Wargaming MDF building review, with photos
Jon Kjær Nielsen, Denmark
My gaming club received complimentary review copies and I volunteered to assemble and paint the strictures.
Unpacking, first impressions
Everything comes laser cut, still attached to thin sheets. Building walls are about 3mm and very sturdy, while the visible timbering is about half as thick, but still quite strong - nothing snapped in the wrong place during de-framing, panting and assembly.
Besides the cuts to make the shapes, finer cuts make window frames, roof tiling and wood patters visible, all very nice details. All doors can be removed and glued open, a nice touch.
I opted to glue the walls together, leaving the outer layer of timber loose until after painting. Each building comes with a cut floor plan, made of the same 3mm MDF as the wall sections. This makes the buildings quite strong when assembled – another good move. The bottom of all walls are cut in a unique patters to match the outline of the floor, so assembly is “guided”, so to speak.
Assembly was straightforward, using a small amount of PVA glue (classic, white wood glue) and rubber bands to hold in place.
The roof sections also come with lasered notches and holes, similar to the walls and floor, to make assembly simple and fool-proof. However, and this is my only quip with these great kits, the holes and pins are visible on the roofs after assembling, and this will take a bit of work in the painting process to hide.
I used my airbrush to first prime the buildings, and then add color variation and shading. For my two test pieces, I choose to prime one white and one a light gray. After this base color was applied, I added the timber frames using only rubber bands, to function as a painting mask. See photos:
The next step was airbrushing lighter colors. White on gray and orange/yellow on the red. I took care to aim at the center of all the areas framed by the timer, careful not to spray too close to the frames. I like how this gave the impression of shadow or greater dept close to the timber. In these next photos, the result can be seen (the timber frames on the red building were also painted black at this point, but still not glued in place.
Next, the frames were painted and drybrushed. For the red house, I went with a black basecoat, while the white house got a wood brown color. Both were then given a careful drybrush with a bone/sandy color, to draw out the detail.
Only after the timber framing was painted and drybrushed was everything glued in place. Roof sections are still left lose, so the top can come off and models placed inside. On the red building, notice the very fine wood detailing on the roof end section, cut by the laser. The same goes for the chimney on the white building.
In these final pictures, the roofs and windows still need some work, but I like how the walls turned out, using the simple airbrush and mask method.
These building are among the best, simple kits I’ve seen, outside of (expensive) plastic kits for model train landscaping. The thin and strong MDF sheets really are a great choice for gaming scenery like buildings, where no curved shapes are needed. Finally, the details with the separate, thin sheets of outer timber as well as the cut windows and doors make these kits both remarkably simple and very stylish. Again, the 3D effect in having the timber cut from a separate sheet makes all the difference.
Because of the vast time period coved with these structures, the finished houses will be great additions for our gaming tables, fitting perfectly both in fantasy games like Warhammer and 20th century games like Bolt Action.
Thanks to Jon for a great review - a fantastic piece of work to open our new, in-shop blog. Stay tuned for more posts to come, and I will see you next time!