First off I should start by saying that it had been a few years since I even built a building like this Custom Dioramics ruin. In that span of about 15 years not a lot had changed with this type of mostly plaster building. There is still a lot of room for "interpritation" with these kits. Making them truly a fun project to do. Of course choice of colors and stone types is one aspect of this, but also the level of deail you wish to add. Windows? Doors? Damaged roof? Etc. I do look forward to putting this building together someday soon and making all these choices. However this review will cover what we have to work with.
The building is obviously of European design and could be used in a variety of periods during the 20th century to today. Although the building is described by the manufacturer as a "ruin" it would be fairly easy to modify this structure to a non-damaged building as well due to the fact that only several of the side walls are broken down from a collapse obviously leaving the main portion intact.
Additionally one could go the route of damaging the building further if needed. The roof, which is a 3-piece resin option, would be easy to modify to show beams and open areas if you so chose.
There was a minor detail issue I noted with the way the wood beam on the front facade "fit" into the stone work on the right walkway. This to my mind would not be the case in reality. It is highly doubtful that the stone work would be fashioned around this support beam being that the stone wall looks older than the building with the support beam.
There is one thing I am a bit surprised about with this building. I can understand that the blank smooth walls on most of the larger pieces are just part of the contruction process, but I would like to see manufacturers like VLS adjust for more of a 360 degree viewing angle and include more detailed fronts and backs. Obviously the left portion of the buildings interior would be plaster walls and the like, but the stone wall and brick upper section on the far right (front) should have a matching stone and brick reverse. This is after all a walkway and very visable from the right side of any diorama.
Over all this is a very nice diorama piece and would accent any project very well. Also the price seems very reasonalbe for what you are getting in terms of pieces and complexity. This would be a good fit for anyone doing a WWII European diorama.