Imperial Artisans > Empire Crafts and Skills

Empire Town project - scenery

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Hi folks, this is my first post to this excellent community.

As a longtime Empire and Fantasy fan, it's been one of my ambitions to build a set of scenery pieces to represent a small town or village in the Empire. I built some Mordheim scenery back in the day, and a few half-finished dioramas, but always enjoyed poring over the old White Dwarf dioramas and battle reports featuring the studio's Empire scenery, wishing I could put together my own collection, maybe with a unifing theme or identity behind it. My memory doesn't quite stretch as far back as the old cardboard Warhammer Townscape, but my aim was for a similar feel, more early Warhammer than the later, spikier Empire plastic kits released by GW.

Lockdown provided me with a perfect opportunity to finish some speculative buildings I started in 2019. As of today, I've finished these three (hardly a town but, I'm getting there)

Because it makes me feel good, a brief discussion of how these were built follows.

I've been accumulating cardboard boxes (mostly eBay warhammer buys, also things like food packaging) for ages, so selected appropriately sized ones to use as the base for each of the floors of each building. So the size is pretty random. I'd say they are slightly large for 28mm scale but pretty good. Sadly, I didn't take any photos of the initial stage, which looks like two cardboard boxes taped together. Because that's what it is.

This is the earliest picture I took of the first house I built, which actually ended up being a pretty complicated build. There's a lot of matchstick (I acquired a load of non-tipped matchsticks at some point) timber frames, and various wood offcut beams and the like. The chimney was I believe an old cardboard box for staples, and the pots the lids of mini superglues. Roof tiles are cereal box type cardboard cut up and laboriously glued on. I even put beams under the first floor and gables... the whole thing took an age even to get to this stage. The windows and doors are MDF by a company called Sally 4th.

The next stage is texturing. I use sand and glue to add texture and the stones were carved out of ordinary household filler using a dremel hobby tool. Very dusty.

The second house I made was smaller and less complicated. I gave it a little porchway area propped up by a wooden pillar to give it a bit of interest. The stones on the ground were just carved out of the base board with the dremel.

For scale reference, a couple of my minis up against the buildings, almost fully painted.

My third building was more ambitious and based on a fantastic model I spotted in one of the old Warhammer Battle books.

The building with the corner circular tower, it has an inn sign in the picture but I fancied making more of a town hall style building.

This is the 'loo roll tower' building, which pretty much took up two months or so of lockdown, along with gardening when the sun was out, April-May time this year. I do most of my modelling in our conservatory room, which gets pretty hot in the sun, so actually with all the hot weather we had in the UK this project was an evenings and mornings job. This is pretty much complete in the picture. The most difficult thing to build was the tapering triangular roof. I have no maths so ended up making paper cones and pretty much guessing the size until I got one that fit OK with the loo roll. One of the nice things about using old cardboard boxes for this kind of modelling is that the boxes get squeezed a bit out of shape (or aren't in shape to begin with) and accumulate various dents and scrapes during the process, which is perfect for the half-timber assymetrical 'Empire' dark fantasy style (or so I like to tell myself).

I try to make most things myself but the steps leading up to the main door are from the Terraincrate town centre scenery box. When it came the plastic parts were actually quite warped. I hadn't intended to use the stocks and platform but thought it worked OK as steps for this building. Except, logically, opening the double doors would be quite hard with this set-up. The doors themselves I used an old GW gothic archway combined with cobbled bits partly sculpted myself, which I then cast in resin:

This was my 'original' model.

The weathervane was put together using the Empire griffon accessory and various poles and arrows. Unfortunately the final part has sagged a bit so I may rebuild it at some point.

The undercoat stage.

I've not taken any better pictures of the more fully painted models due to becoming perfectionist about my photo set-up after too much reddit browsing. I'd like to add more buildings and join-up terrain elements like walls or wells and the like, when I have time. I'd also like to decide on a provincial theme for the town, incorporating that into the paint scheme for the buildings somehow, and give the town a name. Also paint some villagers, perhaps build a local militia force for it and other time-consuming things. Atm I'm torn between Wissenland as a theme, or Ostermark.

Any suggestions, feedback, C&C etc most appreciated on this lengthy post - thanks for reading!

Wow, great stuff, thanks so much for sharing! :icon_cool: :eusa_clap:

And welcome to W-E! :::cheers:::

Thank you!  :happy:

Excellent - welcome aboard.

I too have been trying to do something similar - build a town - for a long while.  :engel:
I tried some scratch built several years back, but they were very basic rectangles compared to your efforts.

More recently I have been using a variety of store bought models and trying to adapt them to suit by converting or adding bits - but I will still end up with a town with different 'districts' - townhouses in one, peasants in another, and then the nobles have their own area with protective towers.

I admire your patience and ingenuity - now can you see the project through.  :biggriin:

Thanks - appreciated.  :smile2:

Well, it sounds like you got a fair bit done with your town anyhow. I currently have three houses! My aim is also to have a purpose in mind at least for each building - I probably won't get as far as different districts but I want to assign a few villager models to each house and so on.

I already suspect it'll be beyond me to complete as originally imagined but, part of the reason I wanted to post here was to keep some momentum in the project. So, cheers for the encouragement.

Which store bought models have you used and do you recommend any?


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