Mini-Review: Swamps by GF9 (Terrain)

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SwampsToday we treated outselves to something nice and bought a pack of swamps for our tabletop games, since I'm too busy to make stuff myself right now.
The set was made by Gale Force 9, a company from New Zealand which produces its products in Malaysia. The set is quite low priced (I got mine for less than 20,- Euro), so at first I was a bit wary about the quality.

My expectations were not just met but excelled! So I decided to take a few pics and share my impressions with you.

 

The big box contains two swamps of different size, four bases with dead trees and two small bags of static grass in case you want to add some greenery to the bases. Everything is well packaged in a shaped styrofoam layer and some thick paper between the swamps.

 

The bigger swamp measures 29cm in length and about 19cm at its widest, the smaller one is appr. 26x18cm. The bases of the other deco are between 4 and 5cm. I'm not 100% about the material. It could be resin or some hard casting compound based on plaster. There is no material texture on the "good" side, just the bottom side shows a few small bubbles I know from both (resin and plaster). The paint job is quite neat, for some reason they even painted the bases black on the bottom side. The base material is dark grey or black, so even after some rough handling there should be no strongly visible tear.
The terrain can be used as a medium sized obstacle for 28mm miniatures and similar, or as very large obstacles in 15mm games.

Swamps

The only detail that doesn't convince me is the "water". It has barely any shine (far less than on the photo on the box) and no texture to hint at water plants or soft ripples. It's just an olive green flat.
Of course that can be remedied quite easily by painting on some lighter and darker flow marks and re-sealing the thing fresh, e.g. with (clear) wood glue, glossy brush-on varnish or a hobby product especially for creating water surfaces.

I'm not sure if I will use the static grass, after all we're just switching from grass mats to neoprene mats, since we have more than enough respiratory problems from allergies, and the constant loose grass swirling around is the one thing we surely didn't miss during our 15 year break from tabletops. As you can see the stuff already went wild in the box despite the ziplock bags and clings to both swamps.
If you do like static grass, though, here's another downside for you: The tiny bags may be enough to cover two of the bases, but never the swamps. Looking at the cheap price I don't think that's a major downside, especially since you can use grass matching your specific playmat in colour this way.

If we run into unexpected problems after using this terrain a few times I will update this review, but so far these swamp ponds are a very nice eyecatcher for our brandnew swamp scenery. Here are a few simple examples.

Swamps

 "Hey, weren't there three of us just a minute ago?" - *bluuuubb* - "Oh no, Fred!"
(Two Tactical Araktons from the Koralon army from I-kore's Void. They are 28mm scale.)

Swamps

"We will be painted first!" - "No way, we got first dibs, you tin cans!" - "Look who's talking!" - "Exterminate! Exterminate!"
(Cybermen and Dalek miniatures from Doctor Who: Exterminate! by Warlord Games, Swamp playmat by Fischkrieg. These minis are also 28mm. Here I used the dead tree bases as terrain on the mat as well as on the pond.)