GameCraft Miniatures offers one the most expansive ranges of 15mm wargame structures. When they ran their 4th of July sale last month, I really couldn't decide where to start. So I decided to just get a little bit of everything. My order consisted entirely of MDF products, from three different sub-ranges:
- A Tomorrow's War hex landing pad
- One each of the Tomorrow's War small and standard refugee huts
- Two of the small Afghan-style hovels with slanted roofs and one of the two-room versions
- One of the middle-eastern walled compounds
I figured the Tomorrow's War buildings would be great out of the box, and the modern buildings could easily be sci-fied into something useful for my games. The walled compound in particular, is to serve as the base of operations for my HOF Cultist figures. I want to turn them into something like the Holy Order of Byzantium that Mark described a couple years back.
All GameCraft products are made to order, so there was just a little bit of waiting time to receive my goodies. But it was well worth it. The first thing I noticed opening the box was the strong woodburning aroma. My wife still claims that was the best part of the whole experience. :) I examined the building components. Their cut and fit was flawless (as it turns out, lasers are fairly precise cutting tools), and the engraved detail would make them very easy to paint.
I decided to start simple, with one of the small Afghan-style hovels.
White glue or carpenter's glue would work just fine on these, but I decided to go with superglue just to get them together quickly. The superglue works perfectly to assemble these buildings - no problem with the MDF soaking it up. Even though the parts fit squarely together, I decided to assemble a super-deluxe, high-tech, MDF wall squaring device for this step.
It took just about as much time to put the Legos together as it did the building itself. I kept the plain door off for now - figured that step could wait until I figure out how I want to "upgrade" these buildings.
But overall, this is a fantstic little structure for just over four dollars. As is, it looks like anything that could be found throughout central Asia. But its size and shape also reminds me of those sustainable living small houses that are getting so popular (see here for an example). Small homes like that seem like just the thing that will exist on future colony worlds, and it gives me some good ideas for finishing the buildings.
Meanwhile, I decided to assemble everything in the order.
The only thing that I didn't glue together was the landing pad - I might try to hack up some old action-figure playsets and turn it into an elevated platform. Everything else assembled without giving me any problems. While I can't vouch for GameCraft's resin or foamboard products yet, I have no problem recommending the MDF products. They're an excellent value - and you can fill a whole tabletop without breaking the bank.
In the next article: the small Tomorrow's War refugee hut from assembly to painting.