A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Monday, 7 January 2019

Spiritual Support

In my search for 15mm scenery which would suit the Danube campaign, I was disappointed to find that all known previous resin buildings are now OOP - JR Miniatures used to do the Essling Granary and the Aspern Church, as I recall, but no more.

After asking around after a suitable church, I found the best option was an HO model railway church made by Faller, which I obtained online from a supplier in Kiel. I reasoned that a 1/87 model of a small church might just about pass for a 1/100 model of a larger church. When I saw the kit the old heart sank (lots of fiddly bits, optional parts, minimal instructions, glue-in-place stained glass windows, and a general assumption that the user has done this before), but Goya very kindly built it for me, and here it is, with 20mm figures to give a sense of proportion.

There is a plan for a trip up north next week, to fight Day 1 of Aspern, so the church will travel with me. I never go anywhere without a church.

Thanks again, Goya - nice job.


  1. The church is very nice indeed, and should see lots of use!

  2. Great looking building, very atmospheric!

  3. Lot of nice railway buildings out there , some quite cheap on Ebay.

  4. The church looks very good. I wonder how well Time Cast's buildings would work for you, they have some nice models. Perhaps their 15mm buildings are too small and their 18/20mm line isn't substantial.
    The demise of JR miniatures and specifically the disappearance of the Architectural Heritage building line is a real shame. I hope someone brings them back to market.

  5. Thank you gentlemen - I am pleased with the church - it is well assembled and the kit is cleverly designed, and it should give useful service. It's obviously a very personal thing, but I have to say (with special apologies to Airfix lovers) that I don't really care for plastic buildings, for a number of reasons - and the building scale thing is a bit touchy.
    * the use of undersized buildings has worked well for me - 15mm buildings with 20/25mm figures is a pragmatic compromise - gets the footprint down but doesn't look too silly
    * There is a great wealth of model railway buildings out there, but the kits always are too perfect - the corners are too square - they look like toy buildings. Real buildings are rough and lopsided and dirty - I like resin buildings, and I find the job of painting them as roughly as possible therapeutic and effective.
    * Strictly speaking, 15mm buildings should correspond to 1/100 scale, which is the old TT model railway gauge - there is not much around in TT these days. There are German makers, but they are rare.
    * The self-coloured German kits - Faller and similar - are well made, but the colour is too uniform, and often has a semi-translucent quality which doesn't please me. If the Airfix buildings look like toys, then the Faller kits look like models of plastic buildings. I am working up to applying a coat of matt varnish to the new church, though it feels a tad sacrilegious to do this.
    * Auhagen is one of the few current German makers of TT stuff - a lot of the range is modern. German model railway enthusiasts seem to be very positive about modern railways (and, having travelled on German and Austrian railways within recent memory, I can understand why). British railway modellers normally live in a pre-BR, steam-age time warp, so the lack of vintage German buildings came as a bit of a surprise to me.
    * Cribbing about unconvincing model buildings is a bit rich coming from me, since my soldiers are more toy-like than most.
    * Now I come to fiddle about with a ruler, it appears that my 15mm resin buildings of choice (Hovels and various others) are a bit small anyway. That suits me, but it also makes me realise that 15mm models from FoW and similar are enormous in comparison. I was surprised how big a 1/87 HO building was. I fear that I have grown accustomed to buildings which may be nearer 10mm size - I wouldn't have chosen to do that, but it mostly works OK.
    * I should take some time out to have a serious think about this. In the meantime, some matt varnish (probably matt artist's medium) should calm down the translucence and the uniform colours.
    * No-one said this was easy.