Two very different houses.

I’ve always enjoyed making terrain- much more than making kits or painting figures. I guess that like many children of my era I harboured the ambition to go into special effects model making all of this came from repeatedly watching the original Star Wars trilogy… anyway enough nostalgia.

Our group has been dabbling with SAGA the dark age skirmish game. Whilst the majority of my terrain is for 20mm twentieth century gaming and as such the buildings will be of no use for 28mm early medieval set ups the trees and river will be fine. Accordingly we needed some suitable buildings. I bought an MDF kit from War Bases to try out some techniques with before building up a whole village.

I like MDF buildings a lot- but only the cheap ones… I think that they need a lot of work to get them looking right so I don’t see the point of spending a lot for detail that I’ll just cover up afterwards. As such I just see it in the same way I look at my own designs cut out of foam board.

If you look on War Bases’ site you’ll see how plain the kit is. Here it is after I detailed it.

viking house wip

Balsa wood and filler (spackle) were used on the walls whilst a towel was cut up to represent the thatch. I’ve previously used teddy bair fur but was unhappy with it, hence me trying towelling.

viking house finished

Here it is finished. Respendent in many shades of sandy brown.


Moving forward a couple of centuries I’ve decided to get a urban UK set up going, based on a couple of on-a-whim purchases at the local model shop. I want to game some Winter of ’79 type game (think late 70s civil war in the UK, popularised by a blog then published as a ruleset). To be fair it wasn’t that much of a whim as I was half looking for them- I’ve recently been sent a very nice detailed, almost RPG set of rules for the setting that I want to try out. I went for card railway models from Metcalfe models as they have just the right look of red brick terraced housing, I bought the basic terrace and a corner shop. The kits are quite involved, each one took a couple of hours to do. That said they are very well designed and make for a sturdy construction when finished.

card terraces 1

I’ve put up a few pictures of their construction so you can see how they go together.

card terraces 3

card terraces 4

card terraces 5

I can see myself building a lot of the basic terrace to fill the table in the way I want.









19 comments on “Two very different houses.

  1. Good progress, and nice buildings! The “towel” thatch looks really good – I need to remember that trick!

  2. Good looking houses, I do enjoy making terrain, as I don’t do modern, my latest is round about 19th century. The one thing I have never tried is the towelling or teddy bear fur thatch. I have both, but never ever got round to it. Maybe you have inspired me to give it a go 👍

  3. The Metcalfe kits are great – if you use them for a 70s game Pete I think they will look spot on. I have the same opinion on MDF, I like buying the kits but they need a heap of extra work to get them up to scratch. Then I think why not just build the shell from foamboard anyway! Sometimes the temptation of buying stuff actually leads to being more productive so its not a bad thing.

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Yeah I am the same- the remainder on my Dark Ages/ early medieval settlement will be made from foam core now (unless I feel lazy, that and laser cut is striaghter than me craft knife cuts).



  4. Marvin says:

    They look great. I’ve been eyeing the fort in Italeri’s recent Beau Geste release. I’m sure I’d make a far more ham-fisted attempt compared to these fine constructions.

  5. I like both of these Pete. The thatch works well with the towel, though I was unaware that teddy bear fur was purchasable?

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Thanks Mark. There is a haberdashery shop in town that sells it. I guess some people like to make their own bears. I’ve a few bits that I’ve used for fields in the past.



  6. Awesome stuff mate. That thatched roof is cool

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