Monday, February 28, 2011

Review: Sabol Designs Spanish Villages

Now a review after having handled the buildings and compared them to scale. A while back I purchased five American Civil War civilians that I eventually got around to painting but had no use for. In this setting, they fit quite well. The colors are not too bright and cartoonish as Games Workshop scenery tends to be.

All the buildings here blend so well and look like the belong together. One can imagine this well being a centerpiece of village life for socializing. I think I'll order some Hovels monks to paint up and put outside the church.

One can really admire the skill used here in the weathering on the buildings, the depth of the shadowing between tiles and in the windows.

A creative touch was he added a small fenced in area. A long time ago I purchased some 15mm pigs, again for which I had no use at the time, but figured I would one day down the road. Works well here and gives it a touch of life. It can also serve as an objective marker for a hungry unit.

My Spanish Grenadier regiment. The scale is all well, the walls not being too high or too low.

Maybe a little out of focus here, but one can see the overall size here and imagine it being a real town or city and not just a couple of cheap buildings tossed on to a table.

Here my well was put to good use. I like the ruined wall section, gives it a look of age and not appearing to have just been put up. The tower on this village gives it a somewhat menacing look.

Again notice here, the weathering and growth is obvious and very life-like.

This piece is the JR Buildings French estate piece and a Hovels' single home. A good piece for those small little hamlets that exist on maps like a suburb. More excellent weathering effect.

In conclusion, the painting is simply superb and spot on. Matt was able to follow directions while I let him have plenty of artistic license in arranging the pieces as he saw fit. All of the villages can be picked up by any building without fear of it ripping off the sturdy base of some unknown material. These pieces are a bit heavy, but in the end it all is so sturdy and solid that it helps lend to the overall quality.

I provided all of the buildings, a well, a fountain and water spigot that was used in the pig pen. The cost was $200, which included the return shipping. In the end, it was a fair price and more importantly, a quick turn around time. I cannot find anything I would improve upon as it all is beyond anything normally seen at this scale and even above. In the future I hope to be able to attend a regional convention and I know these pieces will really catch the eye.

If you're looking to have some masterly painted and built terrain, contact Matt.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Old Glory Comes Through

A while back I had purchased a bag of 15mm British light dragoons in shakos. When the time came to consider painting them up and forming them into a unit, I could see through the bag the casting lines were very visible and the horses had more flash then they would normally have. Probably the result some old moulds or not clamped properly.

After making a comment, Old Glory sent a replacement bag at their own expense and I'm happy to say they made up for it. It does appear I asked for the wrong bag, as I checked what correspondence, I added a number and got peninsular dragoons in helmets. That's actually better, so my mistake worked out. A good number of my figures are Old Glory, so I am happy they went to the effort of keeping a customer. Hopefully they will be on my painting agenda in the next couple of months.

Here's the British Light Dragoons. Probably cannot tell from the picture, but they are in shakos and have a bit too much flash to get through without spending a solid hour at work.

I really needed Peninsula theatre dragoons and that's what I received. A bit more animated and in the helmet that I prefer them in. It all worked out.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sabol Designs Spanish Village Finished

I was going to wait and do a review and final pictures once I had the buildings, and still will do so. In the mean time, I was given the final pictures for my approval. The turn around time shocked me, only two days!? Shameful! It took me at least that long to paint the buildings and Matt at Sabol Designs not only repaints them to match the previous work, but builds walls and other cool add ons as well.

This section works out well and I didn't even request it. I have 15mm scale pigs that I've used in a make shift pig sty. Now my pigs can wallow in their filth in style.

My Hovels fountain is present. The church piece was the least detailed model in my opinion, of the entire Hovels Spanish 15mm range. After I had originally painted it, it never felt satisfying. That's all changed now.

Here is my Hovels well. The JR Miniatures French estate works well in this setting as well.

Even with a different manufacturer, it all blends so cleanly.

I like the curve in the wall beside the estate home. Just enough room to squeeze in some defenders. These two pieces here can be used as one village/town or two smaller separate pieces. The tower you see to the right seems to be no longer in production.

Just stunning work. This level of skill is typically only ever applied to 28mm terrain due to the larger visibility that exists.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sabol Designs Spanish Village In Progress

As anyone who has seen my blog battles knows, my buildings are a bright white stucco with stereotypical red tiled roof. Although not incorrect, in my further research I have come across the disturbing fact that that wasn't real common in early 19th century Spain and Portugal. It appears the white wash color was expensive and typically, only the wealthy had such clean looking exteriors.

In a way, this makes perfect sense since dust, rains and general soot in the air from homes burning wood and oil would certainly dirty up pristine white buildings in no time. As previously seen on my blog, Sabol Designs constructed a Spanish monastery for me. The coloring is more greyish and natural looking. As a result of my research and the fact that it would be nice to have buildings that tend to blend together on the table, I've commissioned the time of Matt Sabol to repaint and construct the buildings into village/towns.

Almost all of my buildings are Hovels, but there are a couple of JR Miniatures buildings in the mix (the French estate building and the round tower). So far, I have two preliminary pictures from the work. A full review will be done once they arrive.