Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Review: Sarissa Precision Oldwest Church / School House

Sarissa Precision Official Promo Shot

This is the third of the Sarissa Precision Oldwest building that I have reviewed. This one can be made into either a School or a Church. Unlike the previous two buildings from Sarissa, this one actually required assembly with PVA glue. This was because it wasn't able to stay together without the aid of glue, as it's panels were too big, and the walls didn't 'clip' into the floor like the other buildings I own from Sarissa.

Product Description

The larger panels to the kit, without those widow & door frames

There are a lot more pieces to this kit than either the Shack or the Jailhouse. All in all there are 46 pieces to this scenery kit, that's a significant step up in complexity over the others. Another key difference, over the other kits I've reviewed from Sarissa, is the fact that the details, like door and window frames, don't come pre-attached. This means this kit will require you to glue them on yourself, but this also means if you wish to paint them a different colour to the main panels, it will make it easier. It isn't a major hassle, but it is something to be aware of. I found using very slightly watered down PVA glue worked really well. Just remember to have some clean cotton wool pads, with some clean water handy to wipe away any excess PVA glue, mainly around the joints.

Usefulness 9 out of 10

Ignore the PVA glue splodges. Look at all that space!

This is a far bigger scenery piece than either of the Jailhouse or the shack. As such it will take up more space on the board, which can be a very good thing indeed, providing a more substantial presence it will have different affects on game play. However, with easy access to the inside of the building, via its pitched roof, you aren't really losing any square footage; you're just gaining some excellent cover, and a nice piece of scenery to fight over. On the building itself there are two entrances, one at the front and one at the back. This means that to successfully defend the building you'll have to cover at least two approaches, so it won't be easy in most games to 'bunker up' and sit tight. So from that perspective it's not too difficult a 'hard-point' to attack, and it should become a good focal point for fights, certainly in games like Malifaux with its alternating activations.

Character 9 out of 10

I think the wooden pioneer Churches of the frontier period from the USA, are as much of an iconic image as the 'cowboy's' themselves. Sure there are the Saloons and General Stores, but they all had slightly different looks. But, the pioneer Churches all stubbornly stuck to the same formula and shape. Pretty much every town would have had one as well, so I don't think anyone building a Wild West town can really get away with not having a Church! Sure you can have it as a school, but school is for losers, and yellow bellied coward gosh darn it!

With the window & door frames attached
Detail 8 out of 10

The detailing on the Church / School House is actually quite nice on the exterior. The front porch is covered with a roof, and has some fine looking hand rails, which all leads to some suitably church like double doors, they seem a bit too 'grand' for a school for scruffy urchins! The entire structure is suspended off of the ground by wooden support beams, word of warning these are a right bugger to slot into their respective holes, once they're in place though they're not budging, I did use some PVA glue to make doubly sure! The raised look of the Church / School House does give it that 'Frontier' town vibe you're looking for. We know that during this period, a lot of building were built off of the ground, suspended in the air. Seeing this piece has convinced me I'll need to do the same with some of my other pieces. Also, on the smaller pieces I own I was worried that the wooden paneling pattern, cut into the surface with lasers, while fine on those smaller buildings, might look a bit 'flat' on the larger buildings. I'm very pleased to report that they don't at all, and they look perfectly fine.

Quality 7.5 out of 10

The pitched roof will certainly need gluing, as will the rest of it

Again, given the pieces of HDF are slightly thinner than Micro Arts scenery, plus if I give this any higher a score I'll leave myself with 'no where to go', as it were. However, I'm more than satisfied with these as good quality gaming pieces. The Church / School House is no different and once glued together with PVA glue it forms a really strong 'box' structure, perfect for the rough and tumble of gaming. The pieces were all precision cut, and the parts went together very well, with not gaps or poorly aligned joints. While it would have been nice if the window and door frames had come already attached to the larger panels, like they do with the smaller buildings, I can understand that some people prefer them being separate so as to make them easier to paint. It wasn't a big hassle to glue them on myself though.

