In this article were going to take a closer look at the MDF terrain being produced by Icarus Miniatures in support of their game. Honestly I’ve never had any experience with MDF terrain before buying these packs through the kickstarter so I didn’t know what to expect. Now however I think I can safely say they blew my expectations out of the water. Click the jump to see how an impulse purchase started a love affair that hasn’t been seen since Leo and Winslet were in that movie with the really big boat that sinks!
I never took a picture of the miniature (???) before assembling because I was way too excited so I’ll sum up by saying that everything was easy to remove from the frame that it comes on when it’s flat packed. I had no issue removing the parts from the frame with a hobby knife. The pod can be assembled with the window and the door open if you want but I opted to keep them closed. The kit didn’t come with instructions but it is simple enough that you can easily figure out how to build the kit. Having had no prior experience with MDF terrain I wasn’t sure what glue to used so I used Gorilla Glue which is my go to choice for everything now as it bonds faster and stronger than any other glue I’ve used. With the MDF terrain each piece was fully set within 5 minutes and I was able to move on.
Going into this project I knew I had to get this thing assembled and painted asap as we wanted to get at least one of these done for our campaign videos. That means I needed to go with a quick and dirty paintjob and couldn’t spend too much time on it. I opted to use Army Painter Brown Primer for the whole model. It took to the model with sufficient coverage after one pass. I left this to dry and than went to get my trusty box of salt. I added water to the areas I wanted to appear like they had been rusted out. Once the water was on these areas I sprinkled some salt and allowed some time to let the water dry. Once that was done I went over the whole model with Army Painter Grey Primer. I let that dry and then using a brush and some water I rinsed the salt off the model. This revealed the brown base underneath. I did a quick pass with some black wash to darken up the model for weathering and to make the lines cut into it pop more.
I then painted the warning markers on the ends of the module to give it an industrial cargo feel. The door was painted and I did my best to paint the small keypad as well. There is what appears to be a screen next to the door which I painted green to match the keypad on the door. I painted the steel shutters on the window with a metallic silver and black washed them as well. Once all that was done I was pretty happy but I felt the terrain needed something more to really make it pop.
I rifled through the hobby drawer and found some old GW and Dust Tactics transfers that I was probably not going to need and decided to use them to add some more life this piece of terrain. Here you can see the warning logo next to the door as well as the eagle logo on the screen.
I also used a set of old stamps I had lying around to write out the word “Pheobe” on both sides of the crate. The campaign is set around an Alliance base called “Pheobe” so I figured it was a cool addition. I also used another set of transfers to get the numbering on the sides.
Overall this piece of terrain has really ticked all my boxes. I have used hard plastic terrain, and hard cardboard terrain and neither of them were as enjoyable to work with as the MDF terrain. The piece itself went together like a dream, it didn’t need much preparation work and the Gorilla Glue has made for an incredibly strong bond. Overall I am thrilled with the way it turned out. It wasn’t a lengthy process to get it to this stage, and sure it may not be the most detailed piece of terrain out there, but for our purposes it came together really nicely. I am looking forward to seeing what Icarus Miniatures releases next for their terrain line and am definitely going to be looking at other MDF products for our future games as well. I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that this piece has really opened up a door to a part of the hobby I kind of always thought of as a nuisance. Granted MDF terrain is not cheap but I would rather spend the money on this type of quality.
Overall Icarus hit this one out of the park and for a first offering its fantastic!