Monday, 29 January 2018

Flemish town buildings (I)

So we're back! A long enforced hiatus between postings, as I've been focussing my time on transferring the Steel Fist Miniatures business from Oliver - who's been absolutely fantastic in helping out and so it's all up and running. I'm not going to include anything about the hobby business on my blog, unless there's an overlap with my Burgundian Wars wargaming topic.

This thread is the start of a modest project to make some urban buildings to populate inside my castle walls. I've an aspiration to set up a game that uses all my castle walls and Neuss siege of 1474/5 by Charles of Burgundy is an obvious choice, so I'm compiling a list of requirements for this.

I'm not a great model maker and seem to have a natural inability to cut straight lines etc. So I've been looking for pre-made models to use where I can.  In my search for options, I've discovered the highly detailed resin models by Artitec of The Netherlands. They are HO scale and made with model railways in mind. They make a small number of low relief fronts of 16th century architecture, which I'm using to construct small rows of town houses. The benefit of HO scale is that the Hudson and Allen castle walls are 25mm and so not too high; therefore most 28mm models would risk looking too large by comparison. If I ignore the height of the doors, then these look fine re overall dimensions; most importantly the rooftops are not higher than the town walls.

First task is to try and knock 150 years off the models and make them more like medieval abodes. So I have added wooden shutters and doors with bass wood and glazing to the upper windows with fine metal mesh. I'm using Flemish late 15th century paintings for my references - there are amazingly detailed street scenes in the backgrounds of several religious subjects who are painted sitting inside Flemish rooms, plus this recent find below.

Seven Works of Mercy by Alkmaar, 1504 (Rijksmuseum)
Pictures show work in progress on the first block of three. The fronts are attached to a polyboard frame and I'll probably add backs too - walls and roofs will be covered by sheets of Wills flemish bricks and tiles. Others fronts will have some timber and render added to vary the overall look and to try not to locate them all as North European, as they're going to be used for a town on the Rhine! So far, so good....