Sunday 22 January 2023

German buildings for 18th/19th Century 3D printed

 In the last blog post I showed briefly that I was getting more "plastic" 3D printed terrain models on my table. I'm known as a great exponent of downloadable self printed card model buildings as being a more environmentally friendly and much cheaper alternative to lots of thick and heavy resin, and nothing has changed that. Except that now I'm on a new project and with Christmas coming up my kids asked me what old Dad wanted as a treat. So I realised it was now or never to go for some of the beautiful and authentic models I'd seen via Ebay and elsewhere. To be honest I'm a DIY modeller and cheapskate so they seemed too expensive to me just to buy for myself.  As a present though, and after convincing myself that with many years ahead they are hardly "single use plastic", I could indulge in a large village or mini-town.

This post is not so much a How-to-do it as just showing how I spent my spare time over the last week of 2022 and the first of 2023 and what it created.

I already had, unmade, a beautiful little Tyrol Chapel from warfayre on Ebay. Although 15mm it passes as a reasonable Austrian church along with the 12mm models my family got me from their Leipzig buildings series.  I was lucky to get a nice collection in one go. Since I am working on Bavaria and Austria in 1809 and not Leipzig 1813 I  was not too worried about historical accuracy in assembly or paintwork but they looked reasonably authentic to me.

Not shown but I did a lot of work first taking out floors or ceilings with a sharp modelling knife and small saw. This was so that I could get figures inside - the measurements were just right to get my 25-28mm wide infantry bases in.

For two buildings I fitted them on bases big enough to take the
 supplied walls, gates and fences, with enough room for a
few figure bases too

Ready for spray undercoat

I made a large base for the farm with recesses so that the buildings could be placed in the right configuration, or different buildings used later when I have more.

If you wanted to stick the roofs on as fixed models they are fine. But I wanted mine removable for figure insertion or when on fire, so I made some small cardboard lugs to stick under the roofs for easy location. Some I left with the tiny plastic corner nipples but they are not a great fit.

Generally undercoating everything with a dark grey spray paint

This is a "church" or large meeting house in 15mm
 not from the Leipzig series

These buildings are mainly plaster walls so I sprayed gently with
a light yellow/buff colour, not covering all the grey,
to create a weathered look

Keeping the roofs separate I sprayed them with a kind of terra cotta brown - Army Painter sprays are the most reliable in my opinion. They call this one Fur.

When dry it's time to move indoors and I'm using matchpots of acrylic/emulsion type paint to dry brush
a cream highlight on all the upper surfaces

That has the effect of creating unity across the buildings and will help them blend more naturally into the model landscape than if left just basic stark plain colours

I gave the chapel personal treatment with white not yellow
 and it's come out a little gem I think

More highlighting if necessary and working on the courtyard walls.
The one at left foreground has scratch built walls with "red' tiled top

That meeting house had lots of brick within a timbered
frame so was hard work with smaller brushes

PVA and sprinkled with generous coatings of my sawdust
 mixtures to make dirt farm yards, courtyards and roadways
 through the hamlets

Testing an arrangement on my table (where followers will recognise La Haye Sainte and Althorp buildings were placed in earlier games.) Still not finished.

They all needed the colour variations "lifting" with weeds and grass
 growing round the lower edges and baseboards

Happy with that now and a couple of matt varnish sprays to fix as much as possible

The next set of photos shows a selection of AB 18mm figures on location. Since mine is a representational game at one figure = 50 men then this is a large village in 12mm and I find it perfectly acceptable that it can be occupied by up to a couple of large brigades of infantry.

As I said some roofs do not fit as easily as others. Also, despite applying liquid plastic filler I could not completely get rid of the horizontal joins between wall sections.

I'm very satisfied with this. To my eye it's a good looking 18th century German village/farm set up, and practical for wargaming. I've made them versatile for lots of different configurations in the future.

I did not place the 15mm meeting house with them
 but it still looks good elsewhere 

As with so many 3D printed products these days you can buy these in about 4 different sizes. For some beautiful versions of the Leipzig buildings head over to Colin Ashton's great blog Carryings on up the Dale

And, lucky me, I'm getting more for my birthday very soon!