Polish company Micro Art Studio offers, among figures, conversion parts and small resin battle bases also group of products known as Battlefield Hardfoam Terrains.
This product group (from now called by me BHT for short) includes relatively big terrain elements such as housing elements, rocket silos, whole dugouts, crate heaps, pump stations, canal parts etc. Parts are made from a hardfoam – very light material, easy to cut, but hard enough to assure nice texture and quite crisp details. Due to size of BHTs it would be difficult to make these of resin and resin bases of these size would be extremely heavy.
BHT as their name suggest are dedicated for tabletop wargamers as easy to set parts of battle terrain. Since they are easy to cut they can be easily adjusted to players needs and terrain layout, but they also may be used as parts of other scales dioramas or figure stands (all you need is imagination and taking scale and size of BHTs under consideration).
BHT described below represents low fortification dugout. It was created by Grzegorz Tomaszewski.
BHT comes as one piece, ready to paint oval part of terrain 28cm long, 18cm wide and 4,3cm high (11”x7”x1,6”). Kit comes in a zip-bag with cardboard with MAS logo and kit’s name on it. Although hardfoam is quite sturdy some very delicate marks created during the transport were present on the base.
Kit shows top of a hill with concrete and metal fortification – thick concrete walls with additional supports, metal openwork floor and metal plate strengthen foundations. There is an entry gap in the wall, exactly in the middle of longer wall.
Since the kit is not made in any particular scale I’ve decided to make short summary of most important dimensions in most popular scales – it should help in matching the BHT to figures or kits you want to place on them (this info may be important if you want to use the BHT to anything else than tabletop wargaming). You can see it in tablet on the right, just below the kit’s pictures or HERE
It seems that the wall would protect 1/72 figure to the elbow level, 30mm and 1/48 figure almost to the hip but for 1/35 or 54mm figures it gives protection only just to above the knee level. In my opinion it may be used for bigger scales but to assure more realistic protection the walls would have to be risen by i.e. sand bags.
Concerning the cover’s surface – you can place several figures inside and for smaller scales it can be used i.e. as machine gun’s nest or even for some artillery. For 1/35 and bigger scales MGs or light AA artillery may tightly fit inside (we have 6,76x3m in 1/35 and 6,18x2,75m area available in 1/32 scale; Flakvierling was 4,08x1,81m).
Detailing and Quality
Taking under consideration the fact that we are dealing with very lightweight foam (so a low density material) details are really nice – obviously not as crisp and clean as they’d be with resin casts, but for a foam detail level is really high. Concrete looks quite realistic and so is the ground. Metal in some places may look just a bit too rough, but with proper weathering it shouldn’t be difficult to turn small errors into battle damage effects. Details like nuts, bolts or ammo shells visible on the base are not very crisp (shells are actually damaged) but if one doesn’t want to keep them this way (as damaged remaining from previous battles) and replace/remove they are really easy to cut off.
Battle damage (projectile hit holes) and cracks in concrete walls are realistic and nicely sculpted.
Whole base may be easily modified since the material used may be cut without any effort with a hobby knife.
Since I am not a tabletop-wargamer it is difficult for me to say if the base is useful or not as wargaming base. It sure is very light and as such is easy to be carried and transported. It sure is a big terrain part easy to set. It is detailed enough to be used as a part or even a whole base to present figures or small models in bigger scales.
Base is definitely nice example of proper use of not very common modeling material such as hardfoam. For not-wargaming modelers it may be quite useful as a base for group of figures (probably after some modifications) or, after cutting, as smaller bases for single figures.
Used material allows easy modifications and as such gives a lot of place for modelers invention.
If you are looking for this kind of terrain MAS’ product is sure a recommended one.
Picture of painted base comes from Micro Art Studio website
Base is no longer available from Micro Art Studio but can be purchased from Basicks