Monday, June 4, 2012

Product Review: Kobblestone Miniatures 28mm European Row Houses


I came across a listing of these 28mm resin building kits from Kobblestone Miniatures on Tabletop Gaming News a few weeks ago and thought they might integrate well with my Great War project. I contacted the owner/sculptor Bill (who was very helpful in explaining his products) and ordered two row house sections - one in idyllic condition while the other suffers from severe battle damage.

Each section of two buildings currently costs $50 to $65 USD, depending on design. Shipping was quick and the parcel was well-packed, with the components arriving without any damage. 
...


Once everything was unpacked I was immediately impressed by the overall quality of the castings. None of the pieces needing much more than a very light sanding and a warm wash to rinse away any release agent. All of the components fit flush, had very little pitting and had no discernible warping or misshapen elements. 





As I mentioned above each row house section depicts two buildings and so has two separate front and rear facades and two roofs. In addition, the undamaged section has two sidewalk sections while the shelled one has various bits of rubble which is a nice touch. Bill was also kind enough to add a couple plant pots, barrels and two elevated sections. These components fit onto a core box-frame that seems to be made of MDF which has already been primed grey.

Impressive options: All of the components for the two row house sections.
One set of the battle-damaged facades...
By having the facades and roofs as individual components the kits allow the gamer to arrange them in a variety of designs to fit a particular scenario or to taste. I found it all quite ingenious how it all could be quickly interchanged to give a different look.

....and the other set.
There has been some good thought put into the manufacturing of the components. For example, the balcony of one of the facades is a separate piece (which needs to glued into place) and since it is a distinct element it has more detail than if it was just moulded onto the facade. 

The balcony is a separate casting, allowing for greater detail.



The core structure has both a floor and roof level but does not feature a second floor. While I think it will be relatively easy to att a 'second floor' to the frames I found their absence a bit strange for such an otherwise so well-thought out design.


Bill tells me that he will be releasing more facades and roof components to reflect a wider range of architecture (I am particularly interested in getting the 'stepped' rooflines common to many older Belgian buildings). He also says that in the near future there will be three story buildings released with more interior details. His range currently covers Fantasy, Celtic, Medieval, Mediterranean and European/WWII. I understand that Middle East is on the books along with a wide assortment of mods for the buildings (additional window designs, awnings, doors, stairways, cobblestone streets, etc). 

Photo showing the roof components.
While the models are not particularly inexpensive, and the absence of second floors is a bit of a puzzle, I have no reservations recommending these to anyone who desires high quality buildings that have the flexibility to 'morph' to taste. All in all an excellent product.

21 comments:

  1. They do look good. I think once your painting standard hits a certain level it really demands the best scenic's you can aford.

    Ian

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  2. Wow.. always nice to see some good casted 28mm historical buildings. Looking forward to seeing your work on them.

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  3. They look good and are clearly well designed and the price is ok, but the thing with buildings is that you normally need quite a few!

    Phil

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    1. Indeed! I think for my needs I'll not require many more otherwise my pocketbook would be burning a hole through my trousers...

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  4. They do look fantastic! However, I noticed the waiting time is pretty long.

    Christopher

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    1. Yes, I think they are 'suffering' from their success and are being challenged in keeping up with demand. A good thing, I suppose, but I hope they can get caught up on their capacity.

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  5. They look like excellent buildings.

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  6. Very impressive, I will look forward to seeing them painted and on the terrain.

    John

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    1. Well, that will be interesting, John, as they will be largely in greyscale to match my figures - so I have a suspicion that they won't change colour that much!

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  7. I have their middle eastern market set. They are very impressive and great value for money.

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    1. Those market stands look pretty nice in the online catalogue photo and I was wondering how they translated in real life. Thanks for that!

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  8. Very nice, looking forward to them in greyscale Curt

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  9. What beautiful looking building!!! Can't wait to see how they look when painted.

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  10. They look good. Generally I like scratchbuilding terrain for 28mm scale things, but these would certainy save a lot of time doing so if you have the pennies to spare....

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    1. Yeah, I used to do my own terrain, but frankly its not my strength (unlike your excellent efforts!) and I found it takes up time for which I'd rather be working on miniatures.

      Decent Job + No Kids + Understanding Partner = Self-Indulgent Acquisition of Toys.

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  11. Very interesting set of buildings, and really useful in your project. I think.

    Best regards.

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  12. They look fantastic, Curt - absolutely perfect for Belgium or Northern France. Very much looking forward to seeing what you make of them.

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  13. Thanks guys! Its funny as they will end up in a form not too far off from their original colour, but hopefully will have a little more depth. Hopefully!

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  14. Replies
    1. Yes, they are great quality castings. Lets see if I can do them a bit of justice.

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