Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Review: 4Ground Anglo-Danish Hovel

The other day a few things came in the post from Gripping Beast. Amongst the Saga dice and Northern Fury was a little something I thought to purchase as a test case, an Anglo-Danish Hovel produced by 4Ground. For the price of £9.50 I got a little kit to assemble, which requires no painting at all. For many gamers terrain is often the weakest part of their collection. Considering our Sisyphean lead piles, we seldom devote much time to trees and buildings to make our bare green tabletops look pretty. And even when per-made terrain is available, it usually requires painting, and again, the queue is already there so many a table is graced with grey building and tress. There are some places where one can buy pre-painted terrain, but it tends to be rather expensive, or just utter rubbish. The gold standard appears to be GrandManner, but it is hardly for the budget conscious, especially the pre-painted options.

This 4Ground hovel is a happy medium, for about £10 I got a piece of terrain that requires almost no assembly to look really good, it's not going to win an contests, but certainly the tabletop will be neatly complemented by its presence. I have taken some pictures to document the construction which I hope will give a sense of the easy of assembly.

The instruction sheet was clear and easy to follow. 
The bits of building.
Everything neatly slots together.
Having assembled and glued the outer walls, I did the interior walls. Here it is drying.
There are many little details, even interior details, that make this kit good for skirmish gaming.
Here the door, fir pit and roof are drying, no issues at all.
The thatching, probably my favourite part of the kit.
Here it is after a combing through with thinned PVA glue as per instructions.
I built this kit over a three day period, allowing for glue to dry mainly. However, I would say that the actual labour involved only really amounted to half-an-hour, and I am very satisfied with the results. I have subsequently had a look at the 4Ground website, and am already tempted by some of their other kits, like the Roman Limes tower. Although I wonder how the kits hold up in larger form. One major bonus is the fact that these kits aren't as heavy as their resin counterparts, and also less liable to fracturing. I can't wait to take this little hovel for a spin!

The good: Lightweight, cheap and easy to assemble. The instructions are also good and help the construction process. It also looks good with little effort.

The bad: I don't really have gripes, but if I had to find something I would say that some of the smaller parts can be a little flimsy, but that is simply the nature of thinly cut MDF.

Verdict: I would highly recommend this type of terrain as a time and money efficient means of starting a terrain collection. I plan to get more of it.