Oshiro Model Terrain – A review by Mike Hobbs

People who know me well know that as well as being a keen wargamer I’m also a bit of a foodie, well let’s be honest working as a chef for 15 years gives a person a certain perspective into what’s good and bad about the food we eat. One of my greatest pleasures in life is getting up early on a Sunday morning and going to a local farmers market, there is something wonderful about wandering amongst the stalls and sampling the various products on offer. Ok a supermarket might be more convenient and often cheaper, but these little market stalls can offer you more; they are run by people who care about the product they are selling and you know what you are buying is quality.

So what has this got to do about wargaming I hear you cry out, well its simple; our little hobby is still mainly made up of small manufactures who like artisan bakers and the organic farmers I see on my Sunday morning walks produce some great products and more importantly have passion about what they do.

Oshiro Modelterrain is one of these firms, like many companies who supply products for our hobby its run by 1 man in his spare time and over the years it has built up a reputation for producing some fine 15mm and 28mm Japanese buildings in resin as well as bespoke terrain pieces. Well recently Oshiro has started expanding its ranges with figures suitable for the Boxer Rebellion (1897 – 1901) and also some Victorian buildings both of which are in 28mm and it’s the Victorian building range that I’ll be reviewing today.

All the parts of the kits as they arrive

All the parts of the kits as they arrive

Unlike the other buildings in his catalogue these Victorian buildings are not sold resin models instead they are lasercut from 1mm Perspex sheeting in a similar way to MDF terrain that we have seen from other manufactures. However where they differ from MDF terrain, is these buildings are partly assembled, so an exterior wall which is made up of 2 thin pieces arrives pre-glued together. This means the assemble of these models is really quick and all the fiddly aligning parts up has been taken care of, also all parts arrive undercoated in grey so again this saves a job.

Detail of the assembled wall, this is how it arrived

Detail of the assembled wall, this is how it arrived

The model I received to review was a 2 story Victorian terraced house and each floor was made up of simply a floor and 4 walls which all slot together quickly and a roof section which includes the 2 gable ends and a supporting rafter. Add in a premade chimney, some roof tiles sections (made of card) and some windows and doors and there you have a simple to assemble model building.

The total time taken to assemble this building was under 30 mins, and being Perspex it’s really strong and I can see it lasting well in use. The roof tiles are the only part not made from perspex, they are made from thin card and all you do with these is cut out the strips and glue them to the roof, then once dried off they can be trimmed down and painted.

The basic build completed and some of the roof tiles glued on

The basic build completed and some of the roof tiles glued on

There are a few things that I’m not keen about with this kit and to be honest they are all minor but I wanted to raise them to ensure the review is balanced.

Firstly I really don’t like the front door / door frame of the house, I think it’s too fancy for a Victorian terraced house, it looks more like something you would see on a better standard of house, maybe that of a detached house with a garden. However knowing James from Oshiro I imagine he did his homework and based the detailing on a number of examples, which he’ll send me as soon as he reads this review.

The front door on the left

The front door on the left

Secondly; I wonder if the house needs some interior detail included. At the moment each floor is an empty box and if it’s aimed at skirmish games then I would like to see interior detail available, however on the flip side by not including this detail the kit price is kept low and so I understand why it’s not there

Other than a few very minor gripes on my part, I really like this kit, the fact that all the difficult parts of the assembly have been done for you make this a simple kit to put together and the level of detail you get in the assembled kit is pretty amazing.

To sum up, I think it’s fair to say that some firms might see them themselves as one stop shops for all your wargaming needs (a wargaming supermarket if you will) but there is still a place for the smaller firms who produce a limited range but have higher standards. They are the craftsmen that this hobby needs to survive and I for one think the more people who know about companies like Oshiro the better.

The finished article after a very quick paint job

The finished article after a very quick paint job

This and other Victorian building are available on Oshiro Modelterrain’s website.  The model in question retails for £25 plus p&p

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