For a while now I have been looking for a suitable industrial building, or buildings, to represent a East Prussian brewery for our Chain of Command campaign. What better thing could there be to fight for than a brewery! I had a chat with the nice chaps at 4Ground and they had nothing immediately available, so my thoughts turned to model railway kit, but the scale was not quite right and the price was sky high. So, in time honoured style, I sat and twiddled my thumbs and did nothing about it.
Then, earlier this week a news item appeared on TMP which caught my eye. “Minibits Now Stocking MDF Buildings From Impudent Mortal” the headline read, and there was an image of a laser cut building of an industrial nature. So off I went to the Minibits web site and there were several more such buildings waiting there and waving at me enticingly. So I bought two.
Now if I am honest, I had never heard of Minibits, but looking at the address and getting an automated response from some bloke called Leon I realised that it was none other than Leon of Pendraken Miniatures (and Werthers Original advert) fame. This was reassuring as I know what jolly decent chaps the Pendraken lads are, and sure enough a parcel arrived today with the buildings in. Great service. What made it even better was the fact that I had a filthy hangover and was generally doing nothing but feeling sorry for myself, so here was a project I could dive into with gusto.
With one bound I had the industrial container of PVA ready. I unwrapped the first package to reveal a two storied industrial building which was going too be the main brewhouse and offices. I made sure to collect and keep the little wooden bits which were in the windows as these make great bricks for rubble. The model was remarkably straight-forward, which is handy as I am a halfwit at the best of times.
A quick bad of PVA here, a dot there and suddenly I was halfway through. After one minute!
And then a minute later I WAS finished. At least the walls and internal floors were done. A few elastic bands were applied to hold the whole thing in place while it dries.
Then on to the next one. A single story building which is the barrel store and malthouse.
Even simpler this one as it’s just one storey. So again the whole thing was done in a few moments and more elastic bands applied.
And here they are with their lids on.
Now, I absolutely love the buildings, the build time is fantastic as they literally just fit together like a dream. I personally feel that MDF buildings have their limitations. They are absolutely perfect for some things – wooden buildings for example – but they can’t do everything absolutely perfectly. The roofs on these buildings, and indeed any MDF buildings, leave me a bit cold. I am always reminded of the lugs on the Airfix Waterloo farmhouse kit which stood out like a sore thumb. I am considering cutting off the lugs on the model and making a removable roof in artists mounting board which will fit nice and flushly. That will involve some tedious tiling work, but it may well be worth the effort. We shall see. I’ll certainly be adding stuff like signage and general bric-a-brac to give the model some individuality.
As it is I now have two absolutely fantastic models which will, I trust, look great once painted up and based. These are very highly reccomended, especially when combined with the great service one can expect from Minibits. You can find them and many other smashing items here: http://www.minibits.net/
One minor gripe: I can confirm that they do NOT cure hangovers.
Right, a decision has been made on this. I am going to make the roofs myself and am picking up some laser curt roof tiles at Partizan on Sunday. I’ve also decided to do a small addition to the beer store area, adding a loading bay. This mean that I’ll have to create not just the raised area but also replace one of the large windows with a set of doors, as shown below in my planning diagram.
I have ordered a large chimney from a model railway supplier on EBay which will be added at the back of the main brewery building and I am looking to get hold of a set of 4Ground stairs to add to the interior of that building. Ideally I’d like to find something to represent large brewers copper vats for the interior to really complete the brewery look. A selection of barrels will be pretty simple, Renedra do a nice set. I’ve already acquired a diecast brewery delivery lorry made by Lldeo. All in all this is turning into a fun project and, remarkably, the hangover has gone!
It is very easy to be cynical about the value of on-line polls, but I can assure everyone that we are very flattered to see Charlie Don’t Surf win the TMP Award for the best set of historical rules for 2010. This great result maintains our fantastic track record, winning first place with Sharp Practice