The 15mm sci fi project made me revise my verdict on MDF buildings. While I’m still not too keen on the medieval and dark ages versions I have seen, some of the sci fi structures are very nice. Of course the straight angles of metal or plasticoncrete or whatever fancy stuff they use in the future lend themselves better to modelling with the clean cut shapes of MDF than the rickety racks of peasant’s huts.
When browsing TMP, I came across an announcement for 15mm sci fi greenhouses by Mad Mecha Guy. As one of our game factions is a terraforming collective, I could immediately see a use for those. In fact, I had been thinking about building some myself! I contacted Joseph and ordered a set of greenhouses together with some walls. He was kind enough to include two smaller structures for free to give me a taste of his other buildings.
Indeed, Mad Mecha Guy offers a huge range of MDF structures in 15mm and 28mm. You can find barriers, roads and bridges, corridors, different types of modern and sci fi buildings. There are even barges and landing crafts! He also takes commission work if there are some peculiar things you want to have modelled.
The greenhouses have to be assembled, which is best done with PVA glue. There are no instructions, but by having a closer look at the photos on the website and using your common sense one can easily get an idea how the parts fit together. This may also be why I failed the first time. It is very important to dry-fit all the parts before glueing them together, as the side panels of the greenhouses have different sizes which only fit to their assigned positions!
However, I did succeed in the end and was quite pleased with the result. As usual, I gave them a good wash of thinned PVA glue before priming and painting. I also glued thin strips of balsa wood onto the base, drilled holes and attached some plastic plants. There are a lot of windows in the structures that I didn’t want to leave as holes, so I cut transparent sheets of plastic from packaging material and glued it inside the frames. I then glued the whole structure onto the base. One could of course make it removable, but with the plants inside there wouldn’t be space for figures anyway.
The other two structures I got were also from the polygonal shelters range. One is a shop, which I want to convert into a bar but haven’t finished yet, the other is a warehouse. I painted it rather plain, but put on a chimney and a ladder just to add a bit of variety. This is one thing I have learnt about MDF buildings: They work much better if you treat them as foundations for your own embellishments. Adding stuff like ventilators, ladders, railings or antennas really makes them look much more lived in and removes the sometimes bland look of MDF.
I am very happy with Mad Mecha Guy’s buildings and can highly recommend them for modern or sci fi gaming. They look fantastic and can easily be converted for all sorts of purposes. And now let’s see if the security guys can keep the greenhouses save from my Quar!