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Black Site Studios - Crane and


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So I finally got to put these two sets together (mostly). While they are fine, I was less than happy with them overall. To be fair, I think these might be older sets for the company and maybe newer stuff is better made. I'd have to try some of their other items to see.

First the MDF is much thicker than other kits I've assembled. Which sounds fine, but in practice actually made them harder to work with and make them appear even more 'blocky'. Also, these sets had a lot of residue on the MDF- so much so that my fingers turned black throughout the process. I've never had that issue with other MDF sets I've assembled, so it was a bit of a surprise. The pieces are harder to cut out being so thick. 

Crane: First I had a missing sheet, so I had to contact them and then wait about 3 weeks to get the replacement before. Not necessarily bad service based on the industry, but put a damper on the build for me for sure. Once I got the missing sheet it went together OK (barring the issues listed above). The instructions were generally OK, but did have some differences to the image that threw me off a bit. And on the image it has the two 'wheel' pieces near the top of the crane gear, but the instructions have them at the back. I put them as they were in the image, because it looked better to me, but then another piece didn't quite fit right (not a big deal as you can't tell from a distance). The bigger issue is that the magnet used to connect the base and the crane is too small. The weight of the crane means even a slight touch on the crane part can send it tipping. I'm going to replace it with one of my larger magnets to increase the surface area. The other issue is the 'chain' being mdf means it is a very weak part. It already broke on me (due to me not knowing about the tipping issue and it falling off the table). I was able to glue it back together, but still a bummer. Overall I'm fine with the model, but not as excited about it as I was on seeing online.

The Slums: To be honest, after all the issues above, once I assembled the small market stalls and one building I stopped. I was tired of having my hands dirty and the boxy look of these buildings really doesn't suit my tastes or other terrain (edit: my fault though, not the terrains). I was also disappointed to see the tops of the market stalls were just images printed on plain paper. I could have printed better ones on my home printer to be honest, and used better quality paper. I am keeping the four small market stalls as I like them for scatter-type terrain (though I added some scrap mdf to the tops to make it more robust long term). I'm going to get rid of the one building I built and the rest of it. I just don't like the look after seeing it in person. ymmv of course.

That may sound like a pretty poor review, and it is, but I do believe these are both older kits for the company. To be fair, I want to give them another go with a different kit. From pictures it looks like some of their newer, more detailed kits are made of the thinner (more industry standard) MDF. I think those kits will be much better, but will have to see. 

Now to finally get started assembling my Warcradle Studios Rio Sonora set :) 

Edited by Paddywhack
added a bit of context
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