Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pegasus Terrain - Hexagon and Syberclicks

(or Oh looky!  More sprues to trim!)



In my never-ending quest to find some terrain that is modular, yet durable, I decided to pick up a large kit of +Pegasus Hobbies Hexagon Platformer and Syberclicks.  The reviews on the internet had been mixed, so when I ordered my second Imperial Knight from +TheWarStore.com , I decided to pick up a box of each terrain kit as well. (The Hexagon comes in Large and Small kits and so I chose the large for the best set of construction options.)

   In case anyone was wondering up front, the two kits are NOT perfectly interchangeable.  The attachment points on the Syberclicks are a bit smaller than the Hexagon, but otherwise the design principles are the same.  

Okay, so in order to be fair to the other reviewers out on the internet, I need to set the stage for what I was looking for out of these kits.

  1) Reconfigurable Terrain - Able to build assemblies that would link together without having to necessarily break it down to individual panels every time.
  2) Durable connectors - See previous blog posts about Mantic's terrain.
  3) Sci-fi with a hint of gothic - Okay, I'm tired of every 40k battlefield looking like we're fighting on the grounds of a cathedral... really?  Did the Inquisition purge all of the architects instead of heretics? ("I'm sorry, one heck of a typo there old chap, but you and your drafting tools are off to the infernal fires...")

With all of that being said, I broke open the boxes and got to work cutting... again!

  The large box of Hexagon sprues was broken down into 4 "angle" sprues, 6 "plate" sprues and 2 "walkway" sprues.  The connectors are spread across the "angle" and "plate" sprues, and are what allow you to build in angles other than 90 degrees.  While not as seamless as the connectors in the Mantic terrain, they are MUCH more durable. (see point #2 above!)  In fact, so far I haven't broken a connector, but I have mangled one or two when cutting it loose from the sprues. (the connection points are a bit short for my nippers to get in on some of them, cleanly.)  Overall, a good selection of parts to start building from.


The Syberclicks box held 6 identical sprues.  Each has a combination of gothic windows, floor plates, reinforce wall plates, and gratings / railings / ladders.  Some reviewers have described this kit as more Steampunk than Gothic, but I'll choose to disagree.  I think the parts that give them that feeling are the boiler-hatch panel and the bronze color that the kit is painted on the box.  In my opinion this is just the right mix of gothic and industrial, with high-tech elements thrown in (like the door panel at the bottom center of the sprue.)  Of course I'll have to figure out how to paint it so that I don't run into the same perception when I get the components built up!


Simple Rectangular container
One of the terrain ideas I had been struck with when I first saw what the sprues looked like online, was that this would be an easy way to build shipping containers for some of our battles that didn't look like they'd been plucked from the present-day Savannah port facility!











Putting the Hexagon shape to good use
Why restrict myself to boxy containers, let's use those Hexagon plates to build something different!  Even though this takes up six of the wall panels, I think for the amount I spent on the kit ($27-ish), being able to get 16 long side panels and 24 half-panels, means that you have 28 "sides" for hexagonal containers.  That's four of these per kit, with a lot of parts left over to be added to ANOTHER platformer kit, or to be glued to other terrain pieces (as will probably happen in my case, since I need generic walkways and battlements!)



Why not add 2-part doors as well?
Being able to customize the doors on several of the containers helps too, as it breaks up the look of the terrain and keeps your port facility from looking too generic.  I realize that some of you may balk at $27 for 4 containers with a bunch of bits left over, but that is going to satisfy at least one of my requirements (#3).  I just can't handle having modern shipping containers on my starport!  Building the kits this way certainly won't satisfy my first requirement of being "Reconfigurable", so that is why I'll just move along and make some terrain assemblies that can be quickly snapped together to make different facilities.




Once I was done with container building, I decide to build some generic platforms and figure out how the angled parts fit with the flat, straight panels.  (which was one of the weaker points of the Mantic Terrain... angles were not your friend!)  Even when using the angled parts, the build of the connectors was strong enough to allow some flex without breaking or deforming the plastic.  The design of the connectors give them an advertised 30 degrees of flexibility.  Your experience with this may vary, as the relative weights of the panels may cause them to fair into a position less than where you want them, if you are on the outer limits of that 30 degrees.  The small hexagonal platform in the image to the right was a good example of this.  since it was lighter than the block to the left, it tended to rotate up in an effort to keep the walkway flat, which was remedied by "overcompensating" with an angled connector.  Not a big deal at all, just something to be aware of.

   Well I've droned on for too long, just talking about the Hexagon Platformer set, so I think I'll stop here and come back to the Syberclicks in another post.  

  If you are wondering how this kit stacked up, I'll say that for now, I'm very impressed.  The styling is more Sci-fi than Gothic on the Hexagon, but with the right paint job, I think they'll be a good addition to my AdMech facility.  The paint job on the box doesn't do the kits justice as the detail is great, with lots of wires and cables to pick out on some of the individual panels.  I'll probably paint these in the Krylon Iron Oxide so that it will fit in with the look of my Mantic terrain, but these will get some surface detailing work. (when I have time)

   So, to give my evaluation, I'm very happy with the purchase and here are the big takeaways:

Pros:
  • Sturdy connectors and well formed panels
  • Lots of construction options
  • Great detail in panels and accessories
Cons:
  • Connectors don't fit seamlessly into the terrain
(Yeah, that's right... only one "Con")

More to come on working with the other set, the Syberclicks.