Monday, September 9, 2013

Stuff to Hide Behind: A Frankenstein Box

A few months ago I made a nice order with Warmill, a British terrain company specializing in 25mm sci-fi MDF kits. Warmill's stuff is unusually characterful, in a field of generally serviceable MDF terrain providers. Their kits tend to come complete with wry humor and detail that's pretty welcome, in sharp contrast to the grim dark future most folks seem to want to portray.

I needed some more mid-sized terrain for my Infinity table project, Bachs Freiberg, so I grabbed a fast food restaurant ('Southern Fried Watersnake') and a couple of bio-vending machines ('ORBs'). The latter are largish vending machines that a user can employ to give themselves various cybernetic upgrades, at low cost but apparently some risk.

The kits arrived across the pond quickly enough, and nicely packaged in slim, sturdy boxes, with a pretty picture on the front! Cracking one open, I found three frames and a baggie with lots of clear plastic bits for signage:

Also included were fully-illustrated assembly instructions, Ikea-style. I couldn't wait to get these puppies together!

4"x5" Clever Booth assembled, with Hellcat for reference

The kits friction-fit nicely together, perhaps just a little too loose not to require gluing, but at least I didn't have the tab-snapping frustration that I did with some of the Micro Arts Studios kits I've put together. The material is lightweight but looks sturdy and did not fray or split when I punched them out of their frames. Everything came together very nicely; I would rate the kits as somewhat complicated but the instructions are clear and it's pretty hard to put bits in the wrong way, although you have to pay attention to which side the detail is etched onto (as I found out to my chagrin at one point). 

Unfortunately in order to paint the damn thing, I had to take it nearly completely apart again. The front tray is designed to slide back and forth, and must be painted separately. This is not a design flaw, but a personal picadillo - I just don't enjoy painting subassemblies. Despite my neurosis, however, painting and reassembly wasn't a problem, and I'm satisfied with the final result. 

I have been experimenting with dry pigments and since I don't have an airbrush, I figured this would be the medium to test things on. I like the pastel finish a lot and think that this technique will provide a nice backdrop to the more saturated tones of the figures themselves. As you can see there is a detachable waste bin on the back (in case something goes terribly wrong with the bio-upgrades!) which makes for some useful additional scatter terrain. The sliding tray in the front is also fully articulated although I had to wiggle it around for a couple of days as the paint dried ;) 

So that's Warmill's ORB 2.0 Clever Booth. I'm currently engaged in the finishing up the rest of my haul, but I'm looking forward to adding their new releases to my collection - I still have room on my table for a Surgery Shack! 

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