Thursday, June 5, 2014

Review: Customeeple's Decorative Banners

Greetings everybody!

As some of you might have nopticed, I am pretty addicted to Infinity these days.

And one thing that really got me hooked up, is the phenomenal way the terrain influences the game.
Of cause, you have the strategic and tactical aspect, but there are people ou there that can explain that, way better than me.
The reason why I love the terrain in Infinity so much is the looks. When you come from the 41st millenium of grim and dark war, you are used to the fact that the most inhabitants of buildings are dead and their heads are glued to their former homes. That is a tleast the only reason why appearently ever building has tons of skulls attatched to it.

Infinity is, like in many other ways, a stark contrast to that. The buildings are not just still intact, people actually seem to live there... there are hobbyists, that build whole internal decorations, like beds, workdesks and the like.

But I want to day focus on the outside of the buildings. A good while ago Micro Art Studio made a big leap when they made their Holo Ads. These add lots of life to the table...

Customeeple is pretty young in the Infinity licenced 2nd company production family (btw a brilliant company concept, if you ask me) and they started with acryl glass markers for the game.

I got hooked up by the product I want to review today:
The Decorative Banners

First Impression
As you would probably agree, these look pretty awesome. When I think about the few animes I have seen, these would fit one to one into Akira or Ghost in the Shell... fiting perfect in the setting Infinity provides.
The new future is bright and these signs support this impression.
Only downer is, compared to other manifaturers, the signs are pretty plain.

The large decorative banners

This what they shall look like in the end. But let's have a look at what you get shipped.
This is enough parts to build the 2 signs.
And this is how everything goes together.
Afterwards you can eaily fit the acryl-signs into the spaceholders.

The parts must be glued together (best by using PVA glue), but sadly you really have to be really carefull when doing so, otherwise the glued on parts will look out of angle. Another point is, that, aside from the pictures on the homepage, there is no info about which side goes up and which down. In the end it really doesn't matter, but maybe since I am german, I found the lack of instruction a bit confusing.
Of cause this saves production costs...

If I might give a piece of advise here to the developers. MAS Holo Ads have small pieces that works as a brace to keep everything in the right place and angle.I think it would be just a bit of extra work to develop such a tech, but the building of the signs mit profit big time from that. (This btw goes for both, big and small decorative banners)

Another idea might be to add a little variation into the sign-designs by making parts of the sign translucent by roughing the surface. Again, this would rise production costs, but, imho, would be worth a thought.

Aside from these points:

The small decorative banners

Here is what you get when you order 2 sets:

You can immerdiatly acknowledge the great work in cut-design. There are barely hair-thin leftovers.

These are the two "easy" signs...
... and this is the "difficult" sign layout.
A point I don't really understand can be seen here. Some parts seem to have had an angle, when they were cut out. For flat tokens, these angles are no biggy. But on these fine pieces the angles become quite apperant and look like you haven't worked properly.

Another thing I found curious can be seen on the next picture: the yellow plastic is half a cm thicker than the mdf. Normally that wouldn't be noticed, but thisway you have to cut the mdf at the right places to make everything fit.

The toughest piece was the YuJing sign with the three red lanterns, since there is no indication of where to glue to theholders for acrylic parts. I made some pencil marks to get atleast something like a symetry.

And this is how everything looks pre-paint:


I love the designs and arcylic glass makes every table more and more alive. But these signs are nothing for a beginner. MAS Terrain can be tricky from time to time, but these signs are way more complex, since you want everything to be in line. Since there are no indicators aside from the pictures of the assembled signs you have to have a pretty good eye-measurment to get everything straight. Or rip of pieces and adjust them... like I did.
Like with the bigger banners, I wonder if the wouldn't be an easy solution for these problems, since the lasers obviously can work up to hair thin lines.
With a big bonus for "they look SO COOL" they get:

Final Thoughts

I really love the stuff customeeple puts out there. The acryl-glass works so good on the table and really supports the feeling Infinity awakes.
I won't comment on prices, since this is a hobby... if it is not worth to you what the producer wants, then don't buy it...

If you are looking for a fast cool expansion for your MDF terrain or are fesh to our beloved hobby this, in its current state, is probably nothing for you.
If you love small independent companies, tricky constructions and acrylics on your table this is the stuff you will love.

I really hope this gave a little orientation on a absolut niche product.