Sunday, 24 May 2015

4Grounds North European Church Review

I had gone to Salute with the intention of having an enjoyable walk around, maybe see if I could play in a few demo games and of course pick up the odd bits and pieces but no big purchases were planned. This went out of the window however when I wandered past one of the WW2 display games near 4Ground's stall and saw this beautiful church. With a certain someone whispering in my ear that I should treat myself I gave in to temptation and pre-ordered it. As far as I am aware at the time of posting the Church is not yet on general sale so I thought I would do a quick review for anyone considering getting it for when it is released. With a 15% show discount I got the church for £115.00 which is not cheap but considering the cost of getting something similar in resin/plastic and then getting it painted to a high standard I think it is a reasonable price. A couple of weeks later it was delivered by UPS (well would have been if I had been in) well packaged in a sturdy box. 
 A weighty box indicated a lot of material was packed inside.
Included in the box are a set of colour step by step photographic instructions and a lot of MDF sprues of varying colours and thickness as well as a see through plastic sheet with stain glass windows printed on it. Elastic bands and wooden pegs are included which is very useful. You will need PVA/Wood glue and some superglue. I used a brush to apply the PVA glue.
Instructions consisted of photos with arrows and component codes with very little text. Considering the complexity of the model I thought that this was probably the only practical way of setting out the instructions however it did mean that some things are open to misinterpretation and as a result I did make a couple of mistakes which apart from one that left me without some arch pieces I was able to rescue. My strong recommendation is to read ahead, plan ahead and make 100% sure you are happy you are doing the right thing with the right pieces.
The pieces were cleanly cut with amazing detail and precision; requiring minimal effort with a modelling knife to remove from the sprue. Be careful with some of the more delicate pieces (window components especially) as these are prone to tear.
The initial stages of construction were quick but as detailing and windows were added things started to slow down and it took several very enjoyable hours spread over three days to complete. I am not a very experienced modeller when it comes to these type of projects but even if you are I would set aside several hours to get this beauty constructed!
The result is a really nice model church. The board you can see it on is 3 foot by 3 foot to give you an idea of the size. Needless to say it isn't small.

 Follow Miss Marbles as she gives you a tour........

The stain glass windows are a very impressive feature. You get two options for the large window, I went with the slightly less subdued Giant Jesus with sun rays!
All the roofs are removable and the tower has two removable sections allowing access to each floor. It includes working hatches and a ladder.
 Detailing inside is really well done with cracks in the walls, detailed window frames and floors.

I decided not to stick the window shutters shown in the picture below in the tower windows to allow for more flexibility in scenarios in the tower.

 Miss Marbles studies the stain glass windows seeking clues for her current investigation.

 Below is the problematic archway bereft of some detailing that was mistakenly glued elsewhere.
 Miss Marbles closes the front doors. What she has discovered in the church she must face alone.....
  An unearthly light shines from inside the isolated church.......

All in all I am very pleased with the church and would recommend it to anyone willing to part with the cash. I can't fault 4Grounds customer service either as they are sending me the replacement parts for the archway free of charge with my next order.

This church will be the centre piece of my first skirmish board for my Lovecraftian Pulp project along with some excellent stone walls and gravestones also from 4Ground. This will be a spooky rural church yard. I already have plans to get their Police Station and Warehouse amongst other things to create various terrain board set-ups including an urban board and a dock side board.

So stay tuned for more posts on my Lovecraftian pulp project as I get the board and minis ready for the first scenario; Lost Marbles!


  1. An excellent review! Thank you, I think this kit would be worth the money, it's usable for many games in 28mm.


  2. Another dodgy representation of a church. Churches orientate eats/west with the altar to the east, the main entrance is usually to the south towards the west end of the nave so most people will face the on the altar when taking their seats. In this example the porch is either on the north side (uncommon) with the altar under the tower or the porch is on the south too close to the altar in the chancel.

  3. Thanks Anna, glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Thanks for the great review, looks like a very nice model. I'm trying to make up my mind on a centre piece building for a Doctor Who scenario. I need an old Priory, but may settle for a chapel/church or large farmhouse.