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TT Combat Industrial Hive Terrain Review

Greetings all you hive scum and curious uphivers! Come to admire the architecture have you? Because you should, it's a bit pretty...


As we're a little bit immersion obsessive here in the bunker we wanted our Necromunda Zone Mortalis experience to be just that little bit "extra" compared to the bare tiles. Don't get me wrong, the tiles are lovely and some of my favourite floorplans that GW has ever put out there. But there's something unintuitive about a 2D black shape blocking line of sight. We needed something more, something that told stories, something with a third dimension...

Shop at: https://ttcombat.com/collections/industrial-hive
I looked around a lot of different shops offerings and eventually fell for TT Combat's varied range of walls and corner columns. I liked the fact that it wasn't all "just wall" and had that "functional architecture" vibe that I feel the underhive needs. The pieces are all laser cut from MDF and greyboard (thick, matt cardboard) and thus come with that burnt sawdust smell that people either love or hate. Separating the pieces from the sprue is fairly simple with a sharp blade and a razor saw and the glue up is for the most part straightforward (more on that later). The instructions are nice and clear and frankly the parts are fairly intuitive. As with all MDF, it is thirsty as all get out when you first put paint on it so I would recommend either sealing it with a very thin coat of pva or using sprayed/airbrushed primer as the first coat.


And here are the results! I followed the same scheme as I did in my previous Necromunda walls post so no need to go in to too many details. What does need to be talked about is what you need to do to make mdf work for you. Sadly, 2D surface etching does not come close to fully 3D cast scenery, it's just a fact. So you have to get creative with shading and weathering effects to make the pieces feel more 3D than they are.


These girders are an excellent example, they don't really cross, it's just a line etched in. However, by shading either side of the line onto the girder "beneath" you can fool the eye into thinking that there is more going on than there is. A word of warning on these pieces, unless you have an airbrush, paint the middle sandwiched parts (with the round holes) before you glue it together. It was borderline impossible with a paintbrush.


Here we can see the "etch doesn't match moulds" effect in full force, the door is the weakest element of the kit. I wish I'd picked up one of their resin door sets and just done away with the wooden door entirely. I think I did enough to make it work and it looks fine from a couple of feet away which is all you really need in terrain but yeah, 'tis a regret.


And that regret is brought into sharper relief by just how good the resin vents look. They elevate the mdf pieces an incredible amount. This little bit of real shape and depth faking more into the etching. Great add-on, highly recommended.


Another nice element is that not all of the terrain blocks line of sight so you can have significant effects on gameplay by choice of scenery. In this case the ducts block movement but gangers can blast away through the gaps. Very cool.


Along with the long walls comes a range of short ones. These have a "display" end that allows them to jut out into the corridor without looking silly. You'll have noticed that I added a lot of transfers with numbers, warning labels, symbols to guide maintenance, all sorts. These really elevated the story of the walls and helped them feel busy and real. Another help was the ever present Imperial posters. All found online, printed, cut out and then glued into place with thinned PVA. Another layer of PVA on top seals the paper and helps it conform to irregular surfaces. Plus if you aren't too careful with this stage it looks like paste from the people who put them up. Once dry the posters got the same weathering as the walls to bind the pieces together and prevent the paper being "Daz white" and unbelievable.


Sadly, it isn't all great, these pipes (and to a lesser extent the next ones) are not good at all. I don't know if it was my fumble-fingered folding and rolling but it seemed impossible to get a clean roll without serious practise. As it was I just painted them battered and covered some crimes with posters.


In a similar vein, these are oooookay.... but not great. Were I making them again I'd just get some appropriate sized dowel or plastic tube and use that in place of the rolled greyboard. They looked ok once painted in UK legal colours for gas pipes though. Well, actually they looked terrible right up until the moment that the transfers, posters and weathering hit. Then they looked just fine. Nice lesson, it's all about the details.


The finished effect is simply fantastic. Clear line of sight determination. More immersion. Better storytelling. Highly recommended. Then you add models...


...and it gets even better. Rest assured there will be more of this coming. I'm hooked now and need some walls with ducts, collapsed walls, walls with different patterns, walls with lights, walls with...

Until then my friends,


TTFN

Comments

  1. They truly are glorious! It's a definite shame those tubes are so difficult to create, I thought the multi-coloured vertical ones lookes particularly good on the boards.

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    1. They are a ton easier than the horizontal ones. I'd say it's less the difficulty with the vertical and more the finished effect. I'd prefer perfectly round pipes... guess I'm a pipe snob :D

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  2. They look fantastic. The shade of red you've used works just right as well. Which paint is it?

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    Replies
    1. It is the unbelievably useful Vallejo Primer Red. Comes in a massive bottle, pre-thinned for airbrush application but does great for brushes too.

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    2. Thank you. I have Black, White, Grey and a bunch of the military colours in those bottles. I'll add Red to the shopping list - cheers!

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