Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Amera Plastic Mouldings review and terrain tuesday


Hi all,

Welcome to terrain Tuesday - today is going to be a two-part post, with the first part dedicated to a review of the terrain I've bought recently, from Amera Plastic Mouldings. The second part will be a few pics of how I'm getting on with said terrain in terms of getting my modular table finished.

So on to the review then - Amera make scenery using vacuum moulds, which means for those of you that don't know, that the scenery is made from sucking hot plastic down onto a sculpted former. What that tends to result in though, is a piece of terrain that's actually more detailed on the underside than the side you view. As such the pieces can look 'soft' in comparison to the injection moulded style of terrain that GW use to create their pieces. The counter to this, is that vacuum forming is considerably cheaper, meaning that I was able to get hold of enough scenery to fill an average board for about the same price as buying the Imperial Sector kit from Games Workshop.

Their terrain pieces come in two types, single moulds and multi-part pieces. The single moulds cover things like trenches, demolished buildings, barricades etc, and the multi-part pieces are the more traditional buildings, some damaged and others whole.

The single mould pieces are really nice, solid and easily cut from the surrounding plastic to make scatter terrain. I used scissors for simplicity, though a craft knife would be equally as good, if not better - just be careful the knife doesn't slip as it will score the plastic surface. The multi part kits are equally good quality, though generally require more work, as all the windows need cutting out and the wall will need sticking to each other and the base. I've found a two-part epoxy glue is best for this, tying the pieces together and leaving it to set overnight.

I focused on the future zone range, though their fantasy range is equally extensive.

How about painting it then? Well the terrain comes unaltered from the mould, so it's plain white plastic, and very smooth. I've seen them detailed up pretty well just using that basic finish, but I think they work best when given a slightly more rough look (in fact, Amera have a tutorial on their site addressing how to paint their kits and this is how that article suggests it's done). Once assembled, I gave the models a blast with plastikote stone effect spray, and that will be black washed and then drybrushed up to match the bases on my miniatures. This gives a much more rugged appearance and one that I think looks fantastic on the battlefield.

I'd give Amera Plastic Mouldings a 4.5 out of 5, the only half point reduction being because of the inevitable softness of the detail due to the moulding process.

What about progress then, how's everything coming on?

Well my big box of stuff arrived last week, containing the following:
2 sets of demolished buildings
1 battle damaged barricade
1 crashed gunship
1 trench bunker
2 trench t-junctions
3 trench straights
4 trench corners
1 ruined admin block
2 sets of tank traps
1 redoubt

here are some pics of the latest progress

The trench bunker

Some of the trench sections, and the crashed gunship

Demolished buildings and tank traps

Redoubt and damaged barricade

Ruined building

Hopefully these will have some paint on them by next week's post.

7 comments:

  1. I have often looked at amira stuff, and very nearly invested in their bridge kits. Just the fact that I kinda hate injection moulded stuff was the reason I did not go for it in the end. Cool to see they are pretty good though

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  2. I remember the old vac-form craters GW used to do. I have to say the new Moonscape set is a lot better as they do manage to add some texture into the mould. I think they must be formed on an inverted shape as there is more detail on the surface than underneath.

    These look cool, the guy who did that amazing Dark Eldar Armies on Parade board showed how to do your own vac-form set up made it look easy.

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  3. At first I thought these were foam, then realized you already sprayed some of them. Curious to see how these all look painted up, that's usually how I determine the value of such pieces! How is the lightness of them?

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  4. Thanks for the comments guys!

    Nafnaf - I know what you mean, but as a poor local government worker I just can't afford to buy the nice GW stuff, and when the big buildings they do cost £9 instead of the prices GW charges, it's the most viable option for me. Over time I'd like to replace with GW stuff but I can't afford to take that long to get a board finished.

    Dave - an inverted mould would make more sense, I presume there's perhaps an additional cost to doing it that way that makes it less viable. Interesting to see that article though, can you post a link?

    Greg - yeah it's a stone effect spray I picked up, mine's plastikote but i know rustoleum do one similar and i think they're more common overseas than here in the UK? I'll hopefully get some of the smaller pieces painted up in the next week or so, though i did a rough and ready version for my club that I posted up a couple of weeks ago - i think it's easily good enough for most gaming tables, the stone spray gives a great texture that makes drybrushing really work well. I wouldn't advise sticking with the stone spray finish without painting though, it looks wrong on this scale of thing.

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    1. I hear you on the stone spray. I've got a similar one here I tried initially on some ork stuff...it didn't quite work right. I think it definitely has a great place on terrain. Looking forward to the paint! Man you have a lot of projects going on...

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    2. Probably too many - at least I've managed to get the filigree sorted on the first of my ravagers now - another hour or so tomorrow should see the second one sorted too and then I can crack on with the final highlights and the crew!

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