Home Forums Terrain and Scenery MDF Buildings> Any good?

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    I am looking at getting some MDF lazer cut buildings for modern 28mm games.

    I have never used these before, so I am not sure if they are any good to game with or paint or model.

    They look kinda ‘sterile’ to me, but I was looking for input form those who have used them in the past.

    Has anybody used MDF buildings, and what do you think of them (for gaming, painting, looks, etc…)?



    "What EXACTLY is a 'Headpiece of the Staff of Ra' "?

    malc johnston

    I think some of them look ok to me and its a good way forward to collecting buildings, not figured it out yet whats the price range like compared to say a Hovels building



    I’ve built loads of them over the past couple of years, from a bunch of different companies. The quality really varies from company to company; 4Ground is king of the hill as far as MDF terrain goes but it sure isn’t cheap, even if you blag some kind of discount. But there has been a very visible continual increase in quality over time (not just for 4Ground too, and they started out strong).

    But there is a lot of choice out there, with tons of people selling their own designs that range from really basic boxes to impressively detailed things with moving parts. When it comes to detailing though I’ve never let a single kit be left just as built, the more basic kits are often really good for giving something to practice building your own stuff off of. Actually, images will probably be more helpful here…

    ^ modified 15mm (also does most of the range in 28mm too) Mad Mecha Guy kit. His work I’d consider the high end of the cheap stuff. The buildings open up, they have space inside and have a distinct style to them. The construction is simple and fast and the box-y nature of many of the pieces really allow you to go to town on customising them. And by eck I’d hate to try and carve those kind of windows out of foam board or cork.

    This one I picked up from Minibits. The buildings they have I’d say are very basic and required extensive modifications to add things like internal details and be able to open up/reassemble reasonably easily. They’re pretty much just space-fillers without additional work, but are solid and would be very fast to build at least.

    This crane (from Fenris) isn’t made of MDF but plywood. However whilst looking pretty nice, and the crane does move and the cable can be wound up and down, it was a pain in the backside to build due to being both complex and having a lack of instructions. Many of the smaller companies don’t have instructions with the models but usually are really obvious in how they fit together and have reference images online. The crane also required modification to get certain parts to fit together. If doing that with MDF parts, don’t bother sanding it if you can just cut instead because the dust is pretty bad stuff. Cunning companies have their parts designed so they fit properly in one direction, check carefully as similar looking parts might actually have asymmetric attachment bits to avoid confusion. Always, always dry-fit everything first.

    This is one of 4Grounds older kits. I customised it with the additional debris added on the base and adding extra mess to the colour scheme pretty much entirely by hitting bits with a brown wash. Any exposed edges were painted over in a burnt umber. The kit comes apart in 2 pieces (could be 3) for the floors/roof. The staircase (not shown) is design to take typical 25mm round bases balanced on it by tucking the edge in slightly. The doors on this model don’t open but on newer things they do. All the walls are double thick so the inside and outside surfaces are painted (barring the back wall not shown as this is for a terrace of houses). Whilst this model has fairly plain windows, newer models often have a plastic sheet for windows, which is used for things like shop fronts and stained glass on churches. Some of the damage to the building (and others in the range) is optional, certain bricks/plaster chunks can be added or removed.

    In general, MDF kits tend to meet the essential qualities of wargames terrain: usability (models can interact with it, it doesn’t just sit there taking up space) and durability. They tend to lack bits that stick out and catch on arms and the like and the basic material is solid and typically well supported so it’ll take pretty much anything you can fit on it in terms of models with far less worry than doing the same with the old staples of scratch-building of foamboard or cork.

    Angel Barracks

    Generally not a fan of MDF buildings.
    I find them too straight, the angles too neat, the surfaces too smooth etc.
    I also don’t like the obvious joins.

    However at 28mm I reckon they would be good value compared to say resin and you can get them ready painted…

    Maybe the style of building is a factor?

    http://www.multiversegamingterrain.com/ do some nice stuff


    I’ve got MDF buildings from Mad Mecha Guy amongst others, mostly for 20 mm but I have some 6 mm stuff too, I find that they are good table fillers, generally cheaper than a resin equivalent. I tend to regard them as a ‘kit’ that needs some extra ‘detailing’ -I raid the ‘bits box’ and apply accordingly……..simple architectural detailing can be as simple as  card strips around the base for example.

    "Even dry tree bark is not bitter to the hungry squirrel"


    My experience with mdf buildings is limited to 6mm.  I find them easy to assemble (white or wood glue), easy to paint and the joins can be filled or covered.


    I like them. They are far easier to modify than resin building, have more game utility as mentioned and you can paint them up as desired. The laser cuts are deep enough on brick facing and boards that dry-brushing works well. Here are two buildings I got as gifts that I had to modify for the SCW:

    A Church Revisited: Gothic to Romanesque


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