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)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Five Buildings from Sarissa Precision

Close on the heals of my Battle Flag buildings came five kits from Sarissa Precision. They arrived safely this time! I picked up a couple of homestead style houses from their North American line as I felt that I was a little short on places for the citizens of Calamity to live. I also picked up the Railroad stations and two more regular Heroic buildings one small and one medium. The basic construction techniques I have developed are the same ones I used on these, so lots of clamps, Titebond carpenter's glue and a good sharp knife. If you are looking for buildings that look more like homes then definitely check out North American section of the Sarissa Precision website. All of these buildings are suitable for the Old West. I picked up the "House - Stone Chimney #1" and "House with Porch - Stone Chimney #1.

Sarissa has a lot of kits that no other company is making yet. They have a terrific line of Adobe style buildings which would be very useful for a southwest theme, along with the railroad station and all of the different homes in the North American line. If you are looking for the unique kit then you definitely need to check them out. They produce a high quality product with functional instructions (they could be better but are adequate to the task) that produces a good looking building for the table. Their buildings come with flat roofs as standard so if you want a pitched roof  be sure you select that option. Unfortunately there is not an option for a pitched roof for their Heroic Large Buildings only for the small and medium Heroic buildings.

Because I have covered my construction methods in earlier posts I'll cut down on the number of construction photos to show you. I did have a number of problems with all of these builds to the point that I thought Sarissa had moved from 2mm MDF to 3mm MDF. I contacted Sarissa and Steve indicated that there is a tolerance in the material and sometimes it is thicker than 2mm. I checked mine this morning (perhaps I should have checked that when I was having problems!) and the MDF for all five of these buildings measures out at 2.5mm thickness. Doesn't sound like much but when everything is cut to such close tolerances that makes a huge difference. Steve offered to replace components if I needed them but since all five have been assembled it seemed pointless to get replacement components for them. Once I figured out that things seemed to thick I just filed down the spots where there is a tab that has to fit into a slot. The chimneys in both houses had to have the bottom cut off so it didn't extend below the floor, I don't think that had anything to do with the thickness of the MDF. I guess the moral of the story is check the thickness of the MDF before you start building so you will know what to do to make everything fit correctly.

Starting off with "House - Stone Chimney #1"
The Parts
The Instruction sheet

And here we are already finished up and with our favorite Huckster for scale
I had problems with the getting the tabs on the roof to fit and you can see the result above where I broke off a portion of shingle next to the tab.

And from the back. No fast exit here unless you go through the window.
I had problems with getting the tabs on the walls to fit into the floor slots.  I think they have changed from 2mm MDF to 3mm MDF and forgot to widen some of the slots to accept the new width.
And now moving quickly on to build #2 "House with Porch - Stone Chimney #1"
The Parts

The Instructions

The inside of the Chimney wall. If you look at the base of the chimney you can see  where it extends below the tab for the floor. You can cut it right on the lines and it will fit. I'm not sure that its suppose to work that way but this gets it in place with almost no pain.

Gluing the back wall  shed in place

Gluing in the front windows

Test fitting the roof. I filed a bit off of both sides of the tabe as well as the slot they are suppose to fit into.

The front with the roof in place. The two porch supports on either end are actually part of the sidewalls. This joint is fragile! I managed to break both of these ends off before I was done assembling the house. Fortunately they were pretty simple to glue back on.

The finished house from the front

And a figure for scale. I promise to paint another citizen of Calamity so she won't be so lonely.
Since I have built the stores from Sarissa before I decided to go for the train station next. These are among my favorite structures to build so I was really looking forward to this one. I have to admit that this is not my favorite kit. I don't think that it is very well designed and it certainly has some unprototypical features that really bother me. It also suffers from the fact that the tabs and slots required filing to get a good fit which also applies to the two interior walls which are harder to get into to file down because the exterior walls are fragile. If you force MDF hard enough it will break!
The Instructions

Straight from the bag!

Sorted out the parts

Here is a wall sub assembly. If you click on the picture to see a bigger version you can see how I have filed down the tabs so that the will fit (I did front and back sides). The two long vertical slots make this piece a little fragile till you have it mounted on the platform. (this is the front wall)

The back wall, again the tabs have been filed down (in width, not length)so they will fit into the platform slots.

Walls mounted to the top of the platform. They served as a guide to gluing the bottom of the platform in place. The tabs actually are long enough to go through both pieces.

The two interior walls slotted into place. I had problems with the front and broke some of the MDF but the break is hidden by the walls so not a big deal.

And the back, or non-trackside. On most protoypes this wall would be flat and wouldn't have those wings around the door. (That's a prototype thing and not likely to bother your average gamer.

gluing the door and window piece on to the exterior wall.

Exterior walls in place and the frames for the passenger shelter roof are in place. These also had to be filed down to fit into the slots in the platform.

The roof went together nicely. I did file the slots a bit and the slot for the chimney had to be filed as well.

A look from the trackside. It looks good, despite my frustrations with getting this one built.

A look from the street side. Looks good except that little alcove with the door is going to bother me.
Passenger Shelter Scale Shot

Building Scale Shot
From here I moved on to the small heroic building (with optional pitched roof).
Instructions and Parts

Sub Assemblies

Gluing up the roof

Using my clamps to square up the building and let the glue set

Adding the other side to the roof.

And the finished building. Fast build. I still had to file down all the tabs though to get them to fit.

Finished from the back

And a little scale shot.
And then the final building; medium heroic with pitched roof (optional)
The Parts

The Instruction sheet

And the finished building. You do have to be careful with the front framing. The framing is all cut as one piece and the  two larger windows snap off pretty easy and the whole thing is very floppy till you get it glued down in place. Fixing the window that broke off was very easy.

The backside finished. Again I had to file down all the tabs that had to slot down into the base or  upwards to hold the roof.
And a scale shot.


  1. Wow, great posts there. So, what would you suggest for clamp sets? May want to do a post about that as they seem to be very useful in putting mdf stuff together.

    1. I hadn't thought about a post like that but it would probably be useful.

  2. Yeah, I have nothing like the set up you have (clamps, etc.) for assembling buildings and I am wondering if it is worth the trouble for me to purchse a bunch of stuff to assemble what are supposed to be easy to assemble kits.

    Tom Reed

    1. Tom, my tools make it easier to put them together but they are not necessary. If you have an assortment of rubber bands (especially some bigger ones that can wrap all the way around a building) you can put these together. I use clamps and weights, because getting everything precisely lined up and keeping it there is a bit of an obsession with me. If you are going to build a lot of them then I think the tool investment is worth it. If you are going to just build a few then an investment in a rubber band assortment, a sharp knife and some wood glue is all you need.

  3. You're really moving along on this project and I like the painted figure you have there. Looking forward to seeing the whole town set up on a table.

    1. Its coming along nicely. The biggest obstacle I see right now is making the board. I have a ton of minis to paint now. I'll start jumping on those after the convention. Competition pieces come first right now!

  4. I've just done the train station and I must admit the instructions were a little lacking but with some swearing and bodging I got it made.

    1. The train station could have definitely used some better instructions. There are a few assumptions that all of us know exactly what you need to do when they leave out a whole sentance.

  5. I do like that train station. Not sure what I would do with it, but I just might have to pick one of those up. :)

    1. The station is pretty classic goes with just about any period. I'm sure you would find something to use it for.

  6. I have just built the train station but was a bit worried after your comments about the fit of some of the pieces, but it went together like a dream with no problems at all.

    1. I just got unlucky that I received a number of kits from them that were made from two different sizes of MDF. So sometimes the parts fit and sometimes I had to file them down. Glad you had no problems with your kit!