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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ruined: A Review of Mantic Battle Zones

I painted up my first Mantic Battle Zone buildings. Let's go into a little more detail about the good and bad. Like most of the internet, I'll go bad first.

Bad

Burrs. First is that (and I recognize this as inevitable and is not so much a complaint against the builders but identifying something you will have to work around) where the sprues connect to the frame create the usual burrs that you will have to cut off. There will be at least eight per large piece and two on the connectors. Some will be in places you don't see so cutting them off won't matter but others you pretty much have no choice and need to get rid of.

Connectors. The connectors are designed well and some really good thought went into their use and how they interact when multiple surfaces join. However the tabs sometimes don't fit into the slots and have to be sanded down a bit to work. Oversand and the connection is loose. You can try to reuse them and reconfigure but frankly I would recommend you just come up with some generic forms and go with it.

Good

Utility. Visually these things are incredible. What I love about them is that they captured looks I've been wanting to use for years without having to scratchbuild a bunch of urban terrain. Colony built from interchangeable cargo containers? Check. Deep urban sprawl reminiscent of Japanese downtowns? Check. Multi-storied structures for games that are just as dark as GW's but for completely different reasons and don't need skulls everywhere? Check.

Details. They come with great detail sprues that contain extra bits that help join the walls together and decorate at the same time. There are also bits of scatter terrain in the form of cargo. You can never have enough cargo scatter terrain.

Compatibility. 40k? Check. Infinity which I don't plan and don't want to but it is worth considering these for? Check. Warpath and Deadzone which I also don't play but it would be a disservice to Mantic to not mention? Double check. Star Wars X-Wing? No, but that's just silly now isn't it?

Future Expandability. Can't go on about this enough, especially as you can readily buy their landing pad for less than GW's (no hate for GW here-I love their landing pad and want one but...) except that GW's landing pad is currently out of stock. Plus it allows you to integrate it back into a building because 1) I like my terrain to look like it has a purpose 2) No one just elevates a landing pad off of the ground and does not attach it to anything 3) Therefore I can tie the pad into a nearby building or a highway to elevated tram or......



Last up are some weapons racks I got as part of the Kickstarter for these. Nice scatter terrain to add details to a Zone Mortalis or whatnot. You can obtain them from Antenocity's Workshop website. Just Google it but it has great stuff and some nice futuristic minis I plan on getting for innocent civilian types.

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