REVIEW: Ainsty Castings

Ainsty Castings is a new-old manufacturer of resin scenery for 28mm tabletop games, with a wide range of themes/settings.

Up until recently, Ainsty products were sold by Old Crow Models, after Ainsty Casting Company founder Michael Brooks died in 2006. The product line has now been bought by Andy Lyon and his new web shop openened some three weeks ago.

Since Andy could draw from a big pool of existing models, the shop offers a great variety: From fantasy to post-apocalyptic, oil refineries, ruins, cemetery or sci fi corridors – you can find lots of scenery elements as well as complete dungeons.

A note up-front:

All parts came in re-sealable plastic bags and were covered with resin dust (can be seen in the pictures, as I photographed them right out of the bag. Before you deal with resin parts, you should always wash them in warm water with a bit of dishwashing detergent. This not only removes the dust but also the products used to keep the mold and resin separated. These are known to problems with painting.

Important: Resin dust can damage your lungs and is carcinogenic. If you are filing resin or dealing with a lot of dust, you should always wear a mask, and don´t forget to vacuum clean. It might  seem a lot of hassle for so little dust, but why take risks?

What I bought:

1. Large Memorial

The large memorial comes at 3,50 GBP and is made from 3 parts – which can also be used separately, if wanted.

The plinth (middle section) carries on one side an inscription which can be read without any problem. (It heart-warmingly refers to the late Ainsty founder.)

Ainsty Castings Memorial parts

The casting quality is very good. Tiny resin threads at the lower frame of the base and a small air bubble at the bottom of the plinth. Cleaning this should not take more than a minute. Since this actually gives a bit of a weathered effect, I had no problem leaving these as they are, however. All undersides have been filed flat.

Put together (and with a Confrontation miniature and a LOTR miniature for size comparison):

Ainsty Castings memorial built

In this picture you can see the only issue I had with the set: The underside of the obelisque has not been filed to make it point directly upwards, I will need to correct that.

(And yes, I know that the base of Mr. Pumpkin Head is terrible. Thank you very much! 😛 )

2. Chest Tomb

The chest tombs come in a set of 2 for 3 GBP and are cast as monoblocks. The undersides have been filed flat. No casting flaws at all here!

3. Headstone Slabs

The headstone slabs come in 5 randomly chosen designs, again for 3 GBP.  There are at least 7 different designs available (two of the ones I received are not shown on the web site):

Ainsty Castings graveyard slabs

Again, I could find no residue or casting flaws, and all undersides have been filed flat.

4. Upright Headstones

The grave stones come in a set of 8 different designs. All of them bear a legible (!) inscription. Apart from the “unknown soldier”, you will find some real celebrities. A funny Easter Egg!

Once again, no casting issues here and all undersides have been filed. In fact, if you look at the two stones at the right you will see that the casting is so crisp, you can make out their design flaws: The stone slabs are not covered by earth on all sides! 🙂 This is no problem on the table, however, as it can really only be seen on the large picture, and can easily be remedied.

5. Trade Goods mixed

The set of mixed trade goods is comprised of 3 crates of various sizes, an oblong chest, 4 cargo bales,  a carboy (bottle in basket) and three barrels in different designs.

Ainsty Castings crates

Despite the fine details I could not find much resin flash or other flaws. However, the obligatory filing of the bottom side has (logically) cut into some of the details, as you can see on the bottom of the carboy.

Again, this is only noticeable when you look at the large picture, and has no influence on the appearance on the table.

6. Small Row Boat with Mast

The small sailing boat is a real gem. It comes in two parts: the hulk and the mast.

Strangely enough for a sailing boat, a tiller is not part of the set. Tabletoppers who care about ingame reality will therefor have to glue a little stick to the rudder.

The row boat was definitely the most complex resin casting in my order. So it is not surprising that I found a – pretty tiny –  mould line and some flash. It is NOT the one you can easily see on the mast below – that´s supposed to be a rope.

Ainsty Castings river boat parts

At the stem you might recognize something. I am not sure whether this is is supposed to be some rope, algae or just casting flaws. The fact that I am not able to tell, however, means that that you can treat it as you like – or just file it off.

Seen from the stern and with mast erected:

You can see the astonishing details, like the ropes slung around the mast, the cleats and the fine wood grain.

Cleaning the model from flash should take not more than 2-3 minutes.

Conclusion

Ainsty Castings seem to have made an impressive re-entry into the tabletop market. Even if I could only test a fraction of their products, I was impressed by the very good casting quality and the crispness of the details.

All parts required only minimal cleaning. All items needed to be washed before handling however, something that could be done by Ainsty BEFORE shipping it.

Shipping was reasonably fast: My package arrived 5 days after payment.

As Andy has confirmed elsewhere, there are still lots of unpublished items from the old Ainsty range. We can look forward to see more in the near future!

PRO

  • reasonable prices
  • very good casting quality
  • full of details
  • some funny but unobtrusive details

NEGATIVE

  • resin dust

External links:

Ainsty Castings

Old Crow Models

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