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Tony Galiani

Sankei Renovation

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Tony Galiani

Over this past weekend I (almost) completed renewing my first Sankei project - the police station.  I was not completely happy with the corner seams and the fit in a couple of sections.

I was not sure how to make this look better.  Corner trim is not common on concrete buildings, at least in my part of the world.   On one of our trips to Germany we were leaving my wife's cousin's town, Kunzelzau, when I spotted a two story building similar in shape.  It was white with blue corner trim and blue horizontal trim as well.  Okay - I had my prototype justification!  Though I was not going to use such bold a color scheme!

 

To rehab the building, I first put a spacer on the tall section to reduce the bowing of the walls.  With that sorted out, I took some white Plastruct corner shapes and cut them to fit at each corner.  I then opened up the slots for the tabs on the upper roof and glued it back on.

I filled the gaps at the corner of each roof section with some white gouache paint and sanded that smooth after it was dry.  The gouache is thick enough to fill seams and worked just fine.

Then I painted the roof trim with acrylic Tamiya Sky Gray.

 

I am generally pleased with the results.  I had some problems gluing on the corner strips but managed to make it work. I still need to add one more coat of the gray paint and roof coping.  I plan to make that from some thin Plastruct strips.

 

So it turns out it is possible to work on the Sankei kits.  Even though they are not plastic, they are strong enough to tolerate some modification.

 

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

Sankei police box repair process.JPG

Sankei police box after 1.JPG

Sankei police box after 3.JPG

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Martijn Meerts

Looks good. Also, don't forget some strategic weathering and planting of trees / shrubs / weeds / moss to draw the eye away from any possible, minor faults.

 

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cteno4

Very nicely done!

 

ive used the thinnest evergreen corner stock for the same purpose and it really hides seams well and kind of disappears as very orderly looking. Also makes the building pop a bit more visually w.o really being all that noticable.

 

jeff

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ben_issacs

Tony, 

As a Japanese police station, it should have, above the entrance door, the Imperial Gold Chrysanthemum badge, did 

such come with the Kit, if not, hard to replicate.

Also, there is often  a red light above the door, this could be done by a small piece of rod, painted red, or if you're keen, a red working LED.

Probably should have a  name board in Japanese, Takawa Police Post, or similar, again hard to reproduce in Japanese.

All these items will show that it is a police station, and not just a little office building.

Regards, 

Bill, 

Melbourne.

 

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Tony Galiani

Thanks for all the suggestions.

 

Martin - I would like to try weathering the building a bit but not sure how the material will react.  I have saved all the offcuts from my Sankei kits so I will play with them a bit to see if I can find a safe way to do this.

I did have a bit of glue stain on one side and your suggestion for a small bush over there will hide that.

 

Bill - I like the light idea though I have never done any working LEDs.  I do recall some posts about lighting Sankei kits so time for some research!

 

Cheers,

Tony

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Martijn Meerts

You can use powder pigments for the weathering, either buy them, or get some coloured chalk which you can scrape little bits off to get small quantities of powder. You can apply it directly to the model and when it's too much, it's relatively easy to remove the excess. Of course, some will stick to the paper of the model. You could also clear coat it first (several thin layers rather than 1 thick layer), which should make it easier to remove the powder if you're not happy with it. Another option would be airbrushing heavily diluted paint, and very slowly build it up like that.

 

To experiment, it should also be possible to get some similar card stock from a hobby shop.

 

 

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cteno4

Toni,

 

lol I have a bag of those off cuts for the same purpose! 
 

nice thing about sankei for lighting is the chipboard is pretty opaque and usually at least 2 layers thick and most joints are done as double rabit joints so few light leaks. tomytecs on the other hand use an abs that is almost like a light channel and loves to glow despite the thick acrylic paint on the outside. It usually needs some light blocking on the walls and a lot of joint light sealing (number of ways of doing this.)
 

