No, I haven’t gone over to the dark side, but I spent the evening building a resin kit. (Gasp)
I recently took on a project building a railroad for a gentleman out East. This came about after our demo layout received several offers of purchase wile we were in Springfield.
Well, rather than part with my just finished railroad, I said “I don’t want to sell it, but I’ll make you one”.
As part of the deal I also offered to build several kits that my client had purchased. Business is business and I brought home a Chooch “Columbia Depot”. Now we make a very similar depot that’s base on an RS&SL prototype. The best research I can find, puts the Chooch kit at just under $70. Our branch line depot sells for $6.
So how does the resin kit stack up? Well, it certainly has a lot of dimension, and a few air bubbles. They obviously designed it to take advantage of resins strength. The stone foundation and platform are nice, except for the bubbles. I want to be fair and impartiality is difficult, possibly impossible, but I have to say the fit is rather rough. The window castings are nice but some kind of template for the glazing (supplied plastic) would be nice. The tin roof, I’m not sold on and I might replace it with our rusty sheet metal.
There are 5 basic resin castings. All needed cleanup. and then there’s the bundle of sticks. Yes sticks. Lots of sticks that I have to cut into rafter tails, fascia boards, posts and rafters. There’s a small bag of white metal castings. (more clean up) All in all this puppy is going to take 3 or 4 days to build. I’m happy with the result so far, though all I’ve done is paint and assemble the resin castings. I’m not looking forward to the sticks, but it should look fine if I can keep the texture from getting fuzzy. If I can make an overall comparison, it’s that resin is the exact opposite from paper. Resin is a lot of dimension with no effort (or skill) but the painting is challenging. Paper of course puts the challenge in the building with almost no finishing.
I won’t be converting anytime soon. Paper beats rock.
With first street just about to ship, I want to say a few words about flat roofs. They have always been a bit troublesome. One might think, what could be easier, it’s flat. However, paper has a few things to keep in mind.
Here’s the problem. The walls are paper thin we have to create the thickness of the brick by folding over the wall top. This is met with the edge of the roof being folded up to meet it creating the illusion of wall thickness. We then had a U shaped cap that would help lock the whole thing together. In newer kits we have added more overlap from the roof to allow for more gluing surface.
In earlier kits we would include a stiffener with lines marked that would help to align the roof and also give it some extra stiffness. Well, it didn’t add enough stiffness for one but a bigger problem was how to give some information on how deep it should be glued to the outer wall.
Admittedly more photos of this would help. we are working on that.
The best all around advice I have is to carefully test fit the roof after it is folded and before the walls are joined. Assuming the roof fits, (I know they do) you might glue it up and use it as a template for folding or attaching the walls. What I do is work with two attached or folded walls with one brace in place. This should leave you with a good guide to attach the roofs overlapping tabs. This will set the proper offset depth of the roof. (in general the back edge of the roof is flush with the back wall) If carefully done it will make attaching the other walls very easy and accurate. I do think that adding additional bracing is a very good idea. You can use scrap paper to build thickness, foam core or strip wood.
More later and pix I promise.