Way back last year I got the splendid Sarissa Chateau kit as a birthday present. As I put it together I realised that simply plonking it on the table would not be enough... it needed a proper setting, i.e. landscaped gardens! Anyway, Jenny has kindly painted it (rather nicely) for me, so here it is.
Reining in any Capability Brown tendencies, I designed the gardens from scratch, bearing mind that you need to be able to get plenty of models in and around it. I ordered some mill columns from Warbases, some gates, plus I asked them to cut some tiled strips (for the wall tops).
The walls are simply foamcore with the tiling strips added. The 'gardens' are MDF sheets - all cut to fit together seamlessly. The MDF has to be fairly strongly pre-curved using plenty of heavy books to obviate the curving brought about by applying texture and paint - these have turned out nice and flat.
No fancy gardens are complete without some statues. The bronze statues - spare Roman and Medieval figures - are ideal. Undercoat black, heavy drybrush of Foundry Bottle Green, heavy drybrush of GW Tin Bitz (yes, I still have an old pot!) although any dark bronze would be fine, finished off with a very light drybrush of GW Shining Gold.
The brick columns were painted using a base of Foundry Conker Brown shade, a wash of Earthshade, highlight again in Conker Brown, then paint a few random bricks in Foundry Brick Red shade, or GW Scorched Brown and maybe Vallejo Flat Earth. The tiles are just black highlighted gently with the Foundry Slate Grey triad. The gates were painted black then given a coat of gloss varnish to make them look like well cared for cast iron. The paths are magnolia masonry paint, spray with Warlord Dunkelgelb,
followed by highlights of Foundry Boneyard shade, Raw Linen light and
finally with some pure white. The lawns are Flat Earth, then PVA and
static grass - try to leave a millimetre of brown showing around the edge as it delineates the lawn and path better.
An aerial view.
The chateau, with the obligatory staff officers.
The window frames and shutters took ages to paint! Like most MDF buildings the roof and upper floor lift off. Jenny has put marble effect flooring downstairs, plus light oak boarding for the upstairs. She resisted the urge to put fireplaces etc in as she did with the Brasserie!
Some more all round pics.
I've already nicknamed it the Pink Palace after a place I used to work (please, don't ask!!) - or should that be Le Palais Rosé?
I think it needs a few pots and plants to really finish off the gardens. May be a gardener too? Does anyone make strips of privet or box hedging? Perhaps I could add another less formal garden area and use some of the Warbases potting shed and greenhouse kits... then there's the kitchen garden... and an orchard... oh dear, I think I need a lie down! ;o)
Following Peter's excellent suggestion in his comment, I have updated the chateau slightly.