Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Charlie Foxtrot Models: The Tidewater Home - North American Building Reviewed!

Today guest blogger General Lee takes a closer look at the Charlie Foxtrot Models' The Tidewater Home - North American Colonial Building. Thanks for your splendid independent review, Arthur!

Somewhere in January 2017, I found out about Charlie Foxtrot Models, a British company producing MDF wargaming buildings and accessories. I immediately fell in love with their 28mm scale Tidewater Home for colonial and 19th century North America. A quick search on the internet provided this definition for the Tidewater style of architecture: “Tidewater architecture is a style of architecture found mostly in coastal areas of the Southern United States. These homes, with large wraparound porches (or galleries) and hip roofs, were designed for wet, hot climates.”

As far as I know, these types of buildings were found throughout the colonies in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds, as well as in the Civil War era, so you could use it for whatever theater of war you’d like. And why not use it for the present day, like zombiepocalypse games. Slightly more modern versions of this type of building are still standing today.

The scenery kit

The kit was delivered in a well packaged bubble envelop. I thought this odd but when I opened it, I understood why. Most of the bits are already punched out, saving you some time (or saving you from breaking bits, which happened to me with kits from other companies). It does leave you with an enormous amount of pieces on your workbench which you have to sort through and organize before you can start assembling.

An A4 sized instruction leaflet is provided. Whilst building, I felt it could do with some more step by step images because it didn’t become clear to me where some of the smaller pieces ought to go. A minor quibble and in the end, it worked out fine but it cost me a little bit more time to put everything together in the right order. The building itself is big! Heigth: 156mm, width: 246mm, depth: 223mm. 

It’s a two-story building with a fully detachable first floor and roof. Ideal for skirmish games. The inside walls are bare but the floors have wood panels cut into them. The outside is very nicely detailed with horizontal paneling, the stone base has a stone pattern. It also has a classical porch on the front side with denticle (the pillars are made from plastic tube), ventilation grilles can be found at the bottom of the front and back of the building. The roof has a roof tile patter and the kit comes with a length of laser cut card so you can cover the seam of the roof. I actually glued roof shingles onto the roof because I like the extra detail (Charlie Foxtrot Models do sell them through their webstore as well). I love the chimney stacks. They’re made of extra thick MDF and look very realistic with some nice stone effect.

I would recommend not attaching the window shutters, doors and ventilation grilles as this makes painting a lot easier. Speaking of doors, there is nothing other than the sides to glue them into place. Some hinges would have been great as this would have allowed you to slot the doors into place. Now I just used some left over pieces and glued these to the back of the doors and jambs. Maybe something they can look into in the future.

The conclusion

Overall I’m very pleased. Once completed, the building looks incredibly nice and will surely be an eye catcher on any wargames table set in North America. The pieces go together easily. There is great attention to detail, especially the porch and chimney stacks. Because the first floor and roof are detachable, you can place figures inside. I glued the building on a piece of thick plastic card to make it sturdier. I then based it with some tufts and other scenics to give it that extra touch, but it’s not really necessary. So yeah, I would give it a 9 out of 10. I’m really pleased with it and how fast it was delivered. It’s a building I’ve been looking for, for ages and I’m really glad Charlie Foxtrot Models have done it. The Tidewater Home retails for £35 - grab this one and plenty others here

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