Some time ago, I moaned about the burden of painting 28mm buildings for our pirate gaming. Imagine my pleasant surprise when Kirk Stephens from The Miniature Building Authority offered to send me one of their prepainted buildings for review! I decided I would compare it to another 28mm building a acquired some time ago on ebay, a prepainted ruin by ESLO Terrain. Other than that, my experience with prepainted stuff is pretty limited. Playing X-Wing, I of course know the excellent spaceships that come with the game. And at CRISIS, I had a good look at the much talked about stuff by 4Ground. But that’s about it! So I was curious what I would get.
The Miniature Building Authority offers a broad range of 28mm as well as 15mm terrain. The range I am most interested in is the Spanish Main series, which comes with some really nice pieces. The huge customs house is especially shiny! Kirk sent me the Spanish Tiled Medium Building.
It arrived in a nifty cardboard box whith a styrofoam inlay that fits to the contours of the buildings – a very safe way of packing. The building itself is a weighty bit of solid resin with two seperate roofs that fit on very well. The interior is not modelled but painted in the same colour as the walls. However, we normally don’t play inside buildings so this was of no concern for me and anyway you can easily fit in some figures.
The building is rather on the large side for 28mm – at least compared to most other manufacturers, who tend to reduce ground scale for buildings. If you prefer ‘true scale’, this is the scenery you are looking for! The texture of the walls is crisp and gives a good weathered look. The painting is nice and clear, although the walls are grey and not the sandy beige as shown on the website. I guess you could state the colour you like when you order something.
The ESLO ruin is also huge, but this is mainly because of the landscaped base it sits on. The building itself, a derelict tower, is in the reduced ground scale that is common with 28mm. Weight-wise, the whole construction is pretty light – it’s certainly not resin. Nevertheless, it looks reasonably sturdy and survived the games we have played on it without any problems. Painting and landscaping is nice and the whole thing provides some variety on the table.
I am happy with both of them. Prepainted terrain certainly saves a lot of trouble, especially for someone like me who doesn’t enjoy working with resin (being an ‘interesting material to work with’, as Neil Shuck put it in the latest issue of Miniature Wargames). If your time is limited and you are already having trouble painting up figures, prepainted scenery can help to get actual gaming done!