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MDF / hardboard / masonite / ?
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Old 07 Aug 2005, 17:42   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Seattle
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Default MDF / hardboard / masonite / ?

I'm going to be starting work on some new terrain pieces, and it's clear to me that I need a better option for basing my terrain. My first piece was a 12mm thick piece of plywood, and not only was I unhappy with the way plywood worked, I realized soon enough that 12mm (just under half an inch) was too thick.

I've been doing a lot of reading since then, and what was recommended to me was 3mm MDF. There's just one problem: it's not easy to find. Home Depot and the other usual suspects for home lumber supplies in the USA don't sell MDF that thin, and the MDF they do sell is in 4'x8' sheets--far too big and unwieldy for me to get home.

I talked to someone at Home Depot and they said they had 2'x2' hardboard sheets that were 1/8" thick, which is about 3mm. I've seen some people say that hardboard and masonite are the same thing, and that they're not as good as MDF. Can someone who's worked with both explain to me what the pros and cons are of the two (three?) materials?
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Old 07 Aug 2005, 18:02   #2 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: MDF / hardboard / masonite / ?

I myself use 1/4" hardboard sold at either Revy or Home Depot. I have used both the kind that is smooth on both sides (recommended) abd the one that is smooth only on 1 side (not recommended) I have also used 1/8" hardboard and it is o.k. for small bases and such but I have found the 1/4" to be better.

My stores sell the hardboard in 4X8 sheets and unless I need a full sized sheet for a particular product I get it cut into halfs or quarters right in the store. Both Revy and HD will do a certain number of cuts for free, I have never yet had to pay.

I now base everything on the 1/4" hardboard and though I have not yet heard of any problems with warping under normal conditions I have heard some say that it will warp in moist/damp comditions. You can purchase wood sealer and seal the bottom before using it and that would prevent any warping.

Hope this helps a bit, to see my stuff

http://terrain.eternal-war.net/
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Old 07 Aug 2005, 18:59   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: MDF / hardboard / masonite / ?

Thanks, that does help a bit. I think I'm going to see if I can get the hardboard in 2x2 plates. If so, I'll try both the 1/8" and the 1/4" sizes and see what works for me. I'm not sure I can carry home four 4x2 pieces under my arm.

By the way, spectacular work on your site. Easily some of the best hills and mountains I've seen.
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Old 07 Aug 2005, 19:37   #4 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: MDF / hardboard / masonite / ?

My experience with hardboard has been mixed. I used to use it to base my game boards but I noticed that they tended to warp. However these pieces were 2 feet by 2 feet. Most individual terrain pieces will be much smaller and you will not have those problems. For my purposes I was attaching 2 inch thick foam to the hardboard. To help minimize warping of the table section I would only glue 5 inches in from the edge of the board. This seems to help. Other than that I think masonite is perfect for smaller pieces. It is smooth on the one side and coarse on the other. I think using the coarse side helps secure whatever you are attaching to it better. .02 $

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Old 08 Aug 2005, 01:52   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: MDF / hardboard / masonite / ?

Hardboard, masonite and MDF generally all get lumped together under the same heading where Warhammer players are concerned. Those 2x2 squares sold by Home Depot are perfect and I would highly recommend them.
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Old 08 Aug 2005, 03:18   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: MDF / hardboard / masonite / ?

Picked up a pair of 2x2 squares of hardboard, 1/4" and 1/8". We'll see how that works out for me. Thanks for the recommendations, everyone.
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Old 27 Aug 2005, 10:02   #7 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: MDF / hardboard / masonite / ?

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