Social Icons

Sonntag, 28. November 2021

Review: 4Ground Cabin


Today I'd like to share some thoughts on 4Ground's New France Pioneer's Cabin.

It's been a while since I last reviewed a 4Ground MDF building, so I thought it's time foe another one of those.

Over the past years 4Ground went through one or two changes, including a new logo!

Same product though: laser-cut MDF buildings, 'pre-coloured' parts, at the higher end of the quality and pricing range for the genre.

I chose to get this cabin, because it'll work nicely for an abandoned shed, a one-star AirBnB, or the destination of a nice camping trip for some fun-loving teenagers (not knowing what lurks in the woods!). And it will fit that role throughout about two centuries and across several settings! Which isn't bad. I like multi-purpose terrain.


As usual, this one came in the shape of some MDF and cardboard sheets in a plastic baggy, including assembly instructions and a lovely charcoal-grilled aroma.


Assembly is a breeze. You cut/push the pre-cut pieces out of the sheets. Cut off the remains of the connector points so you get a nice, even edge and glue the pieces together using PVA glue. 

The kit is clearly nicely engineered. I especially like how the walls consist of two parts each, so you get a more proper thickness as well as the laser-cut boards texture on both sides. The parts fit perfectly together.

There are no hinges for the door, which is interesting because the 4Ground Feudal Japanese buildings I worked with all had hinges on the doors. Anyway, after some consideration I glued the door open.

The only slightly fiddly thing is the construction of the chimney, but it's also the highlight of the whole model. The construction with the wooden frame containing a whole lot of smaller stones for the chimney is interesting in itself, but that's how the French liked to build them back then.

On the whole I did not make any modifications to the model apart from a very quickly done little shelf on one of the walls (coffee stirrer, snip, snip, snip, glue, glue, done). I also added some remains of fire in the fireplace. I was very tempted to give the opening of the oven a full stone 'frame' (see that burn mark at the upper left corner? That's what you get when you build your fireplace into a wooden wall!), but speed, as so very often, was of the essence. Maybe I'll add one later.

The roof is removable and slots in and out easily, with a good fit when it's sat on top. To me, roofs very often are the biggest flaw of MDF buildings. Most of the time they're flat boards with rudimentary structure lasered on. That's a look I'm not happy with, so I cut shingles from thick paper. Hadn't done that in quite a while.

It takes more work, but it's oh so worth it. Being wargamers, 80% of what we'll see of the building will be the roof, so if you make ONE change to an MDF building, make it the roof. What we want on most MDF buildings is to add texture, a sort of organic feel, and uneven bits. A roughly-shingled roof will take care of all of that. 

Product photo by 4Ground. That roof will not do.

I glued teddy fur to MDF roofs, laser-cut shingles (more on that soon!), hand-cut shingles and shaped plasticard. Out of all of those, the hand-cut ones probably are my favourite. They're huge and don't quite in scale, but it gives the whole building a slightly more whimsical look, and that's a thing we need more of in the world.

The measurements of the finished building are 160 (including chimney and porch) x 92 x 86mm. The roof on mine is slightly wider due to overhanging shingles.


Here I made full use of the material's natural colour. Outside I gave the wood a weathered look. Weathering wood is great fun. You can just slap on pretty much any colour and it'll work. Inside I kept the painting to a minimum. Surfaces of bricks or similar, as on the chimney, gain a lot if you add differently coloured stones at random. Anything to break up those super-even surfaces.

The cabin made a little camo appearance in my French Partisans review!


In the very end I added a base I cut from 3mm thick MDF. Just putting a building onto a flat board or mat will always make it look a bit artificial. A base takes away some flexibility, but will help tremendously for blending the building into its surroundings.

In other articles I waxed on about piles of firewood. Where ever there's a chimney of any sort there'll be a stack of firewood nearby. They're dead easy to make and help a lot making the piece come to life. I also added a chopping block from one of Mantic's plastic terrain sets.

Embedding an MDF building in a base full of fuzzy stuff of course will also help a lot at making it appear a bit more natural. Just as a wrote above: I'll resort to anything (as long as it doesn't get too labour intensive :P ) to break up the even, flat structures of MDF.

Closing Thoughts

Well, it's an MDF building. I went on about the advantages (price, smell) and disadvantages (unnatural look) of the medium at length. When ever I work with MDF buildings I tell myself "never again" as I realize how much additional work I'll want to put into these kits to at least remedy the points of worst offence in my eyes. Later on when they're done I'm usually pretty pleased (mostly with the changes I made myself, because I'm a smug git like that).

All that being said, I like this model overall. Once the roof is fixed. The boards texture is solid, I like the 'fuzzy' boards on the porch, and the fireplace was a fun build.

There are several small bits which make this 4Ground kit stand out from cheaper alternatives. I'm never quite sure if the MDF segment requires 'high-quality' offerings, but it's nice to have. However, I'll stay far away from 'pre-coloured' 4Ground kits, because I don't see much of a point to them at all.

I paid EUR 18,00 for this kit. For the size and quality I'd say it's worth it, but you have to factor in that MDF always require some extra work and possibly some extra investment on roofing materials.

I hope that you enjoyed the review and found it useful or even entertaining. If you have any questions, maybe review requests, suggestions or ideas feel free to use the comments section below or just contact me via e-mail or Battle Brush Studios' Facebook page. The same goes of course for commission requests. See you soon! :-)

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen