Hello there Reader.
Writing this article took me a lot longer than I originally anticipated (sorry about that Harry!) but I want to believe the end result I’m presenting you here in this review is well worth the wait.
I wrote here on the blog a while ago about the idea of tackling a new wargaming system from scratch and sharing my experiences along the way with you Reader from this blog. One of my biggest concerns were the scenery pieces given that the game I chose to begin with, Infinity from Corvus Belli, has a very different scale and atmosphere from the other games I already collected (namely Warhammer 40.000) and thus my collection of scenery pieces wouldn’t suit the new game.
Doing some research around the internet I came across something which seemed like a new tendency on the scenery kit market: Scenery pieces made from laser cut MDF.
I was really curious about such innovation and eventually got me a kit from that material in order to review here on the blog. I got one of the “Outpost Kits” produced by Warmill in the UK which would not only suit my need for properly themed Infinity terrain, but also, could be used in Warhammer 40.000 games against my friends.
The “Outpost Kit” is a scenery set suitable to represent the fortifications of an outpost (as the name implies) in a faraway world or even as a base for your army to defend. It all depends on your imagination and on your usage of this kit, which can be used on its own or combined with other scenery pieces in your collection for a multitude of narrative options in your games.
For those of you sporting more “gaming oriented” minds this kit could see hours of service in your 40K games, especially since the 6th edition of the game introduced the use of fortifications. As you’ll see next the kit is highly modular and could be used as a generic “Aegis Defense Line” if you choose to use it in separate pieces or as a proper fortification with armor values and all.
I got the scenery kit on a regular mail box but right from the onset one thing that grabbed my attention is that given the way the parts are shipped to you, still on the frame they were laser cut into, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to have scenery kits produced in this material shipped to you in regular envelopes.
Here’s a shot showing the laser cut parts the way they arrive in your house.
So the first step in assembling it was to separate all the parts from the frame they came in. I must say that it wasn’t difficult at all as the cutting/engraving process on the Warmill pieces is extremely precise. It sufficed to push against the parts using the tip of a hobby blade (a toothpick or a paper clip would serve that purpose as well) to release the parts from the frame.
After taking all parts from the frame you can find some “flash” in some pieces. In fact that’s a contact point between the parts and the frame without which the parts would simply drop from the frame when cut. That small leftover is easy to get rid of with the use of a file or a hobby knife.
The “Outpost Kit” is made out of 4 straight sections; 16 individual sections (which form the corners of the kit) and 2 guard towers and a gate. These parts are in turn made from other smaller parts included in the kit.
For the sake of being complete I’ll detail the process of assembling one of the straight sections as all other parts are very similar to it. Each straight section is made out of 10 other parts: There’s a floor piece, a wall piece for your soldiers to hide behind (with firing slits on it so they can pour fire on the enemy as well), five structural pieces that support the floor, two protection plates and a detail plate.
Here’s the step By step guide on how to assemble one of the straight sections.
The kit has very precise fittings so you really don’t need glue to make the parts stick together, however, aiming at long term durability I opted to glue all pieces together during the assembly process. I believe it is possible to keep the parts unglued in order to make it easier to store the pieces when they’re not in use, however I don’t know how the MDF material would resist to constant assembly and disassembly over the course of a few years.
After we finished assembling all straight sections it was time to tackle the guard towers and the gate.
The kit was thought in a way that each tower houses one part of the gate within its structure so if you choose not to glue the gates in place it is possible to make them open and close in your games, however I must point once more that the fitting in this kit is pretty precise and when it comes to the gate section there isn’t much room for it within its housing so constant use might scratch your paintjob on the gate’s surface.
We did use pliers when assembling the gate in order to make its parts fit together as tightly as possible.
Here you can see the gates assembled and already in their housing structure from the guard tower.
And here a shot from the assembled towers and gate.
Some detail shots showing the guard tower.
Another great thing about the MDF kits is that the same laser which cuts the shape of each separate part can be also used to engrave all sort of details on the parts’ surfaces, like those on the gate’s face and on all floors of the kit for example. All these small detail bits can be picked out and explored when it comes to painting the kit.
After the gate sections all that was left to finish assembling the outpost were the smaller pieces used on the corners. The assembly process of these parts follows pretty much the same steps detailed above for the straight section and is as simple as that so pretty soon we also had 16 corner pieces done.
So here we have a general view of the assembled “Outpost Kit” after all parts were assembled. As you may realize the kit came with one of its straight sections missing but I was able to sort that out with the guys from Warmill and after sending them an email I was soon supplied with the missing part.
You should notice that on my version of the kit I got the detail plate described as the “Reinforced” style, which was perfect for my goal of getting generic Sci-fi terrain, but Warmill also offers two other options for those of you who wished you could tailor the final look of it to your 40K armies in the form of the “Chaos Star” (extra shot 1, extra shot 2) detail plate and the “Imperial Aquila” one.
So when I was done with the assembly part of the process I was faced with the dilemma of how to paint it. One of my friends proposed we left the kit as supplied and started playing with it straight away. I agree one could simply choose to leave the kit unpainted but after seeing it properly assembled and seeing the amount of detail and possibilities for a painted I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea of leaving it untouched. My head quite literally boiled with the options and I couldn’t put my finger on a color to paint it.
I ended up choosing an uncommon color: Green. The idea was to paint the outpost in a color which contrasted with the colors I had used to paint my table (mainly browns and grays) and having a green colored fortification seemed like a pretty good idea to me. Not satisfied I pictured in my mind what I could represent on the tabletop using those pieces and figured that by adding some wear and tear to it I could probably use it as a poorly maintained functional installation or as an abandoned one.
Thinking about it this kit is so versatile that depending on how you paint it I don’t think it would look out of place on a Warmachine or Hordes table (being manned by Cygnaran or Khadoran troops) or even on one of those Victorian age or Wild West scenarios I’ve seen around these days. It’s really down to the way you paint and add detail to the pieces.
I was set on the weathered look then so I went out to purchase the material I’d use on it and spent the following three days painting the “Outpost Kit”. I reckon I could probably paint it a lot faster If I chose to drybrush some colors on it, but, I found this kit so incredibly detailed I felt like doing proper justice to it and ended up painting everything on it. Thus each plate, each supporting strut (even those hidden underneath when the scenary is assembled) was treated and painted in the same way and this is the final result of all that work:
I believe the photos speak for themselves on how good looking this kit is right? One thing I should add about it is that during the painting process I used on it I had to wash the parts after some painting was done and the MDF used by Warmill proved its good quality by absorbing none to little water and after dried it looked just as when I had assembled it. If you ever worked with MDF before you’ll know how uncommon that is with this kind of material.
Some other shots from the painted kit:
After all was done the “Outpost Kit” sits, easily, amongst my “top 5” terrain kits out there deserving a 10 based on how it is presented to us, on how easy it was to assemble, on how easy it was to paint and on how good it looks on the tabletop once it’s done. I also believe it deserves another 10 for its versatility not only when it comes to the myriad ways in which it can be assembled but also on how many gaming systems out there it could be used on.
I’d definitely use more Warmill kits on my gaming table and I recommend the “Outpost Kit” for anyone who wants to add some great looking fortified position on their battlefields.
And that’s it for today guys. Hope you enjoyed the review and keep checking back for more.
Over and out.