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Krackel Hopper

Sankei Paper Kits

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Krackel Hopper

hey hey,

 

While I have been rather busy in my personal life with limited train time.. I have found a few hours here and there over the last month to work on some kits.  With how cold it has been, I decided to break from the Greenmax (or any plastic kit) because I can't prime any models on my deck.  In fact, I can't even get to my deck because it's been completely buried in a snowdrift for the last few weeks.  So I decided I would give some Sankei paper kits a shot.

 

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Bernard

These are really impressive kits. Where they hard to put together? Is there anything tricky about these kits?

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Krackel Hopper

These are really impressive kits. Where they hard to put together? Is there anything tricky about these kits?

 

I had a few issues putting these kits together.  Mainly, glue.  I *think* I have finally found a glue that will work.  When I started, I thought super glue would be ideal.  I was quite wrong.  The super glue saturated right into the chip board and caused some bad discoloration.  It's pretty easy to see, even if the not-so-great pictures I posted.

 

Beyond that, making sure you have a sharp exacto knife to cut the little nubs that hold the paper to the "sprue".

 

Finally, making sure everything is lined up before gluing.  Every one of these kits, the basic wall is either 2 or 3 pieces deep.  The little tabs and slots to hold different walls together also go through multiple sheets.  So if one side is misaligned you will be left with gaps or poorly matched corners in the final product.  Does that make any sense?  (Trying to explain as best I can)

 

Easy part is there is no painting!

 

Each little kit probably took me an hour or two to complete.  It was a nice change of pace to work something from start to finish in one sitting.  I might be able to assemble a Greenmax kit in half the time, but then I need to prime.. wait for paint to dry.. paint a section.. wait for paint to dry.. paint a few other details.. wait for paint to dry.. all said and done, a Greenmax kit ends up taking me a few days.. but maybe that is just me.. I don't have an airbrush or sweet painting station.  I have to steal the kitchen table for a few hours here and there.

 

These kits are not award winners, but I feel more confident about using them and hopefully the next Sankei paper kit I assemble will look better than the last.  They have some very unique structures that you can't really find anywhere else (short of scratch-building yourself) so I think they add a unique appearance to a layout.  Unless they become hugely popular, then everyone will have one.. and since you can't really paint them.. everyone will have something that looks exactly like everyone else.. but I digress..

 

Great kits, a little pricey, a lot of fun..

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Bernard

What did you finally end up using for glue with these kits?

 

I ask this because when I made my niece a dollhouse, when it came to gluing on the roof shingles I used Elmer's glue which is a milk based glue. The shingles were made of thin bass wood and as they were drying they started to warp on the side the glue was on. I had to use a different glue and re-shingle the whole roof again.

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Guest ___

I've been thinking of trying one of these.

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disturbman

Sankei's products are great but tricky the first time. You need to learn how to do them, it's important not to rush into it but plan the different step of the construction. When you need bind several layer to build a wall, things can get messy quite quickly.

 

As for myself, I used Carpenter's glue and a very small pencil for these kits.

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Lawrence

I was hugely impressed with these kits I must say, is there a British or European supplier of these does anyone know?

 

Is there also paper kits called Pilgrimage? I seem to recall the name, maybe ???

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bill937ca

Sankei also has a blog with details of the construction of the Kyoto streetcar layout pictured in their web site.

 

http://blog.livedoor.jp/sankei_miniatuart/

 

Sankei instructions suggest using school glue, water paste and double sided tape in constructing the kits.

 

Edit

 

I've also found a English "how-to" On Hobbylink Japan.

 

http://www.hlj.com/howtosankei.html

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scott

Is there a kind of craft-paper that's close to what's used in these kits?

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disturbman

Yes, this Nara station kit is sensational. I think I'll soon be buying it for my semi-permanent not-on-the-floor-anymore-layout.

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Hobby Dreamer
Yes, this Nara station kit is sensational.

 

Thanks for letting us know the building... its got real presence!

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cteno4

 

Is there a kind of craft-paper that's close to what's used in these kits?

 

scott,

 

not really. what the sankei kits are is laser cut, high density color impregnated chip board, not printed images on cardstock or paper. basically the color is all through the chipboard and the stuff is very stiff. the color of sections of the building is set by the chipboard colors used and by layering it. also they are laser cut so all sorts of small details like window mulllions can be made in the walls for you (ie you dont have to try to cut 0.5mm thick window mullions!). the police station actually has a scale, laser cut chair in the chipboard!, you could never hand cut that!

 

paper craft or card stock models are usually white paper or card stock (thicker paper) that has the building design printed onto one side (or sometimes both sides on the nicer kits).

 

the advantage of the sankei chipboard kits is that you get very stiff models because most walls are 3 or 4 layers thick of very stiff chipboard which is more resistant to bowing and warping than cardstock or paper. the downside is that each piece is a solid color and you dont have lots of tiny printed surface details (although the laser can do some burning to make some marks/texture in the surface of the chipboard).

 

the advantage of the cardstock / papercraft models is that you can have a lot of surface details printed on them all over and lots more coloration than solid colors. you also need to do some coloring (felt tip pens usually work well) on the white edges that are exposed at seams. downside is that many of these kits dont do a lot of layering so sometimes they can be a bit flat and any details like windows usually are just a printed window, not openings (unless you want to get very handy with your xacto knife to open them up). also paper and cardstock needs some bracing usually on larger pieces to keep them stiff and prevent potential bowing or warping in the long run.

