One of my Cancon acquisitions was a couple of 4Ground’s new buildings for Dropzone Commander. These were a prize supplied by War & Peace Games. These kits come flat packed in a zip-lock bag and are made up from pre-painted MDF and thick card. 4Ground have used a number of different thicknesses and colours to provide some texture and depth to these buildings. Something that is noticeably lacking from most MDF kits, which have a habit of looking very flat.
This review focuses on District XII Hab Block 3 (10S-JUZ-103), however the other kits are similar in how they are constructed. There are seven individual pieces: four are cut from 3mm MDF and the other three come on different thicknesses of card stock. As well as these pieces you also get a double side A4 sheet with the instructions (colour printed too).
First we have the MDF roof and base which are fairly simple and pre-painted grey. Notice on these how there are holes to line up the pieces: all the MDF pieces line up very nicely with the holes sizing up very nicely with their pegs. The holes are also placed in different spots to make it hard to line things up incorrectly.
Next we have the interior structure which is also MDF: these pieces combined with the upper and lower level pieces featured below provide the structural strength to the model. This piece will also provide the backdrop for the windows (hence why its painted black).The next two pieces of MDF are the exterior of the upper and lower levels. These are painted and have the brickwork and other details burnt into them.The remaining pieces are all card. The windows are printed on a very thin piece of card that is pretty easy to bend or fold so be careful. There are also a couple of air-conditioner housings to stick on the roof.The grey card stock contains a large number of exterior trim pieces. These pieces provide the building’s depth. However they also provide the most time consuming piece of the construction – sticking the very thin rectangles (pieces F-1) onto the exterior of the buildings above every window. If you buy this kit you will spend a lot of time with this particular piece of cardboard.The last piece of card you get is a little piece that features a couple of air-conditioners for the sides of the building and the fans for the roof.A word of warning about these kits: they take quite a lot of work to build. There are about 80 windows and each requires both a frame and trim piece to be glued on. Add this to all the other details and you’re looking at around 200 pieces making up this kit. And this is one of the smallest buildings. That said once you’ve put the work in they do produce a very nice little building. Unlike the cardboard ones coming from Hawk Wargames and a lot of the other options out there they do have quite a bit of depth, which is very nice. They’re a little pricey, this building retails for 14 GBP ($27 AUD) and it is the cheapest one. Their largest buildings (a bank and the monorail station) are pushing up to $100 AUD. That said it’s still a bit cheaper than Hawk’s resin option and I think they’re the highest quality MDF alternative out there. This is a matter of getting what you pay for and with 4Ground you are paying top dollar.
I’ll end with a picture of another building I’ve completed. This is Hab Block 4 (10S-JUZ-104) which is in the same style as Block 3, but slightly taller.