Welcome to Chinatown - MDF Terrain


Terrain Building – Last Christmas I received several buildings from Knights of Dice in their Sentry City Chinatown Range. For some reason I had shelved these with some other "rainy-day" projects. I pulled these out while I was looking for another box and decided to make some time to get a simple paint job on them and assemble the buildings so I can use them for some games.

My initial thought for these kits was to use them for Batman, the DCU Miniatures game or MERCs since they use a more "modern" or "near-future" aesthetic. Of course right now none of those games are seeing table time because Warhammer 40k is so hot right now, so I'll need to stretch this out to fill a 4'x6' board if I want to use them anytime soon.

With MDF terrain I've found it's typically easier to paint it before you pop the parts off the wood sprue. With brick buildings in particular it's easier to sponge paint the texture when they are flat. This technique allows me to get paint on these models quickly and easily before I glue them together. One of the more helpful things about painting this way is not having to try and squeeze your hand into the inside of a building to paint the walls. 

I stuck with basic brown orange for the Karaoke Bar and Restaurant. To get the look I wanted I picked a dark, medium and light tone. Taking a brush you dap streaks of the dark color, then streaks of the medium color and use a sponge to blend in the light color. The resulting effect helps to mimimic the subtle tonal shifts you see in older brick buildings. 

For the Jade Palace I opted to do a really green building. Using the same technique I used for the other buildings with green tones I was able to get a very bright building that reminded me a little of The Wizard of Oz. 

Once the paint was dry I popped out the pieces and glued together the buildings. Unfortunately the Knights of Dice buildings don't come packed with instructions. Looking at the photos of completed pieces I was able to figure out what goes where pretty easily. The cool thing this company included in the extra space on the boards are tools to help you get out the tiny components. Once I figured out what they were for I was impressed.

Now I'm obviously not done painting these structures, but with a basic coat of paint they look pretty good and are playable. Once I add some washes,  pick out the details and add highlights they're going to look amazing. The amount of detail and depth Knights of Dice get out of MDF sheets is pretty amazing. Clever techniques put these on par with some plastic kits for significantly less cost. I can definitely see myself picking up more of these kits in the future.