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"What Do MDF Terrain Manufacturers Do With THEIR SCRAPS?" Topic

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1,084 hits since 4 Oct 2018
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Cacique Caribe04 Oct 2018 1:49 p.m. PST

What do MDF terrain (and/or bases) manufacturers, and serious large volume buyers/builders, do with all those little straight, angular and curved laser-cut bits that are left over after they cut their sheets of MDF terrain (and/or bases)?

A) Do they simply throw it all into the garbage? Or do they save and sell any of it by the pound to people who might be looking to make greeblies, kitbash or to simply experiment and "scratch-build" with the odd little leftover bits?

B) And if some of the manufacturers and volume builders do indeed happen to sell it by the pound, WHO are they? I don't ever see any mention of it anywhere about what they do with their little scrap bits.

Just curious.



Winston Smith04 Oct 2018 2:20 p.m. PST

For a long time I was recycling manager at the business I worked at. (I wore many hats).
Since it's pure material, it might be economical to save the off-cuts to grind up and recycle.
Just a guess.

One or two companies I buy from sells the whole sheet, with one or two tiny spots not cut through to hold parts in place.
That would be Sarissa and Things from the Basement. Oh, and CharlieFoxtrot.

Others, like Impudent Mortal, sell you a shrink wrapped pack with all the parts removed from the sheet.

Cacique Caribe04 Oct 2018 3:39 p.m. PST

I've ordered oval and oval-ish MdF bases before and only got the bases, without whatever it was cut from. I think that what got me wondering about someone using the leftover frames for making or supporting terrain understructures.

Then, as often happens, my brain got me wondering about the smaller bits that might be left over when other laser-cut terrain items are punched out of their sheets.

After all these years, I think you might already have an idea of how my brain can hop from one application to another so easily. It might come from having to make my own toys as a kid, back when my parents couldn't always make ends meet. My brother and I had no choice but to brainstorm and think out of the box, even if it occasionally involved the "repurposing" of an actual box or other leftover bits. :)


Lion in the Stars05 Oct 2018 9:43 p.m. PST

Many of the makers just send the stuff to their customers.

Impudent Mortal does not, but almost all the parts I got from them were simple square/rectangular pieces anyway. Little loss from that, if you hyper-optimize your cut layouts so that everything shares an edge.

Part time gamer07 Oct 2018 12:05 a.m. PST

C C,
I can appreciate 'making do with what you've got." Several yrs ago, I wanted Gorn ships to face my Zocchi Fed forces.
While I loved the detail of the metals, as a care giver of my father at the time, money for such things just wasn't justified.
So, I headed to Hobby Lobby and let my mind to see "what can I make out of this?"

For a fraction of the cost I got enough wooden craft pieces, when done I had a scratch built wooden DN, a cpl CA, CL and DD's.
They'll never win any prizes, but they work just fine for gaming fun IMO.

I love to tinker w/ scratch building at times. Often tempted to get a cpl Zocci CA' and see if I can 'turn'm into BC's"
I managed to create my own "Miranda-ish" TOS period Cl's based off there Tug.

Personal logo Frank Wang Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Oct 2018 2:17 a.m. PST

I will carefully plan the position of each kit on the board to maximize the use of the board. If there is a spare place, I will use it to make spare parts or optional parts.

So it's not a lot of waste. I usually choose to burn the leftover material out.

Cacique Caribe08 Oct 2018 4:04 a.m. PST


I guess that the layout of the sheet itself has undergone a lot of changes then – positive/efficient ones – compared to the way the first few MDF kits used to be done many years ago.


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