Friday, December 19, 2014

Unboxing Secret Weapon Urban Tilescapes

Urban gaming is (in my opinion) one of the hardest theatres to represent on the tabletop when it comes to gaming and without building a table specifically for it (something I will never have the time to do, or space to store) I always feel a little underwhelmed by the results when I try!

Needless to say when Secret Weapon ran their Kickstarter for a new range of terrain tiles I was really excited because they were going to make a couple of Urban sets for 28mm gaming. The tiles were fairly generic and would work for any period (more or less) so I thought they would be great for everything from Dust, to 40K, to anything else I would ever be likely to try.

A few weeks ago they finally arrived....
The box - this one is a "keeper" as it is sturdy enough to transport and store your tiles. Especially if you do a lot of your gaming away from home.
Opening up the box a basic set of 16 tiles doesn't fill the box. Good planning because it means you can fit an additional 8 tiles in there to expand your table. More tiles = more flexibility.
The tiles were really well packed, with each one in an individual bag, then each 4 tiles in another bigger bag.
The underside of the tiles looks like some serious engineering went into working out how to keep them both light and strong. I know it is wierd but I thought this was one of the coolest parts of them!
The tiles looked nice... not much more to say..
Plenty of detail to paint and whilst there was some inconsistency in the texture I suspect you are not going to notice it once it is painted.
Nice cracks to paint and add flavour once finished.
You get a big bag of clips to keep the boards from moving around once you have come up with a layout. It took me longer to figure out how I wanted to arrange the tiles on the table, than to put the clips on and be ready to play.
There is an art to attaching and detaching the clips, but it only took a moment to work out the order to start attaching them. The clips seem pretty strong so I expect them to stand up to a lot of gaming.
Next step, build a quick 4' x 4' table to see how hard it is to do.... not very is the answer. Although I do hope some smart person comes up with a pile of sample layouts and puts it on the internet for those of us that are lazy and just want to copy something.
Once the table was built.... I had to put some figures on it to see how it looked.
Even unpainted I thought it looked good. Definitely going to be using them whilst I find the time to start airbrushing them up.
Closing thoughts
I really like these and if I thought I could sneak another box of them past my wife I would do it in a heartbeat (pity she reads the blog). I just dropped some Battlefield in a Box Gothic buildings and craters on there and had a nice little table in five minutes.

The clip system was easy to use and whilst you will want to put them on in a certain order - for example: from the centre out, or pick an edge and then go across the table when putting the tiles together, then reversing the order when pulling it apart - they were nice and easy to do.

The surface detail of the tiles did have some small blemishes (probably caused by too much plastic on the reverse side) or inconsistency of detail. However I felt that these will work out to not be a problem once painted as no road is consistent across its length and breadth, especially one that has 50 ton tanks, or massive walkers thumping around on it.

What I would really like to do though is get four of the Secret Weapon Rolling Fields tiles - preferably a couple of flat pieces, and a couple with the gentle rolling hills. The sea of pavement got a little much for me and a decent city planner should be incorporating some green spaces so that office workers can pop outside for lunch, walk on the grass, maybe even lay a minefield to stop an invading army. Just the usual everyday activities that we engage in...

So... 2015... the year of the Trollblood army (stop laughing, I know I have said that for the last two or three years, but this time I mean it!) and the year I paint up my Secret Weapon Urban Tablescapes! Also with a bit of luck, the year that Secret Weapon do another Kickstarter for the 28mm Trenchline system that they were aiming for in their last Kickstarter, but ended up falling a little short of. I am sure my Khador would love to fight over a table like that!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Painting a Shahak / Mirage III CJ

With the Fate Of A Nation book coming out, I volunteered to paint a few more bits and pieces and whilst I didn't get as much done as I hoped I enjoy painting up a Mirage...

I airbrushed it with a couple of different silver paints. A solid coat initially and then a bit of panel fading to highlight the centre of the panels with a lighter one. The red on the engine cowling was hand painted and involved a lot of swearing - my freehand work is really not that good but it all came together nicely on this one.

Add in some decals and I found it quite enjoyable to paint! Really got to paint up a MiG-15 one of these days!

If you haven't had a chance to check out Fate Of A Nation yet it is worth doing. My personal favourite list is the new Israeli Sayaret Company - lots of Jeeps with 3+ saves. Going to see them on the blog in the new year hopefully.