Xcel Feed MillThis is the Xcel Feed Mill kit from Nscale Architect , it will be the largest kit I have built to date and my first kit from Nscale Architect
It comes in a sturdy box, one downside if you open the box the normal way you will cut through the picture on top , so I opened the box by cutting out the side.The box is enormous for N-scale, here I compare it to a JL Innovative kit that isn't one of my smallest.
At first glance the instructions look good , not great like those of RSlaser and Inter Action Hobbies but good, lots of text where pix could do more. I like the pages where all the lasercut sheats are pictured with the painting codes on it, there are so many parts that I did the painting ( further down ) by the numbers.
Some of the parts, silo's in resin and pipes in metal, one of the castings was broken so I gave NSA an email, they mailed me a new part the next day, great service again from a model railroad manufacturer.
7 sheets of lasercut walls , floors etc. including 2 sheets of stick'n peel.
I painted the parts while still on the sheets , I will probably have to touch up a lot afterwards but I prefer painting first with wood kits.
2 hours of painting and not done yet, I love big kits.
Painted the silos , Tamiya Matt White and the metal silos Polyscale Stainless Steel
The outer walls have first been painted with a textured paste to give it a stuco look and then painted white for the first time.
Starting off with the main building, first windows and doors , each window and door consists of multiple parts, this door has peel n stick fame, then the door panels and above the door panels a window , the window is clear plastic with the mullions printed on. Window/door sills and an arch above.
This is what it looks like put together, the sills will be placed later so I left all but these 2 on the sheets.
This is my workplace with the diagrams of the buildings right in front of me and the parts maps to the right.
Views of the buildings in diagrams with the window placing and parts numbers.
Maps of the parts-sheets.
One wall at a time , all the doors and windows for this wall.
Glued in place.
This is what the back looks like.
All doors and windows of the main building placed.
Some bracing to the head ends.
First assembly of walls.
More walls and the roofs placed, I had to cut away parts of the bracing for the window spacing. Back of the picture is the glue I use to glue the roofs on , it's very thin and I just but a few drops on top of the slots in the roof it then flows into the gap between the 2 pieces of wood. The glue leaves almost no traces , sets fairly quick and can also be used for foam and plastic to wood.
Ready for roofing , trimming and weathering.
This kit consists of many sub-builds, these are the walls of the milling building. Again painted with the texture paste and then painted white.
Here you can see that the bracing is there more to accomodate glueing the parts together then against warpage.
Glueing the walls together with the aid of metal cubes and magnets.
The roof in place , everything fits like a glove.
While the walls of the Milling building are setting I started weathering the roof of the distribution building. First a thin coat of grimy black to take the shine off the corrugated metal, then several washes of Rust All, it goes on wet and when it dries leaves a layer of rust.
While the Rust All is drying, put trimming on the Milling Building.
Several smaller builds that will find it's place , one of the great things about this Kit , you don't have to stop building, when you already have glue setting on one building, paint drying on another, there are still so many other things to build and do.
This is what the roof looks like after 2 washings with Rust All.
I started with painting all the walls, parts, etc. on the sheets , now that I'm well on my way , I think I could have just aswell have built most substructures and then painted them, there is so much touching up to do, I would only have to be careful to paint parts when they are easy to get to. The pyramids here I will have to paint over when I am finished filling the seems, these are a few of the pieces that don't fit as tight together as most of the kit does, so I will fill up the small gaps.
Another of the substructures.
There's so many of them.
Filled the gaps with something called Hairline Crack Filler, it's for for very small cracks and is brought on with a soft paintbrush.
To the right the filler when sanded. It doesn't need to be sanded perfectly flat, because it's supposed to look like welded metal.
This is what it looks like from the bottom.
I then painted all the building walls that could be seen on the inside with black acrylic, just so you don't see the wood.
The I gave all the outside flat aluminum walls a wash with Grimy Black, just put a dab of water on the wall and then a tiny bit of grimy black and cover the surface with this. This is before the wash and below is after.
The picture doesn't realy show the difference as it is in reality, the grimy black takes away most of the shine, these of course will be weathered later on , this is just to give it some tooth for powders and take away the shine.
Then on to the loading dock with the roof grain storage bins. The beams are peel 'n stick, I rolled them on to the bins then with elastics around glued the ends with CA. I did the same with the bins that were to stand on the ground, but because these are smaller in diameter the croosbeams wanted to break, so I wetted them with alcohol so they would bend a bit easier, then rolled them and did the same as with the other bins.
The instructions tell you to place the bins on top of the loading dock and then glue in place, I thought this could do with a better fixation. So I drilled holes in the bottom of the bin to fit a small screw.
Then drilled holes in the roof of the building.
Test fitted it. Then painted the roof.
I painted the bottoms of the bins , oxide red, not sure if they were this color in 1960 but they are in the prototype now. Put everything together , if the bottom of the bin is just ever so slightly shorter then the vertical beams you will not have to glue all the beams to the roof, but even if you do when finished weathering the glue will not be visible.
On to the elevator building. First glue the silos to the floor.
Then put the elevator shaft together. This all fits perfectly.
Then put the roof on, I never thought I would say this, but use plenty of glue as done in the instructions, it not only fills gaps and glues the shaft to the roof, but also makes the roof construction a litlle flexible so you can correct angles somewhat.
About the only part I don't realy like about the kit ( matter of taste ) is the roofing for some of the buildings, it's a printed sheet to use as tarred roll roof, it doesn't have relief and when you paint an weather it the rolls wouldn't show at all, so I made rolls from ordinary black paper and fitted this to the roof using transfer tape, the roof caps are fixed using phatic glue, don't worry about tiny bits of glue oozing out from under the caps, it's supposed to look like tarred roof and thats exactly what it will look like.
This is the elevator building after some rustall on the corrugated roof and grimy black wash to the silos.
Now that I have finished all the subbuilds I thought I'd show you what the footprint will be like.
And some more pics before detailing.
One of the more tedious jobs, placing all the trims, windowsills and such.
This is the distribution building with the trims in place.