By Joseph Forster
I’m back with some more MDF buildings from 4Ground Publishing. When I first started collecting terrain for Blood & Plunder, a couple 4Ground buildings were among my very first purchases and since then I’ve come to count them as my favorite source of buildings and terrain accessories for the game.
I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing the Ports of Plunder line of buildings, docks, barrels and accessories that was made with Blood & Plunder in mind but now, as the game moves into the 18th century with the Raise the Black Kickstarter, I find myself in need of some more North American style buildings. And 4Ground has me covered again! Today we get to look at a set of 3 frontier style cabins that are perfect for much of the Queen Anne’s War action that happened in North America: the New France Loft Cabin, the New France Settlers Cabin and the New France Pioneer’s Cabin from 4Ground.
These are MDF kits which come unassembled but require no painting (or render powder). Assembly time is about 20-30 minutes per kit and the cost ranges from $20 to $29. The scale is 28mm which works for Blood & Plunder but they are slightly smaller in scale than the Ports of Plunder buildings.
This is the smallest and cheapest of the 3 cabins.
Each of these buildings has a covered porch area on one side and an impressive fireplace and chimney on another wall.
Each building has a outer set of vertical shiplap style walls along with a darker set of interior walls making the interior useful and great for gaming as well as the outside.
Even the chimney has a interior layer so the fireplace has a realistic finish when seen from inside the structure.
Each building comes with two options for the chimney top as well. I went with square.
The building went together perfectly with no issues! I used regular white glue and didn’t need any other tools to complete the project.
The doors on these cabins have to be glued on, either open or closed and do not swing freely as they do on the Ports of Plunder buildings.
The roof fits snuggly but easily lifts off for access to the interior.
This cabin can hold about 16 Firelock models.
The scale is fine although some of the larger Firelock models like the Courer de Bois will bump their heads on the doorway.
But this artilleryman can fit under the doorframe and roam across the porch without hitting his head on the beams.
This building shares a lot in common with the first one but has the porch on a long side instead of a short side. The interior is basically the same size but it has wider footprint on the table.
The instructions direct you to not glue the porch roof down so you can remove it for access during gaming.
This kit was slightly harder to assemble. The beams that hold up the porch roof are a little fiddly and I found it best to glue to two halves of each beam together and let them fully dry before attempting to put them in place between the wall and the floor of the porch. That was the only difficult part of assembly.
New France Loft Cabin
This is essentially the same design as the Settler’s Cabin but it has two floors and a taller chimney.
The same comments apply to the beams on this porch. Here you can see each beam/support has two halves sandwiched together. Let that glue dry before fitting it into the model.
When assembled this building measures 5″ tall (slightly shorter than the two story Ports of Plunder house which measure 6″).
There’s windows on 3 sides of the upper story and access points on both long sides on the lower story.
My only slight issue with these kits is that they don’t have as much color variation as the promotional images on their site.
This promo image has considerably more variation in color on both the walls and the roof.
I put a couple washes over some areas of the building to add some variation in the wood color.
I put a layer of trusty Agrax Earthshade over the roof to darken it a little.
Shaded roof on the Left and unshaded on the Right.
I little Nuln Oil around the top of the chimney gives a used, smokey look.
For the walls, a judicious application of some Agrax Earthshade of Seraphim Sepia got the look I was looking for.
The Agrax Earthshade went near the bottom, along with some Typhus Corrosion and I used the Seraphim Sepia higher up on the walls in a vertical pattern to make some of the boards a different shade.
Size & Shape
These are pretty ideally sized for Blood & Plunder games. The interior of these buildings measure 3×4″ the doors are just the right size (maybe a little on the small side), there are access points on 2 or 3 sides of each building and they have removable tops for easy use of the interior. The scale seems a little smaller than the Ports of Plunder line of buildings but it doesn’t bother me. It would be rare for one of these frontier style buildings to be on the same table with a more Caribbean/Spanish style building.
I think these are great buildings for Blood & Plunder. As the game moves into the 18th century and the theaters of conflict move North into Canada and New England, these will be perfect for a more North American look for your battle boards.
The price point is reasonable but feels slightly more expensive than the Ports of Plunder buildings. When compared with the alternatives on the market (3-D Prints), these are very reasonable and require much less work.
Assembly time is about 30 minutes and these have the advantage of not needing the render power for a finished look. That makes them much less labor intensive when compared to the Ports of Plunder buildings.
I’m looking forward to using these new buildings when I play my French Canadian Militia and North American English Militia factions from No Peace Beyond the Line and they will be very useful for games featuring many of the upcoming factions from Raise the Black. They’ll be perfect for some of the new upcoming scenarios as well!
I am impressed with these and recommend them without reservation.
You can find these buildings for sale on 4Ground’s website based in UK in the American Legends section of the historical 28mm terrain.
US buyers can order them directly from Noble Knight Games at a slight discount. Firelock Games does not currently carry them.
Thanks to 4Ground Publishing for providing these review copies.