In the distant past, I signed up for a Kickstarter for Mantic Games' "terraincrate": basically, a load of discount fantasy terrain, most of it fairly small. I thought it was about time that I painted some more of this stuff up. I decided to do the two market stalls that came in the Kickstarter.
Terraincrate scenery is made of some kind of rubbery plastic: pretty durable if dropped on the floor, and capable of holding a good quantity of detail. The more solid bits are generally excellent. Unfortunately, it's extremely succeptible to warping. The two market stalls had good canopies and twisted, unworkable frames. Even if I could straighten them out, they would be very wobbly and prone to bending.
I decided that no amount of boiling water was going to sort this out, and that I'd need to replace at least some of the frames with something more solid. Time to chop up some wooden drink stirrers!
I made new columns to hold the stands up, and little wooden bases so that they'd be more stable. For extra solidity, I added cross-pieces at the top, which would be hidden by the canopies, and glued them to plastic bases. Much more sturdy.
Then it was a matter of painting them. I went for pretty standard colours: for some reason, red and white stripes seemed like the default colour for one of the stalls, and blue and red looked suitably vibrant for the second stall.
Now, having spent the first part of this post pointing out the problems with terraincrate, here's something that I really like. To go with the stalls, I painted up two terrain pieces of "goods": sacks, boxes and barrels heaped together. It was tricky to work out what some of the fruits and vegetables were supposed to be, but I went for fairly bright colours to offset the brown wood and cloth. The piles of "dust" were painted to look like sugar and spices.
And here are the new bits in the town. Clearly it's market day!