My moaning about resin as a material doesn’t seem to have kept me from buying more of the stuff. For our Wars of the Roses games, I wanted to have some buildings to make up a village or small town. I quickly dismissed MDF buildings – I had a look at some of them at CRISIS and wasn’t impressed by how they look and quite shocked by the price, especially of the prepainted ones.
The first building I ordered was by Total Battle Miniatures. I got the Single House from their 15mm Big Battalion range. Most of those buildings have an 18th century look, but some can be used for the medieval period if one is not too strict. The cast is clean and detailed and it paints up nicely.
The second order went out to Hovels. Hovels have been around for a long time but they seem to have gone quiet lately. However, they still have a huge range of products for very good prices. Don’t let yourself be put off by the pictures on the website: The buildings look much better in reality! They have a bit of an ‘old school’ look which I like a lot and they are easily painted. Also, the service is good – they charge postage after weighting the package, so you don’t overpay. My order was for three buildings from the 15mm English/Rural range: two nice two-storey town houses and a tavern. However, as I really like them and painting them was fun, I ordered some more from their medieval range, including a blacksmith’s shop. Those are not yet painted, though.
Another attractive range of 15mm buildings is made by JR Miniatures and distributed by Magister Militium. I ordered a small village gate house to add some colour to our village. The building is originally intended for 18th century settings and this shows in the style, especially of the roof. However, it looks nice and as I already have a big fortified gate from my Kallistra castle set (still unpainted, alas!) which works as a town gate, I wanted something to denote the edge of a smallish village. The gate itself is a bit on the small side, so baggage train bases won’t really fit through, but it still looks nice and I prefer my buildings to be a bit reduced in size anyway. The cast has some bubbles and gaps, but nothing that can’t be mended by a bit of green stuff.
The next thing is something I got on ebay. I have no idea who the manufacturer is, but I think it’s quite old. It’s a massive manor house more in the style of the 17th century, but as I’ve already said I don’t mind minor discrepancies on my table top. Scale wise, the building is larger than the others. This doesn’t show too much if they are all huddled together to make up a small settlement, however. The whole thing is very heavy, but the cast is faultless – in fact, it’s the best of all the three.
Last but not least something special. I normally don’t buy prepainted stuff, but when I saw this farmhouse on the website of Northumbrian Painting Services I immediately fell in love – it has just the right old school charm! So I made an exception and ordered it. I am very happy with the building, which is not made of resin but some lightweight material, perhaps plaster. We use it quite often as a solitary farmstead.
I now have a nice collection of 15mm medieval buildings that at least make up a village. When the rest of the Hovels are painted, it might even be sufficient for a small town. After all, I’ve been obsessed by the idea of gaming the First Battle of St Albans for some time…