not be Marengo, and a lovely and inspirational painting by Keith Rocco. The painting shows a tower which I may recreate as part of the town - although I have my doubts as to whether there was a tower at Marengo.