Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review - Aetherworks - 28mm Western Buildings - Brick Building

I purchased a building from Aetherworks out of Australia and it managed to beat my order from Sarrisa-Precision that is coming from the UK. To be fair I'm pretty sure my order from Sarrisa (and Foundry for that matter) are probably stuck in NY. New York is having a tough time first the Hurricane Sandy and now they are getting pummeled by Athena. Who knows when anything from the UK is going to get through that mess. Still I was very happy to receive the kit from Aetherworks and add another building to the Wild West collection.

It was pretty well packaged and it took me a minute or so to actually get to the contents.  I also ordered the extra detail kit that includes door and window frames (these come as part of the stock kit with Battle Flag) for the building. They also sent me 3 complimentary signs! Very nice, they sent the Bank, Sheriff and Marshal signs. One of those will end up the front, but not until after it has been painted. Since I'm a firm believer in pictures, here is what you get:

Construction is really straight forward. I took a lot of pictures of the process, and yes there are lots of clamps in the pictures and you can take a look at those below. Overall, this kit really went together well. The MDF is slightly different than what I was used to working with from Battle Flag and 4Ground. It is much thicker, I'm guessing 5mm, and seems to be a little harder. I was able to create distressed boards with my razor saw that can be seen, they didn't just create fuzz. Like any laser cut kit there is a front and a back to all the pieces. Double check and make sure you have the side with the detail glued down with the detail visible! I didn't have any assembly miscues with this kit. Part of that is that it is simpler kit than the ones from Battle Flag. Aetherworks are scaled a bit differently from Battle Flag as well. The Aetherworks building looks like it is scaled specifically for the Black Scorpion miniatures. In the long run I don't think you are really going to see the difference during a game or even with just a casual look.

The instructions were really good. They were specific to the building I purchased (that's always big for me) and each step had pictures. The only problem I had is that there is a lot of white space and some of the pictures would have been much more useful if they had been larger so I could see how some of the small parts should fit. In particular there is no clear picture of the supports for the top of the false front. I had to fiddle with them for a minute to make sure I had them in facing correctly. So instructions get a nice solid 4 out of 5.

Components are really nice. Again Aetherworks uses a thicker and seemingly harder MDF which allowed me to create distressed boards with my razor saw. Almost all the parts practically fell out of the frame. Smaller parts stayed in the frame and were easy to remove. The engraving was sharp and looked good. If anything the bricks were to sharp looking, some distressed brick would have been nice (and yes it can be done with a laser, check out my post on Monster's brick freight house, HO scale and featuring distressed or worn brick). Still that's a pretty minor point and most gamers are not going to notice. 5 out of 5 on the components.

What disappoints me a bit is that they don't go farther and include some instructions on painting and weathering the buildings. Especially the roofs. Aetherworks doesn't even mention the roofs after you have assembled them. Battle Flag does provide some extra strips of MDF to at least create the appearance of a tar roof and you can buy shingles from them if you want.

Small gripes really. This is a quality kit, it looks good when mixed in with the kits from Battlefront and Calamity gains its first brick building! On the the assembly pics!

So here is the basic building with the assembly finished

If you purchased the additional door and window frames then you get to keep going!

And now the finished product with the extra frames but still minus the sign (that will get mounted after painting)

And now with some Black Scorpion Miniatures for scale

And now against the Saloon from Battle Flag

The streets of Calamity continue to grow


  1. I like your posts on MDF buildings. Very informative and what makes blogging so much fun. Of course, you remind me that I need to hit Harbor Freight and buy more clamps and some weights! Love the blog, especially since it combines my two favorite hobbies: games and trains.

    1. I'm glad you're finding it useful! All the black clamps came in a net bag that I picked up Home Depot for like six bucks, in fact, I have several bags of those now but the container of 50 small ones from Micro Mart was still a really good buy. That does remind me that I need to get some work done on the railroad too!

  2. Most excellent Kris. I'm expecting a package from Italy and it looks like my wait might be prolonged just a bit.

    1. I had four packages hit the door yesterday but only one of them was from the UK. That contained half my Wargames Foundry order of Vikings. Hopefully the other box will make it today. It looks like the line is getting unplugged a bit so hopefully those minis from Italy will be arriving shortly!