Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Gale Force Nine's Bestial Huts and Chieftain's Hut - First Impressions

These are the BB539 Bestial Huts and BB540 Chieftain's Hut from Gale Force Nine. As part of their Battlefield in a Box line, these are pre-painted terrain pieces intended to go straight from the box to the tabletop. This post presents my first impressions rather than a review. These are recent purchases and it will be awhile before they see play due to current circumstances.

The two pieces from BB539 Bestial Huts are on the left. BB540 Chieftain's Hut is the big one on the right - clearly where the boss lives.

Gale Force Nine introduced these products about ten years ago. Availability dried up for a few years between then and now. That left me regretting not picking them up when I first became aware of them. I decided to take the plunge when I noticed they were back on the market.

It's safe to state that these pieces are fantasy themed. The blurbs on the boxes suggest that the Bestial and Chieftain's Huts originate from cold northern climes, but they wouldn't look totally out of place on a savanna or somewhere else beyond the reach of civilization. The trio of huts pictured in this post (one box of Bestial Huts and one Chieftain's Hut) could represent a camp for a small group of hunters, scouts, or raiders. Multiple sets would be needed to represent housing for a larger population.

Close up of the two larger huts.

Whoever designed these pieces put thought and effort into the details. The overall design appears to be inspired by a yurt or a tipi. Each piece represents a structure constructed of hides stretched between tusks from mammoths or some fantasy equivalent. The textures and colors of the hides show variation, suggesting that the pelts were taken from different animals. The sculpt also includes stitching holding the hides together and ropes lashing the hides to the tusks. The huts also feature fully detailed interiors. All surfaces are painted to a tabletop standard except for the bottom edges which make contact with the table. I was considering applying a wash to the pieces, but dismissed the idea as soon as I got my hands on them. The existing paint job shows off all the detail just fine.

Interior of the Chieftain's Hut.

There is a substantial size difference between the three pieces. The smallest of the two Bestial Huts would be crowded for more than a couple of occupants at 28mm scale. Meanwhile, the Chieftain's Hut looks big enough for several people. Buying multiple sets of Bestial Huts and only one or two Chieftain's Huts might work best for setting up a larger population center. This will help the Chieftain's Huts to stand out as important structures among the smaller pieces.

All of the huts appear to be cast from resin. Initial inspection revealed no bubbles or other imperfections in the pieces. The material seems durable enough to regular handling. I would be concerned about chipping or cracking if one took a fall or had a rough ride during transport. Careful storage should be enough to address these worries.

I've seen a wide variation in price for these sets. Both sets together retail from about $50-$75 USD before shipping, tax, or other fees. Shopping around for the best prices - both for the pieces themselves and for shipping - pays off.

These pieces are a welcome addition to my collection, which is a little lacking in fantasy terrain. They offer good value and live up to the claim that they are ready for play right out of the box. I'm looking forward to putting them on the table.

No comments:

Post a Comment