Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Product Reviews: Laser Cut Card Buffel/Moffel MPV and Shipping Containers

Rise and shine beloved bloglings,

Some painted stuff is due. I of course realize that. Sometimes however I have something to share that might actually be useful for hobbists throughout the world. Certainly not my opinion. But my experiences with some rather new niche products might be of interest.

So here goes: Laser Cut Card. This small South African company has some very inexpensive terrain things going on. And since I’m looking at Infinity, dessert and post apoc. Terrain right now, I had them on my radar already. When they (or he, Neal the guy running this company) finally came up with the Buffel/Moffel MPV kit, I decided to try their products out. These vehicles are scale models of actual trucks. But I feel they look odd and futuristic. I wouldn't be surprised to see them on an Imperial desert world in 40k, or a caravansary in Infinity or even on Arrakis from Dune.

Now about the material: It's cardboard. There is an MDF wheelbase and PVC arbor for the trucks but the rest is cardboard. I am not even going to pretend to be the authority when it comes to card. Apart from building castles out of my mom's shoe boxes as a toddler, I had no experience whatsoever. What I can say, is that this material isn't perfect. That's what it's got in common with all the others. However the built models are surprisingly rigid, due to their multilayeredness, particularly the containers. Folding is sometimes tricky, but the "cockpits" were the only instance where I broke into sweat. Now as you can tell I can't say anything about paint. But since MDF wood is a paint sponge, I'm gonne assume that's worse here. So I'll "paint" them with deluded white glue before priming.

Two glued layers of card are astoishigly sturdy

The kit assembly itself is really complex. I have a lot of respect for the guys at GW who trick out the large kits so that they fit on sprues in so many parts. I have the same respect for Neal, who made the Buffel so that it fits in an envelope. Insane piece count on that one, each wheel is 8 parts. There are no instructions included, but detailed step by step instructions are available through the webpage. I have to say that I wouldn't recommend these kits for beginners because you have to be very precise in many places. Many things have no fittings or slots and have to be aligned by hand. But experience comes with practice ad I had quite some fun putting these together. Hobby pros will get them together as intended, I'm sure. Kind of a hit a miss in my case. The basic containers though are rather easy and I built the last three in 20 minutes each.

The MDF wood wheelbase section is my last piece of interest, for this I can actually compare to Micro Arts and Bandua. Like Micro Arts’ kits it came on a tight "sprue", I’ll rather call that a sheet. I usually don’t like that because pieces might break or crack on their way out. That is a major problem. But one you shouldn't have with this piece unless the laser didn't punch all the way through. I sadly had that problem with one of the three sheets. Got kinda messy but not too bad. And the blame can easily be with the MDF itself, seemed slightly too thick in that particular place. It is wood after all, not really known for perfection. I had the same problem with some Micro Arts Studio sheets. The other two were surprisingly flawless. Laser Cut Card made it so that there are no sheet connectors and the pieces are held in place with some kind of sticky foil. That is a clever and clean solution.

That's what I call clever

A Picture tells more than a thousand words. So they say. I'm just tired of typing. So check this out: 

 I used thin super glue, because that's quick. White glue is probably better for the job. I would assume you'd get more correction time out of it.

 The only oddity in hundreds of card pieces. I call this: drunken laser syndrome.

 Heroic scale is probably a little too bulky for the proportions. But it checks out.  

 Believe it or not: That is a truck!

 I srewed up  on this moffel a little. It was late, it was the third one and the odd laserd MDF sheet, so I got kida sloppy, but it doesn't show too bad I hope. 

 "coverted" this one with a thin plastic card sheet

 doesn't look save at all

All in all I can say that I had fun assembling (different materials are always challenging), fit is ok, and the value/price ratio is really good. Consider that 2 plastic Defiance Games containers cost 30$. For that you get 6 card ones. And good luck finding cheaper 28mm trucks (not counting toys). Oh and Neal is a nice guy who offers excellent and quick customer support. I'll order agin in the future I think. He even got Art Deco buildings, cool right?


  1. Nice write up! :) Added you to my blog list btw!

    1. Thank you man. I put quite some time into actually writing something and not just dump in pictures. Not that many people read these. Apparently you did, thanks. But as a matter of fact I use most of the text in this blog merely as an excuse for me to practice writing in English. I'm as glad as I am surprised, that people actually take the time to read through.

    2. I would not have realized that you were practicing your English because it is good IMHO. :) Always nice to see someone learning a language other than their own mother tongue. Sadly, in my country, less and less people are good in English.

    3. If that's disappointing to you, then better not visit Germany :-) on average we're probably just as bad, if not worse. But you’re doing fine. Hang in there!

  2. the people woho reads this are also glad, that you are surprised... did that work... i dont know... apologies. i bow my neck before you, master of reversals


    ps. nice trucks. i thougt using these as a base for ork trucks

    1. You supposedly saw Neal's Ork Glyphs kit and the conversion. That's a legit stand-in for a truck. But you might want to wait a little. As rumor has it Buggies will come up in Q2 or Q3 next year. If they are in a three pack, that might be a good kitbash opportunity.

  3. I like your blog post. Keep on writing this type of great stuff. I'll make sure to follow up on your blog in the future. Laser Cards