Background: I first saw a tutorial on making cork buildings at the Matakishi's Teahouse site. I need to mention that in England they have access to a better cork material. They can buy "cork flooring tiles" at hardware stores- I checked around at Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.- our stores don't seem to carry this. So I went for the best possible solution- cork tiles from an office supply store(Staples) that are used for making bulletin boards. They came four to a pack for about $10- each tile has enough material to create a moderate sized building. The tiles are weaker than their European counterpart but still not bad to work with. You can see the material below:
Here is my unpainted(it WILL look better when done) prototype. I found the cork very easy to cut. One of the reasons I chose to experiment with corkboard is that foamcore is hard to cut and often it is hard to carefully cut out windows and doorways without peripheral damage(even with very sharp knives!). The cork cut beautifully with the exception of a litte chipping in the material here and there. You can see that I used spackle("filler" to you Euros) to fix up where the chipping occurred.
After building the church tower, I really began to like the modular building concept. My goal is to make a series of row houses that can fit snugly together- and with "swappable" second floors.
Now I am painting the model, but in the meantime I will share my findings on cork office tile as a terrain material.
Pros: easily cut, glues well, lightweight
Cons: chips a little when cutting, grainy surface(textured paint should fix this), durable?(will it hold up under wargaming use or break?)