Sarissa Precision – Temple Bell Review and Paint

It really can’t escape people’s notice that Test of Honour is the current hot game on the block.  Warlord have hit on a game that the community is lapping up.  Now whilst a great game is often fantastic for me it’s only about 40% of the story well maybe 30%.  The important bit for me is how the board looks, I love terrain building far more than I do painting miniatures.

So after Steve Cummings from Sarissa posted up images of the new Pagoda I commented that I loved the stuff they were doing and would love to review a couple of pieces.  It seems my winning diplomatic style worked and we chatted and he agreed to send me some bits to review and paint.  A lot of the Sarissa stuff isn’t new, created just for ToH it’s been around a while, which means when it comes to construction and design they know what works and what doesn’t.

The Instructions inside the pack is pretty self-explanatory.  It shows the various MDF parts and what goes where.  The quality of the MDF is good, I found it very easy to pop the pieces out, cleaned off the edges as I went.

The first part that needed put together is the base, it’s done to look like a solid stone base which gives a nice look to it.  The only part I had a little bit of fun with was the top step.  It slots into the piece behind it, so you need to be careful when you slide it in, but you should be fine.

Paint wise I didn’t want to go with a simple grey, that for me would have been far too bland.  My board theme is an old village that the locals know about but it’s not visited by outsiders often.  So to make the stone work I used a few shades of Grey, Brown and Blue sponged onto the stone so that it looked well used.

Next up was the central supports.  These elements not only keep the roof up, they support the bell in the middle.  I kept the paint on this very simple a really dark brown that I think washed with a grey to make it look aged.  Once dry I dry brushed with Vallejo Flat Earth to bring out certain bits.  If you really want a wood effect on MDF you can either paint it, or use a wire brush and carefully scratch it on.  As I’m going for a dark colour you wouldn’t see it that well so I decided against it.


Next up was the Bell.  This is made of some greyboard and you need to bend this to make a circle.  It’s then held in place by two MDF disks inside the bell and two MDF rings on the outside.  Now this from the start looked like if I didn’t do it right I was going to tear the greyboard and end up swearing.  So taking a large paint pot I bent the greyboard around it so that it had a bit of flex before bending it into the right shape.  Paint wise I wanted it to look nice and old.  It’s supposed to be a copper/brass bell.  So I painted it using Vallejo Retractive Green, stippling the paint on so that I didn’t swap the card.  Once dry I then used Vallejo Scorpy Green to finish it off.  Have to say I was very pleased with the results.

The roof was last up and it’s very easy to assemble.  The main structure is 5 pieces including the top part.  It slots together and I glued it all in place after a dry fit.  Before adding the roof i painted all the elements as I really hate trying to get the brush into to hard to reach spots.

Going for the weathered look I used a light emulsion paint to do the roof.  It allowed me to put a couple of very thin layers which I then added some Greys and Green’s too.  My plan was to make the roof look used and weathered.  I did have an insane idea to tile the roof, after seeing a roof punch that Greenstuff Wold has done I had to resist.  Maybe the next one 🙂


Overall it’s a well-designed kit that is easy to put together.  It paints up really easy and looks amazing once done.  Price wise it’s a good piece and easy within the normal range for an item of this size (L125xW125xH145mm).  You could do any worse that buy stuff from Sarissa and they have loads more designs to come.  The kit is usable as well beyond Test of Honour, it works for Bushido,  Nemesis and Torii.  I can safely say though that I’m now looking forward to putting the Pagoda together 🙂


    • I’m a big fan if Bushido as well. I know the guys behind the game from Confrontation.

      But ToH and Bushido are worlds apart it’s fantasy Vs historic. But it’s fun none the less and great that we have such choice.

      • I agree, I’ve only come back into gaming 2 years ago after stopping following being disillusioned by GW back in the day when there wasn’t anything else out there.

        Now there is so much choice, I have to contain myself and have decided skirmish games are for me and I like quirky little things, such as the battleboards in Saga, picking dice out of a bag to see which unit moves next in Bolt action, the combat system in Bushido, ATZ and its one player perspective etc

        • Yes, I like my games to have a bit more to them. ToH has a Bolt Action style mechanic for unit activation. But also a Fate element which can mean not everyone is guaranteed an action every turn. Reminds me of the way Hordes of the Things worked D6 for action points and you hoped you rolled high.

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