Saturday, 19 March 2011
Budget OO/HO Buildings
The range includes a variety of country subjects that you would expect such as cottages, village buildings and a far;, but also some you don't expect such as Georgian houses (perfect for Ireland Joe!) and a country mansion or 'Big Hoos". The latter ideal for replaying shootouts from The Professionals!
There is also an expanding town range. These are a bit more Trumptonish but offer you the chance to build a country town on the cheap.
Let me say first off, that you shouldn't expect miniature masterpieces, they are cheap at £2.95 each but build very quickly into functional wargame models on the tabletop. I've bought Village Set A (Church, shop, semi-detached cottage for £4.95), a Country pub and three Country Cottages (£2.95 each). An entire village for less than one average Hornby OO/HO building.
The models themselves are made from pre-cut coloured card and wood. Windows are printed onto a sheet of acetate and some details such as doors, pub signs etc are printed on the card packaging and need to be cut out. Roofs are plain coloured card. It took an hour with no distractions and a cup of tea to hand, to put together the entire village.
You can further detail these models using a variety of accessories on the market. To my mind, just adding Slaters Plastikard embossed tiling or shingles to the roofs will make the most immediate and telling difference. The cottage pictured above, could also be enhanced with brick or stone side walls.
Alternatively, if you are keen on scratchbuilding your own, these Masterplan buildings can also make good formers.
At present I've only found them available on eBay (search for Masterplan OO/HO). I suggest you play the long game - put a bid in, if someone wants it more desperately, let the have it and there'll be another along within hours. I was outbid on Village Set A when there was clearly another available with no bids, if they were foolish enough to pay more than they had to....I just placed the first bid on the second set and won that.
First model I bought was the Village Pub, as I thought, no great loss and it can stand on it's own in the background if necessary. It's the sort of pub you'd find by itself or with the odd other building on a crossroads or important junction. Nothing fancy like the usual fare from Superquick etc and it's easily converted into a Post Office if the need arises.
Masterplan are worth checking out. May not be your cup of tea, but for sturdy, functional, pre-coloured budget scenery, hard to find better.