Author Topic: Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review  (Read 4644 times)

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pmpexpress

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Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review
« on: March 03, 2012, 06:22:03 PM »
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Although it is completely uncustomary for me to comment about the positive and/or negative attributes of the products that I have personally acquired, having just received a standalone version of Eastern Seaboard Models' White Tower Restaurant, I am obliged to make an exception to this standing rule.

While there have been numerous discussions about whether or not Shapeways' FUD process is a viable means for prime-time production of N-Scale products, in my humble opinion, the domestic firm that turned out Bryan's White Tower models is clearly ahead of its foreign based competitor.

Given its diminutive size and ultra-fine detail, to my surprise, unlike some of the smaller cast resin and injection molded plastic kits that have been previously produced by other firms, the two piece White Tower structure exhibits no flash, and has completely symmetrical walls that bear absolutely no evidence of warpage.

Unparalleled in competitive offerings, the building's tiny one-piece interior casting has built-in counters, service shelving with an integrated clock, perfectly formed round bar stools, and tiled walls surrounding its personnel entry door.

With its ultra-fine curved door handles and bars above its windows, miniature embossed "White Tower" lettering on the front and side walls, Art Deco style facade, and simulated tiled walls, the structure's exterior detailing has received as much attention as its interior has.

Though the level of detail is above par, the model appears to be durable enough to withstand the rigors of normal (albeit, with care) handling.

Bound to impress the most discriminating buyer, kudos to Bryan for raising the bar by releasing this ground-breaking model.

bbussey

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Re: Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2012, 08:27:49 PM »
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Neville, thanks for the kind words.

Some people are having trouble accessing the PDF due to security issues, so I've changed it over to standard HTML format.
Bryan Busséy
NHRHTA #2246
NSE #1117
www.bbussey.net


Dave Schneider

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Re: Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2012, 09:24:33 PM »
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Bryan,

I have lost track with all the rapid prototyping discussion that have taken place over the past year or so. Which firm did you use for the production model?

Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

Philip H

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Re: Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2012, 11:24:12 PM »
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Got mine in the mail today as well and I echo Neville's comments completely! Bryan, this was a fantastic forst outing.

That said, I don't think I've ever heard of the solvent you recommend cleaning it with. Any other names it goes by or any alternatives? IKd like to try painting tomorrow.
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B

bbussey

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Re: Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2012, 11:55:25 PM »
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DKS recommended Bestine to me after I had ruined a couple of models using other gunk-removers (including Goo Gone), and it's worked perfectly since on White Tower and other models.  It is rubber cement cleaner, and I don't know if other brands are the same or not.  But I've never had Bestine attack the XHD resin - so my strong recommendation is to stick with the proven, especially on expensive little models such as this.  You should be able to find it in arts/crafts chains such as Pearl Paint and Michaels, but I bought my supply online through Amazon and it arrived in a couple of days.

Do NOT use Goo Gone, as the XHD resin absorbs the liquid and the window treatments swell and become distorted.  They straighten somewhat when the model dries but never go back to normal. 
Bryan Busséy
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up1950s

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Re: Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2012, 12:41:52 AM »
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Got my pair yesterday . The detail is so fine , a bar raiser for sure . Thank you for doing these .

pmpexpress

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Re: Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2012, 02:28:41 AM »
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Neville, thanks for the kind words.

Bryan,

You're welcome.

Given the amount of work and planning that went into your project, along with the splendid results that you have achieved, it only seemed fitting that someone acknowledged your concerted efforts.

Looking forward to seeing your next structure project.

Chris333

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Re: Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2012, 03:13:29 AM »
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Got mine too! Does look much better than Shapeways FUD. Only problem is I can't get the clock to set right  :P

Any troubles with acetone for cleaning? That is what I use for Shapeways.

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2012, 05:05:45 AM »
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Does this mean we may get some buses after all?
'In my great and unmatched wisdom'

bbussey

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Re: Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2012, 10:05:20 AM »
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Any troubles with acetone for cleaning? That is what I use for Shapeways.

It's the same material as what Shapeways uses, just rendered at the next highest resolution.  So acetone shouldn't be a problem.  I can add that to the instruction page once that is confirmed.

Does this mean we may get some buses after all?

The TDM4507 is a possibility, but the Scenicruiser is out due to CMW's plans.
Bryan Busséy
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Roger Holmes

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Re: Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2012, 01:21:11 PM »
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Mine arrived Saturday while two of my buddies were over helping me clean the layout for next weekend's NMRA layout tour.  You should have seen their eyes (especially the HO'er) when I opened the box.  OK, mine too, of course.

