The first building I put together (I actually got two of them) was the North West European Hay Loft. A simple, but practical structure, this building will look great among the large wheatfields that feature in the Scottish Corridor campaign. Not too much to say here. The construction was straightforward and it came together in less than a half hour. Overall, a fairly handsome little structure with removable roof and staircase. I may put some dirt on the ground floor and pick up some hay bales at some point, but I'm glad to just have them to throw out on the table for now.
|The completed loft|
|The loft's second floor interior|
|The lower floor and stairs|
|Ersatz outbuilding (good enough when needed)|
|I really like these inlays|
Since I needed more buildings than the variety offered, I bought two of the North West European Threshing Barn. Though I've assembled four-wall 4Ground buildings before, I had trouble with both of these. The problem seemed to be gluing the outer walls onto the inner ones fast enough so that the glue would not dry, but then I couldn't seem to get the recommended rubber bands and clothespins on fast enough to prevent the walls from warping slightly. Even leaving the bands and pins on for more than a day didn't seem to help much. The second one definitely came together more easily (though both were definitely messy affairs), but in my haste, I glued the long outer walls on the wrong side, so the vent holes don't match up perfectly with the inner ones. Nevertheless, it doesn't look half bad, and its enclosed design will stand out from the more open buildings. Wouldn't mind trying it again some time (maybe I'll try gluing the walls together first and then attach them to the floor).
|The Threshing Barn|
|Threshing barn interior, showing some of the warping|
The last building was the only one I decide to experiment with upgrading, but I felt like a pigsty without dirt and mud just wouldn't look right. As I've stated before, though I'm a veteran wargamer, I have never really done much when it comes to terrain construction or painting before, but figured this would be an easy project on which to experiment, I picked up some brown battleground basing material and wet mud paint from The Army Painter and applied them liberally throughout the pigsty. Though the dirt settled nicely, I was a little disappointed with the mud. I applied an undercoat and then, as instructed on the bottle, hit it with varnish and put another coat on to bring out more of the gloss, but it didn't turn out as expected. I tried the process again, but it still didn't have the glossy effect I hoped for. Perhaps it is just slightly dried mud. :-)
|The finished Pigsty/Chicken Coop|
|The interior of the chicken coop|
|The interior of the pigsty|
Finally, I picked up some accessory packs. I got some of the stone walls and stone walls with gates kits. These are super easy to assemble (and inexpensive) but will add a lot to the table. I also purchased some telegraph pole kits. I was really looking forward to these as I thought they would be a really nice detail that would add a level of realism to my setups. The straights were much lighter than the gate sections, so I hit them with a wash of Vallejo smoke, which helped a little. Might need to add another coat (and do the same to some of the stone buildings). While the base and poles were easy to glue together, but most of the more fiddly pits are made of a very flimsy cardboard that often separated as I tried to cut the pieces out or glue them to the poles. Though I got a few of those pieces on, it was turning out to be much more frustrating than I had hoped. Losing my patience (and terrain-making fun), I decided just to leave a couple as is and save them to be used as Rommel's asparagus - poles with mines mounted on top - if I ever decide to do the 29 Let's Go campaign.
|I added some dirt to the walls and put a wash on some of the lighter sections|
|A sampling of some of my telegraph pole attempts|
|The untouched sheet of pole bits - the bane of my terraining existence|
Though the kits did not all turn out as planned, I'm rather pleased with my acquisitions overall and can't wait to get them on the tabletop with my long-awaited figures. For those looking for farm building kits, I'd highly recommend the Hay Loft, Cart Shed/Granary, Dairy/Lean To, and Pigsty (as well as the stone walls). They are available for 15mm, 20mm, and 28mm figure scales.