Saturday, July 18, 2009

Moonscape and Blastscape Part 1

I pre-ordered a set of the new GW Blastscape and I got them in the mail yesterday. With all the talk on the boards about the quality, or lack thereof, I thought I should get these painted up. I also happen to have a Moonscape set laying around so I figured I would do them both at the same time.

First off, I want to say that I cannot see a huge difference in quality between the Moonscape and the Blastscape set. They seem to be made of the same type and thickness plastic. The Moonscape has more fine detail and the they are a little lighter color out of the package. They are both vacuum formed sets and are a little flimsy. This seems a little more so with the Blastscape as the details are larger causing the plastic to be stretched farther in the forming process. Both sets need some reinforcing.


For the reinforcing material I decided to use some Spray Polyurethane foam insulation. This stuff comes in a spray-can and will stick to anything. In fact it is a little dangerous. Make sure you use safety glasses and maybe even gloves. Once you open a can of this stuff you need to be prepared to use it all or throw away what is left over. You will not be able to keep the nozzle clean for reuse.

Clean off your craters and flip them over. Fill each one with a small amount of the foam. Be careful not to do too much or let it come out too quick. If you overfill one take a straight edge and scrape off the excess. I used an old piece of wood for this. A paint stir-stick would be ideal. Anything you scrape off use to fill another crater, don't waste this stuff.

After you fill them all they will look something like the picture above. The foam takes several hours to cure and as it does it will expand. In Arizona at 110 degrees these took about 4 hours to cure completely.

Fully cured you can now see how much the foam expanded! It will more than double in size and the only thing you can do it trim off the excess. This is not too tough but it can be messy. For this phase you will need a fine tooth hacksaw blade and a dust mask. You should ware the mask while you are cutting this stuff. It will make a lot of dust and light particles that you should not breath in. You should also be careful with the saw blade. These are not meant to be used in your hand and will break easily. I have the scares to prove it.

As you cut the foam try to keep the blade flush with the base of the piece. You only want to remove the amount that sticks up and you want to leave as much as possible in the model. In the picture above you can see one that has been cut and sanded. For the sanding I used 100 grit in a long sanding block. You might want to use a courser grit. After sanding I rubbed each piece on the driveway. The rough concrete surface worked as a large sander.


Above are the first couple of filled and trimmed craters. There is slight warpage on the Blastscape piece. This was there before it was filled and the filling did not change the warpage. Each piece is now sturdier and heavier. They are much more stable and will be excellent on the game table. I am very happy with how these are progressing.

The next part is to address the large flash edge and prep for painting. I will be working on that tomorrow and I hope to have these done.

11 comments:

Jonathan said...

I don't have any of the blastscape or moonscape pieces, but the stuff I have heard is not positive about their latest release. It seems to me that you should never have to repair, strengthen, or reinforce something you paid good money for.

The Inner Geek said...

I agree with Jonathan above. However, sometimes we have to make do with what we have and this article really illustrates how to do this well.

Drunken Samurai said...

Jonathan, I guess you have never purchased anything from Forge World. It would have cost three times as much and required three times the work! I have no complaints, yet, on the amount of work required for these.

Jonathan said...

Certainly I have. But filling in a few air bubbles or removing some flash/gates is a far cry from being sold goods that are cheaply made and not as advertised.

I commend you for taking the time to post how you've made lemonade, but let's not pretend the first ingredient isn't lemons :P

closet gamer said...

Is the detail as poor as many people have said? Or do you think they will look fine once painted?

Andrath said...

I've got the moonscape craters and I'm really happy with them. The new Blastscape one look more detailed, so I bet they show bad molding more. But what do people expect from Vac-Formed models.

I mounted mine on wooden bases, much more durable than the rock I made at the same time, funny enough, I made the rocks out of the same foam you filled the craters with!

John@Plastic Legions said...

That must be the discrepancy.That the added detail of the Blastscape fails where the Moonscape didnt have any to raise eyebrows.

One thing I am confused on thou
my Moonscape needed no additional reinforcement, claims of the Blastscape being so thin that a metal dread crumpled it are pretty far off from the moonscape I have ( I fixed 5 Moonscape craters to
a table and have had no issues after tons of play)
I was just looking at my moonscape and the corners seem much sharper then the blast scape pics on Dakka
perhaps they did several runs on the Moonscape and I got a very early one.

Thanks for the comparison.

Drunken Samurai said...

John,

The Moonscape set really does not NEED this reinforcement. I have played several games with them already and they are fine jst as they are. THey are a little light so I wanted to add some wieght so they would stay in place better.

The Blastscape needs the wieght and, because they have deeper detail, they NEED the reinforcement. The tallker pieces are a little thin in top but this is normal with vacuum formed pieces.

Drunken Samurai said...

Closet Gamer,

The detail in the Blastscape is slightly less fine that the Moonscape. I think this is the fault of the model maker and not the manufacturer. The originals are poorly designed for vacuum form processing. Having said that, I think these will paint up and be fine on the table.

Drunken Samurai said...

Jonathan,

I have seen some FW stuff that was horribly warped and broken. Problems with bad resin can be very tough to fix. So far these pieces have not been a major issue...at least not in my book.

Thanks for the comments!

Charles Feduke said...

Good stuff. I have had two sets of moonscape my friends and I completed at my store for about 3 months now with no damage. The new stuff, however, I think I will give a try with the foam insulation filler. If nothing else, it provides a great space for me to write the store name on the bottom so its not "accidentally" packed away with someone's army.