Tabletop World Cottage – A Review

I’m rarely surprised. I’m also rarely lost for words. But I was both of those things when my wife picked up the cottage I’d received from Tabletop World and said: ‘wow that’s amazing! Look how much detail there is!’ Now, just to be clear; my wife doesn’t like my hobby. She just about tolerates it because:

A) It was there first

B) I get a huge amount of enjoyment out of it

C) Because of this site

So the fact that she even acknowledged the building beyond something that was cluttering the end table is a red letter day. But the fact that she picked it up, took a look and then praised it could mean the world is about to end.

I tell this story so you will appreciate that when I say this cottage is a stunning piece of scenery, it’s not hyperbole, it’s not me blowing smoke up Tabletop World’s arse – that’s not how we roll at The Shell Case anyway – it’s because it is genuinely, hand on heart, fantastic.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen it arrived I was struck at how pristine the casting was, plus the lack of residue, flash or that funky smell that often follows resin around from the release agent. It was, for want of a better word; perfect.

And the sculpting equally isn’t far off. The attention to detail is staggering, the organic feel of the stone is superb and the fact that you can see the roofing tacks holding the tiles in place is just mad.

But more than that, it feels like a run down home. It has the detritus of habitation but it’s not exaggerated, it doesn’t shout. It isn’t covered in skulls… It does have a bucket though. And the best thing about those signs of wear and tear is that they can all be mended.

The attention to detail continues into the inside of the house – yes you can lift the rood off – as the floorboards are rough and uneven and the plaster cracked or coming away from the wall in some places. It really is really quite gorgeous. Combine it with a few other bits of a detritus and an out house and you’ve got yourself a handsome piece for any fantasy game.

The rub is that it’ll set you back around £30. When you consider that the Dreadstone Blight from the Games Workshop is only £20 you’d be forgiven for asking why you’d part with your hard-earned cash. And the reason is simple. It is as close to a perfect example of a 28mm fantasy/medieval house that I’ve ever seen. It is a marvel of design and creation.

It isn’t the biggest house or the most versatile, but that’s okay. Buy cheaper more robust scenery to be clambered all over. The Tabletop World cottage is something to be admired. Place it on a board and it will tell a tale whether it’s on the edge of a ruined district of Mordheim or next to a river.

I love this piece because of its beautiful simplicity and because I know how hard it must have been to achieve for the person charged with its creation. I love its design and look. I love the obvious care that was taken to cast it. It really is stunning. And that’s without paint.

If I’m honest, for the money you’re probably not going to buy more than one but the important thing is that you buy one at all. Just because you should. And then you’ll have no choice but to look at what else Tabletop World has to offer…

Check out more of Tabletop World’s range here.

Terrain Geek – A Review

terraingeek

If I’m honest I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when Stuart from Terrain Geek said he’d send me some bits to review. There’s a lot of companies out there and I’ve been to enough gaming conventions to know there is some real toss out there.

When the parcel arrived and I started rummaging through the baggies of base toppers, objectives and scenery I was struck by two things. The first was the variety. The second was the quality of the casting. Okay, so in terms of detail it’s not in the same league as Forge World, but does it need to be? What Terrain Geek produces is gaming scenery and every piece I received was faultless – which isn’t a boast Forge World can make – and is a fraction of the price. That said, the detail is good, more to the point once it’s painted and on the table it’ll look ace.

There was also some clear thought that went into the designs. Take the objective markers:

ObjectivesThey look good, they’re detailed but not to the point where you’ll avoid painting them but they’re designed to be as easy and cost-effective to cast as possible. The cannon especially is ace and would fit in on any fantasy or even steampunk board.

Equally the wall sets are simple but effective and can be painted in an hour. This doesn’t mean they lack detail, they just have the right detail. The magic stones are crumbling but still have the etchings on them telling of past glories. The generic walls look solid and hewn with the most basic tools.

WallsThe nice thing is that despite being cast from resin they feel solid and robust as any plastic kit and, again, suits just about any fantasy or steampunk board. For a fiver per section it’s pretty good value.

Now, scenery is all well and good. Especially scenery that does the job as efficiently and as cost effectively as these sets, but where it gets really good is the base toppers. I’ve never really been one for base toppers or pre-casts as I much prefer to do my basing the old-fashioned way. That said the bases from Terrain Geek, once again, strike the perfect balance between cool and practical.

basesIf I’m completely honest I can see the 3omm woodland bases being a bit of a faff to work with and as positioning could be limited the uniqueness of the bases could be impacted some what. That said they, and the stone and overgrown industrial ranges all look ace. Having just got my grubby little mits on a Warmachine starter set I can suddenly see the potential of the Industrial ranges as they all fit perfectly with Warmachine bases. A Warjack standing on a base of scrap would look awesome.

The other way cool thing is the 50mm base topper is perfect to mount Epic Titans on so the two Warhound Titans I just got from Forge World will get to be on proper manly bases rather than the tiny ones they’re supplied with.

I really like the base toppers. I really like the brilliant simplicity of them that can so easily be tarted up with the simple application of static grass or snow effect. I love the focussed ranges that keep the costs down but still offer a solution to most gamer’s needs. And I love the fact that each pack is only £2 a pop. So you can put scenic bases on 10 marines for £3.98. That’s not silly money. Granted a pot of sand from the Games Workshop will cost you £5.10 and it’ll base a lot more than 10 marines but it’s all the additions like scrap or bits of stone that’ll start the cost mounting.

I think what Terrain Geek has done with its range is present affordable, gaming standard, terrain and base toppers that look the part when you paint them and look the absolute balls when you put the effort in and a few tufts of grass or a sprinkling of snow. The resin is a good quality and has none of the waxy residue found on so many resin kits. It proves that resin is not the bank bustingly expensive material some companies will have us believe and that for not big money you can have a profound impact on your models and your board.