Lilliput Lane Buildings for 15mm figures

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A  bit of a collector like most of my family, my Mum had a lovely selection of plaster Lilliput Lane houses amongst other things.

https://www.lilliputlane.co.uk/pages/made-in-britain

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“St. Kevin’s Church” (Wicklow) in the Lilliput Lane Irish Collection 1989-96 series alongside my 15mm Peter Laing priest F913 and sheep A921/22. The Lilliput Lane name shield is obscured by the added model railway brown bush. Peco scenic backdrop.

This weekend would have been my late Mum’s birthday (she died last Autumn in her early 80s). Some of these tiny painted plaster houses (no doubt birthday presents) and her other collections have now been sold to make a donation to a medical charity on her / our family’s behalf but family members were all able to choose a keepsake or two.

I chose these two Lilliput Lane buildings for my gaming table.

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Cobbler’s Cottage (Northants, Lilliput Lane series 1986-94) with Peter Laing 15mm English Civil War Musketeer in hat advancing F503  – that roof looks like it has taken a cannonball! 

They were two of my favourites amongst her remaining collection. They are

  • St. Kevin’s, a typical early Irish stone church in Wicklow
  • Tumbledown “Cobbler’s Cottage” (in Northants) with damaged roof.

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Most Lilliput Lane houses are based on very well kept and very well groomed buildings. Both  these choices looked the most wonky or battered and timeless, so  most versatile as centrepieces of any gaming scenario.

The white window frames might need a little dulling down but they are well matched for size by my Peter Laing 15mm figures.

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The detail I love(d) of an old wheel for example can be seen in the tumbledown outhouse. This end is a bit chipped and the plaster showing through. 15mm Peter Laing British WW2 infantry ammo carrier F2006. 

It was the detail of gravestones and flowers or the old wheel inside a shed that I found especially fascinating. I often used to wonder who lived in these houses. I half expected the door to open and a Peter Laing 15mm sized figure to come marching out or come whistling round the corner. I partly blame the 1992 BBC TV version of Mary Norton’s The Borrowers for that.

Although I admired them on their cabinet shelf,  I wasn’t allowed by Mum to use them in my gaming with my 15mm Peter Laing figures. Being made of painted plaster, they are quite easily damaged and quite fragile unlike most resin games buildings. These two buildings both need a little bit of paint repair.

They are a nice way to remember my Mum, every time these are out on the gaming table or on my desk.

Postscript

Lilliput Lane ceased manufacture in November 2016 with few buildings left in their online shops. Another small British company sadly bites the dust.

“The factory has been trading at a loss for some time now and we have reached the point where this is no longer sustainable. It has been a long journey since Lilliput Lane started in 1982, we have enjoyed the support of many thousands of our loyal collectors at hundreds of events all over the United Kingdom and overseas, many friendships have been made and good times had by all. It is now at a time of changing consumer tastes that the demand for our products has declined to the point where it is impossible to go on.” (Website statement) 

Other stockists may have stock, along with collectors’ fairs and the usual online auction sources.

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Collage photo of a Lilliput Lane building sketched, cast, painted and finished (copied from Lilliput Lane website in case it disappears). 

The website catalogue / website shows how these fine plaster buildings were carved or moulded in wax,  handcast in silicon mounds and then hand painted.

https://www.lilliputlane.co.uk/pages/made-in-britain

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 11 June 2017.

John Mitchell Card Buildings

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40 years on from their first design, I’m making one of the late John Mitchell’s  card buildings for 15mm figures as a small and ongoing tribute to John in my tabletop games.

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John Mitchell 15mm building sheets no 1 and 2 (JM1 and JM2?)

As mentioned in my previous tribute to the late John Mitchell,

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/simple-ecw-starter-rules-a-john-mitchell-tribute/

here are two of my surviving unmade John Mitchell buildings photographed so that fellow Peter Laing enthusiasts can build again and attack or defend their own John Mitchell tribute town.

What finer tribute can there be for a wargames designer’s products than for them to live on and give pleasure long after him?

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Scalpel –  check. Cutting board – check. Peter Laing Union rifleman to advise on scale – check. John Mitchell Building Sheet No. 2 Farmhouse – check. Ready to go!

My original John Mitchell card buildings from the 1980s have not survived.

Luckily two of my spare original sheets have survived. I scanned and printed these onto card to preserve the originals.

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Cutting out the farmhouse pieces.

40 years after they were designed in 1976 by John Mitchell, these buildings are back being made on my cutting board. They were first designed not long after Peter Laing launched his first 15mm figures in 1972.

I remember making this farmhouse before c. 1983 and had few difficulties.

The farmhouse chimney sits a little oddly, so needs an additional flap added along on its left side before you cut it out.

Additionally a larger fold-over flap at the top of the single house wall with door is needed to get a level roof; just align the new flap with the height of the other wall with a door.

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The finished basic Farmhouse model defended by my small advisor. I’ve marked up in red on the cut-out sheet overlaid on the original where flaps need to be altered or added in future.

John Mitchell made suggestions for adapting the basic card model as “base for experimentation e.g. Painting walls in poster colour, texturing walls and roofs in plastic filler and adding beams and window frames in balsa wood.

John mentioned his intention to work across “all periods of history” towards “Castles, and other large constructions” not just these slightly humbler 15mm dwellings.

Launching his buildings not long after Peter Laing launched his first 15mm figures in 1972, the only other building I came across mentioned (but sadly never bought) was the JM5 desert type dwelling mentioned in this Peter Laing advert in the early to mid 80s, a snip at 40p.

Not sure what the Barrack Room range was.

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Another Peter Laing  range I wish I had bought more of along with John Mitchell’s card JM5 desert buildings. Oh well,  there’s always the Airfix Desert outpost and Foreign legion fort.

So if JM1 was the Elizabethan house, JM2 the Farmhouse / Barn and JM5 the Desert building, does anyone know or can show what JM3, JM4 and JM6 onwards were?

I’d be interested to see more of them.

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Unpainted John Mitchell card farmhouse JM2 ready for action with garrison of Peter Laing Northern troops on my portable hex game board. (Photo / figures: Man of TIN.)

Enjoy building your John Mitchell tribute houses and may you have many happy hours with these as a pivotal battlefield feature to defend or attack in John Mitchell’s memory.

Posted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN, August 2016.