With time becoming very much the predominant factor in the project and with so much to do, new methods were employed to 'speed up' production of the in-game assets.
I came up with a 'modular' building idea where each of the shops could be built exactly the same scale and in sections, so I could re-use the assets in different combinations - giving the impression that each one was a seperate, individual model.
How some of the 'basic' models look in Maya - many variations from a few assets
Of course, the first assets took as much time as any other building made for the project - but re-using the pieces (which were then ALREADY textured) meant that variations were almost made on a whim. As a result, the empty third section of the course that was worrying me somewhat was populated in a matter of days... which is a fraction of the time it took to place objects in the other areas.
Every building in shot has been built with the same template (with texture variations in places)
Maximum effect - minimum work. The way it has to work with looming deadlines.
If i'd thought of this method from the start I might have been able to produce even more buildings, but that's how it is - live and learn. I shall definately use this method in future if I have to make a large number of buildings in 3D again!