Miniature Building Authority Tudor Inn and New Double Townhouse

The two newest Miniature Building Authority buildings that I have added to my collection are the Tudor Inn and the New Double Townhouse. Like all Miniature Building Authority European series buildings they are pre-painted on the outside, feature removable roofs, have open window areas for true Line of Sight, and feature wooden inserts for wargaming action on multiple stories.

The Miniature Building Authority Tudor Inn

Red tiled roofs on miniature houses in a city market scene from Miniature Building AuthorityThe Tudor Inn has a hefty list price of $119.95. For that you get a three story inn with a double-wide front entrance and a rear scullery exit. The Tudor Inn’s paint scheme is quite stark and austere, only black and white on the sides, with the characteristic MBA red-tiled roofs. The inn would benefit from some drybrushing and/or a wash to help give it some variety. Structurally it is a fairly nice specimen, as it should be for $119.95. The inn has a slight tilt in its second and third floors, but the slant only affects the portion overhanging the street so it will not pose any problem for butting the inn up against other buildings.

The Tudor Inn has a rough footprint of 6.5 inches by 7.5 inches, reaching 8 inches to its third story roof with the chimney pot adding about 2 more inches, for a total height of just under 10 inches. I have complained about the red chimney pots on all of the other MBA buildings, but the Tudor Inn thankfully has grey ones.

The Miniature Building Authority New Double Townhouse

Two miniature buildings as one from Miniature Building Authority with its double townhouseCarrying the idea of adjoining buildings to the next level, Miniature Building Authority has released the New Double Townhouse, which combines two buildings into one resin piece. The two story half has black tiles on its roof and a green door, while its attached companion has red tiles and is only one story, with steps leading up to its door. The New Double Townhouse also offers some nice surprises. The first is that the smaller building has a cut-away floor leading to a recessed cellar or area beneath the floorboards, which is a little under three quarters of an inch deep. I was able to put a Games Workshop Rat Swarm in there, one of the low Pegasus Hobbies crates, and a Hirst Arts crate, as seen in the Youtube video below. There was room for more surprises though. You could have a skeleton down below, a dungeon entrance, sacks of grain or gold, or even dwarves and halflings lying in wait The second, related surprise is the small archway leading out of this recessed area, connecting to the street outside. There is also a wooden barrel with a black pipe to drain off rain water.

The New Double Townhouse is approximately 4 inches deep and 8 inches long, standing about 6.5 inches tall. Overall the sculpted details on its stonework, as well as its paint job point to a promising trend in the newer MBA buildings. It has a list price of $74.95 from Miniature Building Authority.

Pegasus Hobbies Large Village House 5071

Approaching Chaos Warriors threaten the prepainted Pegasus Hobbies Tudor-style houseLike its taller cousin, the Mcrae’s Large Two Story House, the Large Village House (#5071) from Pegasus Hobbies comes fully pre-painted on both its exterior and interior, but also is sadly out of production. The Large Village House originally retailed for $30, but I found mine on eBay for $25. Even had it cost $40 now, it would be worth every penny and easily has the most value for its price of any prepainted miniature building.

The house measures 8″ by 6″ at its base and stands just under 6.5 inches tall to the top of its chimney. Like the Mcrae’s House, the chimney is the least attractive element consisting of sharp craggy “rocks”. The front and back walls measure 2.5 inches up to the roof’s eves. Aside from the chimeny, everything is painted to a uniformly high standard. All that the Large Village House lacks is some furniture and occupants for an adventuring party to rescue or terrorize. Its other obvious use would be in wargaming where you can comfortably move the battle indoors as it easily allows Large Warjacks to fit within, though how they would be allowed inside based on the size of the two doors or their Large bases is something to discuss with your opponent. It may be a slight stretch, but it could also serve as a European house in a 25mm WWII wargame too.

The 8 inch by 6 inch large prepainted miniature house from Pegasus Hobbies has a Tudor feel to it

The Large Village House Has 2 Entrances Allowing for Quick Escapes… or a Flanking Manouver

I would love to have at least one more of these and even if it means competing against me on eBay, I would suggest that any fantasy or historicals wargamer snatch the Large Village House up if he or she should see one. Have a look inside at the house’s interior on my Youtube video for it below.

Crystal Caste Fantasy Medieval Inn

The front of the prepainted fantasy inn for 25mm scale miniaturesMuch like the Crystal Caste Farmhouse Series, the Crystal Caste Medieval/Fantasy Inn #40001 comes prepainted on the outside, has hinged opening and closing doors, removable roofs, and is felt lined on the bottom so as to not scratch your gaming surface. Unlike the Farmhouse series though, not all of the inn’s doors are openable. The green doors on the second story are facades and do not open.

