Full disclosure: Customeeple sent me these buildings for review. But don't think I'll spare them, because of that. ;)
Most Infinity players will have heard about the guys at Customeeple. Customeeple is a small business dedicated to improving your wargaming with token sets, gaming aids and terrain. Located close to Corvus Belli’s headquarters in Vigo, Spain, the two companies interact closely.
Even if you haven’t heard of them, if you play Infinity, you will have seen their work: studio painter Angel Giraldez designed the “standard” bases the studio models are displayed on. Said bases are manufactured by Customeeple!
(If you’d like to know more about Customeeple’s bases, check out this post here on Data Sphere that I wrote).
Customeeple’s main objective has always been to “one-up” your wargaming with cool acrylic tokens, scenic bases and whatnot. Then they added scenery to their inventory.
They started off with a big fat church building, designed for Infinity (actually, all their current terrain is designed for Infinity – but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for anything else!), which I hope to review in the near future (I bought it, it’s halfway done, but it’s a BIG building with a lot of shenanigans… soon!).
So now Customeeple has been bringing out smaller buildings in the “Neon City” line. If you combine the sets you’ll get a really sexy looking, multi-cultural urban playing table.
The specific buildings Customeeple sent me to review (for which I extent a heartfelt thank you to my contact Axis!) are designed to match the “Ariadna” faction.
Borrowing heavily from Scottisch and American influences, the buildings are a typical American diner and an English pub. Considering Ariadna is made up of Scots, Russians, French and Americans, this seems like a nice choice.
On to the actual buildings. They are lasered from regular 2mm MDF which you’ll find in most MDF scenery kits these days. The kit comes with the two buildings and retails at €39,95.
Though my set did not come with instructions (though they were quickly sent my way when I notified Customeeple of this!), the set does actually come with them by default. Which is good, because although it’s not a hard set to construct, having a bit of a guide is nice to have.
Speaking of said construction, considering I didn’t have a guide at first I set out to put the buildings together without help. I soon stranded, mostly because the set has some extra parts. This is of course a plus, but it doesn’t help when you’re figuring out what goes where!
Armed with the instructions, however, putting the buildings together was a blast. You can get them both done in 30 minutes I don’t doubt. Especially since MDF sucks wood glue in like a black hole sucks in space, which means your glue dries fast.
A critical note must be made here about the removal of the pieces from their frames. This was either too easy (with several pieces having fallen from their frames before I opened the pack) or far too hard (with not being able to remove some pieces without damage from the frames).
It’s a common occurrence with MDF kits, however and those of you who’ve dabble in Micro Art Studio kits will know what I’m talking about.
What I like best about Customeeple in general is their design. Focused on Infinity, everything looks sleek and futuristic. As for this kit, that futuristic look has been married with the low-tech feel of Ariadna, which I think is neatly done.
I must emphasise here the dead-sexy acrylics that come with this set. You can actually put windows in your buildings and the diner has some awesome neon-signs.
As mentioned above the buildings are fairly easy to put together and part of the reason for that is clever an straightforward design.
What I do not like is that the buildings don’t have any floors, nor any interior to speak of. This doesn’t add to the excellent flavour displayed on the exterior of the buildings, which is a shame (but possible a choice to keep costs down).
The buildings both come with ladders and holes in the ceiling. The latter can be used to house an airco unit, which is another clever design thought.
Did I mention the awesome acrylics on these things? 😉
The set of two buildings comes in at €39,95, which puts it at €20 per building. Whether you feel that is expensive, is entirely up to you.
But what else can you get in the MDF market for €20?
- For a little over €20, you can get a District 5 L-shaped apartment over at Micro Art Studio (€22,14). Comes with an interior and is bigger.
- For just €16, you can get a single floor of the Futura City line over at Systema Gaming. Which is notable, since it’s comparable in size and does have an interior.
- If you’re in the US, there’s several buildings available at $20 from Shark Mounted Lasers.
Which leads me to conclude that Customeeple’s buildings aren’t the best value out there. However, in my opinion they ARE amongst the prettiest!
Customeeple Neon City Ariadna: Final words
Let’s tally up the points:
- Beautiful design
- Sick acrylics
- Easy construction (once you have the instructions!)
I also must note here that this particular set of buildings, because of their “low-tech” vibe, will do fine in other game systems. I for one intend to use them on my Batman Miniature Game board!
Less awesome points
- Pieces are too hard or too easy to dislodge from their frames
- Pricing on the high side when compared to the competition
Thanks for reading and be sure to share this review if you liked it. Also if you own Customeeple stuff I would to hear about it in the comments!