Friday, December 6, 2013

Tabletop Workshop: Medieval Cottage and Chapel Reviewed!


Today we will take a look at the hard plastic medieval cottage and chapel released by Tabletop Workshop! Tabletop Workshop is a trading name of Enigma Design Services Ltd, and is the means by which the company will be bringing wargames products to market. Enigma Design is a small design engineering company specialising in the toolmaking and product design elements of the UK plastics industry, and Managing Director Chris Ford has been in the industry for nearly 30 years since starting as an apprentice in the 80's. They have worked for some of the best UK toolmakers, producing mould tools for various industry sectors - automotive, medical, white goods, and yes toys/models.

Their aim is to produce a hard plastic range of wargame buildings in various scales using their experience in designing and producing plastic kits for other wargame companies. Their first products released on the market are the 28mm medieval cottage and chapel at which we will take a look right now.

The box

First of all something more about the packaging. I received both buildings in a perfect sized cartonboard box making it not possible for the individually product boxes to move and cause damage. The products also arrived quick as the company is based in the UK based but I must say that the shipping cost of the buildings is a bit on the high side when directly buying from the manufacturer. But they are available from other local retaillers besides Tabletop Workshop.

The actual 28mm hard plastic buildings came packed in a nicely decorated box showing a painted example of the content with inside the box a printed illustrated manual on how to construct the building. The building parts are not protected by any sort of protecting material inside the box but as the kit is hard plastic this isn't needed, so no big deal. As I have said I have received both the chapel and cottage so I now show you the content and the assembled product.


The medieval chapel is the largest building of the two and consists out of seven large hard plastic parts. In the picture below you can see the floor which forms the stone slabbed base of the chapel and gives the building its needed sturdiness when assembled. The other main parts of the building are the sides of the chapel which are decorated with a stone finish. One of these walls has a big stained glass window while the other side has a small window similar to the ones on the front of the chapel. The other two pieces shown are the front and back of the chapel, each decorated with a nice decorative roof rim and windows. To give you a size indication, the squares below in the picture measure 1 x 1cm.


You may have noticed the connecting tabs on the walls and base but I will tell you more about them later on. The chapel building also comes with a two pieces tiled roof which can be lifted of the building to show the decorated interior with benches and candles. The detail of the entire kit is very good as you can see and the building is clear of any flash with the exception of some small pieces where they were removed from the casting sprue.


The cottage also exists out of the same number of hard plastic parts but is about the half smaller than the chapel. As you can see the cottage isn't decorated in a stone but in a wood and plastered finish. The cottage comes with a nicely textured thatched roof which can be interchanged with the chapel if desired to give you some variation when you have bought multiple buildings.



The assembly

Now comes the fun part, the assembly phase as the kit doesn't need any cleaning or even glue! You can simply click the buildings together using the ingenious system of connecting tabs. As you can see in the picture below there are two sorts of tabs: the hooked ones that you can slide in the base of the building and the sort which you can click in the walls to hold them together. Both the cottage and chapel share the same method of construction.

You can see the "click" tab on the left and the hooked tab on the right

The actual construction is very easy using the manual inside the box . You first of all place the front and back wall in the gaps of the base then you slide the front wall to the right while you slide the back wall in the opposite direction. After that you insert the side walls in the gaps on the side of the base where you can click them in the "click" tabs of front and back wall. Now your building has been assembled and ready to be used! The best part is that you can take these buildings apart even after construction to safely store them away or take them to your club.

Inside view of the roof connection

Here are some pictures of the assembled chapel as you can see the building is suited for both heroic and non-heroic 28mm miniatures. the miniature shown in the picture is an 28mm non-heroic miniature. In the first picture you can see the front of the chapel while the second picture shows you the back of the building.



Here are some pictures of the cottage also scaled with an 28mm non-heroic miniature. As you can see the cottage is significantly smaller than the chapel as it would have been back in the medieval times. Again the first picture shows the front while the second pictures shows you the back of the cottage.




The scale comparison

To give you an idea of the size difference between both buildings I have added the following picture of the buildings side by side. I have also added a picture of the chapel alongside the Dr Willet's Workshop, resin the nook building of which you can find a  review here. Also note that I have interchanged the thatched roof with the tiled roof between the cottage and chapel.



The conclusion

The assembling of the buildings went so easy and only took two minutes of my time so you can easily take them apart and build them at your club or friends house. The details although a bit soft are good and almost no cleaning is required. I would certainly recommend these sturdy buildings to either glue them together or just click them together when you often need to tansport your terrain. These buildings can now be purchased directly from Tabletop Workshop or from other local retaillers. These buildings are now also available from Wayland Games at a nice discount along with the new plastic buildings. Check them here and grab some.


Dozens of other reviews can be easily found here and make sure to follow this blog as more reviews, tutorials and wargame news appears every day!


6 comments:

maxxev said...

I prefer Dr Willet's I have to say, shame his shop appears to have vanished, I was waiting for the 2 storey version of his building he was working on :(

Wargame News and Terrain Blog, said...

I had noticed his shop was stopped when I was trying to find a link on his blog towards the shop. Shame as all of his work was very nice and affordable. I was also interested to see the two story version.

Kind regards

Mark Mondragon said...

I was able to get to it without issue, he must have been updating it.

Wargame News and Terrain Blog, said...

I have contacted Stephane owner of Dr Willet's Workshop and he replied that he has no casting capacity in his current situation and he doesn't know when he will have the capacity.

He still accepts painting commission if somebody is interested.

Kind regards

Mitch K said...

Very useful review - thanks for posting>

Wargame News and Terrain Blog, said...

Hi Mitch, glad you liked the review!

Kind regards

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