I played with a couple way back for lighting and found turning leds way way down did the trick and just needed to glue the led to a little shield like a hunk of foil or sequin to reflect excess some and no bleed with the led against a roof bit. First one I experimented with lighting was the little police kiosk (first sankei I made and made a few mistakes that I corrected but thought I would just torture the poor structure with experimenting). Turning the led way down did the trick to give the light of a few bright bulbs that would be in a room like that. No light leaks of bleeds except on the roof and the backing took care of that. 
 

lighting with more really turned down leds gives a much more natural lighting look, both in most all the time only part of a structure is lit with some rooms dark or just dimly lit fro some light from an adjacent room. An led running at 20ma is like a mini sun and the light streaming out the windows is like a nuclear pile has been exposed! Also when you have leds turned way up like this you get tons of light bleed thru materials (Tomytec white abs really glows) and light leaks very obvious at seams and joints. You also get odd shadows cast you don’t see in real life along with sharp light splashes surrounding the structure (these are at best gentle diffuse splashes in real life).

 

i use variable resistors to tune the leds to needed levels usually. You can tune them, measure and just use static resistor, but I think keeping the pot in there is good, I add a static limiting resistor in series to limit the led to like 5-10ma when the pot is at 0 so turning the pot all the way down won’t blow the led and might as well knock most of the current off with the static resistor and give the pot more range of dimming. I use 5v as less power wasted and Its such a universal power source. 3.3v can work as most white leds will come on with most 3.3v supplies, just closer to the dimming region and 3.3v supplies are not as ubiquitous as 5v are these days. 
 

some of the bigger sankei really require you to mount your leds while you assemble as it can be difficult or impossible to get back into some rooms once assembled without a lot of interior hacking.

 

you can also use little magnets to hold your structures in place (ie hot glue them down) and also use the magnets to transfer power to the structure so you don’t need to fiddle with connectors and extra wire for the connector. Just glue little 1x3mm or1x2mm magnets (like a cent each on ebay) on the bottom of the structure in 2-4 places. Once dry pop another magnet onto each magnet and a small drop of glue onto the bottom of the second magnet and place structure where you want. Once dry you can just pop up the building. You may need to add a 2mm thick strip of chi lard abound your base as the magnets will step things up some. Some bases already have recessed areas you can use for the magnets and not raise things (may need to shim the magnets). Nice thing is if you also have Ttrak modules you can do a second set of magnets to move the building between them as needed. To add wire connections just put the stripped wire next to the magnet and apply a small dot of conductive glue to bond them (you get this in little syringes for a couple of bucks to fix broken contacts you can’t solder, basically glue and silver particles). The neodymium magnets are usually coated in nickel silver plate so are good conducting contacts then. Easy peezy.

 

the 1210 SMD leds are great for interior lighting. Just big enough (about 3mm x 3mm) to easily solder leads to and to handle and be robust but small enough to fit anywhere. They also tend to focus light down some and not in all directions. Cheap at a cent or two each and you can find cool white (bluer florescent lighing), warm white (more older incandescent) and white (more mixed or modern led). I just tape a piece of masking tape down on the bench sticky side up, then stick the led on the tape face down and pretin contacts and thn just hold the stripped ends along the contacts (tape helps hold them without hand shake) and fast hit with the soldering iron to weld. I want to try this with soldering paste, but it doesn’t like the iron tip as much. I fiddled with making a little jig to hold like 5 at once to solder but it was more work than just doing one at a time on the tape, it’s simple. Wire them with 30g wrapping wire. It’s cheap about cent or two a meter and tough and pretinned so solders fast and strips well (fine wire it’s easy to break strands) and is only 0.25mm in diameter. Just have to plan how you will run your wires down to the base. I want to have all my dimming circuits on a mini board in the base so no wires to the structure and just supply power thru magnets, alternative you can run all your wires thru your baseboard and have a dimming circuit under the layout (or remotely but just ends up running a lot of wires, but wrapping wire is very cheap and tiny). You can use IC sockets on the dimming board to just push 
 

one issue with sankei interiors can be they can be a very dark material so adding some white paper or cardstock interior layer can really help to bounce and color light and just look more natural with what you can see thru the windows (when lit gently you see a lot more of the interior of buildings than w/out interior lighting so may notice new stuff). Just race out the interior wall before assembling and cut out window and door openings about a mm fat (they don’t need to be perfect and neat!) and also a bit shy of the joints as well to not muck them up. You can attach by little tiny dots of rubber cement for easy removal if needed. If you want to get fancy add some little chunks of colored cardstock to the walls as pictures, book cases, etc and a lot of what you might see thru the windows is another wall and just a couple of shapes Saying interior details can make your mind’s eye fill in the whole room with furniture! Adding a colored piece of cardstock for the floor will also bring some color to the lighting as well. Having the interior brighter means you need less light from the led and thus less chances of issues with light leaks and soaking thru,

 

lighting doesn’t scale well so it really takes a lot of fiddling with it. Also we are looking at the buildings usually from 100m+ away on the layout but usually we have in our mind’s eye looking at structures much closer. It’s a real art, I worked with great lighting artists a couple of times on exhibit models and was amazed what you could do with light and make a great model space totally come to life!

