So recently LaserCutCard sent me some terrain packs so I could check them out and see how they stack up (pun… maybe intended). They arrived and I’ve had my chance to assemble the first of their kits and give them a once-over. So now I’m passing on my experiences to you.
Prepare yourself for another TGN Review!
This first review is going to be about their Site Offices piece. The pieces come on several sheets that have been cut via (frikkin’) laser. Each board is relatively thin and bends easily, but there is some resilience. It’s a little more bendy than CCG cards. The card has a slight texture to it, as card tends to have, but it’s not feathery or anything bad. It just feels like the side of a really good cardboard box does.
Each piece has small connector points to the card “sprue” that keeps them in place. It’s really simple cut through those connectors with a hobby knife. A little shaving and the connector points didn’t leave any sort of obvious spot on the pieces. It’s a good idea to not cut out all the pieces beforehand, though. It can be pretty easy to mix up two pieces, as some are almost the same size, but just different enough to… well… make a difference.
While the individual sets don’t have instructions, each terrain set has their instructions posted online on the company’s website. I found them very easy to follow and had no problems assembling the parts. The superglue I have is the really watery-type that’s great for models, but when it comes to large, flat surfaces, it can tend to run all over a little bit. So I would suggest, if you have it, use a more gel-like glue during assembly. Superglue, I must say, worked fine. You don’t have to use Elmer’s or anything.
The different parts are built up using several layers of card. Most have 3 pieces associated with them. For example, the wall pieces have a base piece that comprises mostly solid wall. The next piece is the “lined” portion that gives a lot of detail to the model. The final is the “border” that goes around the edge of the wall. The roof of the office is also three pieces. So is the little vent. The website suggests leaving the vent as a separate piece, but I glued mine down. I just saw myself losing it too easily.
Now, I must say that my office mate, Travis, assembled the lower container as well as painted it. So you’ve got two people having had their hands on this kit. His experiences in assembly match mine. His painting consisted of two coats of spray primer, one coat of paint and one ink layer. Photos can only show so much detail, but the paint stuck to the model very well. And instead of making it more flimsy, the paint actually increased the sturdiness of the box. I gave it several good flicks when he first brought it in and… well… the thing’s solid enough that when I was done, my finger hurt. Trying to take the roof and just twist it, it takes some force before it even begins to warp. And as you can see from the “book test,” even though they’re card, the boxes will be able to hold up just fine against your heaviest models.
If there were any minuses to the pieces, it might be that they’re slightly unforgiving in the “mistake forgiveness” area. That being if you make a mistake in assembly, simply due to the nature of the card pieces, you’re never going to separate a part back again once it’s set without destroying the whole thing. I /almost/ ruined it all by accidentally first applying the “back piece” of the office backwards before I realized my mistake. Thankfully I realized it and was able to get the two pieces apart before the glue started to set. The one other thing is that, as you can see from the scale photo, the 30mm model next to the terrain piece looks rather big and he’d have a hard time ducking under the door to get into the office.
But overall, I’m very impressed by the pieces. They are very sturdy. Even the stairs, easily the most vulnerable part, will hold up against some rough use by gamers. I think they would be a good addition to a gamer’s terrain collection.
By the way, the original photo up top is the studio version from LCC’s website. The bottom is our version. Note: Neither Travis nor I had really looked at the official photo. So the fact that the coloration is basically identical is a really odd coincidence. The bottom box is the only one that has been painted. the office and stairs are the “raw card.”