måndag 22 juli 2013

Renedra Medieval Cottage review

As promised earlier, here are my thoughts of the Medieval Cottage from Renedra.
18 pounds RRP, but can be found for less if you shop around.
The model depicts a timber framed cottage with straw roof in 28mm scale. It features small barred windows and a front and a back door. Also included is a a small animal shelter of some sort and 75 cm wattle fences. As many other Renedra kits this comes as three sprues molded in grey plastic. 

The sprues for the house.
Two sprues are used for the building itself and the third sprue is the same as the Wattle Fence Renedra sells separately. (As I reviewed that one previously I won't be looking at it in this review.) You might think it cheapskate of them to use something already available, but it's actually a good thing. First, the style fits very nicely with the cottage. Secondly, if your medieval farmer expands his grounds you can buy more separately. Third, they are blooming pretty! The drawback is of course that if you don't want or need the wattle fences they are an unnecessary addition that only adds to the cost.

Construction is uncomplicated.
The construction is pretty straight forward. If you are careful with the glue you can make the doors open- and closeable. One of the doors is of the split variety, but it's molded in one piece so you need to do some cutting if you only want half to open. The fit is mostly good, but in my box the walls were slightly warped which caused some nasty gaps.

Hm... this will take some filling to fix. Nice surface textures though.
I made the roof removable, it sits comfortably on the house without gluing. You will need to glue the halves together of course, but the top ridge makes the bond between the pieces sturdy enough. This might be handy if you want to place figures inside, although there are no details on the inside of the cottage.
The pig stye, dog pen or whatever you want it to be.
The cottage is designed by Michael Perry (of Perry Miniatures fame) which should guarantee historical accuracy. I freely admit I'm no expert but I think it could be suitable for a wide range of gaming tables, from Saga to Warhammer. The box says 1300-1700, with a further note saying that the stone chimney should be used for last 200 years.

A 28mm viking berserker from Foundry illustrates the size. Next to the hulking brute it looks like a small cottage indeed.

"No we don't want to buy girl scout cookies!"
I had an idea when I assembled the roof. I made it removable mostly to keep the option of maybe adding some stuff inside, but then I started thinking. The doors are quite small and the windows quite low, so maybe the cottage would work in 20mm scale as well? Now I suppose buildings were smaller during the middle ages so that's ok, but for 20mm it would perhaps fit as a larger building during the 20th century? As you can see the PSC british infantry doesn't look too small compared to the doorway.

The roof looks a little off to be honest, I don't know how common straw roofs were during WW2. But if I manage to scrounge up some tiled plastic sheet from a railway model company I should be able to fashion a new roof more suitable for the period. (I'm sure I have some somewhere!) So this would mean that the cottage can double in two scales and several periods. This is good news for me as I'm short of space and terrain always takes up a lot of room.

British infantry and carrier in 20mm from PSC make the cottage look like a large farm house.
To summarize this is a very nice kit indeed. When you look at the pictures, remember that you get £6 worth of fences too. I would have loved some more options though. The price is really fair, although just having reviewed the Ramshackle Barn also from Renedra, I can't help but notice that the cottage costs £18 while the barn only costs £15. I'm not privy to Renedra's production costs or business plan, but both kits look and feel like they should cost the same. Both contain the same amount of plastic, builds to roughly the same size and have comparable details. Yet the cottage costs 20% more than the barn. So although I like this kit very much and it builds into a great model, I feel I can't really give it the same score.

I therefore give this kit 3½ out of 5. It would have gotten a 4 if the cost was the same as the Ramshackle Barn.

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Wayland games

Wayland Games