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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What Happened to Hard Foam?

Hi Everybody!

Brother.P. here, brother of Mr.Pink,

With GW starting up its 'Made to Order' campaign and hooking it straight into our veins, nothing can stop the nostalgia tsunami. I'm so pumped for the possibilities of what's to come, but there's something that is most certainly not coming back; Hard Foam Terrain.

This was the only one we had, and Mr. Pink gave it away!!!






I'm not entirely sure what "Hard Foam" is. I think it is a two part polyurethane that expands before hardening. My understanding of this material is solely based on having watched this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR8WWkOo8aI

There is a company out there that is still making amazing Hard Foam terrain; http://shop.microartstudio.com/battlefield-hardfoam-terrain-c-73.html

Maybe ten years ago GW had their own line. I assume they mixed-in some pigment to give it a dark base colour and then dusted it with a lighter colour. In instances where it made sense, the terrain came with statics grass applied to the piece as well. The scenery was light and strong, needed minimal packaging and was ready to use right out of the bag... why did they stop  producing it?!!?!

I have some theories...

Firstly, it was a product that did not fit with the direction GW was headed. Everything was moving toward plastics, and Hard Foam was made from a completely different material using a different process. The Hard Foam scenery came pre-painted, all other products are sold un-painted. The fact that it came in a clear plastic bag made it look a little cheap... BUT IT WAS SO GOOD! It may have skittered around the table a little more than heavier terrain, but that's nothing.

Another theory, as to why it was discontinued, is because it was made from a single pour cast. This meant that pieces were easily re-castable by customers. I buy one piece of terrain, make a cast of it, and make a hundred copies and my board is filled with GW terrain when I only paid them for a single set.

Furthermore I believe "Hard Foam" may have given off some noxious fumes, and perhaps GW did not want to work with such a hazardous material, potentially harming their employees.

There were two sets that I currently pine for. Bellow are the "City Fight Ruins" and "Hab Building" in all their google image search glory.





Please, if anyone has any clues why this stuff was discontinued, by drop a message bellow.

12 comments:

  1. At least in my local store, they did not seem to sell well, and the plastic bags may have meant that they were damaged easily prior to sale.

    And the "hab building" is interesting because it is 54mm sized for Inquisitor.

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    1. It seems like each terrain piece had its own theme. I guess when one sold, there wasn't an additional set that a costumer could pick up to go with it. I had no idea the hab was 54mm scale!

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  2. Good one, Brother Pink!
    I, too, loved this scenery, but I don't know that I actually appreciated it.

    As for guessing why they stopped selling it, I think Lasgunpacker hit the nail on the head with ease of damaging. Also seems to me like most all GW kits have moved to boxes or blisters, which ship far more easily than a bag.

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  3. Weirdly, we have the hab building at our FLGS. I have a problem of not being able to resist putting my Genestealers in it every time I infiltrate the buggers, and subsequently forgetting them until my opponent decides they look better splattered all over the hard foam.

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    1. Next time, make sure the hab building is in your deployment zone, put a biovore or two in there, and hopefully your opponent forgets they are there.

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    2. I would, had I wanted to fork out the cash for some Biovores, or the bits to convert some warriors into them.

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    3. ( Note, I am the unknown who posted this. Forgot to sign in, is all)

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  4. I've also seen that hab building in my local shop. I knew it was made for 54MM but it looks fine in 40K games. I had no idea it was an official GW piece, though. I don't recall ever seeing these for sale at all.

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    1. Perhaps the reason these terrain pieces were discontinued was exactly that; you don't look at them and think "That's official GW terrain".

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  5. My FLGS had the City Fight Ruins and the Hab Building. The ruins are broken up into different scatter pieces, and the building is just awful due to the 54mm scaling. 40K models can't see over the walls, even from the elevated portions. The only use for it is jamming a small unit in it next to an objective deep in your deployment zone. You and your opponent will both completely forget about them for the whole game.

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    1. I thought the City Fight Ruins came separate, but I think they look really good bunched together.

      Sounds like the 54mm was good for hiding Close Combat units (like genestealers) rather than shooty units. I'd love to see the Hab Building return, scaled for 28mm models.

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  6. I forget how expensive biovores are in the real world. Mr. Pink (my brother) has three 2nd Edition Biovores, and I think the design of the model hasn't improved much since then. Sure, they're really small, but they retailed for ~$15 (CND).

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