Wargaming Musings?

I'm a bit of a butterfly in terms of my attention and sticking to gaming projects long term isn't my strongest point. On the bright side, atleast I flit between the same things. Expect an ecclectic medley of Moderns, Dark Ages, Quar and Early Wild West, almost all in 28mm... (with some 1/48 moderns thrown in... )

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Carpathian buildings - scenery ideas

The two settings which really appeal to me for EotD are the dark streets of London, and the more traditional 'Carpathian' horror setting. Both have lots of potential figures available, and scenery for both could be quite striking. I've already got some hills and trees which could be used for rural settings in either the UK or the Carpathians, but not much in the way of suitable buildings for either (well, the old GW expanded-foam-stuff graveyard and a ruined tower, but again neither are exactly 'urban'). I've decided to start on the Carpathians as I'll need fewer buildings ( I can get away with a hamlet, growing into a village and then onto a town as I accumulate more suitable stuff, where as London has to leap pretty much fully formed onto the table, and also would probably be more intensive on extra street clutter and wandering civilians.) 

However, having grown up with a mental image of Carpathian villages looking like the one from Van Helsing, I had a fairly set idea of what I wanted. Steep roofed wooden houses, with onion spired churches. Having been to a historical building park (literally - the Soviet government relocated old buildings from across the country into one place) in the Ukraine, I had seen some 'actual' Carpathian houses, and suffice to say they didn't look like these - instead being quite low buildings, like those traditionally associated with the Russian steppe, etc), so I'll probably include some of those as a nod to realism if I can get some in a similar style.  I'm also thinking that the tall roofed wooden buildings would be used for Quar, and also the streets on Fever Crumbs London.

First up, some pictures of the sort of things I'm looking for, then I'll run through pictures from the commercial manufacturers of some scenery which might be suitable...

Blue Moon Manufacturing have some buildings which are perfect, and almost certainly inspired by Van Helsing. The only problem is, they are 15mm, and so not suitable :-( Still, it sets 'the goal' as to the sort of thing I'm after, and the fact that someone has already made similar things. If I have to end up scratch building scenery, then they can also be used for inspiration. The castle is worth a mention of itself, as they actually do a similar 28mm scale piece I would some day love to own...
 But I think castles are a subject for another post in and of itself...

Hovel's Eastern European range is a popular choice for Carpathian buildings, and I can see which. The prices are appealing, the buildings scale well with the likes of West Wind, and they are historically accurate. The only problem is, they aren't what I was thinking of. As I've already said, I'll probably include a few lower buildings as less extravagant dwellings, and thee will almost certainly fit the bill. The church is perfect too.  

4ground does some MDF cut buildings (a cottage and a market hall/town hall/jail) which might have conversion potential - although quite 'Tudor' looking, it shouldn't be too hard to cut wooden boarding detail into the 'wattle and daub' effect regions. the roof's are as steep as I'd like, but that isn't the end of the world. With only two buildings in the range, the cottages would need a bit of conversion work to make them look suitably different.

Some of the Games-Workshop buildings have potential, but again, they have a limited range. being Games-Workshop, they are also a bit skull tastic, and would probably require a bit of work to make them look a little less fantasy. That said, the Observatory is a cracking piece of scenery, and would make a great dwelling place for a mad scientist, warlock or other evil doer. Some of the skulls aren't too out of place either...

Conflix does a range of pre-painted fantasy buildings, which could be used in a pinch, and for the price probably aren't readily convertible, or very suited for what I have in mind. But hey, other peoples views may be different. 

Pardulon has a lovely range of Fantasy buildings, which whilst not an exact match, certainly have the right sort of 'feel' to them (eccentric, tumble-down and all higgledy-piggledy) . The main drawbacks I can see for these are their price; where one could get a not-s-small village of the hovels buildings for the price of just one or two of these. 

Pegasus do a range of '1/72' Russian buildings, in both pre-painted resin and plastic kit form. Apparently these are too big for 1/72, and are closer to true 25mm than anything else. As such, they are usable with 28mm, although a bit on the small size in terms of overall foot-print. But hey, peasant huts aren't big, and they are very attractively priced (a pack of two of these is about the same as one of the 4ground cottages or hovels izba's.) Certainly they would be good for bulking out a village, or adding some outbuildings to a farm or the like. 

The PMC games buildings are another potential option, as they are fairly generic. Personally I think these suffer from the same affliction as the Conflix buildings - not quite close enough to what I want, and not really cheap enough to justify the conversion work required to give what I do do want...

As an aside, I'll be getting a couple of Citadel Woods as they have a suitably creepy air, which should add to my existing trees (which aren't creepy in the least).

So where does that leave me? There is nothing on the market which exactly suits what I'm looking for, in a price range which I can afford. I'll almost certainly going to  get the Hovels  church, and I'll aim to cover the planked roof with wooden shingles, to bring it closer to the one from the film.I may also get some of their houses, or see if any of the Pegasus ones have planked walls, to use as 'quick' table scenery, so that I can get on and play. I think to get the sort of buildings I want, I'm going to have to scratch build, possibly using the Matakishi cork board method, or something similar, and either carving boarding details in, or cladding with coffee stirrers....


  1. Nice run down of available sets and availability seems to be a fair bit of choice really.

    Thanks Xander

  2. Cheers Brummie - It was a useful mental excercise from my point of view, and I'm glad it's potentially useful to other people!

  3. I have a GW chapel going with most of the GW crap taken off going if you are interested? It undercoated.

  4. Holy crap, just the article I needed :) I am planning a carpathian town as well (for Chaos in Carpathia) but my approach is a bit different :) Being hungarian I'm sort of familiar with how a carpathian or hungarian peasant house should look like, and I really don't like the fantasy-looking houses, in fact I'm going for just the opposite. PMC Games has those saxon houses and huts, they look EXACTLY like carpathian peasant houses, they just need some drybrushing with white on the walls and dark grey on the roof.

    Pegasus and Hovels houses aren't bad at all, but they are decidedly for a mountaneous region, and what I'm going for is decidedly hungarian - more flatlandish :)

    Good luck with your project! :) I'M putting the url of your blog into my google reader :)

    1. Thanks for the feedback - it's great to have a 'local' (for want of a better term) give advice on these sorts of things :) Having googled 'Hungarian peseant houses' I can see what you mean.... Thos Saxon houses should work really well, as might the new Perry Medieval cottage.
      My only experiance with the Carpathians and their architecture has been from the Ukrainian side, which might be why my mental image of 'realistic' buildings is a bit more Russian looking.
      I was looking at the Hovels buildings again today, wondering if it might not be better to but some as opposed to my current building attempts; but we shall see. In terms of Fantasy vs Realism, I'm afraid I'm leaning more towards Hollywood than History. Infact, I'm getting to the level of considering setting my games in a fictional kingdom along the lines of 'Zenda', boardering the Carpathians as opposed to working within the Historical framework... That way I won't feel quite so bad about butchering History and fudging facts...! Hope your project goes well too ,and that I continue posting stuff that is of interest (if perhaps, a little a-factual ;) )

  5. Very much of interest, i can assure you! :)