Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Returning after a long absence from Blogging, (Apologies!) - thought I'd kick off proceedings by taking a look at a recent development in the world of small-scale wargaming, namely the new and expanding range of buildings from Brigade Models.
These new scenic items are ostensibly meant to go alongside their Land Ironclads miniatures, and the company themselves explain that they are designed at 1/1000th scale, but obviously would happily sit alongside 1/1200th Aeronef whilst also being in the right ballpark for Irregular Miniatures' 1/900th or 2mm ranges.
Now Brigade have as usual excelled themselves in introducing these new products to the consumer, and have been particularly good at providing clear photographs of the various sets as they have come available, so I do not propose to duplicate their efforts here.
Rather I'm going to put the contents of the two original sets, English Village Houses and English Churches, alongside similarly sized or scaled buildings that I know both I and others have used with small-scale miniatures between 1/3000th via 1/1200th up to 1/900th.
I'm hoping that these photos will help me to decide how I should re-assess my vast collection of tiny buildings to accomodate the new range, and ideally this post will also be of use in deciding where these 'new kids on the block' fit in with what has previously been available.
First impressions of all of the buildings that I have seen so far, is that they are extremely well sculpted in terms of architectural details and proportions, and are of a quality rarely seen before at this end of the wargaming scale; I think that they could easily be used for a variety of purposes, but I will start the comparison by putting them alongside some 3mm buildings that were originally produced by 'Simply Six', but I believe are now available from Pico Armour to be used with the Oddzial Osmy ACW range:
As you can see, these new Brigade buildings are definitely true to their description of being of a smaller order, although of course it would not preclude their use if you wanted to depict 'Built Up Areas' rather than individual buildings for a 3mm set-up.
Next up, the ubiquitous and ever-useful plastic Monopoly buildings, that in various forms have been an economical and easy option in the past when no other alternatives were available; again, you will note the discrepancy in terms of proportions and size, so they would not sit well together on the table-top:
Following on, we have what up until now has been the best option for detailed buildings in the smaller scales, the excellent 1/1200th Napoleonic items from Rod Langton:
I have found that depending on which building you buy, there is some variation in the sizing of these pieces, and in the past that has meant they have fitted comfortably next to a range of models, whether small scale naval or even land based 2mm. I think it is interesting to note that it appears that the Brigade 1/1000th pieces look smaller in proportions alongside the majority of the Langtons - perhaps I need to have a re-think about which minis I currently use these with - although I certainly wouldn't give them up, as they are great items, given their tiny size.
Next, a slight curve-ball in the form of a couple of Navwar's 1/3000th terrain pieces, namely some Wharehouses - these are obviously meant to represent very large constructions, but look correctly much smaller against the new stuff from Bigade:
Moving on, we have some examples of the 2mm houses from Irregular Miniatures, that form part of a slightly different approach to scenic items that has been discernible in their recently available items, away from the original 'Area' terrain pieces (of which more below) to larger individual pieces:
In theory, these building should come the closest in terms of appearance, and although there are obvious differences in detail, they are in the right area, but to be honest would struggle, I think, if placed alongside what has probably been a quantum leap in quality now provided by Brigade.
The next phase, of course, is to set the new contenders against the original, and for many years, the classic weapon of choice for small scale gaming, Irregular's scenic items:
The difference in approach and 'identity' if you like, is of course obvious, so I think I will be torn in the future as to which type to use in my set -up, perhaps the new Brigade might go with my 2mm forces, whilst the Irregular will be used to populate the world below high flying Aeronef or even 1/600th aircraft?
This is again re-inforced when they are seen with the plastic villages from GW's Mighty Empires:
Hmmm, I suppose I should not be complaining about being spoilt for choice, as it were, but these new items have definitely put the cat amongst the pigeons with regard to my pre-conceived scenic inventories; proof positive seen in the following shots next to 2mm troops:
To conclude this quick ramble through the small scale urban landscape, I would probably say that for me, the quality, proportion and precision of these new items are very much in 'game-changer' territory, and I think I will have to look long and hard at what I have been using in order to better match troops to their surroundings in future; all of the various contenders detailed here have their pros and cons; whether price, availability, ease of painting, or representational qualities as how you decide buildings are to be depicted, but I think as this line expands, they will be hard to beat - great quality, flexible, and reasonably priced.....
Maybe I'll give up on these ruminations, though, and just keep using them all..........
Although not at the same time.........