I considered scratch-building but quickly determined that it would be beyond my skills or patience to construct anything that looked good enough to meet my needs. I looked at MDF buildings but decided that they looked too flat, with angles that are too regular for my tastes. I was temped by paper buildings, but again the texture turned me off, although price-wise, paper buildings are very hard to beat! And there are certainly some very attractive paper building choices available.
Finally I decided to purchase resin buildings. Pricey, but I am very pleased with the results.
I bought these from Brigade Games Spanish and Caribbean buildings line. The set I ordered includes three small buildings plus the hacienda, and I added the stables and the fountain to fill out the order. I have spent the time since they arrived in assembling and painting them. Turns out there is quite a bit of fiddling around with resin buildings, between cleaning the pieces, assembling the buildings, filling gaps with putty and more.
The fountain turned out to be quite substantial, bigger than I had expected based on the photo on the website. I am pleasantly surprised by how big it actually is, as you can see with the soldier below (Perry Miniatures).
I also repainted an Italeri wall set to match the colours used on the fountain.
I also dug out a few MDF walls that had been in my terrain box and gave them a bit of paint as well, to provide even more terrain to fill out the table. The pre-painted MDF had been a bit dull, but adding just a little bit of paint really makes them fit it much better.
Here are the four smaller buildings.I treated them all pretty much the same. I assembled them, filled any gaps with green stuff putty, primed them and painted them. Roofs can be removed to allow figures to be placed inside. Each building has been based on MDF board, which will hopefully make them a bit more durable in case of getting dropped or other misfortune.
Here is the first house.
For all the buildings except the stable, I added some textured Plastruct plasticard flooring, as you can see here.
You can see the roof with structural support added to give it a bit of durability during play.
Building #2 is similar to building #1, with a simpler, unpeaked roof.
Building #3 is taller, with an implied (but not actually present) second floor.
The stables have big, removable doors. I decided against installing hinges; the doors can be removed if necessary during play.
And now la pièce de résistance, the hacienda. This is a big building, with a big footprint, two floors and a large balcony.
As with the other buildings, the roof is removable.
And so is the roof over the balcony.
Inside, there are two floors. The upper floor is also removable.
The table came from my bits collection (it is originally from a Foundry WWI set!), and serves as a handle to lift the upper floor out of the building.
Which then allows access to the ground floor!
The start of this Sicilian village inspired me to pull my Warlord Games ruined hamlet set out of storage, to confirm that it fits in well with the new buildings. Works for me!
As I now have a nice big sheet of MDF, I took the opportunity to add some strength to the barbed wire obstacles I made a few weeks ago.
The bases are now quite thick, but still serviceable.
Too add some more interest to the tabletop, I picked up some 1:48 dollhouse furniture from my nearby dollhouse shop.
There's even a dunny in case the toy soldiers need to answer a call of nature!
To my mind, I've got a good start on the village. Enough at least for a game, especially when I add in other terrain in my collection. Maybe in the new year, I'll see if I can procure a church for this village...