Hobby Thoughts – Customeeple ITS Objectives Product Review

Customeeple ITS Objectives - image used without permission from Customeeple.com

When I first saw the images of the new ITS objective set from Customeeple, I knew I had to have a set for myself! Since my group and I play a lot of ITS missions, I was confident they would be a very useful addition to my collection (and look more interesting than the current markers I have, which are just printouts of the Campaign Paradiso markers, laminated and glued to 40mm round MDF circles – great artwork but I’d rather have an actual model to fight over than a token!).

In addition, they will provide extra scatter terrain, which is always useful to have in Infinity!

Customeeple ITS Objectives - image used without permission from Customeeple.com
Customeeple ITS Objectives – image used without permission from Customeeple.com

As you can see from the image above, the set contains 5 Antennae, 6 Crates, 1 Console and 2 Beacons. The set costs €29.95, which translates (at the current exchange rate) to £24.62, with shipping to the UK costing another €7 (£5.75), so a little over £30 for the set. As it stands, the set gives you enough pieces to play every 2014 ITS mission except Emergency Transmission.

Being the completist that I am (and one of those weird people who likes Emergency Transmission), I ordered an extra 5 Consoles in order to be able to play the mission properly (you could probably still play it if you swapped the consoles around for something else). This also gives me some additional consoles for scatter terrain, or for other missions which require multiple consoles. The fact that Customeeple allow for individual pieces to be ordered seperately is definitely a bonus! For reference, the consoles cost €2.50 (£2.06 at the time of writing) each seperately, so it added on about another tenner to the overall cost to get the extras.

Customeeple are a Spanish company and are one of the official Partners of Corvus Belli, allowing them to use Infinity’s logos, designs and other trademarks when designing their products, and these items certainly don’t look out of place next to Micro Art Studio buildings or other partner products!

The pieces themselves are made from the usual MDF that Infinity players are used to seeing, combined with coloured acrylic pieces. The pieces fit together without any filing or sanding required, although glue is definitely recommended, and actually required in the case of the Antenna, which can’t be built properly without it.

Here’s a breakdown of each item in the set, with an image which shows them prior to assembly:

Sat Station Antenna

Customeeple Sat Station Antennae MDF and acrylic Pieces - click to enlarge
Customeeple Sat Station Antennae MDF and acrylic Pieces – click to enlarge

I’ll start with the most difficult pieces to assemble, the Antennae. As you can see above, each Antenna fits onto a single, almost credit card-sized sheet of laser-cut MDF. There’s very minimal wastage in terms of space on there, which is good, although I’d advise a bit of care when pushing/cutting the pieces out so’s not to damage any others. For the most part the pieces popped out of the sheet with minimal effort or cutting.

This is by far the most complicated model in the set, and glue is needed to attach the side pieces, the top ring and to actually glue the antenna array onto the feed horn (yes, that’s really what it’s called, I looked it up!). This is the most fiddly part of the kit, and it’s a very small area of contact, so I can foresee that piece breaking off in future (especially when the weight of the acrylic is on there). It’s a shame that the piece wasn’t designed so that there’s some overlap of the pieces to form a better join (perhaps like a halved joint, similar to how the feed horn attaches to the end of the prong at the front of the dish).

Assembled Antennae - front and side views - click to enlarge
Assembled Antennae – front and side views – click to enlarge

Looking at these, it would appear I may have assembled mine slightly wrong, as I went by the images on Customeeple’s site, but it actually looks to me like the feed horn (heh, I love that phrase) is meant to be mounted more ‘upright’ on the prong, rather than pointing forward as shown here and on Customeeple’s example. This is probably my one gripe with the kit, is that there are no instructions supplied. This isn’t a huge issue for me personally, as I enjoy a challenge, and these are a relatively straightforward kit to build, although a less competent modeller may struggle with it.

