Tuesday, 2 May 2017

TT Combat Japanese Style Terrain

I picked up some laser cut MDF terrain recently at Salute for a project that I've been working on. For a while now, I've been slowly building up a collection of Yu Jing miniatures for Infinity, but I really wanted some matching scenery for the faction. Most of the Japanese style pieces I has seen were a bit expensive and I couldn't really justify it for one skirmish game (especially when I haven't finished painting up my force yet!).

My normal board is really very 40k centred; with a pretty heavy smattering of ruins and gothic buildings that just look completely out of place for Infinity, which has a much more modern-day up-to-date feel. Infinity is really a near-future sci-fi. Sure, there are aliens and robots, but the main aesthetic is nothing like the barren post apocalyptic gothic that we're used to in 40k. With that in mind, I'd always been tempted to get some terrain specifically for the game.
I headed off to Salute determined to come back with one or two things specifically for Infinity. By coincidence, I was going with my brother who was also looking to buy a bunch of terrain, so we had the same goals in mind. It was at this point that we stumbled on the TT Combat range at the Troll Trader Stand. It turns out that at some point, they branched off into MDF terrain, and from the look of the number of products on offer, they never looked back. I'd always fancied some Japanese-style terrain (having been to the country a few times) and infinity gave me the opportunity to include some in my games. The aesthetic is very much traditional for these pieces, but it blends in well for Infinity and should be nice and characterful to play on.

One of the real selling points was the price. This stuff is seriously cheap compared to most products out there, and the Salute discounts made it absolutely irresistible. For example, the total cost for both buildings was £13. When I compared the price to Games Workshop's latest scenery releases following Shadow Wars, which come in at £30 for one small tower, it really is shocking. You could cover most of a table for that price with TT Combat products! (incidentally, they actually sell a bundle pack for ruins that is well suited to 40k, and breathtakingly thrifty).
Price aside, the quality is really good. They do take a little bit of building though - with a lot of separate components to cut and glue. Another thing that is worth mentioning is that as the kits are wooden, you have to use PVA glue to stick them together, which can increase the amount of time it takes to build them compared to good old fashioned cyanoacrylate! It is worth mentioning that they don't come with instructions, although they are available online on the website in pdf format, and are fairly easy to follow once you get used to the material.

The wood isn't heavy either, which some people might be concerned about. The pieces are thin, but strong and the fit has been very good so far. The kits are supplied in sheets, with the pieces being laser cut through with one or two connections left to stop them falling out of the boards. The parts don't take a long time to prep and have been a lot of fun to put together for the most part (although some of the more fiddly bits can be a bit difficult!).

The TT Combat terrain sets are available online direct from Troll Trader if anyone is interested (the range is pretty massive and you can get it on eBay too). For mine, I went with Japanese as a bit of a change, and because I knew we'd be able to use it to spice up my brother's industrial parts for a nice characterful  board. The other ranges they make variously include sci-fi, gothic, fantasy dungeons, a Venusian style cityscape and other styles too. I was a particular fan of the gantries, cranes and  that they make. The massive ship was a really tempting piece too, as little skirmishes across a container ship would be awesome. I only managed to hold off on that one because I have nowhere to store the thing.

Painting wise, I've heard that MDF needs sealing with PVA and that it will "suck up paint". I was a bit weary of that at first, but I was determined to blast the stuff up with the airbrush as fast as I could whilst still getting a good result. I know some people really love to lavish a lot of time on their terrain and I can only applaud them for it. For me, I want it to look good and enhance the battle, whilst still leaving me plenty of time to paint my actual miniatures and get a game in occasionally.

In total, these pieces took me about 2 hours to paint (and a lot of that time was spent cleaning the airbrush!). It turns out that primer applies fine directly onto the MDF, so it was pretty easy in the end. I used a lot of tricks to get some tonal variance and interest into them fast too!

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