11 June 2013

Product Review- Urban Lasercraft X-Wing Miniatures Templates



UPDATE: Will from Urban Lasercraft emailed me today and said that any of y'all who are fans of TheMetalBikini.com and buy his templates should mention the site in your PayPal comments if you buy two sets of templates, he'll throw in a second set of tokens free! 


Also, I completely forgot to mention that he has some pretty sweet container type scenery pieces that'd be good for 40k, Infinity, AT-43, etc. Check 'em out here.

Last week, a kind soul busted me off an email asking if I wanted to check out a set of his X-Wing Miniatures Templates he was producing. We went back and forth for a few emails, but sure enough, when I got home from work today, I had a package in my mailbox!

I've come close to buying a set of acrylic templates ever since I didn't win a Range Ruler in my FLGS' X-Wing Season 1 Game Night Kit. In fact, I came close to buying a set in Edwardsville last weekend as they had a pretty swanky translucent blue set for sale there at the store, but instead opted for a couple of Android: Netrunner Data Packs. 

So for William Urban to contact me and offer me a set of templates for review on TheMetalBikini.com just two days later was just too effin' cool, y'all. 

Opening up the USPS envelope today, I found not only a full set (and by full set I mean all of the maneuvers as well as a range ruler) of Urban's black opaque Imperial templates, but also a full set of translucent red Rebel templates, and a set of his game tokens- 3 red translucent Stress tokens, 3 translucent orange crits, and a couple of translucent blue shields! Damn, Gina! All this work on TMB.com is finally payin' off!

So first things first, I know the question on your mind. It was the first question on my mind- are these things the same size as the stock templates? I got out the FFG templates I usually play with (the other set I leave in my "extras" box) and stacked the Urban Lasercraft templates on top of them and snapped some pics. 

Look closely- those Imperial templates are actually on top of my FFG cardboard templates


You'll notice they're very, very close. I'd go so far as to say they're as close as the FFG cardboard templates are to one another across sets. Will says on his Ebay auction page that the templates are to within + / - 0.5mm. I'd buy that assessment, and again- I work in automotive manufacturing, y'all- I routinely deal with parts that are a mil or two out of spec that are being rejected by the customer, y'know? Also, in case you weren't aware, FFG changed their stance somewhat on 3rd party accessories like this being used in official tournament settings in their most recent edition of the X-Wing Miniatures Tournament Rules. Long story short, you can use 3rd party templates now, but if your opponent feels you're gaining an unfair advantage, he can demand to use the same templates for his half of the Game Turn as well. So if you'd been holding off purchasing because you didn't think they were legal, stuff's done changed, yo. 

 Again- these Urban Lasercraft templates are lying on top of my cardboards


As for how they look, they look pretty sweet as you can see from the pics. I personally like the Imperial Gear and Rebel Firebird, and Urban Lasercraft points out in their auction page that they can do custom logos as well. I would probably do a little paint-fill on the numerals, arrows, and symbols with some white paint just to make them stand out more (they're cut into the plastic, so this would be super easy to do), but that's just me. I'm also the guy that actually used to use that crayon on the dice in the D&D Basic Set back in the day when he was in 4th grade. And by that I mean, you don't have to do it, but I would. 

Stacked


As for the material, of course they're much heavier than the cardboard templates. They're pretty beefy actually as not only is the material inherently stronger than cardboard, but they're also thicker which you can observe in the angled pics above. 

Close-up to emphasize translucence and opaqueness on the templates. Shot with no flash on a white piece of paper. Actually a receipt. Actually a receipt from Day Out With Thomas from this past Sunday. He loved it. Thanks for asking.

As to why I didn't take a bunch of pics with the Rebel templates on top of my FFG cardboard templates- don't read anything into it. They're within the same tolerance as the Imp stuff- I just got lazy and the battery on my wife's DSLR I use to take all these pictures was getting low. If you're really worried about it, tell me in the comments and I'll take more pictures tonight when I get home from work. 

The Rebel Range Ruler is on top of the FFG Cardboard Range Ruler- see it underneath?


So what's the bottom line here? There are several companies producing acrylic X-Wing Miniatures templates- why should I choose Urban Lasercraft's offering over the others? To me, it all boils down to cost. Call it the manufacturing engineer in me, call it the dude who lived check to check for longer than he probably had any business doing, whatever. In any case, while I will absolutely tip fairly, buy stuff from my local FLGS' rather than online at any and every opportunity, and even buy that overpriced Boy Scout popcorn every year (ok- that's less goodness of my heart and more the best freakin' cheddar popcorn ever), much of this hobby stuff does come down to cost for me, and at the end of the day, a full set of templates from Urban is $20 while most other places are charging more like $30. I also dig the fact that much like yours truly, Will Urban is a guy doing this on the side because he loves the game and wanted to produce something that would benefit folks and also maybe make him a little scratch on the side. He's not some faceless corporation- he's just a guy hawking some sweet templates he produces. 

Urban Lasercraft's Token set- a crit, a shield, and some Stress Tokens


So there ya go. If you've been looking around for some acrylic templates for X-Wing Miniatures,  but weren't sure where to go, stop by William's Ebay page and take a look. He's got pictures of all four colors as well as pics of his token set. At the time of this writing, he appears to have sold about 21 sets of templates and still has his 100% feedback rating, which should tell you pretty much all you need to know if you were still on the fence about the quality or whatever. 

Not tough to pick out which ships have the crits is it? 


Or hell, do it because you wanted to buy some templates anyway and just hadn't done so yet, and you love the Bikini and you love me. Or at least like me. Whatever. I'm not getting any dough from Urban in this arrangement, I just like the guy and I appreciate the free stuff.

Thanks again, William! Hope you sell a ton, bro!

UPDATE: There were some questions in regard to the Rebel and Imperial 2 turn templates in the comments, so I put the Rebel templates on top of the Imperial templates and took a couple of quick pics with my phone. Here's the results- a couple with flash, a couple without. They're true to each other.