model structure kit review part 2
Product Review of Structure Assemblies
Part 2
Eric Halpin

Building of structures on the expanding Algoma and Rideau continues at a steady pace as follows:
1. Cornerstone ‘Prairie Star Elevator’ kit #2927: I really enjoyed building this kit for some reason. Maybe because it was an easy and simple structure to place together. This elevator is intended as a companion piece for the Prairie Star Milling complex reviewed last month. There are few detail components supplied or needed for this structure. It is designed to reflect a wood building and achieves that look nicely. However, I am getting tired of the same basic reddish brown plastic look and thus painted the walls before assembly. I think it looks grand! One construction difference noted with this kit was that the wall corners are NOT beveled to join together like most other Cornerstone structures. The walls in this case butt join and this requires a bit more care to get it right. There is a hidden loading door assembly contained within the railcar unloading shed. It would have better been placed on a side wall to fully appreciate the look of it. For some reason, Walthers included the base component for the milling complex also in this kit!!??

2. DPM ‘Whitewater Brewing’ Gold Series kit # 402: I don’t know what it is about the DPM kits that always intimidates me at the start of construction but it always does. Maybe it’s the many detailed structure components that require sorting or the multipage instruction sheet? Once I get into the kit however it is usually smooth going. As expected the DPM instructions are extensive, clear, extremely precise and very well illustrated. I was mildly disappointed to see several wall components slightly bent but still usable. The plastic is the typical red-brown color which I am getting very tired of seeing in most kits! Can’t they make this stuff in other brick tones?? Regardless, the kit assembled without issue and the end product was nice. I am not really sure of the design value in having separate pilasters rather than just molding them onto the walls initially. It does make the kit more complex in assembly but adds nothing to the final product appearance. I elected to paint the structure a mid tan color just for a change. The only thing that makes this a ‘Gold’ series model, are the numerous cast metal and assorted other detail components supplied. Now I just have to figure where this business will fit on the new A&R.

3. Downtown Deco ‘Addams Ave. Part 3’ kit DD-1003: This was my first plaster walled kit (actually Hydrocal) and what a joy it was to build the main structure. First off, you can tell you are going to handle a different kind of kit by the weight of the box with its superior packaging. It is also different than the plastic kits in looks, feel and detail. In fact the walls are highly detailed and it makes you wonder why the plastic kits can’t do something similar! Any misalignment in the wall butt joints can easily be corrected with a slight sanding. I used yellow wood glue to secure the walls and they held tightly. The instructions are VERY well prepared and include extensive suggestions for painting and weathering. I can hardly wait to do another one of their kits and highly recommend this line of structures for any urban scene, especially if you want that gritty downtown look. HOWEVER, the difficult step of installing glass onto the arched windows is greatly understated in the instructions. Prepare yourself for a tedious task in getting the ‘glass’ installed to the window frames and into the wall portals which are 1/4” thick. You must be prepared to measure and cut the glass to within 1/64” tolerance. I won’t go into the details here, but I finally figured out a method to complete this step without too much pain, so it can be done.

As a closing comment on the numerous structures I have built, there is little doubt in my mind that the Walther’s ‘Cornerstone’ series gives the modeler the biggest bang for the buck. The DPM kits are in my view overpriced for the end results. Even the DPM modular series are quite expensive if you want to build your own design of structure.

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