I generally prefer railway model buildings to those manufactured specifically for wargames because of the higher level of detail, but the price for a new one is usually more than I'm willing to pay. I also enjoy the challenge of rescuing an old railway model kit and trying to turn it into useful terrain for my wargames table.
I recently picked up a HO scale 'building under construction' for a decent price on eBay. I think it may be a Kibri kit – I have a second one in my loft but I can't be bothered to go rooting through all the boxes just to verify this. The great thing about these kind of kits is that they have interior walls and detailing inside the kit as well as outside, which makes them ideal for skirmish-type games where you might want to put miniatures inside the building.
The kit was damaged in places and, as is often the case with offloaded railway buildings, appeared to have been assembled by a monkey. This wasn't a problem because my intention was to take the building apart and turn it into a burned-out house for my 15mm Chechen war scenarios. Here is the kit straight out of the postman's parcel:
The first stage was to take apart the building. I could have re-used the base but I thought it was too thick and I didn't like the irregular shape. After cutting a piece of 2mm plastic card to size, I glued one of the interior walls and some offcuts of 1mm plastic card onto it. The offcuts raise the height of the floor so the HO scale building doesn't look so tall when used with 15mm miniatures.
The floor is made with embossed Slater's Plastikard. I'm not sure which kind because I choose them by eye from my local(ish) model shop. Getting the floor to the right size is fiddly. With one wall glued in position, I abutted the Plastikard to it and cut out a section for the hearth. Next I overlaid the other walls and marked out their positions on the floor. I never get this bit right so I cut the floor slightly larger than it needs to be and then trim and file it until it fits snugly inside the room. Here is the floor laid over the plasticard offcuts, with the other walls glued in position and a couple of elastic bands holding it all together:
I repeated this process on the rest of the house. Here is the floor raised up with offcuts of plasticard:
And below is the second floor in position. You'll notice I snapped off a bit above one of the window openings. Oops...
You can see below that the two floors do not abut properly. There was no point getting that bit right since the join would be concealed by rubble later anyway.
Every so often I have to stop work and assemble the building, to reassure myself that it isn't a waste of time. So, here is where I'll leave today's post:
I'll post part two in a few days, just as soon as I get time to write it!