The only commercially available buildings when I started wargaming were those made for model railways, and I bought a number of card buildings from that source. Most of the ones I purchased originally were the German make Faller, but I no longer have any of these since I gave them, and some old Airfix plastic buildings, to my seven year old grandson to act as scenery for his vast collection of knights, monsters, spacemen etc.
I also gave my 9 year old granddaughter a set of card buildings of Mapledurham, which I bought at the gift shop there. I suspect my grandson has appropriated them to add to his collection. Mapledurham is a village and manor house just north of Reading. The village was used for the film “The Eagle has Landed” and one of the models is of their watermill, which featured in the film.
All of the buildings which I now have are 15mm scale, since I find it best to have buildings “one scale down” from my 1:72 figures. These comprise:
These are Pireme Publishing 15mm card models of Hougoumont, La Haye Sainte and La Belle Alliance.
I began to modify them to have a ruined building inside the complete one.
I first saw this system used by Charles Grant, many years ago, and it struck me as an excellent idea. I also slighly reduced the length of La Belle Alliance building to make it a smaller footprint, but have not got around to the others.
I do have a spare set of these card buildings, from which I intend making other Waterloo buildings, such as Papelotte, La Haye and Smohain.
These are all from Scott Washington’s PaperTerrain, some original and others converted. The PaperTerrain buildings all come with an outer complete building and a ruined inner building, which is excellent. They are in fact card, not paper. All the ones which I bought are 15mm, and you can see a selection of them here.
I fixed them onto cork tile bases, to give them a bit of strength.
I also wanted a village church. The PaperTerrain one is excellent, but massive, more suitable for use as a cathedral.
I therefore took one of the buildings, which had windows a bit like a church, and added a new front to it, to make it look like a Spanish village church.
The PaperTerrain Mediterranean Village set also comes with walls, so I made these up in modular sections, including a couple modified as broken down ones. I folded the card wall sections around some strips of foam mounting board, then glued them down to cork bases for stability. The small gates were originally just on the front of the walls, but I changed them to be a normal gate thickness.
When I began to build a 1745 Jacobite Rebellion set-up, I needed some buildings for this, and therefore purchased a set of 15mm PaperTerrain European buildings, opting for slate grey roofs to make them look Scottish. Some of them are shown here.
I made a few conversions, including a house into an inn, The Red Lion, and another house into a shop, MacDougal’s Bakers.
The PaperTerrain European buildings also come with walls. Some are similar to the Mediterranean ones, but in grey, rather than a Mediterranean white.
The PaperTerrain European buildings set includes some stone walls, which I enhanced with gravel chips on top. I also made broken sections of these.
Central European Buildings
I am planning to expand my 18th Century set-up into the War of Austrian Succession, and when I do will plan to purchase the PaperTerrain Central European Village pack for that, which again looks excellent.
Roman Era Buildings
If I get around to my Roman era set-up, I will model some Roman era buildings, perhaps a Roman villa, some Ancient British ones, Ancient German ones and Middle Eastern ones.
Built Up Areas
Some rules use the concept of Built Up Areas (BUAs) rather than individual buildings. If I was using those rules (including General de Brigade, Republic to Empire and Black Powder), then I would use a square of grey felt to represent the BUA and place a suitable selection of buildings on it.
Building Capacity Markers
Many rules which treat buildings separately, rather than as BUAs, require the capacity of each house to be identified. I made some simple card markers for this, just numbers on a floor coloured background, which can be cut out and placed in each house.