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  1. #1
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    Kato 23-225 N 2-Stall Engine House

    I ordered this unit tonight...

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    Iím fairly certain it will fit in my Yard area, especially where it is about 128mm (under 10 inches). Itíll be placed at the end of the upper two rail sections (Spurs). Iíll need to dry fit it and see what real estate it eats up ó I say that because, I donít want to shortchange myself in car space.

    The ad for it states it is snap together, with some screws for support in some areas, but doesnít need glue. Weíll see. This will be a benefit however, in dry fitting into the space first to see if it is usable... of not, Amazon has generous return policies. If I go through with keeping it, Iíll have my build log from here.

    ďBut wait!Ē, you say. ď...didnít you just say, itís just a snap together kit?Ē

    Well, yeah, but Iíll want to do some alterations (in signage) and weathering
    "Life begins at the end of your comfort zoneĒ

  2. #2
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    Started building the Engine House today...





    As far as model kits go, this is very much on par with model kits for other subjects, like armor, air, naval, etc. Plastic components on sprue that need to be clipped off and cleaned up, assembled, and painted/weathered.

    In the case of this railroad kit, all the opaque plastics are much softer than the traditional model kits mentioned above. All pieces had the standard flash and pin holes (the mold seam lines... and pin marks that look like little shallow, sunken circles, left over from the manufacture process) that required cleaning up through craft knife carving/scraping and sanding.



    The clear plastic for the windows was the standard, ridged plastic, and harder to cut off the sprue.



    Being a modeler, I have a pair of sprue cutters from Squadron... I’ll have to order a couple more pairs, as well as some Model Masters cement, as both those companies have gone belly up!
    "Life begins at the end of your comfort zoneĒ

  3. #3
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    This isn’t going to be a long, involved build thread, like my typical armor builds and such! This puppy was touted by KATO as being all snap together, and it really could have been! But as I started the build, I quickly deduced that whereas some of the components indeed are fine just snapped together — like the molded concrete-look base, with its hook and snap wings — other components can benefit from at least a little glue... that was evident right off the bat, with the roof ridge-line vents, which were super loosey-goosey without added glue support. Using Model Master clear liquid cement, it has a needle-pipe applicator that put the liquid cement right where I wanted it. I used to in the grooves under where the vent walls pop in; they had little tabs that sat in slots, but moved significantly in a dry fit. I then glued the end walls and narrow roof on.

    Next was the exhaust vent pipes. Those had nubs left over from the sprue on the rounded/pointed top cap and seam lines on each side of the pipe. I cleaned those up with a #11 X-acto knife, and a rough & fine sanding stick. After cleaning off the plastic dust, I applied glue in the sunken hole they go into, as well as a tad at the base of the pipe. Then inspected the glue areas for any excess to clean, which only one vent pipe had a bit of an overflow.



    ...note in the above picture, the top exhaust pipe is cleaned of flash and mold lines, and the bottom one is fresh off the sprue waiting for the just-mentioned treatment. In honesty, probably not my most usual attention to detail on the mold lines, but I kinda liked a little showing to mimic the actual steel or aluminum construction.


    The kit detail is pretty impressive actually... I was pleasantly surprised! On the interior, there are four cones that go up into the roof area, that are exhaust gathering exhaust units, right under exhaust pipes. Great attention to detail in design!

    ...oh, and of note here...the instructions are in Japanese! Not an issue for me, as I’ve built quite a few models through the many years, but it could be a bit of an issue with a newbie model builder, as the guide arrows need a lot of interpretation, as they are not clear at all in pointing to where the pieces align!



    You can see in the background, the concrete foundation sections for the sides and center of the engine house. Also, the Model Master glue used.
    "Life begins at the end of your comfort zoneĒ

  4. #4
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    The windows are super nice!



    ...I wasn’t sure about how solid those would snap into place, as there were only a few pins they sank behind, and the “snap-together” relies entirely on the bas relief of the windows snugging into the window frames. On a dry fit, some worked well and others didn’t. I opted to put a small, thin bead of liquid cement on the bottom of the plastic window to secure a few spots...I didn’t do that for the whole of the windows, as again, I can always fix’em up later if needed.

    On the interior, there are some pretty nifty triangular roof bracing... three, to be specific. I didn’t glue these in, as they seemed pretty solid snapped in...I can always get at them easy enough down the future if they fall, and I can glue them then if needed.



    ...the four holes you see near the outer braces are for the exhaust units....those snapped in solidly...

    "Life begins at the end of your comfort zoneĒ

  5. #5
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    This is the Engine House assembled!





    One error was, eight screws! I saw them on the instructions...little black ink marks that vaguely looked like screws...but again, the instructions are in Japanese! I did dithered in contemplation a bit and moved on. When I was cleaning up at the end of construction, there in the box in the corner... a teenie-weenie bag of either teenier screws! Luckily I have a magnetized Philipís head screwdriver that did the trick to drop them in and screw them in. Added strength!!!

    Next up will be some decals, and some weathering. Stay tuned!
    "Life begins at the end of your comfort zoneĒ

  6. #6
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    A little more work on the Engine House after work... I added some decals, which weren’t actual decals (ugh)... after submerging a small section that I cut out, I wondered why the decal didn’t separate from the backer sheet. Well, that would be because...it want a decal! I might have known that, had I been able to read Japanese, but I can’t, so I moved on. Separating the ‘decal?’ from the backer was a huge pain in the ass. And, I was of course, one small piece short now...I tried glue. Nope. The result isn’t quite what is pictured on the box art but, that’s ok.



    Next, I weathered the roof with a watercolor wash... it just looked too toy-like before so, at least it’s a little more ‘dirty’. I’ll probably tweak it more down the road sometime, but it’s good for now. I also dirtied up the concrete base a little.






    I think it’s a lot better! I brought it over to the layout and placed it in the tracks. I test ran a locomotive into it and it worked perfectly, all the way in and backed back out again.





    Of note, I used a little Blue Tack museum putty under some track sections in the Yard... holds the track in place nicely, but is totally removable.
    "Life begins at the end of your comfort zoneĒ

  7. #7
    Nice job, we old model builders know everything is better with some glue and weathering! Also would like to say what a nice paint setup you have going there, sure beats my cardboard box. I like the Lock-Tite brand of CA in that bottle, it's what I use also.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hagen View Post
    Nice job, we old model builders know everything is better with some glue and weathering! Also would like to say what a nice paint setup you have going there, sure beats my cardboard box. I like the Lock-Tite brand of CA in that bottle, it's what I use also.
    Thanks, Mike! ...yes, it is a nice shared skill with model wind wargaming diorama building and finishing, for model railroading structure builds. And also having the tools and materials ready at hand! And thanks on the paints comment.... Iíd switched from Tamiya acrylics to Vallejo a couple years back and love them...so glad I switched. Much better to work in the airbrush, but also better for hand brushing!

    The tiered shelving are nail Polish displays! Got them at Amazon for a cheap price, and they are perfect for these type of plastic bottle paints like Vallejo or AK.

    "Life begins at the end of your comfort zoneĒ

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