Sunday, March 8, 2015

SAGA - Building The Great Hall

Hello my friends --- today Roy Scaife has provided an excellent post about the time he spent putting together the absolutely massive Great Hall from 4Ground - complete with pictures!  Thanks Roy!

Contributed by:  Roy Scaife


Before I started building the Great Hall, I looked around the internet for tutorial or blog to provide some additional guidance. Unfortunately, none existed. Below are my comments and guidelines. Hopefully, you will learn from my experience, observations, and mistakes. Here’s a picture of the completed Great Hall at DundraCon. FYI, that’s Jay White behind the hall.

General Comments:
  • Sprues are nicely cut and labeled (mostly). Some sanding and fitting is required (especially towards the end of assembly).
  • I assemble 4Ground buildings with super glue (Insta-cure) rather than PVC glue. This is not for the faint of heart. If you make a mistake, you only have seconds to catch it. On the other hand, super glue dries much faster and you’ll make progress more quickly. 
  • Take your time and don’t get distracted (especially when using super glue). One small lapse in concentration can be costly. 
  • The pictures in the instructions will frequently be turned 90 or 180 degrees from the previous picture of the same item. Double and triple check the pieces and layout/assembly before gluing. 
  • If something doesn’t look right. Stop!!! Then:  1) Go back and make sure you have the right parts in the right orientation. 2) Look forward in the instructions to find a similar picture. 3) Walkaway and take a 15 minute break: a fresh look can help clarify the instructions. 
  • Some pieces and sprues were mislabeled in my version of the instructions. I’ve tried to identify these and have listed them in the Instruction Review towards the end of the blog.
  • Storage: These days I try to figure out how I will store terrain pieces early in a terrain building project. In this case, I found a couple of 84L storage bins from Really Useful Products ( These guys have great bins in lots of sizes and are distributed in the US at Orchard Supply and Hardware. Before completing the base for the Great Hall, I measured the inside of the bin to ensure the base would fit. More on the base for the Great Hall later.


The Great Hall is, indeed GREAT. The unopened box weighs more than 30 pounds, includes 15 pages of instruction, and has more than 50 sprues.  The assembled hall measures 16” x 22” x 12”, so you’ll need a good sized working area during assembly…I used a 6’ x 2.5’ folding table. 
The Great Hall comes in two halves. This is where everything starts. Below is one half of the hall.

Adding floor joist. 

Added the assembled walls for the entrance to the hall.

Here I had major lapse of concentration and completely blundered on this step. The picture is pretty straightforward, but this is one of the few pieces that are glued together with both facing forward (I know…excuses, excuses).

This is my massive failure for the above step. Fortunately, I was able to recover. Lesson learned: don’t assume that the next piece will go together like the last ones.

I decided to take a break from the front half of the hall (above) and move forward with the rear half.

Making good progress now. Had to slow down to figure out the instructions are missing for the center room floorboards.

Looking good now. Love the scroll work.

Finished the second floor and the roofs for the first floor. The instructions are…minimal…for the roof corners. And the corners are different for the front and back. Check the instructions and my notes below.

Roof tiles fitted and completed.

Fashia attached to the roof.

Pulled out all the fur for the roofs and laid them on the roof tiles.

For fur roofs I take a small comb and comb the fur to smooth it out. After applying glue to the roof I put the fur piece on. Before it’s dry, I carefully turn the roof over and compress the fur against the table.

For the fur pieces going on the apex, I create a part down the center using the comb.

Returning to the front half of the hall (again).

Finally, the fur is glued on the roof parts and assembly is complete. Now, you have a choice of leaving the fur as it is, or gluing and painting it. I decided to trim it and glue it. Though I may paint it later.

I decided to put the Great Hall on a base for additional effect. For storage purposes, I made sure the bases (front and back) were not larger than my storage bins. Notice the fascia is missing on the right side. It turns out the sprue was missing from the kit and 4Ground quickly sent one out via mail.

Great Hall with the third floor and second floor roof tiles removed.

Great Hall with the second floor removed. Note, I decided to glue the second and third floors together. Primarily for gaming reasons, since we’d need to remove both floors anytime someone entered the hall.

I had some ideas for the base of the hall. Here I laid them out to see how it looked. 
  • The barrels are from Tabletop and Itar
  • The stone step is from Dragonstone
  • I picked up the wood pile on eBay

Another picture of the planned layout of the inside.

For the base around the hall I started with Citadel sand. Then drybrush Scorched Brown, followed by a dry brush of Snakebite Leather, and finally dry brush Bleached Bone. 

