Review: OSHIRO Model Terrain (28mm Feudal Japan)

A while ago I came across Oshiro Model Terrain via this amazing website which contains 28mm-scale resin terrain for Feudal Japanese wargaming. I have been sitting on this blog post review for a while primarily because I had ordered more stuff from them and wanted to paint them all and display them properly. Unfortunately real life and a plethora of other projects have pushed that back.

Rather than hold off on the review indefinitely while life catches up to my ambitions, I am doing a partial review now with the promise of a follow-up to come.

For those who don’t know of Oshiro Model Terrain, they (and really I mean ‘he’ as in the master himself: James Sharpe) specialize in 28mm and 15mm terrain buildings set in multiple eras as well as furniture and accessories for the same aforementioned scales.

Now before I get hate mail, I do believe MDF kits are really fantastic and Sarissa Precision does excellent work there (among other noteworthy companies). MDF is also relatively inexpensive; it’s the poor-man’s resin kit, if you will (okay, maybe that’s a stretch). But I don’t always have the time or patience for them. With resin kits–which already come as one piece without extra work–I can get a game going quickly without having to use unpainted MDF terrain because I couldn’t find the time to fuss.

As someone who enjoys wargaming and modeling the era of Feudal Japan, Oshiro Model Terrain was perfect for me.  So I went ahead and bought three buildings to check them out. So no, in case you are wondering, this review is not sponsored.

I was really happy to find that when they arrived, they had already been pre-primed with a grey primer. The light primer dusting–which was fine because too heavy and that might effect the detail work (and there is a ton of detail)–helped alleviate my fears about using spray primers–some resin and foam buildings react negatively to aerosol (and I do not own an airbrush). But there was no issue at all with using a rattle-can primer on these. And just to be safe, I did confirm with James that spray primers are perfectly fine to use on these kits.

After priming them, I went to work throwing on some base layers and giving the whole set a heavy brown wash. Now my shoddy paint job doesn’t do these lovely buildings justice, but you can see how detailed they are in the pictures below:

Now as nice as these are (and they’re quite nice), they are not without some very minor quirks.

First, there are pock marks in a lot of places (particularly on the roof–there was one in the center of a rock too which looks odd unpainted). If you look at the images above, you can probably see them. These pock marks look like they were created by imperfections in the molding or casting process (perhaps by air bubbles?).  It should be noted that this is a common problem with resin terrain and models; it can’t always be helped. I chose not to fill mine in and the paint hides them well enough. A more disciplined modeler would likely want to use some putty or greenstuff to help these tiny pock marks disappear.

The other issue has to do with scale and this is only a problem if you are planning to use these buildings side-by-side with MDF buildings. If you are planning to just use Oshiro terrain, you’ll be fine.  But they look a bit wee when compared to miniature structures of the MDF variety. They just look off on the table together. That might be a deal breaker for some people who are looking for resin buildings to supplement their MDF ones rather than buy a whole new village or town.

But as you can see from this picture below, the buildings are perfectly scaled to 28mm or 1/56 (the miniatures are Test of Honour plastic samurai). So the difference in scale has more to do with the MDF sets being built in a larger scale (maybe closer to 1/48).


Again, this is a relatively minor challenge. I have both MDF kits and these resin buildings, and I just choose to use one or the other when gaming. But it is important to let you, the consumer, know that there are differences.

These two challenges aside, the resin kits are worth the cost and you can see James’ attention to detail and historical accuracy in their construction and design. Unlike MDF kits, these look (and more importantly) feel more real. When I put my miniatures next to them, I can be immersed in the setting and the games are more fun. MDF kits may be practical (and are useful), but they can’t compare to the quality of the Oshiro Model Terrain buildings I picked up.

I mean just look at the wonders of these buildings on a professional table:

Posted by OSHIROmodelterrain on their Facebook page.

So with that, I conclude this brief review by saying that I highly recommend Oshiro Model Terrain. You may need to do some work patching a very tiny hole or two, but considering how beautiful these buildings are, it is well worth the extra effort.

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