tisdag 1 oktober 2013

Warlord Games Ruined Farmhouse Review

As I was proof-reading the Chain of Command rules from TooFatLardies I got inspired to restart my WW2 28mm project. I had a bunch of models already but lacked any terrain. Renedra has a bunch of nice generic stuff, and I was curious about Warlord Games' Bolt Action range. I decided to order their Ruined Farmhouse kit during their Free Postage offer in August. It costs 15 pounds which seems like a fair price, on par with the Renedra houses, and is also available in a "Ruined Hamlet" box with three identical kits for 35 pounds.

A whole house in that little box?
So what are my thoughts about it?

When you open the box it contains a lot of grey plastic wall pieces. There are no instructions, so you feel a bit bewildered at first. So I decided to sort the pieces according to size and shape to see if there were some order among the chaos.
Parts, parts, parts!

Various wall pieces.

Other stuff, and a wall piece that was hiding when I took the previous picture.
At first glance everything seems good and a-ok; there are eight wall pieces, six corner pieces, a chimney, a piece of floor and a very small piece of broken roof supports as well as six pieces of rubble designed to reinforce corners or lean against a wall. But when start to assemble the pieces some problems appear.

The three big wall pieces fit together nicely, but there is no matching piece height-wise for the last wall.

Even the corner piece can't really hide the fact that the walls don't match.
First, it seems like someone has taken a good look at the old Airfix Forward Command post kit when designing this kit, judging by the broken roof and the chimney. Or rather, they took a quick look at a blurry box cover because the resemblance is just that, a resemblance. It actually seems like someone started to design a bigger version of the Airfix kit but got tired half-way through and then just decided to sculpt a number of random walls.

Trying to fit the chimney.
The three biggest wall pieces go together roughly ok, matching up in height and shape. They are designed to be similar on both sides so you can turn them whichever way you want but that means that the fit is at best ok. There are some protruding lumps that are supposed to hold the floor, which they do in an awkward sort of way. The broken roof affixes into slots on the large side walls, but since it's made to go on either side, the side without the roof has the slots still visible. Likewise, the lumps for holding the floor protrude on both the inside and outside.

This kit has some serious problems. The surface of the walls are quite bumpy so there are large gaps under the corner pieces. Sure you say, it's supposed to be a ruin, who cares if it's a bit wonky? But since you will be using these as playing pieces they have to stand up to a bit of action, which makes it more important with a strong fit between the pieces, something which is hard to achieve when the pieces are so uneven.

The second thing I'm irked by is the chimney. There is only one wall big enough to fit the chimney, but the sculptor has added a lot of battle damage to it in the way of large holes. Holes through which you can see the back of the chimney. This wouldn't have been so bad unless the chimney was hollow at the back. As it is now I decided to leave the chimney off completely.

Nice floor details. Unfortunately the chimney is visible trough the wall.
Two of the rubble pieces strengthenening the corners. But look at that chimney!
But the problems doesn't stop there. Since there are eight wall pieces, the easiest and most obvious way to put them together is to make two small square ruins. Four of the pieces have two intact sides meaning they are meant to go inbetween two other walls, and you get four pieces with only one intact side. If you think about it this leaves one razed corner per ruin, should you make two ruins like I did, which seems the intended way since you get only six corner pieces.

There's enough walls to make two square ruins.
As I always do I started to play around with various combinations of walls before glueing anything. I soon noticed that some walls were smaller than the other. Almost as if it was intended that way four of the pieces were distinctly lower than the other four. And I'm not talking about the fact that some are two stories and some are one story, it's the height of the stories that's the issue. It's most obvious when comparing the two doors.

The different sized doors. Also not the gaps between the corner piece and the wall.

A kneeling figure with base barely fits.
The smaller ruin is definitely cramped by a few 28mm models.
A Revell 1/72 soldier fits perfectly in the door frame as you can see, though.
It actually seems that Warlord Games made two ruins for different scales -- 28 and 20 mm -- and put them in the same box. Great if you actually have models in both scales, but not so great if you were expecting a 28mm model inside. I haven't the foggiest idea how, my best bet is that the sculptor made a mistake and corrected it halfway through, but Warlord didn't bother to make him redo the first pieces. Or maybe they didn't notice.

OK, I'm nitpicking. You can turn the kit into something that looks good, even with 28mm models. But it takes a lot of work, and some parts will still look odd. You will also need to hide a lot of gaps here and there. All in all I can't say this is a good kit at all. Especially not when comparing it to the excellent Renedra houses.

I give the Warlord Games Ruined Farmhouse 2 out of 5. Not recommended.

6 kommentarer:

  1. Great review, Leif; I've recently bought the ruined hamlet myself and have to agree with most of your comments, although I think your overall verdict is a little harsh. I personally always base my 28mm figures on smaller, flat bases to allow easier positioning in buildings etc.
    I haven't yet decided how to base the buildings yet, but will probably go for a diorama-type setup.

    1. I was considering a 3 out of 5, but to me the scale issue is too great. Even on a small flat base a standing 28mm figure will be taller than the smaller door frame.

      If you are not that concerned with scale or even like smaller buildings -- since ground scale is usually compressed anyway -- then this might suit you.

  2. As I was about to spring for the 3 house box at my FLGS, thank you for informing me of the state of this kit. I am thinking Renedra and 4Ground instead.

    1. Absolutely. Considering this costs the same as a Renedra Barn house it's a no-brainer.

  3. Great review, as i have also had my sights on this ruin. Will stay way clear now.

  4. I love the thing. The larger walls are usually bowed, nothing lines up as it should and the bit of floor is lacking a right angle so will either give you a less than 90° corner or a big gap. Yet I still think it is a wonderful kit. I have sawn them and abused them and have a whole box of ruined buildings. It can give wonderful results but not straight out of the box, it needs work to bring it up to speed. The chimneys I usually do not fit, keeping them for other projects and to allow the ruins to be used for earlier periods before the chimney was invented.


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