Tuesday, May 2, 2017

StudioLevel: Archaic Ruined Columns Box and the Winter Pond Box Reviewed!

Today we will be taking a closer look at the Archaic Ruined Columns Box and the Winter Pond Box - tabletop scenery pieces sold by the new wargame company StudioLevel 

StudioLevel lead by sculptor and artist Sebastian offers a wide range of services and products ranging from custom made miniature and scenery builds, scenery painting and as you might have guessed they are now also selling readily available resin wargame terrain! Featured in this review are two resin scenery sets being the pulpy Archaic Ruined Columns Box and the Winter Pond Box.

The terrain pieces arrived in pristine condition from Poland to Belgium as the products were extremely well-packed in StudioLevel branded bubblewrap and further wrapped in black plastic packaging tape instead of a cartonboard box which was a first for me. The individual terrain sets were neatly but loosely packed in ziplock bags and labelled with cartonboard header labels featuring the product name and other relevant information. Pictures of the packaging can be found below.

Archaic Ruined Columns Box

The Archaic Ruined Columns Box contains two massive ruined column pieces, which come in multiple pieces allowing for some alternative options when assembling the scenery. Below you can see a picture of the packed Archaic Ruined Columns Box as mentionned above. Although these heavy pieces are supplied loose in a ziplock bag, I haven't found any broken or damaged pieces. The recommended retail price for this particular set is £47.00.

In the pictures below you can closely examine the full content of the set and as you can see there's more than just some ruined columns! In the Archaic Ruined Columns Box you find several ruined columns, a pair of rather large ruined temple bases, a fallen ruined column which could easily be a scenic piece on it's own and two ruined statues representing robed humanoid characters.

If we take a closer look at the details of these terrain pieces, we see a more abstract and less defined way of detailling than we usual see with other wargame companies that supply resin scenery in this scale. Some will dislike this, while others will like this as it adds more character to the pieces and to be honest I also like them as they represent ruined temples which have been exposed to the elements and plantlife for centuries without human intervention. When you will see the painted examples of these ruined columns, I think you will be convinced that these less defined details aren't an issue on the tabletop!

If you're wondering about the scale of these elements, I would say they are clearly designed to be used with heroic scaled miniatures such as those of Games Workshop and the like. They already look large alongside these miniatures but if you put some non-heroic miniatures next to these ruins you will be amazed by the sheer size and bulk of the terrain pieces. Not a bad thing when thinking of fantasy jungle ruins and pulpy lost cyclopean temples if you ask me so I will more than happily use these alongside smaller non-heroic miniatures.

As mentionned before these ruins can easily be used in science fiction, fantasy and pulp wargame and roleplaying settings as the ruins and their decorations are quite generic. The only pieces that might limit their usage are the two statues which are clearly humanoid and might not fit every imaginable wargame background and universe, these however are supplied loose and can be removed if not desired.

Winter Pond Box

After the Archaic Ruined Columns Box, we will now take a closer look at the smaller Winter Pond 2 Box which contains an icy water feature and some plastic foliage plants. As with the other sets, this scenic piece was also supplied in a ziplock bag as you can see in the picture below. The winter pond is decorated with broken ice sheets and a floating barrel or pipeline end suitable for science fiction wargames. The recommended retail price for this particular set is £15.00.

This particular terrain piece is also designed to be used alongside heroic scaled miniatures but unlike the above mentionned Archaic Ruined Columns I wouldn't use this piece alongside non-heroic scaled miniatures due to the size of the details but that's my personal opinion so decide for yourself by checking our pictures below.

The Winter Pond terrain set comes in two durable resin pieces being the actual pond and cave part which must be glued on the flat area in the bottom right corner of the piece. The assembly is straight forward as the two pieces fit well, only remember to wash the pieces first in warm soapy water to remove the casting residue allowing a better bond for the glue and paint.

The conclusion

These miniature wargaming and roleplaying terrain sets by StudioLevel are offering new possibilities for recreating cool and unique battlefields on your tabletop. Although the detailling and finish of these resin terrain pieces might not be liked by every wargamer, they are full of character and can easily be turned in impressive battlefield centerpieces. My personal favorite is the Archaic Ruined Columns Box which is really useful if you're looking to explore gargantuan lost temples using your favorite pulp and fantasy wargame rules!

If you're interested in checking out StudioLevel's other wargame scenery pieces and services, make sure to check their webstore. Make sure to check the other ruined temple pieces as the ones reviewed here are only a small part of the extensive range and probably also the smallest set available! 

Disclaimer - We received these scenery pieces for free from StudioLevel for reviewing purposes. Please note that this doesn't influence our review as we always strive to supply you with our own independent and honest opinion about the wargame products reviewed.

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