Since I started my latest project, getting my Temple of Ro-Kan models painted for Bushido, I have been looking at some of Oshiro Model Terrain's rather lovely er... model terrain (the clue is in the name). If I'm going to be playing more of a game set in a kind of fantasy medieval Japan, I want my table top to look the part.
SO far, my Japanese-ish scenery collection consists of a handful of cardboard buildings printed from a PDF (I would credit the designer, but I got them from a link in a forum post ages ago and I honestly can't remember). They actually look very nice, cost very little and took, probably, no more than an hour to assemble.
I am generally very much in favour of cardboard scenery. I have a small town's worth of medieval fantasy buildings made from Fat Dragon and World Works PDFs. There is no way I could have afforded that many buildings made from any other material and building from scratch would have taken ten times as long and probably not looked as good. And, frankly, given the choice I would rather be painting models than scenery. Plus, cardboard is more sympathetic to buildings than more organic structures like rocks and trees.
But the problem is, once you've started with cardboard you can't really stop. Your cardboard town, with its cardboard streets, cardboard buildings, cardboard carts, market stalls and goods all look nice together, but once a plastic or resin building sneaks in it looks weirdly out of place. All bumps and grunge next to the nice smooth surfaces. It's like photo shopping an illustration into a photograph, both might look good but they don't look right together (unless the incongruity is the point).
So far, I have been looking at Oshiro's smaller items, grave stones, barrels and assorted brick-a-brack. But they also have a nice range of full sized houses, as well as some smaller, but still sizable items, like drums, arches and even an outdoor toilet. But the bigger I get, the harder it gets to mix them with my existing buildings. And I've seen the price of those Oshiro buildings. They look gorgeous, but my wallet can only take so much abuse.
So I face a dilemma. Stick with what I've got, replace it piecemeal as I can raise the cash or live with a mismatched 2D/3D world.