Review of GCLaser kit

Discussion in 'Product Review Forum' started by Gary Pfeil, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I was thrilled when I found that Pete had selected me to build and review GCLaser’s Country Market kit. When I had first seen the picture of the kit, I thought I would use it for a 30’s era gas station. Add some pumps out front and appropriate details and there you go. By the time I received the kit though, I had found a picture of a great gas station from a local town in a Susquehanna book, and want to build that. So I started out intending to build a farm stand. After assembly of the four main walls, it was time to paint. Shortly thereafter, I was wishing Pete hadn’t selected me! I botched the airbrushing of the walls, and in addition found out that Walthers Goo is not really the same as a rubber cement. My intention was to model some minor paint peeling using a method time proven. Paint or stain the wall a weathered wood color, use a small brass wire to apply small bits of rubber cement. Let it dry, paint over with wall color, let dry and use a pencil erasure to remove the rubber cement. Peeling paint! Well, I found that Goo doesn’t come off! I had to pick at it carefully, sand and such and I lost the fine detail I had hoped for. I thought about buying another kit to avoid the public humiliation. I decided to go ahead and come out of the closet about it!

    One of the strengths of the kit may just be that it could be used for many purposes. In addition to the aforementioned gas station, thoughts that went thru my mind during construction included a small roadside burger and dog joint. Ice Cold Beer! That lead to me realizing that I should model a Gary’s café someday, since I constantly think about opening a small restaurant but stay away due to financial concerns. A model of my place in the 50’s would be cool though! I could change the front wall from the windows and door to a counter with steel roll up door. I got myself excited about it for awhile, then decided if I wanted something like that it may be easier to scratch from styrene. I would go ahead and build the farm stand.

    I had intended to place the structure where I had planned a gas station, from the time I was asked to do this review. Realizing I still wanted to have a gas station there, I moved it across the street, where there was……. a general store. I had never been happy with this structure there anyway, it was a bit too large for the area. So I moved it down the street, where I still have lots of room. This tiny structure was now located directly in front of the Pequannok River. To its left was a scene with fly fisherman and some swimmers, and behind it and to its right the river disappears into the distance thru trees along the banks. Wait! It can be a canoe and raft rental outfit (and they could sell burgers! And Ice Cold Beer!) So this is what the kit wound up as. I want to build a trailer to hold four canoes to sit the lot with a van to represent the canoe rental places on the Delaware I patronize. This is decidedly small time, but hey, it’s the 50’s!

    OK, how about the kit? Well, the parts all fit perfectly, and were easy to separate from the sheets they come in. I didn’t find the instructions intuitive, although they are not difficult to understand. I think it may be fair to say they assume a fair bit of knowledge from the modeler, both in prototype practice and modeling techniques. For instance, I have used commercial shingles for roofing. You draw parallel lines on the roof material to place the top edge of successive rows of the shingles on. I’ve always just used a strip of paper folded to simulate whatever it is you call the ridgeline of the roof. You see, there’s a problem. What if the modeler has little knowledge of architectural nomenclature? GCLaser went a step further than any of the roofing shingles I’ve used in the past. They include some shingles cut, apparently, to model the ones used on roof ridgelines, whatever they may be called. But there was no mention of them, or how to use them in the directions. I actually have no idea if I installed them as intended!

    This somewhat minor point aside, the kit went together nicely, with no need to trim or sand to get things to fit. There was one issue, and I don’t know if it was caused by me or the kit. After glueing the four walls together and painting, the next step is to install the floor for the open portion of the structure. When I did so, one corner of the structure raised into the air. It was perfectly flat prior to installation of the floor. I was not able to detect what the problem was. I took care of it by glueing the structure to a small piece of masonite. This actually turned out nice as the masonite gave me a “handle” to hold the structure while doing some detail work and such.

    All in all, it was a very enjoyable kit to build, and I think anyone who picks one up will have fun with it and wind up with a nice structure.

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  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Here is the evidence that Goo does not share the desirable aspects of rubber cement in regard to removal!

    Attached Files:

  3. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Well, that was fairly easily taken care of. This shows the produce table well, note that I installed these on only this side. The kit comes with material to do both sides. At the risk of repeating myself, the kit parts were perfect.

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  4. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Sorry about the problem with the Walther's Goo. I've used the rubber cement method of flaking paint before, and it usually works. I like your "fix". This is the honest feedback I was looking for. We will look it over, and see if there is anything we can do, about the problems you noted. The issue of the ridge caps has already been discussed, and I will look into the "intuitiveness" of the instruction set, I get to build these kits before instructions are written, but then, I am "on the inside", and understand how they are designed. I am too close to the project to "see", so your "sight" is very helpful. Neat idea, nice pictures ( you can upload them to the "Brag Corner" of the GCLaser web site, if you haven't done that already), and many thanks for your efforts. Hope those LPBs ( that's Little Plastic Boaters ) keep the canoe rental place busy.

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