Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Shotgun House

The finished model, with Fred for scale, as Sid has gone AWOL!
In the last week my hobby output has once again been zero (if you don't count thinking about the hobby). The previous week however, I managed to drum up enough enthusiasm to have a go at another MDF build, this time, as can seen in the photograph to the right, one of 4-Grounds "Shotgun" Houses - more correctly a "Shotgun Shack", as it has only the two rooms, whereas it was expected that the "Shotgun Houses" were normally bigger.
Once more MDF models have left me on the fence as to whether I like them or not.
The ready painted ones are certainly an up-grade to the more frequently sold unpainted versions for about double the cash!
Redundant paint tray, put to use as my games table undergoes a change.
 Preparations for this build were as normal for  me, large space, plenty of clips and vast quantities of tea on hand.
I use un-watered PVA applied with a cocktail stick. MDF is like a sponge when it comes to applying anything liquid. As the walls and thin fiddly bits are all 2mm MDF the sponge-like qualities of MDF makes them very easy to break - not a good thing if, like me, you have chipolatas for fingers and the joins are as precise as something NASA would build.
You can't have too many clips
 It may come as no surprise that it didn't take me long to realise that following the instructions were a must, but also that dry-fitting can lead to problems due to the tight fit of the components.
The first two walls go up
The front wall and patio caused many, many problems for me
I did add clear plastic to the windows to act as glass, ass all the walls are double thickness - the slight warping did not help in the construction either! These ready painted models, may well be a boon to many , but only on assembly do you realise that they're not really completely painted and they will need a touch up when completed. I personally went off these models when they first came on the scene, seeing the roof tabs blatantly left unpainted/disguised.
The broken front right porch upright, is hardly noticeable
Front door - nearly thrown in the bin!
The front door, front wall and porch gave me no end of problems, breakages were frequent and I had to disguise my errors with scrap.
All of my problems were generally the tight fit of many of the components, so with my next build (another shotgun shack), I'll be filing all the tags down a bit and their location holes a little larger.
Front door, from the front (duh!)
Finished at last, though roof needs work done on it!
Front door, but notice the painted railing tops
Right side and rear porch
The left side and rear
Left side and front(ish)
Internal view from above, showing all the doors open
Obligatory boring picture of rook (needs a lot of work imo)
Front door, looking decidedly dodgy
And the back door/room (not quite so dodgy)
I thought it would be fun to put a bit of furniture in the building to give it a little life.
Two pieces of furniture and the room is full!
Front room with stove, cabinet, a table and two chairs
I put the smallest amount of furniture into each room, as I tend to do, just to get an impression of what the room's purpose is. With a figure or two in the rooms, they will look very crowded indeed and I use 20mm bases. Those of you who use the gross (imo) 25mm bases will find that  even a minimalist approach with furniture may leave very little room for figures.

That's it then for this week, thanks for taking the tine to visit; I hope you've found something of interest.

As always your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.


  1. Great presentation of the science and art of assembling and finishing a model, Zab. Give yourself two pats on your back.

    1. Thanks Jay - eem, that's not an Irish reference I hope

  2. Fiddly buggers aren’t they, I now prefer to make my own just because I have the sausage finger syndrome too

    1. Haha, I just knew I wouldn'tbe the only one.
      I don't mind building my own buildings, but painting them is another matter (plus I'm not very good at it).

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks you Michal and you're right in that I thought it was work too, rather than pleasure.

  4. They might be fiddly, but certainly worth the effort.

    1. Thanks Miacheal, if one buys MDF, I think that the extra effort must be put into them.

  5. Looks good despite the build problems. Always the tricky part between basing consistency and then realism. Its my bigged bugbear with the large DS bases. I only use them on specific games where it is a stipulated requirement such as batman etc. But my own preferred basing is 25mm round with 20mm for small characters such as animals.

    1. Thanks Brummie, MDF I find is a medium I'm still getting to grips with and learning about despite the half-dozen or so models I've made.
      As for bases the height of the slotta bases really puts meoff too, along with the trophy-like appearance of them.

  6. Hi Joe, pats on the back is something us Irish would never give :)

    I really found this post interesting as MDF buildings are something I've thought on for a long time now but still can't make up my mind on, I built a few MDF kits & hit all the same problems as yourself, we must be bless with the same kind of fingers mate :)

    I think its a case of trying to work out the pros & cons of them tbh, but looking at yours & other building on other blogs I starting to think the pros out way the cons.

    1. Haha, as long as Micky doesn't slip you something too.
      I'm still undecided about MDF buildings, everytime I've built one I've wanted that bit more from it - like stairs to the second level (rather than a box sitting on another box), proper lintels and sills, door frames etc.; but as a basis for buildings they do the job but they always need some extra work on them imo

    2. I see your point Joe, but are these not things you could add or change yourself ? I know your buying these buildings as finished but I would think that even by doing the little bit of extra work to make them what you want them to be it would still be a quicker way of going about it.

      Pros, their quick to build, per-painted, have lots of detail, look very well.
      Cons their not cheap, they can be fiddly to put together, they need little touch-ups of paint on edges, tabs showing on things like the roof

      Have a little think on the above & see if that helps with making up your mind on them.

    3. Thanks Frank, I do like the idea of MDF buildings and the first I bought (a Sarissa) went together really well, but struggled to get a stairway in (it had three stories). Two industrial buildings, again Sarissa) looked good as they were, but I reckoned on doing them up a bit to make them different from a lot of others.
      I think that the latter part is a big Con against buying painted buildings, everyone's look the same, - maybe you could get away with a terrace of them.
      The manufacturers aregetting a lot better though.

  7. Hi Joe I've not seen this shack before and whilst I don't like MDF generally I think this works quite well, primarily the two ends of the buildings have lots of rails and fiddly bits that are difficult to scratch build successfully. Sounds like they are difficult to assemble too.
    You probably know of warbases roofing tiles, they do shingles also, they work well and not too time-consuming or costly.
    You pays your money and makes your choice, it would have taken much longer to scratch build, at maybe 10% the cost.
    The walls, corners, windows, doors, porch, inside walls all l good, the roof is naff, on balance I think it's a win.
    Never thought I would say that!

    1. Thanks Vagabond, the railings at the front were fiddly and very thin which linked to my general incompetence didn't end well. The roofs(unless flat) of nearly all MDF building need work imo.
      I reckon I could scratchbuild one of these(except the porch railings) in about six hours - (may even try)