I thought it would be interesting to do a comparison of two new Medieval cottages on the market; the new plastic kit by Perry Miniatures and the laser cut wood kit from 4Ground. I've made all the thumbnails small, since this rather picture heavy. Click to enlarge.
The 4Ground kit doesn't waste any money on fancy packaging. It comes flat packed like Ikea furniture in a plastic bag with simple card header. But at least you don't need an allen wrench to put it together.
The Perry kit comes in the usual box with inspiring picture.
The 4Ground kit comes prepainted and precut. But don't punch out all the pieces at once! There are identifying letters to help with assembly.
The instructions are well illustrated and easy to follow.
The Perry kit comes on three sprues. Two with parts to the house and the pig sty.
The third sprue is a handy set of wattle fencing (75 cm in length) to keep the neighbours pigs out of your turnips. The assembly instructions are pretty simple and on the back of the box.
The 4Ground cottage went together quickly with some white glue and rubber bands to keep the tension on while the glue dries. The parts were all very cleanly cut and went together easily. A bit of dry fitting first is recommended and using a paper towel to remove excess glue along the seams is also a good idea. But everything went together square and tight. This is the result of maybe half an hour's work. Notice the interior wall detail.
Next the thatching is glued on and left to dry for 24 hours.
The Perry kit went together reasonably easily as well. Although I had a few more issues with fit and keeping things in place while glue stuck. But this was also done in about half an hour.
The next day I coated the teddy bear fur thatch with watered down white glue and set it aside to dry and then undercoated the Perry kit in my usual burnt umber base coat.
It then took a couple of hours to paint the Perry cottage, but here are a pair of Foundry figures checking out the new real estate. Notice I glued some flock to the tabs holding the wattle fencing up and have trimmed the edges of the thatch on the 4Ground model.
And here are some of my Old Glory figures trying things out. I'm not sure how much cover some wattle fencing will give, but a +1 is better than nowt.
A Reaper(?) maiden checks out the Perry cottage. Perhaps she's hoping there are Seven Dwarfs living inside. I decided to paint the timbers in the lighter greenish grey tones used on the box. Notice the door also opens if you're careful during assembly and painting.
A less joyful peasant checks out the 4Ground cottage. The door also opens on this model. The two hinge tabs are just pressure fitted into notches on the door frame.
Interior view. Rather clean for a Medieval hovel methinks. I saw the same kit pimped up on The Guild Forum and the person had glued bits of 'straw' around the edges and in the corners and darkened the interior to make it more smokey and generally squalid. The square is supposed to be a hearth or firebox. It needs some burnt charcoal and ends of logs.
Here's my complete village. I got another pack of the wattle fencing from Renedra which contained two more sprues, so now I've got 225cm of fencing to keep the livestock out of the turnips. Of course now I've decided I need livestock and maybe a dung heap and some woodpiles too!
The Perry kit retails in my store for Cdn$26.99. The Renedra fencing set is Cdn$14.99. The 4Ground kit is now in my store for $14.99. The Medieval Dwelling is only $21.99 and the larger High Medieval Cottage complete with loft is a modest $28.99. [4Ground kits and links updated 28 August 2012]