You’ll notice that in the images above I’ve mounted mine on 40mm round MDF circles which I had left over. Customeeple supply bases with these kits, although they’re plastic bases, and don’t take too well to PVA glue, so a better adhesive may be required when attaching yours to the plastic bases.

Mark 1 Beacon

Customeeple Mk1 Beacon MDF and acrylic pieces - click to enlarge
Customeeple Mk1 Beacon MDF and acrylic pieces – click to enlarge

The Mark 1 Beacon is the simplest item in the kit, although I went an extra step with mine by popping out the centre of the beacon. The images on Customeeple’s site show the centre piece painted a different colour, although upon closer inspection of mine I noticed that it appeared the piece had been cut with the intent of being removed, so I set about removing it with a sharp knife and pin-vice.

Again, I’ve mounted these on some spare MDF circle bases I had (25mm round this time – the glossy finish on top is due to the PVA that was left on them when I was using them as markers!). Because of the very small contact point these pieces will have with a base, I recommend drilling into the base and setting the beacons into it to form a better join.

Assembled Beacons - click to enlarge
Assembled Beacons – click to enlarge

Comlink Console

Customeeple Comlink Console MDF and acrylic pieces - click to enlarge
Customeeple Comlink Console MDF and acrylic pieces – click to enlarge

(Please note: I’ve photographed all six of my consoles here, but the kit contains just one – see above for my reasons for having 6).

The Comlink Console is another very simple to assemble piece – Three pieces of MDF and 2 acrylic. Customeeple can supply a variety of colours, however I wanted all of mine to match so I went for all orange. The pieces do hold together well without glue, although I recommend using some anyway as they’re a fairly loose fit, and the upper acrylic piece definitely won’t stay in without it. I love the look of these pieces, so I can’t wait to get them undercoated and glue the acrylic pieces on!

As before, I used some spare MDF 40mm round bases to mount them on:

Assembled Consoles (front and side views) - click to enlarge
Assembled Consoles (front and side views) – click to enlarge

Cargo Crates

Customeeple Cargo Crate MDF pieces - click to enlarge
Customeeple Cargo Crate MDF pieces – click to enlarge

No acrylic this time, just good old-fashioned(!) MDF – the pieces fit together really well, with no overlap, minimal furring or flash, and next to no filing or sanding required! The only gripe, again, was the lack of instructions, although a cursory glance at the examples on Customeeple’s site makes it clear where everything is supposed to go. I love how they can stack with themselves too, which is why I’ve not based these (they’re supplied with 40mm round bases as with everything else in the kit, barring the beacons, which come with 25mm bases).

Assembled Crates - click to enlarge
Assembled Crates – click to enlarge
Assembled Crates - click to enlarge
Assembled Crates – click to enlarge

Just so you don’t all think I’ve gone mad and forgotten the acrylic pieces, here’s a pic of a few of them with acrylic pieces added, but not glued on:

Antenna, Console and Beacon - click to enlarge
Antenna, Console and Beacon – click to enlarge

Final Thoughts

This kit gets a thumbs up from me – It was very speedy delivery, and good communication from Customeeple themselves. It should be noted that their pieces appear to be made to order, and so there was a bit of a lead-time between placing the order and it dispatching to me, but this may have been because we’d ordered a few other items which had released that same week.

There was some minor damage to one of the console units, but that’s not the fault of Customeeple, more of the postal service (although the damage is minor and fixable, so it’s no big deal).

The postage cost itself is very reasonable for overseas (and due to a combined order with a couple of friends, actually worked out pretty cheap!)

As mentioned earlier, I think the only down side to this kit is the lack of instructions for the crate and antenna, but as I also said earlier, it’s not a problem for me personally, but a less-competent modeller may struggle with them, although in their defence it’s mostly an intuitive build.

For the price, this is a great set, which adds both the required objective markers for nearly all the 2014 ITS missions, as well as doubling as some great looking scatter terrain! I highly recommend it! I’ll be painting these up over the next few weeks, so I’ll post pictures when I do!

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