My HO buddy said he was going home to start a Google search .

An amahzing offering, Bryan.  I just wish that my schedule allowed time to get it on the layout before Friday.
Best regards,

Roger

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wm3798

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Re: Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2012, 01:40:39 PM »
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Mine also arrived, and it's a true gem.

My one concern is how I'm going to adequately decorate it considering the extreme fine-ness of the details, and the number of thumbs I have on my two left hands.

I expect I'll need to break out the air brush instead of the usual rattle cans, and pick up an even finer point paint brush for the finish work.

What do you recommend for coloring in the lettering?  I'm afraid that A) the base coat of paint will fill in the tiny letters, and B) there isn't a dry brush in the world dry enough to touch the surface without some blotching.  And going back to touch up will require a Buddhist Monk recently retired from writing sacred scrolls on the head of a pin...

Since I plan to light the interior, I will require at least two coats of paint on the inside (black as a light block and white as a finished wall color).  If the first is applied adequately to control light leaks, it's likely to fill in any details present on the interior walls.  This may be a non-issue since most of the details are on the interior insert.  There's also the issue of window glazing.  The openings are too large to get away with Micro Crystal Clear, which would also negate viewing any interior details, but I'm afraid that installing acetate of any but the finest thickness will create clearance problems for the interior insert, which is already a pretty tight fit.  Plus, depending on the cement used to secure the glass, ultra thin acetate may want to "craze", where using a thicker cement, such as clear acrylic gloss or super glue, may obliterate other details.

So while I'm impressed with the level to which this model aspires, it's definitely not a mass market piece (that's assured by the price alone), but it raises the issue of recognizing that while technology produces a model that CAN be done, the practical limitations of actually finishing it makes one wonder if it SHOULD be done.  Perhaps a couple of design compromises like a slightly larger footprint to address the glazing issue, maybe an opaque material to help interior lighting nerds, or "fatter" letters on the sign might be considered to help the modeler feel a little more successful when putting the thing together...

Lee

I'll be very interested to see how others approach painting the model.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 01:42:21 PM by wm3798 »
Rockin' It Old School

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bbussey

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Re: Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2012, 03:44:23 PM »
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Mine also arrived, and it's a true gem.

My one concern is how I'm going to adequately decorate it considering the extreme fine-ness of the details, and the number of thumbs I have on my two left hands.

I expect I'll need to break out the air brush instead of the usual rattle cans, and pick up an even finer point paint brush for the finish work.

What do you recommend for coloring in the lettering?  I'm afraid that A) the base coat of paint will fill in the tiny letters, and B) there isn't a dry brush in the world dry enough to touch the surface without some blotching.  And going back to touch up will require a Buddhist Monk recently retired from writing sacred scrolls on the head of a pin...

Not necessarily.  I used Patra rattle cans for the white when I painted two of the initial buildings I got through Shapeways, and brush-painted everything else.  The finish was fine and none of the letters or window treatments filled in.  Prior to that, I painted the roof flat black with a wide brush and masked it off prior to spray-painting.  I then used a fine brush with Testors alluminum for the window treatments and doors.  The only details that were tedious were the aluminum vertical trim on the main counter (because they are thin) and the foot cushions (because the stools are in the way).  Even with the clock on the shelf unit, I painted the frame black before painting the shelving, and then lightly brushed over the face details with a nearly-dry brush in black.  I didn't bother painting the clock face or the main countertop white because the material turned opaque white after the wax removal.  The only reason I had to paint the bathroom walls is because I did the black-block on the bathroom side which necessitated the front and back of those walls to be painted white.

The exterior letters are white, so there is no need to highlight them.  But if painting them is desired, use a fine-tip paint marker or Sharpie marker and run the side of the paint tip across the letter faces.  No mess, no fuss.

I also recommend a third-hands clamp with magnifying glass like the ones that Micro-Mark sells for painting the interior details such as the foot cushion, stool stands and stool cushions.  I didn't use one when I painted the test samples, but I would have if I was painting a model for the layout.

Since I plan to light the interior, I will require at least two coats of paint on the inside (black as a light block and white as a finished wall color).  If the first is applied adequately to control light leaks, it's likely to fill in any details present on the interior walls.  This may be a non-issue since most of the details are on the interior insert.  There's also the issue of window glazing.  The openings are too large to get away with Micro Crystal Clear, which would also negate viewing any interior details, but I'm afraid that installing acetate of any but the finest thickness will create clearance problems for the interior insert, which is already a pretty tight fit.  Plus, depending on the cement used to secure the glass, ultra thin acetate may want to "craze", where using a thicker cement, such as clear acrylic gloss or super glue, may obliterate other details.

