Ok so it's been over a month since the last Building of the Week so I thought I should heat it up a bit. Some of you will remember my buying the Timecast La Belle Alliance at The Worlds last year. I still had not started it when news of Leven Miniatures announced they would also be adding this building to their Napoleonic range. Well given that all the other buildings in our Waterloo game are going to be Leven I decided I would have to wait and get the new building once it was ready. Whilst not yet available for sale Mike was kind enough to send me a couple of the test pieces, one for me and one for me to paint for his display stock.
As such the Timecast building was likely to be surplus to requirements unless the Leven one was a real dog. That is not a statement of prejudice against Timecast, they make great looking buildings but more that it makes absolute sense to use all Leven to keep all the buildings the same exact scale.
The Timecast building is at the back with the Leven front right. As can be seen the Timecast building is about 25% larger than the Leven model so it's a big difference. Detail wise the differences are much smaller as you would expect given both companies are producing models of an historic building.
In both cases the quality of the model is high, Timecast provides a VERY neat tiled roof whilst the Leven roof is of slightly larger tiles with bigger gaps. This really should be a negative for Leven and I am sure that will be the case for some people, for me it makes the building look a little more lived in and I like the effect though I would actually prefer a finish somewhere between the two. In fact neither finish would put me off either building.
Timecast also have a tendency to add small extra details to their buildings, usually bushes and in this case it's barrels and boxes. I am always torn by these additions as the buses just don't paint up well for me, though I have learnt to cover them with clump foliage which works well and enhances the finished model. In this case the additions will paint up a treat though I would suspect in real life these items would be hidden away or stolen by one side or the other.
One effect that always annoys me regards Timecast is the bottom 1mm (ish) of the base of the building. The way Timecast cast thei models they seem to have to have this area of no detail whilst Leven have full detail to the very bottom. Fortunately in this models case the bottom few rows of the wall are painted black and this will help hide the unfortunate aspect.
This has to be set against Leven's issue of the outbuilding joint on the door side. As can be seen on the photo above it looks quite unsightly after I primed both models and was a fly in the ointment at this point.
However I am happy to say that once I set about painting the building the crack faded out of sight on both models I am working on and looks not to be a factor for finished models.
Both suppliers models have a few casting defects, resin bubbles for Leven and air bubbles for Timecast. In both cases prep work can sort these out. For Leven popping off the bubbles with a scalpel which is easy. Better still any you miss that show up on priming can still be popped off without leaving a mark. For Timecast you can fill the holes without too much effort or indeed just paint round them as at table top view they disappear into the model so again not a real issue unless your seeking perfection.
I am about half way through painting these buildings at the moment and am pleased with the results up to date. I think given the points I have made so far the biggest factor in which to buy disregarding price will be size, which suits you the most, though in the Waterloo game this building is far enough away from other buildings to even make this point somewhat mute.
On the subject of price the Timecast building costs £6.00 whilst I have yet to find out how much the Leven one will be though I am sure it will be at least 25% lower based on the other buildings within the range but that's a guesstimate.
Early next week I will have all three models finished and post the results here. After that the Timecast building is Ebay bound unless someone here wants it before it gets it's marching orders.