Sunday, April 24, 2011

Building the Aoshima Apartments

The kit comes with easy to follow instructions.  In the first steps they have you assemble the internal floors and walls and the walls around the stair towers. The stairs were the same color as the walls which I did not think realistic so I brush painted them with Floquil Concrete.

The color of the base did not look to me like concrete so I airbrushed this with Floquil Concrete.

I also installed two 4-40 screws through the base for mounting this building on the module as explained in the post Attaching Buildings.

The largest part of building this kit is installing the windows, balconies, and railings on the wall sections.  I found that everything in this kit fits together very well as long a you are careful to smooth the connections to the spues.

The kit comes with a decal set with window coverings both opened and closed that are meant to be applied to the inside of the windows.

The internal walls and floors come with openings that allow for installing interior lighting.  This should be done before installing the exterior wall assemblies.  After testing how the lighted building might look, I decided that I would set up some LED's inside some of the internal compartments of the building.

To be continued.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A new building kit

Recently I was looking on ebay for some additional figures (people) for the Musashi-Koyama modules when I came across a large apartment building kit that I had never seen before from a company that I had not heard of before, Aoshima.  I searched for this name and found out that this kit had been released in late 2009.  The full name of the company is Aoshima Bunka Kyozi which my wife tells me translates as Green or Blue Island Cultural Manufacturing.

So I purchased the kit and several sets of figures and they arrived within about 2 weeks. This kit came in a box that was approximately 13 x 8 x 4 inches.

There are about 14 spue sets in the kit, each in its own bag, plus step by step pictorial instructions and some stickers.  This photo shows about half of the parts that come with this kit.

Many of the parts in this kit have already been air brush painted.  Shown here are the railings for the balconies.  Some other painted details include pipes on the roof, window frames, and vents on the walls.  Looking over all the parts spues nothing seems to have that plastic look to it.

Two sets of stair towers are included.  I wish someone would offer pre-molded stair sets just by themselves for us kit bashers and scratch builders.

There are other nice touches to this kit like interior floors and walls, a hole between floors for lighting,  This is going to be great fun to build.
I have just the place for this apartment building on the Musashi-Koyama modules as shown highlighted in violet.

Buying on ebay: I purchased this kit from the ebay seller plazajapan in Osaka.  I have purchased from them several times and they have always been reliable.  Another good ebay seller of Japanese N scale items  that I have purchased from is hit-japan in Sapporo.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Exterior stairways

Exterior stairways are quite common on buildings in Japan.  When I built my model of the 6 story "Mr. Donut" building, I left the stairs off.  Lately I've decided that it really needed the stairs to make it look right and have been working on those.

This photo on the left shows the prototype building.  Close examination of this and other photos shows that the stairs are the open frame type with a mesh type screen over the railing.

This photo shows my model of the building as it is now, without the stairway.  The highlighted area is where the stairway will be added.  I need to match the existing building tile.

Plastruct makes a line of products in N and HO scales to model industrial stairway.  I've used these before and would use them for the basis of this project.

Here is what I have so far.  I started with a .020 sheet of styrene.  Then I laminated the tiled styrene over that with gaps where the doors would be.  Except for the bottom and top flights, all the stairs are in.  The Plastruct railings are used for the inside and .020 x .250 styrene strip for the outside as seen between floors 2 and 3.

I'll make another post on this in the future showing how it came out when it's done and attached to the building.