 

big difference between the two is the sankei laser cut kits are just pop out the pieces and assemble, most like doing a plastic model. with papercraft or card stock models you need to cut everything out. simpler ones its just the outside edges, but on the really nice kits there can be a lot of cutting that some find difficult to do. the cardstock / papercraft models usually are folded up and glued together with flaps. the sankei parts go together with joints at most edges that with the layers end up with rabit joints for them to interlock together with as well as tabs and slots for the many of the T joints.

 

so its a bit of apples and oranges between the two to get to the same result. really is something that you have to try for yourself to see what you enjoy doing, have the skills and patience for (cutting is a big frustration point for many attempting more ambitious card stock models), and what looks good to you visually and how it fits in with the rest of your modeling. no simple answer, more for the individual to work through for their own needs and likes.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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scott

Thanks, Jeff--that answer should be a sticky!

 

I know it won't be as good as the Sankei kits, but I may order some chipboard to experiment with--just to see what's possible. I'm starting to think that several buildings on our layout might need to be custom-built, so it'd be fun to play with the materials a bit--this is all pretty new to me.

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scott

Oh--checking out the Sankei kits, it seems like lot of them are more traditional Japanese buildings, so I might try a couple once I get my Japanese-module-layout idea worked out. But it looks like stations C, D, and E could be plausible in lots of settings, which is nice.

 

And I didn't realize until now that they also made rolling stock--this tram fits the Tomytec TM-03 power unit!

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Mudkip Orange

If I was an N scale person, I'd much rather be in a collision in a plastic train car then a paper one.

 

Then again, if I was an N scale person I'd probably be on the platform trying to pick up one of those Fujimoto maid girls.

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scott

OK, I caved. Station C, a bike shed, and a sheet of bikes are on the way.

 

As for the homebuilt stuff, it looks like shopping in person at the local art-supply store will be easier than trying to figure out paper weights online.

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cteno4

 

OK, I caved. Station C, a bike shed, and a sheet of bikes are on the way.

 

As for the homebuilt stuff, it looks like shopping in person at the local art-supply store will be easier than trying to figure out paper weights online.

 

scott,

 

its actually hard to get ahold of the good thin chipboards like sankei uses, they are usually not carried at art supply stores. what they carry are usually heavier papers and have a different fiber structure than the chipboards that are also rolled at a much higher pressure.

 

ill ask my friend who does the professional architectural models where he gets his chipboard for laser cutting, although he uses thicker stuff as his are usually 1/4" -1/2" scale models so must be beffier. the drawback with the good chipboards is that even the thinner stuff can be really tough to cut. does not slice like card stock (heavy papers) do. nice thing is you can get a cleaner cut than you do in card stock (denser material so it cuts cleaner just harder to get the knife through).

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

ps the bike shed is great and the bikes are nice. it will be interesting to see how well the bikes hold up with time. lots of them available in etched metal, but nice to have these lasercut ones for variety! wondering if painting them with an enamel paint may help make them last.

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scott

I have a couple of sets of metal bikes, too, so once the main station is farther along, we can see which ones work the best. For now they're just waiting in the box...

 

So--if I find some real chipboard, what would be a good tool for doing internal cuts (windows, doors, etc.)? I don't really want to invest in specialized (and expensive...) tools for this yet. Is there some sort of thin, hard chisel or something that you can use to bang a slot through the chipboard?

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cteno4

Scott,

 

the usual tool is an xacto knife. just steady hand and good straight edge and cutting matte and patience and practice!

 

there are small corner chisels you can get, but these are usually too big for most nscale use. there are also hand punch tools that you can get square punches for, but these can get expensive and arent usually made for a good variety of small punch sized you would want for n scale. micromart sells a small hand punch that they call the nibbler that has like a 1/8" square punch in it.

 

this is the tedious part of scratch building! also the part the laser cutter makes a huge difference! small buildings are not too bad, but if you do a larger one with a lot of aligned windows you then have to be very careful to make all your cuts in parallel or your eye will catch the window out of alignment easily!

 

other option with the cardstock is to try your hand at printing out the building side with the windows printed on them. there are a few software packages out there that give you all the parts to do this sort of build your own printed cardstock. then there is less tedious cutting out window and other openings.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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scott

OK--well, at least I already have all that stuff. :-)  Time to experiment...

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cteno4

 

OK--well, at least I already have all that stuff. :-)  Time to experiment...

 

thats the best approach. now that you have a sankei you can see what it takes to assemble those kinds of kits. might buy a mid line printed card stock model and try that as well to see what that gets you and if you like that direction as well. then that will give you exposure to the kids of things you need to do to do a scratch build yourself. also give you some ideas for how to engineer your own stuff. also just a good test to see if you enjoy doing them, some absolutely hate the others love them, need to find your porridge bowl...

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

ps there is another solution for doing your own chipboard models, but it aint really cheap. thats a plotter cutter. basically a plotter that has a blade in it. they have come way down in price in the last year or two with the cheapest in the $300 range. they can cut out windows, but cant do mullions like a laser cutter could do probably. also they only work on thinner stock so you need to cut out your exterior piece then back them with something stiffer. some will do thin styrene as well. you then have to get handy on your computer with a cad program to draw out the structure you want. i see this as something i really want to play with in the future when i have a bit more time and the prices mellow out a bit more so a good mid range one is around $250. jr

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scott

Iron-age technology will have to do for now... :-)

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Scaper

I'm interested in these kits too. I'm very leary of paper kits. I've sworn I'll never do brass again. I'm going to hold off for now...but I have to say what a great job you've done on these models.

 

All the best,

Bob

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