Service 8 out of 10

Erm... I said hello to them at a games expo in Derby. They were friendly and gave me lots of advice about which buildings would be good for Malifaux. They showed me how they went together, and where to put glue so it wouldn't be visible after assembly. They took my money, said thank you with a smile and put it in a plastic carrier bag for me. I can't say fairer than that.

Price 8 out of 10

I think the price of £22.50, is very reasonable indeed, for a sturdy and characterful building. It's easy to assemble, well apart from those floor beams, and it just looks the part on the table. I'm not sure you'll find as good a looking pioneer era church, for as reasonable a price.

Overall 8.5 out of 10

Big and imposing, just like God fearing folk like!

For shear Wild West quality, and vibe, I'm not too sure the Jailhouse will be beaten. However, as a gaming piece, and as a piece of scenery the Church / School House is an all round better building. It's size and shape make it more useful at blocking lines of sight, and the two entrances mean it'll be a good building to fight over. When glued together it forms a very sturdy building that will take some serious gaming punishment. Also, as another characterful centerpiece to fight over, what's cooler than a shoot out in a church? Yeah, that's right, not much! I'm really glad I have this piece to put on my gaming table. Peace out!

Link to Sarissa Precision, where you can buy this stuff


  1. Looks like a great piece, will have to check out the other Sarissa products...where are they sold bud?

  2. Good point, I should really put a link up in each of my reviews:

    Also working on a big review of the Micro Art Infinity terrain as well. So you might want to keep an eye out for that.

  3. I've been eyeing it up over at Anectecti's (or whatever) workshop...

    Cool, I'll check out the Sarissa stuff.. although attempting to scratch build my own at the minute..

    That bridge piece for Infinity looks wicked though...i think that is a Micro Arts piece..

    The Sarissa jailhouse is very in keeping with Malifaux.. love it.

  4. I think they're all in keeping with the Wild West element of Malifaux. Just got to finish my Desert Parie boards off!!! Then I can crack on with the secenery and maybe get some battle reports for Malfaux up. I'm going to do some scenery guides for these I think. Do you play Malifaux then Ven?

  5. Also, as a shameless plug for a fellow blogger, if you're building your own terrain go take a look at Angus' blog, he's Dartgus on the Infinity forums and he does some really sweet scenery. Much of it top notch:

  6. So...would this kinda stuffs suffice for games of Infinity?
    I'm not exactly sure about 'scale' with Infinity, but I understand a great deal of terrain is involved.

    I was planning on improvising at first, but eventually I'll need some real terrain.

  7. @SinSynn I could imagine using some of their City Block 28mm stuff for a 'Blade Runner' cyberpunk inspired board. As long as it was smothered in grime and graffiti. It can be found here:

    However those lovely Polish chaps at Micro Art Studio's have done some pretty nice Infinity Scenery stuff, which you can peruse here:

    However, for improvising terrain, do have a look at Angus's Blog which I've linked to above. Or go onto the Official Infinity forums and get some inspiration from there, anything by Tommygun or anthing by Athanadros is normally all sorts of awesome:

    I'll be reviewing the Micro Art Urban building either tomorrow or Thursday, when I get rund to being able to take pictures. Had the review done for a few weeks now, just need to sit down and find time to take pictures, I have 6 reviews waiting for pics!!! Happy hunting.

  8. I use many of the Sarissa buildings when running Malifaux demos, and the church always draws a lot of attention. I've painted mine with a watered down white paint which looks really good, and separates it from my other buildings which just have a brown wash.

    The new range of Adobe buildings also look really good, and include a church and cantina.

    1. Yep I've seen them all. I get on quite well with Steve and James at Sarissa. I even get to see some things before the public do. Sarissa do some awesome scenery they really do. I pretty much love all of my scenery I have from them.