Earlier this week, I gave you an overview of the 15mm MDF buildings from GameCraft Miniatures. I was eager to get some of these buildings onto the game table once they were assembled I decided to start with the Tomorrow's War Refugee Hut.
The standard Hut kit consists of the two side walls, the front and rear walls with the curved beam-structures, a separate center beam-structure, and a roof piece made of high-quality cardstock. The Small Hut is similar, but omits the center curved beam. I also ordered the optional surface detail kits, which augment the front and rear walls. The geometric details are etched well into the surface of the building and into the card roof. It wasn't obvious to me on the GameCraft website, but the etched details were quite prominent even after painting. When I buy more of these Refugee Huts in the future, I'll probably skip the surface detail kits (though I still think they'll look great on some of the larger buildings).
Assembly was easy. The card roof is sturdy, but flexible enough to conform to the curved beams. Once I assembled the MDF parts, I put a thin line of superglue along the tops of the beams, flipped the roof and building over, and gently rocked the structure back and forth against a soft surface until the glue set. It worked - the roof doesn't look bunched or pinched.
I started by painting the Small Hut. It took a basecoat well; I used flat Krylon black primer, but any spray primer will work. The card roof didn't warp at all while the spray paint was drying (which was my only real fear with this building). Once it was dry, I simply drybrushed the whole structure with a few different metallic colors, applied some rust weathering powder, and my Hut was ready for the battlefield. I got a bit carried away with the rust powder (that stuff goes a LONG way!), and my first Hut ended up being a very nice match for my GZG Shanties and BWS Startown Slums.
But then I started to wonder about it in other applications. The support beams really do give the impression that this building could have been made from a big space transport (similar to the buildings in the BBC series Outcasts, or some of the concept art for Stargate Worlds). So maybe this was the first building in the colony - an improvised structure to shelter the settlers until the main buildings were complete:
It works. 15mm structures tend to mix fairly well, especially if you're trying for a colony that had to expand more quickly than expected, a crowded spaceport, or a refugee village. There's some great skirmish scenario fodder. Your opponent has to search your buildings for a VIP or a critical piece of alien tech. They could drive themselves mad going through all your shiny futuristic structures, while you actually kept it hidden in the old rusty hut behind the hill...
Either way, these Refugee Huts are going to see very frequent rotation on my battlefields. Based on my experiences with these buildings, the Tomorrow's War building ranges are going to be the first place I start whenever I need new 15mm terrain. They're inexpensive, easy to build, and look great with a minimum of painting effort. Could we ask for anything more?
Next up from my GameCraft order - my attempt at "futurizing" one of the modern Afghan hovels.