Saturday, 29 September 2012

4Ground Detached House Build

Having sold my old copy of CDII (largely because I can't remember the last time I used it) I decided to put the money towards getting some of the new 4Ground pre-painted mdf buildings.  I was just going to get one as a trial but in the end I decided to pick up the 28mm Pre-Painted Detached House Set which contains both a complete and a damaged detached house at a discount (and including postage).  The service from 4Ground was excellent and the buildings arrived within 48 hours of me ordering them.

I thought I would assemble the undamaged version first.  It comes with a number of sprues each containing one colour of component.

The parts separate fairly easily from the sprues, or though I would recommend taking some care as some are delicate or tricky to get apart due to the size.  I would suggest only detaching the parts as you need them as the sprues have the part labels not the parts themselves and some are quite similar.

The 4Ground instruction sheet is reasonably clear, although a couple of the parts are mislabelled which is a little unfortunate (although it's easy enough to work out).

I started by putting together the ground floor.  The walls are made up of an outer and an inner part (so only one side of each has the final finish on it.  The outer sections fit onto small lugs on the sides of the floor and to each other by interlacing the quoin stones.  This provides a decent fit (I would recommend trying a dry fit first to make sure everything goes together before gluing) and they suggest holding it all together with a couple of rubber bands whilst the glue dries.  The inner wall sections slide down inside the outer ones and, once glued together, provide a pretty sturdy structure.

The staircase is a little more fiddly as each step is made up of to pieces and the frame also has to be assembled.  But when it's completed it is nice and rigid.

The stair case then fits into the slots in the ground floor.

Then the interior walls forming the front and back rooms can be glued into place (they are two piece section like the outer walls).

And then the ones forming the hallway.

The building already comes with the marks of having seen some conflict but you can choose to damage it some more (and also provide loop holes in the walls).  The pictures below show the wall as it comes out of the sprue and after the hole has been popped out.

The first floor goes together like the ground floor.  Here's the outer parts of the outer walls in place.

And now with the inner parts in place.

Followed by the dividing walls.

The roof is constructed in two parts to enable figures to be placed in the attic.  It can also be damaged by removing some pre-cut tile sections and glueing some roof timbers in behind.  Here's the inside of the top section.

And beside it the lower section showing the attic floor.  I used some bulldog clips to keep the two part sides of the roof together as they had a habit of coming apart whilst the glue was drying.

With the main structure completed, it's time to assemble the doors.  These come in three parts - the door itself, the cross members and the handles.  A completed one is on the lower left below.

Then there are the exposed brick sections to fill in the holes made earlier and the window frames.

As you can see above you could choose not to have the damaged section loopholed and even after you have removed the centre brickwork (below) you can still pop it back in later if you like (assuming you have remembered where you put the bits (they're rather small).  The same is true for the roof tiles I removed by the way.

Finally you need to assemble the chimney and glue in the stone lintels above the door and window openings, the window cills and the bargeboards under the roof.

So here's the final product:

I'm very pleased with it and it looks a good compromise between looks and practicality.  The upper floors are kept in place with small lugs protruding from the floor below so they won't be knocked off easily and they even include a ladder to get up to the attic.

The house design is nicely generic so it would not look out of place for a wide variety of countries for quite a decent time range too.

I'm now looking forward to putting the damaged one together and I'll report back when that's done.


  1. These look good Al - great review, as well!

    1. I'm pretty pleased with the first one - I'm going to start building the damaged one today.

  2. I've been buying the 15mm buildings and absolutely love them. They are sturdy, well constructed and relatively cheap. No more fragile resin buildings for me! The only downside is that at present the 15mm range doesn't include damaged versions of the buildings but I'm hopeful that that situation will change soon.

    1. I'm thinking of getting some of the 15mm ones too. I don't think you're the only one wanting the damaged versions for 15mm!

  3. I have to say Al, these look absolutely superb; they really seem a very versatile company always looking to expand their current range with quality products.

    1. I think they'll look very nice on a populated table. I've just finished building the damaged one (pics to follow once all the glue has dried) and that's rather nice too (although with one issue which I'll highlight). Overall I'm really pleased with them as they are pretty easy to put together, look nice and are practical to use and store too.

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