Miniature Building Authority Castles Kickstarter – Models Review
It is the worst feeling to order a full-on castle or kingdom-based miniatures set only to find upon delivery that the models themselves are of mediocre quality with poor detailing and cheap-feeling construction. But as we all know, there is quality to be found out there, and a staggering proportion of this quality is emanating from the headquarters of the Miniature Building Authority. As you have probably heard by bow, they have arranged a Kickstarter that has been successful, so this article will take a closer look at the meat of this miniature Castles Kickstarter: the castle models themselves.
The Aim and Origins
Kirk Stephens, the president of the Miniature Building Authority, stated in an interview that the aim of the wildly successful Kickstarter campaign was essentially for everyone to have the opportunity to build the coolest castle around. There is no doubt by just looking at the pictures of the completed 28mm castle models that this goal has been reached.
The origins of the 28mm Castle Kickstarter campaign are states by Stephens to be centred around an old limited-run model of a castle keep, of which there were only 200 made. The idea was posited that people should have the opportunity to enjoy a new castle keep, only this time with a serious collection of other castle pieces and other direct terrain that will comprise one of the coolest 28mm castle model sets in existence. This is the origin of the 28mm Castle models, so let’s have a closer look at the models themselves.
The Castle Models
As is mentioned in the previous paragraph, the all-new Kickstarter Castle model is centred around and indeed has its origins in an existing model of the keep. This keep is now called The Tower House (see the Tower House on the MBA Website), but this is only a fraction of the impressive quantity of individual castle models that are available. As well as The Tower House, you’ve got central pieces such as The Gatehouse, The Great Hall, the Lady’s Chapel, and The Kitchen.
There are also smaller and less expensive pieces that can be seen as accessories (though they are essential if you’re constructing a full-on castle for your miniatures games). These are items like the Town Wall, a Destroyed Wall for when you’re simulating battles, a D-Tower, Inner and Outer-Curved Walls, Corner Towers, Stairs (for the wall system), and even tiny pieces such as the Archery Target, Castle Well Kit, and a delightfully detailed Blacksmith Lean-To Kit.
As you may gather, the Castle Models set isn’t exactly lacking in variety or heft.
Of course, the quantity of model types available should never come at the expense of the quality of the models themselves. Thankfully, this is not a problem here. The models themselves are mostly resin-cast, making them very strong and durable, and likely to outlast any battles or sieges that you may have planned for them. Some of the pieces (such as the Castle Well Kit) are resin and metal-cast, giving them an even weightier feel. The strength and longevity of these pieces therefore cannot be called into question.
It would be inefficient to try and cover the design of all of the pieces, but it is best to simply say that all of these models – from the magnificent Tower House right down to the tiny archer’s target – obviously had the same level of thought and detail that went into their design. The models are unbelievably detailed and the ones that come pre-painted (such as many of the pieces of the actual Castle Model) look simply incredible. The detailing on the individual stones for example, is nothing short of breath-taking to look at. Even the tiny Lean-To Set has a superbly-pained roof and is painted to look like they are made from wood.
The design of these items simply cannot be faulted. The models are supremely detailed, the paint work is second to none, and the craftsmanship is unmatched. These qualities give the models a very individual and personal feel, as far from a mass-produced model set as is possible (see The Hobbit Miniatures at Games Workshop for an example of the other end of the spectrum).
Unless you were part of the Kickstarter contribution crown (and even if you were, to be honest), you will be paying top dollar for these models. The cheapest is around $60-$70 and at the more expensive end of the scale, you’re looking at $300-$400 for the larger models. The entire castle set in its entirety is going to set you back about $2,500. But these prices aren’t outrageous if you look at what you’re getting, which is the best-quality castle models that money can buy.
$2,500 is of course a lot to spend on just anything, but these are carefully-crafted models and, to be frank, they are worth the money if you’ve got the money to spend. If you want castle gaming that’s cheap then you cannot expect the quality to come with it. Castle Fight maybe cheaper with accessible, strategic medieval simulation games such as Tribal Wars 2 and Stronghold Kingdoms, but for top-quality real life models (and where money is no object), you need look no further than The Miniature Gaming Authority for that true castle war feel with your miniature games.