Andy over at Terra Firm Studios was kind enough to send us over 2 preview samples from his forthcoming 15mm flexible metalled road range. I’ve not quite found what I’m looking for in terms of cobbled or metalled roads for Flames of War, so we were both very interested in road-testing (groan – I thank you) these new pieces of scenery.
First impressions: we preferred the flocked edged piece to the plain piece since it gave the road some definition. It also masked any uneven edging. The roads are textured and coarse to the touch with the uneven surface brought out by clear and effective dry brushing. We felt the roads could benefit from some weathering to give them a little more depth, perhaps with some darker shading along the edges or a dust mark running along the centre.
We were impressed with the fabric underlay which gave the pieces a sense of weight and
quality. Much better than our existing latex/plastic Terrain Mat dirt roads.
The material certainly enables them to lay flat and adhere well to the curvature of hills:
It also grips our flocked table very well enabling ‘traffic’ to be moved over it without shunting all over the place.
Compatibility: The flocked edged piece is intended for rural tables whilst the unflocked
piece is intended for urban environments. Andy plans to produce handy bridging pieces that will enable gamers to integrate urban and rural environments. If you have any of Terra Firma’s pieces already or – for that matter – anything that is flocked, the scenic road piece blends in well:
The unflocked piece looks less compatible with our bombed out scenery appearing very clean by comparison:
In terms of scale, we felt this was spot on, particularly in rural environments. The roads are wide enough to carry 2 lanes of vehicular traffic / horse drawn vehicles, but start
to get appropriately crowded when armoured vehicles are added:
In terms of an urban environment, the roads are very compatible with our 15mm Field Works scenery.
However, you would have to use 2 pieces if you wanted to produce the double-width roads characteristic of big cities and other major conurbations or wanted to align with Battlefront’s barricade. Andy informs me that wider pieces are planned:
In summary, we preferred the flocked road piece which we thought modelled the metalled roads across rural Normandy exceedingly well. At the present time, pricing is not clear so it’s hard to comment on the overall value for money this range represents. Nevertheless, these forthcoming pieces – and their Terra-flex flexible dirt road counterparts – are worthy of your attention and, in my case, that of my 3 year old as well!