MAS Hardfoam Crate Heaps REVIEW
And now for something completely different from Micro Art Studio.
Most Infinity gamers I know have either heard of Micro Art Studio (MAS) or actually own some of their products. As they are an official partner of Corvus Belly, many of their products are custom-designed for use in the Infinity universe.
Which would almost make you forget MAS also stocks a lot of “other” scenery pieces. A lot of which can most definitely be used for Infinity!
In this article, we’ll look at one of these pieces. More specifically: the Hardfoam Crate Heap!
Sounds glorious, doesn’t it? Well, if you’re used to resin and MDF (like we spoiled kids at Data Sphere have gotten to be) it’s something else for sure.
Hardfoam is exactly that: a foamed plastic, but with a solid outer shell. If you turn one of these pieces upside down you’ll actually see the foam, which looks just like the foam used in carrying cases and whatnot.
The outside of the foam is hard and actually holds detail:
Note that it does come exactly like that. The black color is not primer, but is inherent to the product.
If you look closely, you can make out a design that’s more than likely familiar to you: MAS crates are stacked throughout the scenery piece (it’s a crate heap after all!). But instead of being a pile of loose crates, the whole piece is a single cast.
You’ll also find canisters and barrels, as well as sheets of plating. The actual MAS product bunch of 3 heap pieces (which you can find here) comes with something that looks like engine parts in it, as well.
I didn’t get one of those, but it sure looks cool.
Cheap & sturdy
The hardfoam approach has a few things going for it: first of all, it’s cheap. You can pick up 3 of these crate heaps in a single pack valued at almost 25 euro. Whereas buying packs of crates sets you back 12 euro for 6 crates.
In other words: if you wanted to build crate heaps, don’t actually buy crates: buy these hardfoam versions!
Moving on, the crate heap is also quite light and still sturdy. To me it seems like the perfect terrain to bring along on a gaming night. It’s not a burden to drag around and you won’t have to worry about damaging it during play (I would still say take care of it during transport, though).
The issue of durability is closely aligned with the quality of the product. It’s not resin and it shows: while the level of detail seems the same as the resin crates, the hardfoam versions come with rough edges.
“Rough” is what I would call the entire product, really: it’s a strong contrast to MAS’s usual sleek product line. But “rough” doesn’t mean “bad”. It’s just a notch down in quality, which comes at an equally lower price.
To refer back to the gaming night mention above: even if you do damage these things during transport, you really won’t care as much as when it’d be resin.
Coincidentally the foam also seems to hold on to paint better than resin.
On a final note: this product is a perfect way to get some line-of-sight blocking terrain onto your table for cheap. Unless you’re building a really pristine Infinity city, these crate heaps go well with MAS’s District 5 range or, for example, Systema’s Base-0 terrain. Anything that’s remotely industrial and/or urban will fit nicely.
As you saw earlier, I even used them in a Malifaux game.
While not quite at the same level of sexyness as most of MAS’s products, these hardfoam crate heaps are a cheap way to get some bulk onto the table. They will block LOS and look awesome while doing it.
The product is durable and light, so it’s a no-brainer for gaming club nights.
On the downside the quality of the casting isn’t nearly as nice as when using resin, but the pricing reflects that.
A solid 4 out of 5 stars.
P.S.: Thanks to MAS for supplying us with their products for review!