Ouch! What a terrible pun. Apologies for that. However, with us waiting for some Tamiya bits for our Panzer IVs, our thoughts are now turned to adding a few buildings to our collection for the Big Chain of Command game next weekend at Crisis in Antwerp. I was aided in this by having the remarkable fortunate of spotting a new MDF building manufacturer on eBay, Charlie Foxtrot Models. As has been covered here before, I have mixed feelings about MDF buildings. There are some crackers out there, but my heart does drop when I see so many games at wargames shows sporting their immaculate, fresh-out-of-the-pack buildings, lending a very samey feel to games which I haven’t seen since the early days of TSS terrain when, in almost the blink of an eye, every game at shows was fielded in the ubiquitous 2′ blocks with their equally ubiquitous knuckle imprints where people had leant on them slightly too much.
It’s a personal thing, maybe some kind of terrible hang-up (was I frightened by an Airfix Waterloo Farmhouse as a baby?) but I like to see variety in games. It’s always a treat to see games put on by chums of Lard, the League of Gentlemen Anti-Alchemists (I kid you not Lard Lovers) as they have an eye for detail which elevates the simple to the special. Attention to detail, with outbuildings, vegetable plots, washing lines and the likes give the observer a true visual smorgasbord upon which to feast. I must publicly admit that it was from these clever chaps that I pinched the idea of my wedding rose cabbages which get so much love around the shows!
So, there is no secret, MDF buildings can leave me cold. Unless, that is, there is room for me to add something of my own character to a building, and this was how Charlie Foxtrot first came to my attention; I liked the cut of his chimney pots and ridge tiles. Unlike so many MDF models, it was refreshing to see attention to small detail, with a length of plastic supplied with a 90 degree angle for the ridge and a length of plastic tube for the chimney pots. What’s more, the models came with instructions on how to add texture which would allow them to look like bespoke models rather than your bog standard bits of ex-tree. Absolutely perfect for me, it would seem.
Without further ado, I armed myself with with my trust pot of PVA and applied it with a will. What emerged was the standard model as per the instructions. Voila!
I enjoyed the fact that the model was simple to assemble and that the three tiers fit snugly together and without any buggering about. That’s important when people are lifting bits off in-play in order to put toys inside. More importantly, I was impressed that the design was intelligent and well thought out. The building is designed to be an end of row building, so one wall is entirely blank. I think that is daring as some people may not like that, but for me it was precisely what I was looking for, so it is perfect. I really like the way that the front of the model has depth, it provides some relief from a completely flat fronted row of shops, and the laser etched name, La Brasserie, is a boon for anyone looking for a generic name. I have other plans here, so I’ll be making my own sign for the front later in the project.
Now, Clarkie being Clarkie, I wasn’t going to leave this this au naturel; good Lord no. The model has so much potential for a minor tart up to get it looking really bespoke. For the wargamer who like to dabble with a bit of very basic modelling this kit is truly perfect. Unsurprisingly, I added roof tiles from my old chum Martin at Warbases. These are now a standard item in my work box, they are so good. The ridge tile in plastic can be seen on the snaps below and, I think, is a brilliant addition which saves me having to fashion something from Milliput which, frankly, is a pain in the arse. Lead flashing was provided with plain paper.
I also added window shutters made from a backing or artists mounting board and a front of cereal packet cut to give the detail I wanted. This is VERY simple stuff, but it does add that Normandy feel. Finally I added one of those S-shaped wall clamps which you see. It breaks up the front and will just add a little bit of personality to the mode.
After that was done a was over with PVA and tile grout was applied in a pretty limited manner. It is just enough to provide texture and, when painted, will make this another unique model. We’ll see more over the next day or so. As you can see, this is a very simple project which even my dog could manage (and he’s an idiot). I’m very impressed with Charlie Foxtrot Models. I hear that they’ll have a new web site up very soon, but in the meantime look out for seller colin20051964 on eBay. I can heartily recommend these models to the gamer who is looking for nice, intelligently thought out buildings which serve as a perfect basis for a bespoke end product. What’s more, it is always good to support a new business in our hobby.
Finally, for those of you who came here looking for more on tanks, here’s a snap of where we are up to with the Panzer Pimping exercise.
Phew! It’s been a busy day on Lard Island. I had promised myself a hard slog, and it certainly was that. I didn’t get as much done as I wanted, but I do feel I have broken the back of the initial build stage. I’m also pleased that what I have done has proved that