4 Ground Miniatures Pre-Painted Ruins
I have had a number of revelations recently-
- I am no longer out of things to write about
- I love the hell out of Flames of War
- I want a table full of European buildings to play on
- Battlefront/GF9 buildings are nice, but expensive and in super limited supply
- JR miniatures is not currently producing anything on account of not existing anymore (plus the scale on their buildings always seemed a bit off to me)
- Miniature Building Authority makes good shit, but it’s expensive and I’m not against assembling/painting my own buildings
- I cannot scratch build buildings
So, with that in mind I did an exhaustive several day search of the Internet looking for buildings that a) didn’t look like retarded rhesus monkeys molded them, b) were affordable, and c) were readily available.
Enter the UK’s 4 Ground. I snagged a few buildings from a certain web store that I like and decided to try my luck. I was so happy with the results, that I’ve decided to spread the word and do an unsolicited product review or two for the HoP.
|Granted 4 kits is perhaps a rather large “test run” but meh|
4 Ground produces buildings, carts, bases, and other terrain pieces using laser-cut MDF. Currently they have a 15mm “Europe at War” line featuring western and eastern front buildings, walls, and fences. For Players of other games, they also produce several different 28mm series featuring terrain for classical, dark ages, high medieval, European civil war, ACW, etc etc.
Kits are mostly available as pre-painted sets, but an increasing number are available as “blanks” that aren’t painted. Additionally, roof tiles, interior detail kits, and wheels and more are available to help pimp out your scenery. They also offer a full line of branded paint, glue, tools, and more for hobbyists.
I’ve been wanting to work with laser cut buildings for a while ever since seeing some of Lauby’s new Infinity terrain board. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. Being a hobbyist first and a gamer second, I decided to purchase 3 unpainted kits and 1 pre-painted set of ruins. I enjoy painting terrain, so made the assumption that the more work I got to do the more I’d enjoy it.
Setting out to prove myself wrong, I selected the pre-painted ruins kit for my first assembly.
|you had me at scent of bacon|
The first thing I noticed when inspecting the package was the smell. It’s fucking glorious. Imagine a fresh campfire, bacon, that wood burning kit your uncle bought you that one Christmas and you never used, and cedar all wrapped into one hit to your pleasure center and you’re almost there.
After that I whipped out the instructions which were concise, but pretty clear. All parts are lettered/numbered and the directions tell you what to stick to what along with a photo guide and a few helpful hints. As a bonus, this kit featured a selection of street signs and posters to be added to the building. They were basically just inkjet printings, but certainly get the job done. This is admittedly something I was already planning on adding myself anyway, but this did save me the time of tracking down posters and fucking about with sizing them correctly.
|posters and such|
With that I dove into construction. I won’t give a step by step of this since that sounds boring. I’ll show a couple of in progress shots and briefly describe the assembly.
For tools I didn’t need much. The pieces pop out of the frame with ease. Sometimes far too little ease as they can become separated during shipping, but it’s not a big deal. I had to clean up maybe a handful of pieces with a hobby knife. Everything else came out clean.
Each frame is comprised of parts that are a single color. Due to the laser etching and cutting process, there wasn’t any need to shade or highlight these, as the cutting pretty much did the trick. Since the pieces appear to have been laser cut after the painting process, there’s even a nice scorching effect that adds weathering to the ruins.
Walls went up with ease with a little bit of PVA glue. They were cut in such a way that they generally fit snuggly into place without have to be forced, making it easy to assemble and not need rubber bands or clamps to hold drying pieces in place. Each wall for the painted kit is two pieces- interior and exterior. This allows for indoor walls to be a different color than external walls while also adding some heft and thickness to the building.
With the major components together, it was time for the fiddly bits- brickwork and window panes. Due to being a brick color, rather than the color of plastered wall, the exposed bricks of the ruin were separate pieces. It was a fair amount of work to get these parts put together, but it was well worth the effort. All that was left was to grab some tweezers and put the smallest window panes and sills into place I’ve ever seen. It helped add a great deal of detail to the model without being overly difficult to assemble. Just don’t forget the tweezers.
|She’s a Brick House. Mighty Mighty|
30 minutes later (including photos) and I had a building ready for the table. At a cost of only about 20% more than the unpainted buildings, I was quite pleased with the color choices and ease of assembly for this. I think I’d still rather paint the buildings myself, but for anyone looking to quickly add terrain to their tabletop, these things are ace.
Here are some pics of the finished product and my Fallschirmjaeger company in action.
As you can see the scale is quite close to the new Batlefront kits, so mixing them wasn’t at all awkward.
Ok, let’s put some dudes in that building.
How about a tank? You got it.
And lastly, let’s check out one of those posters in action as the 6. Fallschirmjaeger move out.
That’s it for today kids. Go check out 4 Ground today, I think you’ll like it. I’ll be back in the future to show you an unpainted kit in action. We’ll get to see how the assembly differs and figure out how well these things take paint.