The inn is richly detailed on its exterior with its own small well supplying it with water. The inn has seen its share of use and abuse over the years with a battered roof repaired with spare shingles, boards, and thatching. Around the exterior are more rocks and bits of debris. The inn is well painted except for the side of one of the gates, which was bare of paint on my model. The interior is also not detailed and is a flat matte black.

A view from above of the weathered and worn miniature fantasy inn.The fantasy inn is perfect for gamers who play RPGs or war games using 20-25 mm bases, particularly for skirmish games where figures can make full use of the exterior walkway. The walkways though don’t allow figures on 30mm bases to be placed on on them except at the corners, so using the Crystal Caste Inn for Hordes, Warmachine, or Malifaux would be quite restricted, much less the plastic line of Confrontation.

The Fantasy/Medieval Inn retails for $98 with is footprint measuring roughly 9.5 inches x 7 inches. The wooden walkway’s supports do extend the size it takes up on the table to an area of 9.5 inches x 10.5 inches. The walkways are about 2.5 inches from the table. Vertically it reaches a little under 6.5 inches to the chimneys and the vertex of the roof. Even from the same manufacturer, I think most gamers would be better off getting a Farmhouse Cottage and Farmhouse Stable for $85, but that is ignoring the design of the inn.

The only real flaws I have found in the Inn are the non-opening doors on the second floor, the lack of paint on the side of one gate, and its price, but its price and quality is comparable to other prepainted terrain manufacturers, if not superior. Another “flaw” that may irk some GMs is how tempted players will be to play with it during an adventuring session if used for an RPG. The inn is also towards the end of its production run, but you can still get yours from Crystal Caste.

Miniature Building Authority Small Stucco Townhouse with Dormer and Stone Farm House

The second additions to my Miniature Building Authority collection were the Stone Farm House and the Small Stucco Townhouse with Dormer. Both have the red chimney pots and the green bases that I am not so fond of, as do all of the MBA buildings in the Eurovillage series. Of course, this is more than compensated by the fact that they also come prepainted, have open windows for true line of sight, removable roofs, and and have floor inserts for multiple floors.

The Small Stucco Townhouse with Dormer

The light grey Small Stucco Townhouse with Dormer in the great outdoors.
With the word small in its name, I wasn’t expecting too much, but was pleasantly surprised when I opened the box. It seems to have a newer fresher design than a few of the older buildings. The blue door doesn’t look out of place and there’s room in the top for a 3×3 unit on 20mm bases. You could squish more miniatures in certainly.

As I note upon getting my first good look at it in the Youtube video, the paint colors on my Small Stucco Townhouse didn’t match the packaging. Mine is light grey, but the packaging shows a yellow building. The image on miniaturebuildingauthority.com of the building is a mix of the two, appearing a warm light light brown to me, close to Buff or Naples Yellow. When contacted about the building’s true color and the label’s image, Kirk from Miniature Building Authority had this to say: “We are working to get the artwork closer, but at this time it is what it is. So, we apologize if the box art is not the color you want, but we are working to improve this process.”

Stone Farm House

I don’t care for the Stone Farm House’s pale blue shutters and doors, but that’s not the reason I got it. It’s positively huge, especially compared to other MBA buildings. It measures in at 7 inches by 6.25 inches, and is just under 8.5 inches tall, not including its double chimneys. The second floor easily has room for a 8×6 unit of figures on 20mm bases to lie in ambush for an unsuspecting unit passing nearby.

The Stone Farm House though also has a few deficiencies:
Closeup of MBA Stone Farm House showing odd stone pattern and doors .5 inch above ground.

  1. Raised Entrances: The green bases that I don’t care for are usually about 5 millimeters tall. In the case of the Stone Farm House though, there’s about an additional 5 millimeters of a stone ledge that both of its doors rest upon. This creates over half an inch of difference in height to the ground from the door. I will probably add a narrow Hirst Arts floor tile to restore a bit of realism.
  2. Odd Stone Pattern: The pattern on the sides of the building is very odd. To me, they look like crescent fingernail shapes. What sort of stone this represents is beyond me. It’s definitely textured though, but the Stone Farm House doesn’t withstand much close scrutiny.
  3. It’s not Straight:I actually hadn’t noticed its odd pattern or the raised entrances until preparing to review the building, but the fact that mine is a bit crooked, bowing out to the side? That quickly disappointed me. I can still push other MBA buildings up against it, but one side is straighter than the other. This is shown in the Youtube video above.

Final Thoughts

The Miniature Building Authority Stone Farm House and Stucco Town House with Dormer together outdoors.Despite the color issue, the Small Stucco Townhouse with Dormer is a solid offering from Miniature Building Authority and one of their most affordable. While many of their buildings are perfect for fantasy or medieval city settings, despite its name the Townhouse could easily be an outlying building in a village or farm.

