In our Miniature Review series, we look at the wide world of tiny soldiers for cool stuff to share with all of you. This week, LordTwisted, Thundercloud and Soggy are reviewing the terrain on offer from Grimdark Terrain.
The God Engines of Adeptus Titanicus tower over everything else on the battlefield, levelling entire hab-blocks with a stray shot. To help set the scene for this literal clash of the titans, terrain plays a key part. As our Warlord Wednesday column has mentioned, getting the right amount of terrain is vital to ensure you have fun and balanced games.
Grimdark Terrain (aka Rudolf, aka Broncofish) has several different ranges of terrain depending on the battlefield you are wanting to create – ranging from sprawling spaceports to the forge fanes of Holy Mars.
Similar to other 3D modellers out there, they have a subscription model where you pay a monthly fee to get access to “batches” of STLs which he trails each month on his Discord (with previews etc on there as well).
Each month has a number of kits around these different themes (such as “Walls of Myteliene” for fortress walls, or “Olympus Mons” for Mars aesthetic). A membership then gets you a significant discount on the back-catalogue as well.
The STLs are provided with unsupported and pre-supported configurations, along with guides on how to get the best results. Rudolf is working on making a “parts catalogue” as well, as most of his kits are designed to be cross-compatible with one another and with existing terrain from Games Workshop. This allows for some stunning cross-builds of kits, which he encourages in his designs. The catalogue is intended to be a “one stop shop” for anyone wanting to design some more ambitious projects with his kits.
Soggy’s Note: This article got lost in a warp storm just over six months ago, our experience is still relevant for what it was at the time but since then Grimdark Terrain have come out with some new neat bits like baser toppers for your Titans, Mighty Empires style campaign accessories and more each month. I recommend taking a look at their range if any of that sounds of interest.
I own a Mono X and an original Anycubic Photon, and have printed a lot of Grimdark Terrain’s portfolio for a weekender I held at my house. I did a pair of massive Forge-Fanes, some smaller bunker complexes, and an ambitious series of fortress walls for my Shattering of Enkidia weekender:
Generally, the printing experience was very positive. The quality of the parts speak for themselves, and there were very few issues with fitting everything together – sandpaper, milliput and a hairdryer is a must though for larger setups. An example is the landing pads, where you need to do a bit of work to get a completely smooth join between the “corner” pieces, but it is nothing more complicated than a GW large vehicle or Forge World kit.
Some of the bigger kits (looking at you, Forge-Fane!) can chew through a surprising amount of resin, so be alive to that. If you are doing something complex (like the forge-fane, or fortress walls), you will need to sit down and plan the number of bits you need, unless the website has instructions as it does for some of the kits.
I generally used Lychee Slicer, configured to 0.05mm prints on Elegoo Grey or Anycubic Clear Green, using medium auto-supports where I did my own rotating and used rafts. That tended to work best.
The pre-supported STLs I had a bit of a mixed bag with – I think it’s great that they are included, but you are trying to “dial in” your machine to similar settings to what Rudolf was doing when he had success with them, and as 3d printing is more of an art than a science. As a result, I think doing your own rotation and supports is the right way to go.
Auto-supporting after doing a suitable orientation worked 9 times out of 10. I had no issues with the files or STLs themselves and the print quality at 0.05mm was really excellent.
The ability to print parts and mix and match them due to cross-compatibility is amazing. The Aeres and Walls of Myteliene range were a joy to plan and build – and looked amazing on the tabletop. They paint up very nicely as well.
One other thing I will say is that Rudolf is very active on his Discord and will change, amend and fix models as people feed back to him. I found this very impressive; for example adding a smaller part to an existing set of STLs when someone noticed it might be helpful!
I printed out a full Martian Pyramid (4 levels of terrain, will block LOS for a Warlord) using a Mars 2 Pro from Elegoo. This involved printing about 16 plates. This is not quick or easy, as sixteen 4 hour plates mean you’ll spend about a week doing each Pyramid, and you should ask yourself how big your Titanicus board will be (a pyramid is a good central LOS blocking terrain piece for a 6’ by 4’ board, but would dominate a 4’ by 4’ for example).
As with any project have an idea of what your end goal is. In this case my Pyramid is a test to see if I want to do a full table of terrain, and if I do, to get the largest piece out of the way and form a reasonable impression of how to handle smaller Reaver and Warhound obscuring buildings.
What if I don’t have a printer?
3D printing, like any emerging tech comes in waves of early adopters who work out the kinks for the masses. I don’t have a printer these days but did have an FDM one a few years back, which means I’m aware of the main cost of 3D printing – which isn’t money but your own time. For those of you that don’t have a printer or easy access to one, there are options to get your hands on some of these kits to mix up your tables.
Grimdark Terrain sell some of their own products as printed kits on their website. Obviously you cannot get every possible permutation, but some of the more popular models (such as the train!) you can get for a reasonable price and you know the quality will be perfect as it is the designer himself. Similar to some other 3D modellers out there, Grimdark Terrain also sell a commercial license for their products. This means hopefully you should have a an online store selling parts or sets nearby to cut down on shipping.
Brad at Goldies Prints is one of these partners, based in the UK and was kind enough to send out a sample two level Forge-Fane to us to review. It arrived quickly and well packaged preventing any chance of damage in the post.
After unwrapping the layers of bubble wrap I was rewarded with immaculate prints, with no clean-up required at all. I often feel guilty when I badger mates for resin prints, as the the amount time getting a printer tuned to this level and cleaning up the supports does add up very quickly for a favour.
As someone who often badgers their mates for 3D prints, I’m aware of the time it takes to tune in a perfect print and clean off the supports to this level – the advantage here was I felt less guilty.
I’m too used to working with plastic glue rather than superglue and misjudged the drying time so did manage to crack one of the top plates during assembly – so consider that a minor PSA for those who normally only work with plastic, dry fit and dry fit again. As with many other happy mistakes in the hobby, this was quickly hidden during the weathering step.
We built this city
Lord Twisted – Grimdark Terrain are clearly just getting started in their range of amazingly detailed kits – this month Rudolf has done some “extras” like Titanicus orders and activation markers, which look amazing as well. Overall, I would highly recommend them if you have any interest in 8/10mm scale terrain, and the Discord is great too.
Soggy – The Grimdark terrain offering is a solid one, with many options to mix up your tables from being straight Civitas kits or DZC card terrain. I would thoroughly suggest strong-arming a mate into printing them off for you or picking up a few kits to scatter through your battlefields.
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