I finally pulled the trigger on a SANKEI paper kit I've been eying for a long while. The thing that stopped me was the fact that I've built other Sankei kits in the past and they have been rather challenging. They are cheaper than plastic kits, but they are also far less forgiving. But, I loved the look of this particular building, so I figured I'd give it a go and see if my skills have gotten better since the last time I tried one of these kits.
The kit itself was about $22. For the level of detail it has, I'd say the kit would be about $30 or $40 if it was a built-in-the-box, buy and place style kit.
The laser cut kit comes in a flat packet which is great for Japanese retailers. These kits are really easy to store. When I broke the paper and instructions out of the pack, I almost put it all back, made popcorn and watched a movie instead. It's a bit daunting. There is just one page of instructions, but there are combined steps that made my mind swim a bit. :)
I started by organizing the sheets. They are clearly labeled A, B, C, etc , so sorting them out made sense. Once I had the sheets out like this, the instructions made more sense and it was easier to see what went where. After I built the first wall and saw how it went together, I started to understand what was happening.
Rule one with these kits - a super sharp, new blade! :)
I've heard this from a few of my pals in Asia. It's a disaster if you try using a dull blade.
Once the white glue is down and the paper is together, I used a little weight to keep the walls straight. The glue needs to be put on sparingly. Even a little too much can make the paper a bit too wet and cause more curls. It didn't take much weight to keep it down.
The idea behind the layers is to create a little depth to the models so it doesn't look too flat. There are also notches and tab and slot areas that keep the walls and floors together. Rather cool designs. The depth created with this sort of layering really helps sell it as a real wall and structure.
Of course, I wasn't going to be happy with an empty building. I had to add a little inside to sell it as more than a giant, empty building. It doesn't take much to sell it as a functioning space.
Parts of the cards made great internal details.
The basic idea behind the building really made sense. The hardest part was getting the glue on in the right amount, then making sure things were lined up properly BEFORE putting things together. I did several dry run pairings to make sure the slots were lined up and set right before adding glue. This was a lifesaver several times. With the white glue and the tooth of the card stock, once these things go together they lock in quickly. You can see the tab style at the top layer of the building. Little details like the bricks on the outside of the building really make things pop. I just wish I got them set a bit straighter!!!! Like I said, once they are together, they lock in quickly. I'm used to being able to slide things a bit more before they set.
This is the level of detail we're talking about. There was a brown wall topped with a green wall allowing some of the brown to show for depth. Then, each small external wall detail was a separate element to be glued on. Even with trying to keep the glue level down, I still had some drips I had to address before they dried.
Phase one - COMPLETE! I still have more details to add like a small rooftop structure, railings and the like. I needed to stop at one point. Total build time was 2.5 hours or so to this point. A lot of fun, but I was telling my wife that I'm not sure I've cursed this much building something in a long, long while. Glad the kids were not around! LOL! Some of the lining up of walls and the like were....a real challenge.
Would I buy another Sankei paper kit? Yes! I love the details and the fact that there is so much attention needed to build the kit. If you keep your hands clean, you get a nice clean building at the end. These kits require a bit of zen deep breathing while you're working them.
I'm not really in the market for more buildings at the moment. I need to sort out more space in Shizuka to make sure I have a good, crowded look without it being TOO walled in. However Sankei have many cool little detail parts they sell as well which really help to sell the overall look of the layout. This kit has a lot of details included as well like vending machines and the like. Nice that they give this away with the main kit - it's a nice feature.
Looking forward to finishing.
|All these little detail parts are included in the kit!|