I originally intended trying to get this building done in February as part of that month’s scenery/terrain challenge, but I decided my Chinese bridge had been more sorely neglected so it got done instead.
This is a 20mm scale model of La Belle Alliance, the inn on the Brussels road that forms part of the Waterloo battlefield. The model is a laser-cut MDF kit by Sarissa Precision and it’s sat in its wrapper for a couple of years at least. Having finished off my French cottages in February I thought I might as well keep up momentum with continental buildings and get the inn done.
There’s been a steady rise in availability of laser-cut buildings in recent years – they’re usually relatively inexpensive, go together well and there’s quite a range of buildings available for all periods and geographical locations (you can see Colonel Mustard’s brilliant French chateau here and some WH40K items here). However, one thing I don’t like about them is that where any angles between walls, roofs etc. are not at 90º then visible gaps appear (although I’m sure this is me being overcritical). Fortunately, with this model, only the angle of the small offshoot roof and the base of the chimney stacks are affected and not too obvious!
The corners of the walls have interlocking joints, as do the main roof supports and the end wall behind the offshoot. These fit snugly but, because I know they’re there, I filled them with greenstuff and sanded them down (and found MDF doesn’t sand smooth, but the slightly roughened texture looked OK). I added small card slates over the roof joints and added some extra ones around the roof to make them look less obvious. The kit comes with some nice laser-cut card window shutters, but I left these off since the walls looked a bit too “busy” with them in place! I painted the inn in the same colours as the cottages, with the addition of painted brickwork around the bottom of the walls. I used a much thinner brown wash on this building too make sure it went into all of the etched detail and then added a final sandy-coloured drybrush to pick out some of the darker colours.
I’m pleased with how it’s turned out! I don’t tend to have too many larger buildings and this one was just the right size and fits in well with my other buildings. I haven’t made a base for this one to sit on, since I didn’t think it needed it, but I can always add one in the future if I want to tie it in to some small outbuildings. The buildings shown form a nice small village for the Franco-Prussian War through to WW2. Just need to get some more troops and tanks done now to lurk in amongst them, but that’s what April’s community painting challenge will hopefully help with!