I now have work in hand to produce effective trench sections, after some years of just thinking about it, and also to fabricate support pedestals to allow troops to man the city walls when their bases are deeper than the walkway – all clever stuff, but this will require a little while to produce something worth looking at.
In the meantime, I have been tinkering with some new pottery houses (all right – ornaments, if you must) which seem to be shaping up nicely to form a 17th century town centre, and – since I had the brushes out – I have finally eliminated those ghastly red roofs from my Eco castle.
I had been offered a wide range of advice – I’ve been urged to leave it alone, or completely repaint it, or do something in between, so I have produced a good British compromise – I’ve left most of the castle unaltered, and have repainted the roofs and touched in the windows to clean them up a bit.
I have also painted the swimming-pool coloured moat section under the drawbridge – it is now a charming shade of mud, and I poured in my new-and-trendy Decoupage medium, which – in theory – should set to form something looking like water. This last step isn’t looking too promising at present – the medium contains a surpising quantity of bubbles. The received wisdom is that these should disappear as the medium dries, but they do not seem to be doing this – which may be related to the fact that the medium does not appear to be drying.
Oh well – it may all turn out wonderful. If not, I assume that the medium will dry eventually in some form or other, and if necessary I can repaint and varnish or whatever. Let’s wait and see. I refuse to be pessimistic about it.
|Down in the street in 17th century Chester, or some such place?|
|Just a glimpse of how this might look, with the old citadel looming in the background|
Back to the pottery houses – these are the OOP Britain in Miniature series, by Carol Tey, who produced them in Norfolk for a while. Not all the range is suitable, but a few of the items are a useful size, and have a nice, stylised (almost playful) look which I think goes well with toy soldiers. They are, it goes without saying, my usual underscale mismatch with the 20mm figures, but they look OK (it also goes without saying). It is a dreadful thing to admit, but I am carefully applying matt varnish to these Tey houses – it improves the look enormously, though it would very much upset serious collectors. I have picked up these pieces very cheaply on eBay. It amuses me that the range is such that my besieged town is likely to contain a very high proportion of British tourist sites – all in one small area – Chester’s Rows, Ann Hathaway’s cottage, a number of inns and historic guildhalls from Norfolk – I even have my eye on John Knox’s house, which should fit in well, and no-one will notice…
One thing that this book certainly brings home is the dreadful loss which the demise of Gallia miniature buildings represented - there are many photos of Gallia fortress pieces and so on, in both 25mm and 15mm and they are - well, fantastic, actually. I've never seen such a thing on eBay - this book was published 1990 - I have no idea when Gallia ceased production - anyone know?