While I try to figure out a way to create deeper woodgrain patterns (new tools on the way) on my Battle Flag 28mm Western buildings I thought I would go to work on some other buildings that arrived about the same time. These are 15mm WWII buildings from 4Ground. I have been admiring their buildings for quite a while and I needed some new buildings for my FOW games at the house so I finally broke down and made an order. Rather than review them one at a time I figured I would do the whole lot at once. They don't make the building I really want, a corner building. Essentially an L shape with one corner cut at a 45 degree angle. Some sidewalks would be a welcome addition to the line as well.
I ordered and received five buildings and some stone fencing.
15-EAW-301 – North West European Hotel/Apartments with Coach Arch
West European Semi-Detached House Type 1
West European Semi-Detached House Type 2
15S-EAW-103 – Pre-painted North West European Terrace Houses Type 1
West European Pre-Painted Shops Type 1
15P-TAO-202 – 1.5m of Stone Walling for 15mm Scale
I took construction photos of my progress but that’s a lot of pictures so I’m just going to post some example shots rather than all 60-70 pictures I managed to take during the process. Essentially the assembly sequence for each building is the same. There are only a couple of minor variations, mostly depending on the roof style.
Instructions, for the most part are pretty clear. You receive a black and white set for the unpainted versions and a color set (with posters!) for the pre-painted versions. Each set of instructions is written specifically for the kit you are building, so you don’t have to do any interpretations or search for the sequence that pertains to your kit. I love this! However, there are a few errors on the instructions as far as part IDs. If you are paying attention though you should be just fine, the parts are laid out on the frames in a logical pattern and the pictures on the instructions are pretty clear. The instructions rate a solid 4 out 5.
Components, well it’s a laser kit on MDF, there isn’t much to go wrong here. There are some very delicate parts though. I’m very impressed with the level of detail that has been included. In particular the shop window for the 15S-EAW-107 is simply amazing. I’m going for a full 5 out of 5 on the components.
The pre-painted buildings go together a bit differently from the unpainted buildings that let my really go to town on the clamps! Essentially the pre-painted components are mounted to the building carcass which gives you a lot of depth around the windows and doors. It also makes for a wall that’s twice as thick. That depth is added to the outside of the building so you don’t lose any room on the inside. It also means that the pre-painted buildings have “pin” locators for the upper floors rather than the little squares that have to be added to the bottoms of those floors in the unpainted versions. Still I prefer to paint my own so I’m probably going to buy more of the unpainted than the pre-painted versions.
Like the Battle Flag buildings the ones from 4 Ground are only engraved on one side so all the parts have a back and a front, take your time and make sure that you have the engraved side facing outward so you can see the detail! This is especially true on the pre-painted buildings the interior carcass contains the detail for the doors and windows so you need to pay attention to what you are doing. Also for what ever reason I didn't have any rubber bands in the house and this would have made assembly much easier. I didn't have enough corner clamps to get everything together so I improvised a lot. A small supply of rubber bands would have made everything go quicker. So for these kits my clamps didn't help out nearly as much as a few rubber bands would have.
The stone walls are pretty cool little kits as well. They are a bit fiddly and you do need to pay attention on the 60mm lengths as there are a couple of different bases to accommodate the gate sections. A few clamps to get a good bond are invaluable. Although these came pre-painted I’m going to repaint them anyway. Mostly because of the dark laser mark on the top edge which is very noticeable and at least on mine it feels like the color is a bit washed out and I would like a grayer wall (or maybe brown).
These are great kits and I highly recommend them. I’m looking forward to getting some paint on them. My airbrush is going to get a lot of use in the next few weeks as I work my way through the backlog of buildings that are accumulating on my desk.