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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Review: Battlefront Mosque (BB178) and Mosque Walls (BB179)

Mosque (BB178) and Mosque Walls (BB179) set up togther.
By Tom Burgess

With my local club members very excited about pushing their Flames of War gaming into the Arab-Israeli Wars, I was keen to expand my desert terrain collection with the addition of Battlefront’s new Mosque (BB178) and Mosque Walls (BB179).

As I am a “Bottom Line Up Front” kind of guy let me start off by saying that I am extremely pleased by the Mosque model and accompanying walls. This was a bit of a relief for me because as a “Premium Properties” subscriber I was worried that some of the issues that have been affecting those releases might manifest in the mosque model. Thankfully, that is not the case.

The mosque model and its accompanying walls and minarets fit in very well with the previously released Battlefront Desert Building sets. The Mosque and walls are a good bit lighter than the other buildings, but I don’t see this as a problem. I expect that since the mosque is a center of the community in the Islamic world that they would very well be maintained better than many of the surrounding dwellings.

The mosque is painted and detailed very well and I think really looks the part. The only painting issue I had was there is just a bit of gold over-spray around the edge of the dome that might need to be touched up.

 The main mosque building

 Basic mosque components, save the minaret.

The mosque building itself come in three parts; main building, roof, and dome. The dome sits on the roof and, if not used, I imagine that this building could stand in for a small palace, market or some sort of administrative building. Likewise, I think you could used the high walls without the mosque and place some of the other desert buildings inside instead to create a small fortified hamlet.

 Fine floor details on mosque interior.

One thing that did concern me when I ordered the mosque and walls was that there would not be enough space to fit teams between the high exterior walls and the main building. Fortunately, small and medium fit well and I don’t have any problems even with my big hands manipulating the teams with in the courtyard.

Small and medium team bases fit easily between the mosque and outer walls.

Wall set with Minaret from the Mosque added.

The minarets are solid and so you’ll not be able to place even a small base Forward Observer team in them. I supposed that would have required the minarets to be much larger and then that would require the mosque and walls to be much large as well. So we might have ended up with more of a major city type mosque more so than the smaller but more ubiquitous community mosque. In that respect I’m not so sure a second minaret is required as just one would seem to be the normal number a smaller mosque would typically have.

Components of the Mosque Walls set; 4 x Wall corners, 2 x Gates, 1 x Minaret.

Packaging for the mosque is rather spartan. Just plain cardboard box and bubble wrap. This is no issue for packing and mailing but I do miss the Styrofoam packaging from the other Battlefront buildings as these are very help for repacking and storage.

Plain packaging and bubble wrap is sufficient for shipping, but less than ideal for long term storage.

The most significant concern I have with my mosque was that the finial that sits on top of the dome was already broken when I received my mosque. Like the cross on top of the eastern church made by Battlefront, it’s just plastic. On mine the base of the finial was broken off, but I found by removing the lower “ball” I was able to use the stem of the left above it to secure it in the mounting hole on the domes top. I’ll contact customer service for a replacement which I’m sure to get, but in the interim this work around will do nicely.

Broken plastic finial. 

 Quick fix for the finial as I wait on a replacement. Note the small amount of gold over-spray from the dome.

So my final “score” for the Battle Front Mosque and Wall sets is a 8 of 10 Minarets! I dropped one on the score for the packaging and one for broken finial, but I overall feel that Battlefront came though on a fine product here. Well worth the $80 US (including shipping) that I paid for both sets together.

Tom has been playing wargames since the late 70’s, and Flames of War since 2007. He maintains a gaming website for the BattleVault Gamers of Kentuckiana and posts and moderates as Iron-Tom on WWPD.

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