Earlier in the week Eli and I were discussing whether there is such a thing as a typical Alcovian village and what it would look like. Looking at Balkan and sub-Russian villages, we find that they vary between region.
Architecture can vary from modern Central-South European to historic and traditional. Construction seems to be a mix cinder block, concrete and wood siding. Roofing again a conglomeration of (Bitumen) tar paper, shingles and plenty of aluminum.
An unexpected day at home today has given me the opportunity to look at the Miniart 1:72 East Eurpoean Farmyard in detail and you know, it could be perfect with a little work and save on wholsescale scratch building of an Alcovian village set in the regiosn where most of our action is going to occur.
The Miniart kit comes with 4 identical sprues, each with a moulded plastic thatched roof section, a long rendered wall, a short rendered wall, wooden door with smaller inner door and accessories. These walls are whole, you have to cut out your barn doors . There is also a separate 'cottage' sprue which has a long and a short rendered wall, with windows cut out, but you choose if you want to cut out the door.
What this means is that you have enough walls for two buildings plus a long and a short wall left over! Brill! Means that you have the flexibilty to give your farm compound additional walls/lean-to's or create two barns plus a destroyed house. With two Farmyard kits - you have enough spare walls for an extra building!
The Eastern European Village House comes with 2 'cottage' sprues. Mix and matching the walls from the Village House and 2 Farmyard kits gives you the walls for 4 houses plus two barns.
I suggest Slaters or Plastikard Wills embossed plastic sheets to replace the thatched roofing if you want that true Alcovian look. The thatched roofing can be saved for a later scratchbuilding project. I suggest a mix of pitched and hipped roofs to add variety to the buildings.
The look of the buildings can be further enhanced by giving them a brick, stone or cinder block embossed plastikard course. Maybe even replacing some or all of one or more walls with embossed plastikard cinder block.
S&S Models rough stone walls, plastered rough stone walls and corrugated iron gates will be perfect for giving character to the larger Alcovian village 'compounds'.