I added tufts from Tajima (these tufts are great!), flowers from Army Builder, static grass, and foliage.

Here you can see where I trimmed the fur roofs. Then they were brushed with a 50/50 mix of PVC glue and water. This gives the roofs more resilience when being handled during games. Later, I may go back and paint the roofs. For the barrels I started with Abaddon Black, then dry brush Steel Legion and wash with Earthshade. After it drys, dry brush with Balor Brown. Then paint the bands Black. And when that dries paint the bands Chainmail.

Instructions Review

At the beginning of the instructions they start with an image of the sprue to show where the next piece(s) will come from. This continues for a short while, then is intermittent and then pretty much stops. It’s a big help to know where which sprue a piece would come from and would be nice to have this carry through for all the pieces. 

No instructions are included for building the firepits. These are pretty easy to figure out if you’re done some other 4Ground buildings for SAGA. 

The tables and benches use the same instructions. Though only one set of instructions is included.

I was never able to find instructions for piece A-O 7. This piece has me baffled…I don’t know where it goes/what to do with it. If anyone figures it out, let me know.

The following are clarifications to the picture instructions based on my experience. Your mileage may vary. Note: these may be out of date as 4Ground may have updated their instructions. Read the instructions carefully, when things get confusing maybe the info below will help:

  • Page 7/8: the instructions include laying floor pieces FL 5 and FL 6, but do not include laying the floor pieces in the center of the hall. 
  • Page 8: WL6B is used twice. In the 2nd entry it should be labeled WL8A: 

  • Page 9: incorrect text. A-O 10 is on sprue ADD ON 6 (not ADD ON 1):

  • The instructions for X3 and X4 also apply to X1 and X2 but aren’t mentioned. Need to build  X1 and X2:

  • Page 9: X5a is incorrectly labeled. Should be X6:

  • Page 10: FL10 is incorrectly labeled. Should be FL9. Also, missing instructions for FL9.1 (with circle around ‘1’)…these are the crossbeams that go under FL 9 (was FL 10):

  • Page 10: Should indicate that Y10 and Z1 is also needed. And that this needs to be done 4 times (once per corner). Look closely to see how these are to be assembled. 

  • Page 10: These were very confusing…took me a while to figure this out:

  • Page 10: no instructions are provided for RF6, RF7. You’ll need to look at other pictures to figure out which way the tab end of RF9 should go.
  • Page 11: references the wrong sprue. Should say ‘on sprue ADD-ON 7’:

  • Page 11: A-O 15A should be A-O17; A-O 16A should be A-O 18; A-O 13A should be A-O 13:

  • Page 11: RF 19 should be RF 18; RF 18 should be RF19:

Well, that’s it. I hope you enjoyed the article!!


  1. A very nice post! Should really prove handy for anyone building the hall.

    I've been thinking about getting this kit for a while now to complement the rest of the Viking stuff I already have from them. Still it does come with quite a hefty price tag which has kept me off until now.

  2. Excellent review and advice, you've really done us all a service here! I've looked longingly at the Great Hall, but wonder if I'd ever use it. If I can find a place to put it I may just be tempted... :-)

  3. Wow! A piece of art; and an excellent set of assembly and finishing instructions.

  4. That's quite a project and write up. Thanks for sharing both!

  5. Awsome work sir.... i to just got started on SAGA ;)

  6. That's really nice, no doubt!

  7. THIRTY LBS?!? That does help explain some of the cost right there. I've only assembled their buildings from hovel through longhouse and only using wood glue. I commend your courage and confidence in using superglue!
    Thanks for the protips, a misstep on this kit could be tragic.

    1. Yup ... that thing is a beast in every way. Both Roy and are have put together so many 4Ground buildings at this point we are too impatient to use white/wood glue ... so it's super glue all around (expect when gluing in those windows that use the plastic sheets).

  8. Wow, all of those instruction mistakes would have driven me nuts! I just ordered one of these and have two months to get it ready for a convention in early October, so I really appreciate this info. Even if they've corrected some of the errors in the instructions, I'm sure there will be helpful info here to use.

    For those that haven't purchased yet, note that just lowered their price on Heorot by ≈£37. With the exchange rate at 1:1.328 and free shipping, you can get it for $100 - $300 less than other sellers right now.

    1. Oh, good to know -- benefits of Brexit :-) Good luck with the assembly :-)

    2. Lol, exactly; thanks! I'm using it for a Chainmail/Dungeons & Dragons (OE) 13th Warrior scenario that I developed. I'll post a link to pics when I'm done if anyone's interested.