I’ve been curious about the Walking Dead building set from McFarlane for a while now. I tried to get one of the figure packs at Wal-Mart recently, and well, was denied. (Documented in an AFB Podcast Red Card!) So when I saw the Hospital Door set, my curiosity finally met a price point I could bite on for a set that interested me.
This is the a pseudo recreation of the famous scene from the first episode after Rick wakes up in the hospital. Now, I didn’t quite remember the scene playing out with all the arms the way it is shown here. I rewatched it for this review and you only see a few fingers peaking out. I actually think this is a bit of creative license taken from a combination of the first episode and the prequel webisodes “The Oath.”
When I got the set, I didn’t remember the floor being that cluttered or the hospital being that war torn looking. How did walker pull cables from the ceiling?
There are some details I didn’t remember you can see in this picture. The cafeteria sign is there. Also, up on the right wall you can see an exit sign. Who has a cafeteria with doors like that? And wouldn’t that exit sign mean he is going the wrong way? The door way on the right is there, which I couldn’t have remember if it was there or not.
One thing that you will notice that isn’t in the picture is the rail along the right wall. This does show in the webisodes. Those rails are used in hospitals to keep gurneys from scraping the walls. They are a nice inclusion, but you start to realize all the details aren’t from the same place. For example, in the webisodes, the exit sign isn’t there.
The set really looks they ripped a corner of the hallway out and this is what you are left with. It boils down to this, every piece looks like it is finished off for the scene. Every piece is weathered except the base plates. Also, in the finished model, there are no studs left uncovered.
The downside to this is there are a lot of unique pieces here. Because of that, the different things you can build from it will be limited.
The paint work is what I expected. Mostly washes except fro the figure, doors and signs. This is looks like McFarlane figures, just smaller.
Now, that is how it looks. Let’s talk about the building of it.
This is one of the most frustrating toys I’ve ever put together. The instructions are Lego wordless style, but I don’t think they’re as clear.
There was a spot in the corner where you need to use two corner blocks. It has a 2x, on the list of blocks needed, but it wasn’t clear to me that they were stacked on one another. I realized this when I got to the top of the wall and didn’t have the right blocks to finish it.
The thing that really bugged me about the instructions is that there are blocks and tiles that seem unique that are considered to be the same as other bricks. For example, the floor tiles are mostly the same shape and brick size and are all considered the same. However, one has a foot peg and is obviously different.
Another has a splatter of blood on it. In the pictures, you can see it matched to the one on the wall. Now, if you’re like me, you had the wall piece upside down on the desk and didn’t realize there was a blood spot on it. I would contended that these pieces, even though the instruction doesn’t call them out that way, are you unique and should be called out that way in the instructions.
If you don’t realize this, you have to take damn hear the whole thing apart to put the pieces in the right place. Let me say if you have ever pulled a tile off of a Lego base plate, these tiles are 5 times harder to get off the base plates.
The Rick figure is okay. I figured they were one piece, turns out Rick is 6 pieces. 2 legs, 2 arms, a body and a head. The head is tiny. Like grain of rice tiny. I suspect this is done to make the paint applications easier. However, I suspect the washes used make the assembly a little tighter and a bit more difficult to seat the pieces all the way. The right foot has an odd flesh colored claw that goes around the post on the tile or a small clear base. I couldn’t get him to stand on the clear stand, but that might just be me.
The only other “figure” is the arms coming out of the door. It’s a single piece of rubber with just arms and hands on it. They have a bloody red color while the show portrayed them more as grey.
The worst part is they are suppose to attach to a bar that snaps in the door. I couldn’t get this to work at all. I had the hardest time getting this part together. There are hands obviously intended to be gripping the edge of the door and getting those lined up is frustrating at best. I would recommend maybe trying to assemble this part before you put the doors on the base plate.
It would have been nice to get at least one standing walker in this set to pair with Rick. Or even the body that Rick sees laying in a hallway.
I said at the beginning of this review I got this set because I was curious about the McFarlane building sets. I will say the experience did not make interested in getting more. That’s not to say it is a bad looking set. It’s really not. The washes and debris all look detailed and are done well enough.
And maybe that is my problem with this set. It’s more of a small pre-painted model kit than a building block set. With all the specialized pieces, there isn’t really a way to build this set another way. And to me interchangeability is the whole point of a building block set.
Add to the to that the fact the instructions seemed both lacking and not clear on everything, I really think this set falls short. I really expected to put it together and end up buying some figure packs or another small set. I just don’t think I’m up for that. Sadly, I will probably pass on their Game of Thrones sets based, as well.
Engineernerd Score: 70/100