Saturday 3 November 2018

Sarissa 28mm Plantation House

More terrain for my AWI project, this time a rather nice 28mm Plantation House with Porch from Sarissa. As with nearly all MDF buildings a little bit of extra detail goes a long way to producing a distinctive and unique building to grace the table.

The core building is good and needs little embellishment, but there are two areas in particular I want to work on.

I will add tiles to the roof. I think they are the major weakness in so many MDF buildings and given we are often standing above our gaming table looking down on them it's something I particularly notice. There is also some brickwork etched into the building that I am going to attempt to cover in wall paper embossed with a brick pattern to scale. I was inspired to do this by alcal's remarkable Stalingrad factory build which you can see more of at the Lead Adventure Forum. Here he used this scale wallpaper to remarkable effect and having acquired some myself this was a good opportunity to try it out.

The building itself is primed with an acrylic primer that will help with paint adhesion.

First stop were the two chimneys which protrude from the roof. I wanted to wrap these in the brick wallpaper. I also wanted to upgrade the chimney pots as they were rather sad looking MDF sticks. Here is the shorter chimney after priming:

Here it is on the roof before any tiles are added:

You can see here an A4 sheet of the embossed wallpaper. It is a great looking brick effect that should work very well.

Here is the longer of the two chimneys after wrapping in the paper. I soaked the paper in a diluted solution of PVA glue and allowed it to soak in and soften the paper before wrapping the MDF:

Next up was to find a solution to the chimney pots and here was were I raided my terrain tub. If I ever see something in a craft shop that might possibly come in useful I tend to buy it and stash it away and these are a case in point. These came in a bag of about twenty in various sizes and I just knew I'd find a use for them one day.

They are probably a bit too large but they are a definite improvement on those sad sticks of MDF.

The brick paper would also be applied to other parts of the building, in particular the large chimney breast at the rear of the building and the lower portion of the house wall.

But before that would be applied I wanted to paint the building to avoid doing the sequence in reverse and getting paint on the brickwork. If the glue from applying the bricks made a mess of any paintwork that would be much easier to correct than the reverse.

The paintwork needed a bit of touching up and finishing off but I would go back to this once I'd worked on the brickwork and the roof.

It was then time to work on the roof. I've been using sets of pre-cut tiles on card made by Charlie Foxtrot Models which come in rows and are easy to attach using PVA glue.

You can see the difference these will make almost instantly.

The tiles were then primed in a grey which would form the basis of the roof colour.

Variation to the grey was added by painting individual tiles in different shades before giving it an overall dry brush in light grey.

The chimney pots were painted with Vallejo black red and then given a dry brush with a Terracotta craft paint.

The paintwork was given some touch ups and then I took a sharp routing tool and engraved the lines in between the exterior wooden panels on the house to give them better definition. With that I was calling it done.

UPDATE: So, so much for calling it done. I was never that happy with the chimney pots and I've always wanted to give it a small base to help it sit more comfortably with other terrain. So while working on another terrain project I took time to make the changes.

I was working on Sarissa's small house and used the same brick wallpaper to embellish the chimney breast. This time I used Milliput (similar to Green Stuff) to make up the chimney pot, so while I was at it I did the same for the plantation house.

With the small house I did something that I wished I'd also done with the plantation house and that is to make the chimney breast deeper, it's a bit thin on both of the models in its original form. All I did was cut a piece of cork floor tile to match the shape and stuck it on with PVA glue. Then it was wrapped with the brick wallpaper in exactly the same way as I had done previously. Here's the small house:

So at the same time I put a simple, small base on the plantation house and replaced the chimney pots with new ones. I'm much happier now.


  1. A fantastic looking building! Thanks for the step by step.

    1. It's amazing how a few additions can give a building more character, I hope you find it useful.

  2. I love the Sarissa buildings and have 2 half timbered models waiting to be painted. I've taken notes on the chimneys and roof tiles. You house came out very nicely!

    1. I think like most MDF buildings, they are a great starting point but always benefit from some additional work.

  3. Very nice job. I haven't used Sarissa buildings (I've had good luck with Charlie Foxtrot models), but just might try one after being this. Thanks for posting.

    1. I have several Charlie Foxtrot buildings and they also do the job very nicely. Sarissa's incredibly reasonable international postal rates means they are a very good deal when it comes to shipping to Australia, so they get a fair bit of business from me.

  4. You did a really great job of improving the building. It looks fantastic. Nice step by step post. Terrific! 😀

  5. Big fan of brick paper. We did a 5 foot factory that way. Nice job.