bought a box of these at Salute 2012 and now they are assembled and mostly painted it seems a good time to review them.
The box is well filled and contains three identical bags each containing enough pieces to construct at least one ruin but closer to two depending on how many pieces you use for each. The pieces have already been removed from the sprues reducing waste.
The wall pieces are about 5mm thick so are quite sturdy though a few may be slightly warped. Because of their thickness the usual method of straightening warped plastic by dunking it in hot water does not work very well with the larger pieces and I ended up cutting or breaking a couple apart and regluing them which worked fine which proved to be easier than messing around with a hot air gun.
The pieces are about as flexible as is possible. Some of the sections without door or window openings can be used as long low wall sections or tall narrow ones which is very clever.
The surface takes the form of very patchy plasterwork exposing a rough fieldstone wall. It is easy to match the surface with filler if you have been hacking them about. There are some bullet holes which it might be desirable to hide with a smear of filler for earlier eras. They are the same style on both sides so you can use them either way round, there is no inside or outside which greatly adds to their flexibility.
One section of ruined wooden floor is included in each set. It looks fine but it has a flaw, it does not have a right angled corner, it is slightly off so if you use it to square a corner your building will be off or if you are adding it later it will not fit perfectly. I just sawed off the offending end and adding a new joist with a section of evergreen styrene which is very useful for adding detail to the roof or floor.
To hide the joins in the wall sections strips of quoins are provided to fit around the corners. These are nice and I used as few of them as possible so I could use the leftovers on my own buildings.
No bases are provided. Though they are sturdy enough to survive without a base I glued mine to rectangles of 2mm plastic card which seems to work nicely though I think I cut mine a little too neatly and that a rougher edge would have blended in better.
There are rubble piles which can be glued to corners or walls to strengthen them and improve the look of the piece, adding them outside the building as well as inside breaks their footprint up nicely. They look good but can benefit from a little bit of additional debris to make them look a bit less flat.
The greens for this piece were on show at Salute 2011 and when I asked about it, mentioning that it was reminiscent of the old Airfix ruined house command post I was told the likeliness was deliberate. While it is not a copy but it is definitely inspired by it which is a good thing as far as I am concerned.
I really enjoyed building this kit and I think it produces sturdy, good looking terrain pieces that are an asset to any tabletop. The model ruins I produced certainly resemble some real ruins that I have seen.
From a single box I was able to produce five good looking ruins. Each is basically a simple rectangle with four corners though there was a little bit of jiggery pokery involved to get four for each. If you were less concerned about this you could get more from a box or you could make a smaller number of fancier ruins.
By leaving off the chimney you can produce ruins that can be used as far back as Roman times so for flexibility they cannot be faulted. I have ordered another two sets which I suppose is the best recommendation I can make.
The kit is not without issues and the chimney seems to have more than it’s share of them. It’s fit seems rather dubious to either side of the gable end and it cannot help overlapping a large hole there which requires some work to either repair or to damage the chimney to match. Furthermore there is no hearth, there is no hole for a fireplace so one has to be cut otherwise the chimney is just a dummy but this is easy enough to fix if you have a saw.
The warping of some of the pieces we have already touched upon.
Since writing the above the other sets have arrived and have been assembled though they still await the fun bit, the addition of the upper floors and painting. From the two sets I got nine ruins which, considering that two were larger L-shaped buildings and another was altered to make a three story house is very good though I did fill in some gaps by laminating two layers of 2mm plastic card and covering with a crude coat of filler to represent plaster.
I am tempted to get more as they are great fun to make. Heartily recommended, they are not perfect but they are very good.