I bought the TCL Town Deal 2 along with 2 extra pitched roofs for the Hotel and the General Store that are part of this deal. What I forgot to purchase was a slanted roof for the Small Store. I also ordered two of the brand new "Room Addition" which is a small room that you can tack on to the side of just about any building. Its a very "western" feature, unfortunately they have been so popular that when I ordered they were already on backorder.
Overall the quality of the Tri-City kits is really quite good. As much as I like working with plywood though the floors do have a tendency to warp so you really need to get some weight on them when you are gluing things together. I still have a real problem with the lack of instructions as well. Now this is not a huge deal when you are dealing with the standard box or rectangle like the Small Store and the General Store. The counter in the General Store is trickier than it should be and the little slip of paper with a picture is just not an adequate set of instructions for it. Yes, you can puzzle it together it just takes longer than it should. The Hotel is quite intimidating when you pour out a bag of parts and all you get is a picture of the finished building. This one needs at least a one page set of instructions like the one pager you get from 4Ground or Sarissa Precision. Of course my favorite is the instruction booklets from Battle Flag and Aetherworks. I just feel that Tri-City Laser really needs to step up and do a bit more with their instructions.
A lot more could be done with the included interior detail as well. If you are going to advertise interior detail you should at least be engraving floorboards on to the floors. The other thing that bugs me a lot is the fit of the window frames. Instead of fitting around the window opening, they are actually cut to cover part of the window opening and there is no guide so you are kind of lining it up by eye. Is it hard? No, it just makes something a bit more difficult than it needs to be. The other feature that drove me crazy is the interior stairs for the Hotel. The angle on the banisters does not match the angle of the stairs nor is it long enough to actually go from top to bottom. I managed to cobble something together and ultimately my players aren't going to notice, but I notice and it bothers me a lot.
Despite my gripes these are solid kits and look good alongside the kits I have from other manufacturers. If you take your time and pay attention to what you are doing these build up just fine. Well, except for the those stairs.
Now on to the fun stuff, construction photos!
First up is the Small Store
|Gluing up the walls|
|And the walls from the back|
|Clamps and weights from the back.|
Now to something slightly larger, the General Store.
|What you get out of the bag.|
|And now an unobstructed view.|
|Another straight forward build. You can glimpse the interior here.|
|And the "full" interior. The shelves and the counter and|
shelving unit are nice but I would really like an engraved floor.
|A Black Scorpion Tombstone Mini providing some scale|
|Some more Black Scorpion Minis on the inside|
|And a look at the finished building complete with the optional|
Now the tough one; the Hotel.
|Here are the parts, a bit intimidating|
|Skipping the construction photos and just showing the sub-assemblies|
|Putting together the first floor. I didn't glue in the porch front. I'll paint it first.|
|The first floor sort of ready for action. Nothing is glued down on the|
inside yet. I want to do some detail work in there first.
|The second floor going together. Notice the variety of clamps|
and magnets being used.
|A Black Scorpion scale shot for the 2nd Floor|
|All finished, complete with the optional pitched roof.|
I actually borrowed this from the General Store. I forgot to put
the second roof kit together. I have something to do tonight now!
|And another scale shot featuring Black Scorpion miniatures|