The Stone Farm House has been superseded by MBA’s more recent offerings. It does boast an unusually large size, especially for an Miniature Building Authority building, but its flaws in either design or execution set the product back.

Itar’s Workshop Egyptian Tomb

I think I won a few other items that Itar’s Workshop makes on eBay and then checked out their website. Then I ordered a few more things including the Egyptian Tomb. At $11.99, if it turned out poorly, it would not be much of a loss.

The Egyptian Tomb arrived fairly swiftly. It is lightweight, resin, and based off of a Hirst Arts Egyptian blocks design with hieroglyphics. Any worries I had were quickly allayed. I do have a couple of the Hirst Arts Egyptian molds, but not the one(s) used to make this. On the inside of the tomb there is an interior wall of resin bisecting it and providing a lot of support. The model had a few air bubbles and a little flash on it. Scraping some resin off the bottom edges revealed more air bubbles. This is par for the course for resin. With both Armorcast and Forge World, I can easily start whittling away the actual model itself trying to get rid of the small honeycombs of air pockets.

I painted it with white craft paint and then Sandstone Apple Barrel craft paint. After it dried, I painted on some Min Wax Walnut stain and let that seal. The effect was mostly what I intended, but to really have the polyurethane stain settle into the hieroglyphics on the sloped walls I had to position it on its side and apply more stain one wall at a time, otherwise gravity would pull the liquid down its sides whereas I wanted it to pool in the depressions.

Overall I think it turned out pretty nicely. There is no escaping that you could buy the Hirst Arts mold(s), cast the blocks, and make something very similar yourself, but it is nice to also just be able to buy a one part model, quickly paint it in less than 20 minutes, and then have something cool for your Tomb Kings or Crocodile Games figures to fight over. The pricing seems in line with what Armorcast charges for its Egyptian line.

Crystal Caste Farmhouse Buildings

At first glance, Crystal Caste is only a dice manufacturer. But as one of their brochures and thoroughly scouring their website reveals, they are out to help gamers with as many useful products as possible. The prepainted Farmhouse Buildings fit that bill incredibly well. All of the series are felt-lined on the bottom to protect your playing surface, have brownish orange tiled roofs, and come in specially contoured styrofoam packaging. They are made in China. The Barn and Stable are also asymmetrical with separate little side areas jutting off and out, which adds visual interest.

Easily the most useful (and greatest value) piece is the Cottage. It has an opening front door and a backdoor. It is 5.5 inches wide by 3.25 inches deep. It is roughly 6.5 inches tall including the removable roof. The second floor extends out a quarter of an inch over the front of the cottage. Inside there is a small lip from where the second floor juts out the quarter of an inch. You would need to glue something on the opposite interior wall to create a shelf to add your own second story floor insert.

The next most useful piece I would suggest picking up is the “Stable”. It has two separate detachable roofs, one over the little annex area which has double swinging doors that can fit three Games Workshop cavalry models inside. Two doors on the front lead to the interior of the stable with exterior steps leading to the second floor, again with a functioning door. Its width is just at 12 inches, with about 4 inches of depth, though the roofs extend further. It is about 6-6.25 inches tall, so shorter than the cottage.

I added the Barn to my collection and in the second Youtube video you can see what a beast this piece is. Coupled with some of the other buildings or by itself this is an objective worth fighting over. Unlike the Cottage and Stable, the Barn has no red brick pattern. Instead, it matches the second stories of the other pieces with the wood and yellowish stucco or plaster. It has one huge roof that removes, then a tiny external storage shed attached at the back with removable roof as well. Large barn doors let livestock and fleeing peasants out and villainous raiders in. It does have two doors in the rear for a quick escape. The Farmhouse Barn is just over 11 inches wide. The main portion is 5 and one eighth inches wide, though the front doors add about an inch in the front, while the rear storage adds just under two inches.

There is actually a fourth piece which I have stayed away from: The Farmhouse “gate house and wall” (40003). While it matches the rest in appearance, the stucco or plaster over the bricks is a little too suggestive of Spanish conquests for my tastes. It also would look awkward standing alone, I think. Another Youtube user has the entire set in his collection of miniature terrain.

Obviously these would be great for any fantasy game, but the burned-out tiles on top stand out as evoking Mordheim to me. They are not ruins and very much intact, but they do have some battle or environmental damage. When I think “fantasy” and “red brickwork” I do also think of Privateer Press’s Iron Kingdom. These are the only bricked prepainted buildings in my collection, though Warmachine bases are too large to fit up the Stable’s walkway.