It's funny what crosses one's mind when you have time to think in a fairly relaxed way without the cares and worries of real life intervening too awfully. It occurred to me a day or two ago that the fancier buildings in my town center need some relief on the larger surfaces in the form of slender basswood cornice work. So, after two or three delightful hours of work this afternoon, the university/palace building, the rathaus (town hall), the Latin school, the zeughaus (armory), and a couple of other more important structures have it. Reminds me of the trim Ian Weekley applied to his model of Hougoumont as featured in Military Modelling many years ago.
Two buildings at center, you'll note, also have rather ornate stairways at their main entrances, the rathaus with a semi-circular stone bench, which you can just about make out, and the smaller building behind it features a low, semi-circular reflecting pool or fountain. I also added several rounded dormers using bits from a balsa dowel this morning. Blame the various and sundry videos by model railroaders that I've been watching on YouTube lately, where scenery and scratch-building how-to videos are in abundance. Some of these are really good (interesting, informative, high production values, etc.) and others, well, not so great. But the better videos present much that is applicable, useful, and inspiring.
But, the time has come to quit messing around with additional details and start painting these model buildings! After the basic colors have been blocked in, I'll add door and window detailing using a nifty plastic template I picked up at my local arts and crafts big-box store that has a number of small rectangles, which should do the trick nicely. Once all of these have been traced onto the surfaces of the buildings, I'll suggest window and door openings, framed by dark lines, with washes of dark brown as I've done in the past. . . although I might take a stab at giving the rathaus a fancy set of colored double doors. We'll see.
In any case, all of this should result in a pleasing mix of functionality with some interesting details once these dozen building models are finished, imparting a reasonably authentic Baltic German flavor to future games. A fairly specific type of stage dressing, if you will, just right for The Grand Duchy of Stollen.
Thank you everyone for your kind remarks, comments, and encouragement during the last couple of weeks' construction. This has been a really fun project, and something I have wanted to do for a long time. As for your questions, yes, each structure has a base with some stylized balsa ruins, which will take a base of eight figures should the buildings, or their ruins, be occupied in future actions, combats, or battles. The town ale house/inn (Gasthaus) is the hip-roofed building two doors to the right of the university building in the top photograph above. Very handy for the students between classes and before returning to their digs for their evening swot sessions! At some point, yes, I will have to think about a gatehouse, walls, and possibly an outer bastion or two for defense of the town in a siege.
Other buildings that make up the Baltic German town center include the Rathaus with its elegant single spire at center, the customs house (with stairway and fountain) and coffee house just behind it. This is also an area of town where ladies of the evening are sometimes known to frequent and, which, people of good reputation avoid after dark. Moving right along, to the immediate left of the university building we have the Latin school, the very fancy brick gothic Hospital of the Holy Spirit, which houses the tow's old, poor, and sickly. To its right at the back of the photograph above is the town Zeughaus, or armory, and the town orphanage or Waisenhaus. Finally, we have three simple houses, including the two structures featuring plain peaked roofs and the one with the gimbrel, or "Dutch" roofline across the street from the ale house.
The internal ruins of the building will be gray with a few bricks or stones picked out using a very fine Sharpie felt tip pen. The external shells of the larger, "official" buildings will be painted in yellow ochre, tan, very light pint, very light blue, or very light yellow with gray stone foundations and orangey-brown roofs although the various spires will get a verdigris dry-brushed over black treatment to approximate aged copper. Smaller, less fancy structures, along with the Hospital of the Holy Spirit, will be painted get my usual brick red (acrylic Burnt Sienna mixed with some white acrylic) or Antique White. A timbering (fachwerk) effect with the be applied using a dark brown Sharpie felt tip pen and a metal ruler. A roof or two will get a darker shade of brown to break up the sea of orangey-brown tile.
Throughout the painting and detailing process, I'll pay close attention to my collection of photographs culled from different internet searches in recent months to approximate the real thing as near as possible. While eleven of these cardboard, paper, and balsa structures are not intended to represent any specific real-life buildings, I nevertheless want the town center to resemble clearly the centers of any larger town or small city -- stretching from Bremen to Tallin with countless others in between -- once upon a time during the mid-1700s.