Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Product Review: Impudent Mortal - Laser Terrain

In October, 2012 I saw a pretty interesting kickstarter and had to pull the trigger.  Impudent Mortal's first kickstarter offered several different designs of 25mm buildings that could be used in several different types of miniature games.   I was intrigued and, being a terrain junkie am always looking for good terrain to add to my tables so I pulled the trigger, big time!

Sunday I received a box of laser cut mdf goodness.

This is 18 buildings, thirteen 25mm buildings and five 10mm buildings (perfect for Dropzone Commander).

Inserted with the box was a note with a URL to the instructions on building these.  Of course all the links were blocked at work so being the terrain nut I am (and male), I dug right in without a plan.  The first thing I noticed was that these things were really clean cut.  All the cuts were all the way through and even the tiniest cut out popped right out with no problem.  I found the puzzle system... puzzling at first but now that I've actually watched the videos and read the directions it makes perfect sense... too bad I had already assembled most of the buildings by then.
25mm Gothic Design
As you can see, there are some really fine details on the Gothic Design.  I do worry a little about some of the windows eventually breaking but if they are handled fairly carefully they should be ok for quite a while.

So, what makes a building?
25mm Ruined Brick Design
Above you see the parts for a Ruined Brick Design.  Again, and I can't say this enough, everything was cut all the way through and popped out very easily.  I am very happy with the way everything lines up and even without the directions it all went together pretty easy just using the pictures on the kickstarter page.  I glued the wall pieces to the puzzle pieces for all four wall and got them to line up with no problem.  Once the glue had set I dry fitted them to the floor and everything fit well so I glued the walls onto the floor piece and let that set a few minutes before attaching the roof pieces.  I haven't glued the roofs to any of the buildings yet because I want access to the inside if need be.
25mm Ruined Brick Design
Over the course of two evenings I've build all the 25mm buildings and one of the 10mm ones.  This weekend I'll get a picture of all of them on a game table.  Until then, here are a few more images of the buildings.
25mm Steampunk Design
25mm Ruined Tudor Design
So far I've talked about the L1 buildings which are all one story.  There is also the L2 buildings which are two story.  These are basically two L1 buildings on top of each other and are pretty impressive.  The initial build on these was a little intimidating at first because he had sent me enough extra pieces to make two L1 buildings or a single L2.
25mm 2 Story Brick Design
Again, they go together very easily once you have the basics down.

As part of the kickstarter, Impudent Mortal offered a set of Cogs for various uses and a set of signs for the buildings as well as a chimney section and a Com Tower.  As a cool add on he made me a few custom signs for my buildings so I had to use them and throw up a pic.
25mm 2 Story Steampunk Design
25mm 2 Story Stone Design

Impudent Mortal doesn't have a web store yet so the only way to get these is to contact them directly via email or through facebook.
I don't have a price list from them but I would figure that the 25mm L1 buildings will sell for around $20 each and the 25mm L2 buildings will be about $30 each.  The 10mm L3 buildings are probably going to be around $20 and the 10mm  L4 buildings about $30 also.

All in all these are a really good value.  They are very sturdy and quite nice in all respects.  I'm sure when he get's his business going full on he can expect repeat business from me.

I had a few questions for Walt Langhans, the builder about his designs and the future of Impudent Mortal.

Q. I would suggest that you rethink the scale.  With the fact that the major games are 28mm, 25mm is just a tad bit small.  Also, I think these might go great at 15mm, 28mm and (with the release of Wild West Exodus) 35mm.  At the same time, 10mm is an odd choice.  Other than Dropzone Commander, I can't think of a game that's 10mm.  6mm might be a better choice there since it fits with Epic 40,000, Micro Armor and Dystopian Wars.  I really think you might be missing a lot of business because of this.

A: The scale isn't actually 25, it's more like 26.5 I should have just said 28mm and left it at that. Any typical 28mm wargaming fig that you put next to them is going to look fine because of the size I make the windows and doors. If you want to get technical about it and they why I did what I did, it's because no one (meaning miniature manufacturers) unless they are historically accurate actually take true scale into their figs. They just model them proportionately correct so they look good. For me to have made my buildings to scale it would have meant that the floor height should have been 1 - 3/16'" instead of the 1" that I used. 3/16" isn't going to be something that anyone is going to notice without a ruler, but it causes all kinds of headaches from a design perspective.
But with all that said, I'll be doing other things for all the other scales as well in time. Kickstarter number 3 will have new scales in it.

Q. Are there any plans for add ons to the buildings?  One thing I think they are missing is porches and balconies.  The buildings look really dynamic but they seem a little plain.

A: Yes. I agree. I agree. The problem was that I was renting laser time at $50 per hour to get the prototypes done for the first KS. KS number 2 will be introducing new building shapes, and an 'advanced' line that I will be using 1mm cardboard for extra detail and texture.

Q. For the ruined 2 story buildings I would think a ruined second floor would be a good addition.

A: Yeah, I thought about that. MDF is pretty easy to cut with any saw so if someone want's to mod a floor they can (which I mention in the video). The problem is that they do provide some extra support and wouldn't if they were ruined so I figured play it safe and send full floors and if someone want's they can mod them. You can always cut the floor away, but putting more on it can be a bit difficult.
However, if people want them I can certainly make them, and I have no problem doing custom orders.

Q: When is the web store going to be opened?

A: Web site should be up after the second KS, which should launch in 2 months - ish.

Check this business out and keep an eye on their facebook page for future kickstarters.  It's always good to support small businesses when possible.

~Syko Wargamer

1 comment:

  1. Check it out, he's got a second Kickstarter up "part 2"

    oh and this time he has his own lazer. :)