News and review

Welcome to the first piece of news and we are looking at the Kickstarter of Julian Hicks creating “shipping containers”.

We did a quick review of an upcoming product. Julian is offering “shipping containers” in the popular 28mm heroic scale. Shipping containers seem to be a hot topic at the moment with many companies offering a variety of possibilities here.

From “free” paper templates to 10 GBP+ MDF items you can spend as much or little as you like. Why and how can yet another manufacturer find a sweet spot where others already placed themselves some time ago?

Essentially we compared the free paper templates, an MDF container and Julian’s carded items.

Design wise there is little argument for either. Julian’s containers are a bit different though offering little feet to stand on which also serve as “hooks” when piling them on top of one another. Adding stability is always nice and well received.

The disadvantage of any paper is supposedly stability and durability. Let’s clarify this point. Durability is massively improved if your terrain is stored properly. Get a plastic box with a lid, close it properly and your paper terrain will last much longer. Secondly using a stronger paper than the common 80gsm improves durability very much.

The original tabletop towns items (houses plus castles) are made using 400gsm laminated paper. This not only gives a smoother finish but the stronger paper – or rather card – allows for better playability without fear of wear and tear.

While you need to paint both plastic and mdf variants, the paper templates and Julian’s containers come fully painted. A very interesting feature for all of us that fancy less work on the painting our models. Julian is using 260gm card on this project, not as heavy as the castles but still very sturdy. I normally use 200gsm paper on my print and play items and that is absolutely stable enough to endure an Urban War CLAU (28mm white metal big stompy robot!).

The cheapest mdf container I could find was 7.50 GBP per item and in plastic about the same price (make sure you add postage!) while Julian offers 6 containers for “under 12 GBP”. So lets assume 2 GBP per item. That means you can get 4 (almost) for one of the mdf/plastic ones. Dilemma? Not really. If you are taking just a bit care with your terrain then those 4 will last as long as those of other materials BUT they come painted, they fold flat for easier storage and you get 4 instead of one.

So we are talking same price really and it is your choice whether you want to add ease of access (no building, no painting, space saving storage) to your gaming terrain experience. I am certainly in once more. The quality of his previous items withstands the demands of an 8 years old daughter so it will be good enough for you and me.

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