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Dark Carnival (Plastcraft) Terrain Information


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So as promised some pics and a little information on my experiences building these peices.


For My B-day my friends got me 4 different sets from the Dark Carnival line all of them in the "outdoor" terrain category.


Overall I'm pleased with the pieces, I'll get into more detail in each section. I used polystyrene cement, a emery block, and an exacto blade. ohh and a sharpe (with more to come on that). The wagons were the most difficult to construct by far and I've learned a little trick to help the rest of you with that. I was a little disappointed with the lack of consideration of the interiors but that's the gamer in me wanting to go inside the wagons and carnival stands. Also it would have been nice if the "support" beam structures had been printed as well instead of flat grey. They could have gone with brown plastic or something with a metallic to it for metal struts. But that is a minor gripe really and easily solved. They cleverly use accent pieces to cover up some of the joint marks (more on this later). One other thing to note is that I think the grey pieces were a bit too thick for their cutters or their tools as they have very slopy cuts that end up with mishap-en pieces especially the wheels. 




The sets are:


Circus Wagon Set: This is a big set of medium pieces, 4 to be exact. And these were probably some of the most challenging to build. I also learned alot of helpful tips here. One of the tricky parts about the Malifuax themed terrain is that it is designed to be Gothic Horror architecture so the walls are often concave. Also with the material being thin-ish plastic they are designed to be bent such as the two wagon roofs. This is where I ran into trouble, to cover the big slot holes that the curved wagon roofs tab into, they give you strips to place over the top. and to get the curve you have to bend the plastic (luckily it has a decent "memory") to the right angle so when gluing I ran into the problem of the strips not holding their shape and so I got some glue bleed over. Two things I learned for this kit in particular both with the roof. 1, build the base of the piece and walls let that set. then curve your roof to fit, and glue your strips using a thick rubber band (we've all got the blue ones the big paper comes in) 3 in total 1 for each band you glue and let those set for extra time before you detach. and 2 as you are "dry-fitting" your curved roofs you will want to shave the outside walls at an angle that will allow the roof to keep its curve (on the corners only the rest of the roof will clear the overhang). This was what caused my strips to 'pop' the first time as the curve was right until it had to account for the wall thickness. The last thing I will say on this set. is about the wheel details. again they go with the grey plastic and an accompanying detail piece. The detail pieces were cut slightly off (not enough to be sent back) but enough to not look as good. They would have done better to color the grey pieces here instead. 







Circus Entrance: This is the wood plank entry way, a ticket booth, and two large Performer Advertisements. Again this piece suffers from the flat grey of the beams, seems so weird not to color them as well. The adverts are extremely tall in fact they are 6.5 inches  when fully built so blocking terrain for Ht 5 models... The entrance is painted on both sides which means they at least thought of that at some point (for the interiors that is). The ticket booth went together pretty easily I did use some of the off cuts so that the roof would be removable. And as noticed by a friend there is no "door" on the booth for ticket takers to enter through.


Circus Stand Set: This set is two circus stand buildings they are pretty easy to assemble and straight forward as they are interlocking outcuts on the walls (a carpenter will know the fancy term but similar to a dovetale but with square angles) The doors and front windows are separate and with some motivation could be made to open/remove. I left the roofs unglued for entry, but the interiors are plain white.


Circus Prop Set: This set is 2 small round tables, 2 large round tables, 1 spinning knife wheel, 2 sandwich advertisements, and one of my favorite pieces 1 photo op standee with head holes. The standee is really awesome with little head holes for the scene, but again grey plastic triangular leg stanchions. The tables are a little primitive but that is ok given the nature of the carnival. (I could see wooden planks cut to create a cross leg base for the round tables. And where else are we getting tables to use in Malifaux. The sandwich adverts are just that, I did a little filing of them to get a good contact point to glue. The Knife Throwing target is again plagued by the ugly grey support structure. I pinned mine so it could spin.


So final thoughts. I like the sets over all and will be getting more. I've built alot of terrain over the years so buying it (or having it bought as a gift) has been a new experience for me. Overall I like the pieces, with minimal assembly (took me two sessions about 4 hours total) its table ready and looks really nice with painted models and other terrain. I will be coloring up the joint lines with colored sharpe's this is a technique I used with pirates collectable ship game to make them look a little better. And sharpe's come in so many colors now its easy to get a close match. I think with some more experience and thought (such as to interiors and the flat grey pieces) they will get even better. I also have the non colored Graveyard set and the textured stone effect they have on those pieces is really nice but they need to be painted. Having seen the lazer cut wood pieces and stuff like the flames of war terrain, there is definitely room for improvement. Like any terrain or even crew, it looks better with the more pieces that come from the same source. The Good news is that plastcraft is making alot of pieces to mix and match and the prices are reasonable. One could build an interior or exterior 4x4 table for around 60-80 bucks (interweb prices), and adding a couple of hills or areas of trees wouldn't cost much more. 

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Definitely some good stuff to know here. I definitely agree on the grey support structure- not a ton of its is visible in the pics, but those ugly, bland support struts on the banner ad piece just look really disconcerting. I'm pretty shocked at how big that thing is, though, I was expecting it to be a lot smaller.


I'm curious what you mean about coloring the joint lines with a Sharpe, though. Do you just mean adding "shading" the joins, or something else?

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As you can see if you blow up the third pic the tops of the flat topped waggons you can see where the roof is like a puzzle piece.


I will be using sharpe's to hide those joints. If you recall the old Pirates CCG ships the ones that came on plasticard that you assembled. I did black sharpe' on all of the card edges so to mask the blaring white bits from the colored ones. Its a little trick, but up-scales that type of model. the same will be true for these pieces. In particular I will be doing the edge of entrance.


The stairs are another one that shows particularly. As I said though they are pretty good at hiding the joint lines with accent pieces and paint schemes. But windows, door holes ect all have the base color (white) when cross sectioned. That is what I use the sharpe's for. to de-enhance those areas. Black is a good all around as it is easily taken for a shadow by the eye at that level. But other colors (and sharpe makes tons of colors now) can be useful.

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