I painted one of the models with a single base coat of black paint on the inside walls followed by the white paint and the details remained.  The relief depth of details on the model, such as the tile definition, is exaggerated slightly to compensate for the overcoat of paint, so no need to worry in that regard.

Use Krystal Klear on the curved window column next to the front door, and Evergreen .005" clear styrene for the other windows and doors.  There are .005" recessed areas behind the larger windows for the styrene.  But even so, none of the window areas are covered by any part of the interior, so .010" clear styrene can be used as well.  You could even use .015" real glass (Corning sells 24"x24" sheets that thin) and it wouldn't obstruct the interior.  Use Krystal Klear or white glue to secure the "glass" in place and avoid fogging/crazing.

Since you're lighting the building, you will have to add plumbing in the bathroom if the rear will be visible on the layout.  The interior wall doesn't travel entirely to the roof and some light from the main room will bleed into the bathroom over the top of the interior walls.

The one operation that definitely will be tedious is threading the LED wires through the conduit in the corner.  You'll need needle-nose tweezers to incrementally feed the wires through.  I should have allowed a larger opening at the top.  Sometimes details such as that are not obvious while working on the digital model at 10x on screen.  Another option is to thread a wire through from the bottom, twist the end together with the LED leads and pull it back through the conduit.

So while I'm impressed with the level to which this model aspires, it's definitely not a mass market piece (that's assured by the price alone), but it raises the issue of recognizing that while technology produces a model that CAN be done, the practical limitations of actually finishing it makes one wonder if it SHOULD be done.  Perhaps a couple of design compromises like a slightly larger footprint to address the glazing issue, maybe an opaque material to help interior lighting nerds, or "fatter" letters on the sign might be considered to help the modeler feel a little more successful when putting the thing together...

Well the material is what it is, just as the PerFactory resin comes in transparent red only.  It isn't intended as a mass-market piece and is strictly a niche craftsman-type product.  The larger the footprint, the greater the price due to print time (the resin cost is negligible).  A full build tray is printed at once (hence the monthly pre-order batch system), so the total cost is divided by the number of pieces per build tray.  The model was originally intended as a CAN-it-be-done item and not intended for sale.  But the demand was so great that the effort was made to figure out a way to fill the niche.  It's not a high-profit item.  The primary advantage is the notoriety that comes with releasing an item such as this.  It also nudges the bar forward toward the point where this does become a viable mainstream mass-market option for producing model railroad equipment.


« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 03:50:48 PM by bbussey »
Bryan Busséy
NHRHTA #2246
NSE #1117
www.bbussey.net


pmpexpress

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Re: Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2012, 03:50:51 PM »
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Philip,

To my Southwest Florida address, a quick Internet search revealed that Benfranklin.com appeared to offer the lowest total price ($10.12 plus $1.52 shipping) for the online purchase of a 16oz can of Best-Test's Bestine rubber cement solvent and thinner.

Alhough the product is also available in Ben Franklin's retail craft store locations, the web address for online ordering is as follows:

http://www.benfranklin.com/item.php?id=MP-BT202&c=a&s1=Graphic+Arts+&+Printmaking&s2=Rubber+Cement,+Thinners+&+Dispensers&s3=Bestine+Rubber+Cement+Thinner&zmam=47182733&zmas=1&zmac=1&zmap=MP-BT202

In addition to the craft stores that Bryan has already suggested,, you might also find Bestine at a Hobby Lobby crafts store, or a local drafting and/or office supply store (i.e., because Bestine is typically used with rubber cement).

pmpexpress

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Re: Eastern Seaboard Models White Tower Restaurant Kit Review
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2012, 04:07:08 PM »
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Lee,

Rather than paint the interior walls black, I am hoping to incorporate some extremely thin sheets of black paper into the building (a common practice with foreign made kits from Faller, Kibri, and Vollmer).

For the structure's glazing, I am contemplating the use of Ngineering's .005" Thick Plate Glass.

Available in .85" x .85" 8-packs (N7003-8) or .85" x 1.70" 4-packs (N7004-4), the crystal clear, "real glass" product is typically used in structures and vehicles.

"Working with .005" thick glass" instructions:

http://www.ngineering.com/glass_howto.htm

Photo of the product in use:

http://www.ngineering.com/glass_photo.htm

The 005" Thick Plate Glass can be found on Ngineering's "Other Detail Stuff" page:

http://www.ngineering.com/other_detail_stuff.htm