This is the last of the three Knuckleduster kits that came in the town package that I purchased. I saved this one for last since it is by far the most complicated and caused me some frustration getting it finished. Before I get to far though into this kit let me provide a bit of an update for Calamity. I still have buildings coming from Sarissa-Precision (Including the Livery Stable, a simply must have building for any Old West town) and GameCraft Miniatures. The Sarissa order was listed shipped on 10/15. I have contacted them and they are looking into it from their end (a quick response to my email I might add). We believe that may be a package that Hurricane Sandy ate as New York is a likely entry point for packages from the UK. I haven't checked with GameCraft yet as he is a small operation and I'm confident it will be here soon. I would like to hold off painting until everything has arrived and been assembled but I may not be able to wait quite that long. The buildings are just begging to be painted and I have some techniques that I really want to try out. I think I have five more buildings coming so the only thing that will be missing is a real centerpiece building. Battle Flag has a really nice hotel with a couple of choices of roof styles that has me caught my eye but its quite expensive. I may start sifting through my railroad kits and parts and scratch build one instead. Despite everything that's been said on various boards 1/48th or "O" scale is just to big for 28mm but I think I can find a good selection of 1/64th or "S" scale parts at Caboose Hobbies to work with. Of course it is the perfect excuse to get into some serious building research which I love to do! Now on to the 2 Story Knuckleduster kit.
Like the other two this kit only comes with a flat roof so I purchased the Pitched Roof kit to go along with it. Its just called a 2 story building but I'm probably going to use it as a boarding house with some kind of shop on the 1st floor. The way the interior walls for the 2nd floor are arranged just kind of suggests this to me. The contents are a bit overwhelming when you pull them out of the bag. This is the point were even a one page instruction sheet would have been a great help. There are a ton of parts to this kit, if you have some experience putting these together or you have been following with my other reviews its pretty much just a matter of sorting things out into the different component types, like walls, door and window frames, facade frames and the stairs. There are also a few pieces that don't have an obvious use if you haven't built this style of building before.
This time the lack of instructions gets a 0 out of 5. Even a one pager would have helped a lot.
Components are only going to get a 4 out of 5. The interior walls being to long is pretty much an unforgivable error for a kit that had to be designed in CAD first. The cross piece on the stairs not quite reaching the ground is another.
That being said this is still a solid kit and will be a great addition to your Wild West town. Just be sure to work methodically and pay attention to what you are doing (a classic case of do as I say and not as I do). The second floor being a separate piece is brilliant and makes this building very flexible for gaming. I just wish it they had engraved the floors the way Battle Flag and Aetherwork do.
As long as you work a methodically this kit will go together just fine. As always I started by gluing the different door and window frames together as well as the front wall for the 1st floor. There is some nice engraving here it would have been nice if the interior floor had been engraved as well. I then assembled the walls for the first floor using my usual combination of clamps (I love those corner clamps, I wish I had two more) and weights. There was a bit of warping of the base but that was taken care of once the walls were glued into place. Again be sure to use either white (PVA) or carpenter's glue on this, superglue will get you no where and epoxy is really not suitable for wood (it will work just not very well). Double check your pieces to make sure you have the correct side facing out. That's pretty easy on these plywood kits as there is an obvious exterior side to the plywood. I got the bottom floor together without to many issues.
From here I moved on to the 2nd floor. First I made a mistake here, two actually. Since I hadn't quite figured out how the frames for the front and back were suppose to go on or I simply forgot about them. When I glued the walls to the second floor base I had problems getting things to line up properly and at one point had to break a glue joint (which fortunately for me had not quite set up all the way) because one of the walls had slipped. Had I glued the front and back frames on first (which should be the intent) I would have had the notch to work with to keep everything lined up nice and square. The other issue with the 2nd floor (besides the like of an engraved floor) is that the interior walls turned out to be to long. There is one long wall that runs front to back with the three door openings (I know just cutting the door openings makes life easy but I would have liked doors to go in them as well, even if they just won't really fit properly after cutting. At least give me the choice) and two shorter walls. Its the shorter walls that are to long by about a 1/4". They push the long wall over to far and the end of it actually extends into the window (just take a look at the pictures, you will see what I'm talking about).
And then the final assembly
I must say that I really like how the 2nd floor comes off. It will be a lot easier to play games with this building because the 2nd floor is a separate piece from the first floor. I think the joints that allow this could have been hidden better but the basic idea is sound and I like it. I know I took some pictures of this one in combination with the other buildings in Calamity right now but I'm just not sure what safe place I put them in.
Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)