Scenery Review: Shatter Vigil by Top Down Terrain

Scenery Reviews

Top Down Terrain Logo

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve become buds with the owner of this company, since he plays in the same store as the usual gang, so I’ll keep this terse.  And flattering!

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Thanks Chris!  My my, this product is so good.  Everything else in the world is crap and you should buy Top Down Terrain product instead.  Why, I recommend you buy Top Down Terrain terrain before buying models to play with!  It’s that good!  Thanks for the endorsement, Chris, I can retire from blogging now.

Yeah, yeah, I’m not going to be one of those guys.  I do want to say a few quick words about this little set, though.

TopDownTerrainShatterVigilSet

One of the annoyances I’ve had about most—all—my scatter terrain is that it none of it is higher than Silhouette 2.  This set is most certainly different.  The vending and communication machines are fit for an S2 model to enter, and the transformer has one side high enough to fully occlude an S2, while its perpendicular side provides cover.  The waste bins are your usual blocky cover plonker.

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It’s a good little set for $20.  Not cheap, but better than another fistful of chest-high boxes.  If you’ve bought and liked something from this tiny company before, you’ll probably like this set for similar reasons.  Lots of detail, attentive tactical utility, personalized decorations, etc.  That’s not the real reason I was excited about picking this thing up.


The real reason that I was excited about this is, for months now, I’ve had an inkling to get into electrical hobbying.  And I finally did.

I have learned the way of the electric scenery, and I can never go back.

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The transformers were a natural fit for lights.  I couldn’t figure out a good way to stuff a AAA in there, so I instead picked up some pricier watch batteries and watch battery holders, and fit them into the bottom.

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Now, I don’t know that this was intentional, but the grooves in the acrylic panes of the vending machine…

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…and the communication machine, naturally pick up light.  The case is really tight, however, so I couldn’t figure out how to stuff lights in there, as a single unit.  But I love this effect.  So I have to figure out how to build a stand with a blue light mounted beneath it, with a fitting for these things to snugly drop into.

It really boggles my mind how productive wargames force you to be.  A couple years ago, I would never have thought to pick up a soldering iron, and learn about volts, watts, and amp hours.  It is definitely a sort of “scary” thing to break into, but I want to write this explicitly to any curious hobbyist reading:   You could do it.  I didn’t know shit a year ago.  I still don’t know much about wiring.  But this is doable.  Easy, even.  And awesome.

So, if anyone wants an article explaining the whys and hows of hobby wiring, I am inclined to write one, so let me know.  I’ll probably write it anyway but I appreciate feedback.


QUALITY

Meanwhile, Chris and Nastasya of Top Down Terrain, here’s my feedback:  Your stuff rocks.

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AESTHETICS

I mostly like the look of this set.  The transformer is a little forced for its purpose, and the “screen” of the communication machines is pretty bland, but it’s a cool set, and a welcome change over company after company blurping out hexagon lumps.

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ASSEMBLY

Instructions here were much better than on the first set I bought from these guys, but they’re still a bit janky.  To any complex terrain builder out there, I’d recommend using LEGO sets as the paragon of easy instruction design.  More clear would be more better.

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VALUE

$20 is a bit much for a scatter set, but most of the scenery I own is scatter, and this is by far the most useful scatter for Infinity that I own.  So kudos.

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Chris, man, I’m rooting for you.  I hope your business does well.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Scenery Review: Shatter Vigil by Top Down Terrain

  1. Neat coincidence. I also bought lighting for a terrain project a couple weeks ago, still yet to solder it together properly though.

    I like this set. Looks like a pretty good for its value as MDF scatter. Would be tempted but I currently get all my own scatter needs covered via DIY casting.
    Semi-related note, the new guy in our group apparently bought a set of those new Top Down buildings. Not sure when he’ll bring them in but he seems pretty excited to try them out in a game (in general, not necessarily against me).

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    1. Which set was that? The big table pack? I do like the gameplay value of it, gameplay-wise, but it looks clunky to me. I don’t have a huge budget for terrain, so I try to only buy stuff I love the look of.
      I must say, your big list o’ terrain companies has caused quite a few hours of pretty browsing. But I am having trouble finding scatter that is friendly to lighting. I either need to pick up some extremely precise tools or extremely tiny switches and batteries.

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      1. I’m not sure which pack he got exactly, but maybe just one of each building as he already has a lot of buildings purchased from other companies as well.
        Browsing is the problem with that list, so many kits that are tempting.
        I went cheap with my lighting and purchased just the basics off Amazon, 10-pack of LED lights, battery terminals, and 9V batteries. Definitely too big for scatter terrain, but I should be able to move it around for different buildings.

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