Today I would like to take a closer look at one of Warlord Games' recent terrain releases. The pretty accurately named Wrecked House kit.
First, a bit of background.
When the Warlord Games/Italeri collaboration was announced I was pleased with the news, because Warlord Games clearly wanted to do more plastic model kits and as such Italeri of course with their decades of experience in plastic scale models were a perfect match.
It did come as a surprise though when one of the first releases of this collaboration was announced - Stone Walls, sold under the Bolt Action label. Well, without the label, but the models pictured and the box design yelled "hey, Bolt Action player!".
This one turned out to be a repackaged old Italeri kit with a larger price tag. No problem with that, that's been common practice with scale models for decades and of course Warlord themselves bought up and re-released all kinds of miniature brands under their name. The problem is that these walls are 1/72th scale whilst Warlord sell 28mm figures. 1/72th scale usually is used (very fittingly) along with 20mm figures, so we're talking about a considerable difference in scale.
Granted, it's not a huge deal when it comes to things such as stone walls. Next to a 28mm figure the single stones will look very small, but oh well. It will work as somewhat decent cover on a table and some people aren't very fussy about scale on their wargaming table.
I can be at times. Knowing all of this, I didn't get this set with a wholly good feeling. In my defence: It was at a wargames show, there was a discount involved, it was the heat of the moment. And the hope that maybe this was an all-new kit in a scale which is somewhat usable with 28mm figures.
Now on to the review!
What's in the box??
The front of the box has the usual Bolt Action design including a photo of the model included (which I appreciate) along with some models from the WW2 range.
On the back we get assembly instructions, some more shots of the finished model from different angles, a little blurb of 'fluff' and so on.
When we open up the box we get one shrink-wrapped hard plastic sprue and a little advertising leaflet.
Italeri stuff (1/72) on one side...
Warlord Games stuff on the other.
The one sprue has everything you need to build the model. On top of that you get the base with a very nice copplestone texture, a sidewalk and floor texture for the house itself.
The base only really has three sides, the backside of the house only gets a very narrow strip of road, implying that originally this meant as a diorama piece. And yes, it already shows that this is in fact a 1/72nd model.
The plastic certainly isn't the same stuff as you usually get from Renedra, but it works very well. The fit is excellent, just the usual little bits of gap filling required between parts.
There are some "optional" bits like a broken down wooden beam and a bunch of sandbags.
I just built the thing right 'out of the box', only adding a little bit of rubble/different kinds of sands where they made sense. After having painted half the model I decided to add a bit more debris. A few chunks at least, as I find that they often make terrain pieces very hard to use in wargames (leading to 'wobbly model syndrome'). So I just added a few bits here and there.
Here as got the piece all finished:
The idea is that the building got hit by something nasty or just cought fire, burned out and afterwards collapsed.
It's by no means a masterpiece, but I'm rather happy with it. Of course I could have invested more time by adding wallpapers, make each room look different and so on. But it's okay as it is now I hope.
How does it scale?
Now this is the crucial part - does it go well with 28mm figures (as the box claims)?
Well... it's obvious that this model is not in scale with 28mm figures. You can't quite see it in the pictures due to the angle, but if they stood upright those 28mm guys couldn't fit through a door. Even in their hunched poses they don't.
The sandbags look like bits of candy next to the infantry. That being said, I was surprised how the 28mm figures did not look completely out of place. Of course it's the skewed view of the wargamer eye which is used to buildings being too small compared to the other models on the table and which fools us time after time.
So my verdict would be that if you really WANT this to fit the scale I'm sure you can use it. But it takes a hefty dose of suspension of disbelief in my opinion.
Here's a picture with some Warhammer 40k models, just for fun:
It's not horrible, but I really blame wargamer eye for this. The tall bases definately don't help of course. On top of that, any 28mm scaled building on the table might make this one look really out of scale.
I do own a small collection of 20mm 1980s British. These are the same scale as the house and I think it really shows:
If you look at city houses in the real world those are pretty big. Same with doors and walls usually are thicker than a regular arm.
Now the base is a bit of a problem. I could see people cutting off the pavement around the sidewalk and put the model on their existing pavement tables or gaming mats.
Some people might view the marketing of old 1/72th scale terrain kits as fitting for 28mm gaming as shady practice or cash grab and some (especially the people who like the one-stop-shop and don't like looking around for what's available much) may appreciate Warlord selling these Italeri kits.
To me the problem of scale stands. No big loss for me as I so far didn't have anything in the way of specifically 20mm terrain yet anyway. However, I don't see myself using this piece in 28mm gaming and I would not suggest to you buying this for your 28mm collection, even if you ignore the problem with the pavement base being incredibly hard to fit onto any table. There are so many alternatives around, even amongst Warlord's own range in the shape of the Ruined Farmhouse, I'm surprised they even offer this Wrecked House kit on their website.
Personally, I would steer clear of the Italeri terrain kits for 28mm wargaming (maybe the walls work if you put them on bases and increase the height this way a little). They are excellent kits and great additions to any gaming table, but not for 28mm gaming. Maybe yet another reason to consider 20mm?
Great scale with an amazing array of models available from all kinds of manufacturers and at quality and detail wargaming models can only dream of (and at roughly half the price of 28mm vehicle offerings).
This kit costs GBP16.00 in the Warlord Games online store. If you want to buy this or any other Italeri kits you may want to search around a bit. Usually you can find the same kits in their Italeri box for a slightly lower price.
I hope that you enjoyed this review, found it interesting, entertaining and so on. If you have any questions, comments or indeed commission inquiries, feel free to let me know via the comments section, the Battle Brush Studios Facebook page or via e-mail.