Thursday, 21 May 2015

Games and Gears Urban War Battleboard Review and Painting

Hi guys,

So you may have seen my previous posts in which I raged about the lack of honesty from Games and Gears during the Kickstarter regarding shipping (Not going to touch on that at all here, but if you're interested then please read HERE

I eventually received my boards yesterday and thought I'd share my initial thoughts as well as my poor attempts at painting it.

I will try and be as unbiased as possibly and try not to let the bad experience during the kickstarter affect my judgement.

To set the scene, this is the info we received during the Kickstarter campaign, and what I thought I was pledging for:





Along with the following: ALL BOARDS COME BASED PAINTED AS IN THE PICTURES!!

For anybody who wants to see the original kickstarter page you can find it HERE

Now before I get slapped down, I now that they did clarify later in the kickstarter before delivery but I am pretty sure, after we'd paid, that the boards in these graphics were demonstrating what you could do with the boards, rather than what they came like. 

As you can expect though, given that we were expecting them to come "Base Painted" I was a little upset to find that actually, only the roads are painted, and I needed to prime the rest of the board prior to painting.

Anyway, some pics of the grand arrival:

Pardon my pregnant wife's belly!

Boards unboxed with Clips

Laid out
It's worth mentioning that it was not easy to get to this point. Due to the design of the board/clips, you have to put it together upside down and then flip a complete 6 by 4 foot table over. This would be difficult but possible if it was a solid piece of wood or plastic for example, but with the pieces clipped together it simply wasn't possible without the boards snapping off. 

I had to drag my wife in at this point to help me flip the board, and even then there was some nervous moments, having to ensure the boards were supported properly as we flipped it.

You can also see the areas that aren't the Road are not base coated, they are exactly the same colour as the reverse, and wouldn't take paint at all. No point getting upset about it though, I've ranted enough already, so I started to mask off the roads ready for spraying.

Frog Tape and Paper


Spraying took me about an hour I guess, including masking them off and then using a rattle can primer (Rustoleum Grey Surface Primer from Homebase in the UK) to spray over the tiles, I was a bit sparing with the Primer as I was worried I'd run out halfway through and this came back to bite me a little later as in areas I had obviously missed spots where the wash later wouldn't settle. If you're doing this with a colour that's less similar to the plastic's natural colour this would be much easier to spot..

After leaving the Primer to dry for a little while I then mixed a basic black wash using some Black Acrylic paint and Water and sloshed that over the whole board to try and make the detail pop a bit more and have it look less uniform. 

Bit of a photo dump now as I took a few pictures as I did it, and as it was drying for those of you who're interested. Please bear in mind in many of these the wash looks terrible as it's drying, the end result is only... mostly terribad ;)

You can see a few tiles I tried to deliberately clear of wash to vary it a little, not sure if this was a good idea or not...







This one is almost dry at this point and started to look a bit better



Finished for now other than the Park (Middle Right) I think

I probably could have been more careful and got a better result, but I just wanted to get it to a point I was happy playing on as soon as possible given that I had hoped to receive it painted. The wash has pooled in places, and at times I was reduced to using a wet wipe to try and wipe off where the black wash had started to pool and dried.

My plan initially was to paint the various bits of brickwork a reddy/brown as in the tutorial from Games and Gears but I'm not sure now, I might just leave it as is. I don't want the board to be the focal point rather than the figures we're going to be putting on it.

At the moment I'm thinking of flocking the blank piece (middle right) to make it look like a park so I can get some Woods scenery or something similar on the board, other options would be a lake, or car park of some sort?

Any ideas there?


Pros:
  • A 6 by 4 board for £62 that doesn't require additional support once it's up (I don't feel worried by the slight overhang you can see above) 
  • Roads are painted, although not to a great quality
  • With a little work, I'm sure that someone could get this looking great
  • The Anima board for the same price actually looks really nice, when people will receive that though I have no idea
Cons:
  • It wasn't base painted, that simply isn't true, I needed to prime it before painting.
  • Needs two people to clip together and flip the board, so I can't prepare my table for an evenings gaming with the lads until they get here.
  • There is no carrying/storage solution, this was mentioned during the kickstarter but they said it wasn't feasible in the end because the boards were too heavy, this still leaves the problem of how to store or transport the boards though
  • I wouldn't ever pay £140 for this at retail


In conclusion I'm still disappointed with the service and what I perceive to be outright lies from G&G during the kickstarter, however given it's only taken an evening (about 3 hours work) to get the board to this stage I'm fairly happy with the end result. If I had paid £140 I would be livid, but I'm just about satisfied with the product at £62. (Albeit with an 18 month wait for delivery)

If anyone has any suggestions as to additional improvements I can make, or storage solutions etc. please let me know!