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First Look: Battlefront's 15mm Cafe


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Revision Log
11 November 2019page first published

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©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian writes:

Today, I'm opening the box on Battlefront's 15mm Cafe, one of the European Buildings line that has been re-released:

With its awnings and gabled mansard-style roof, this café resembles any traditional restaurant, patisserie, coffee house or Konditorei throughout Europe.
Cafe box

Everything comes well wrapped in layers of bubblewrap. (Sorry, forgot to take picture of that!) One piece provides the bottom story:

Cafe 1st story

You've got doors and windows on three sides, painted on the exterior.

Cafe 1st floor interior

On the inside, the floor is painted, but the walls (and doors and windows) are left in gray. There's no indication of where walls or stairs might be.

Cafe awnings

The box claims the building is tabletop-ready, but actually, the awnings come as separate pieces. They are easily attached (I used superglue), and fit snugly against the raised portions (center them on the windows, of course). I managed to get one of the awnings crooked (can you spot it?), and one of the awnings seems to droop more than the others – nothing too noticeable, I think.

Cafe

In the next picture, I've added on the next level. Note the interior wall with an (unpainted) interior door. The pieces nest together loosely, with a few millimeters of slip in each direction.

Cafe

And now I've added the final, large piece – the Mansard-type roof. It fits a bit tighter than the second level, but doesn't quite sit flat.

Cafe

In the picture below, you can see a bit of wrong color on the roof corner, as well as a faint crack in the top corner of the second floor piece.

Cafe

The building has no rear-facing windows or doors, which means it can be used on the corners of streets (backing into another building). There's no reason you couldn't flop the pieces 180° to get some rear-facing windows, but then you get blank walls on the front! (And that's not a painting error, it's a reflection from a tile that protrudes more than the others.)

Cafe

I've added some models for the rest of the pictures, to provide an idea of scale and size.

Cafe

If you want to put in the extra time, you could paint the interior walls and doors, touch up some of the edges, and possibly add more of a 'glass' effect to the windows. Some signage would also be an improvement.

Cafe

Also note that there's no way to place units on the third level, unless you scratchbuild a floor for the attic.

Cafe

However, I think the Cafe will be acceptable as-is for many gamers, and provides a robust structure for your European battlefields.