 

I did a ton of experimenting on this over a decade ago on some test structure as I really wanted to do a lot of nice lighting, but realized it was like Dcc, going to be a bit of work on each structure to do it and it’s a bit of all or nothing, with in-between being hard. So I’ve put it aside until I have the block of time and assemble tomytecs w.o glue so I can rebuild Later and set all the more hard to get into sankei to the back of the line but will just install leds as I go, ironic thing is one of our club members is starting a big spirited aways set of modules and wants it all lighted so I’ve been working with him on doing all this, I’ll try and take pictures to document. Bummer as we just made some circuits the other day. I’ll make some more up

 

Cheers

 

jeff

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ben_issacs

Tony, 

Another suggestion.

Although this is  a small station, it would have a patrol car allocated.

Not parked in the street, too narrow, but in a space alongside the station, and undercover.

Undercover would be an opensided structure with a leanto roof.

Not sure if such a structure is available in model form. 

Could be scratch built, , four circular plastic rods for the supports, , plasticard or similar strips on edge in a rectangular frame to support the roof, with the supports cemented into the corners, and a flat roof, from the resin card offcut.

Make this structure big enough to not only cover the patrol car, but a couple of bikes also, Japanese police often do bicycle patrols.

For the police car, Tomytec do a four car (I think) vehicle set which includes a black and white police car, which may not be easily available now..

I think that the red light on the roof  when lit indicates that the station is manned, small stations like yours might not be twentyfour hour jobs.

Regards, 

Bill,

Melbourne.

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ben_issacs

Tony, 

Tomytec 'The Car Collection, Basic Set N2', has four vehicles, one of which is a black and white police car.

Regards, 

Bill, 

Melbourne.

 

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Tony Galiani

Thanks for all the great info - lots for me to consider as I work on my project plan.  I have a small test layout made up from the compact Kato Unitrack sets without any scenery or buildings at this point.  That might be a nice test bed to try all these techniques.  (And it is small enough for me to put it in a cabinet to keep it away from Catzilla 1 (otherwise known as Jerry Lee Radar) and Catzilla 2 (otherwise known as Haku)).

 

With regard to Bill's comments about the Sankei kit, it does come with a small, open section with a roof - you can see where I did not yet install it on the left side.  The holes there are to hold the supports for the roof.  I had not completed the building as I was uncertain about using it though, now that I successfully renovated it, I can do more with it.

I had ordered a few of the Tomytec sets in the past and happen to have Basic Set N2 with the police car so that works out nicely.

 

Cheers,

Tony

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ben_issacs

Tony, 

Good to know that the police station did come with a car port, you should install it whenever possible, this will complete the station, and also you have the appropriate police car to stick under the car port.

Regards'

Bill,

Melbourne.

 

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John P Boogerd

I have some Sankei HO kits. What kind of glue should I use. I have never done one before. 

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cteno4

White glue (PVA) has worked best for me. I use the “tacky” thick version as less moisture and easier to maintain where the glue goes and sets faster. You can get them at the craft store on little pens as well to do easy dots and lines of glue. Tamiya craft glue is basically the same. Small dental micro brushes/applicators work as well.

 

hair alligator clips work well for holding pieces together lightly. You can make a simple corner jig with a couple of clips epoxied to block of wood. Weights can cause issues as things can slide with time.

 

great to watch some of the assembly videos on YouTube. Start with a small, simple structure first as usually you end up making a couple of mistakes, it’s a little learning curve, but with practice it gets easier.

 

 

there are a number of threads on the forum that have a lot of sankei tips and tricks.

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

Tamiya has small tubes of glue specifically for paper craft. It's mostly just white glue, but with some additions I believe. The nice thing is that it comes with a really small applicator, which makes it great for adding small beads of glue.

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Cat

Scotch brand High Performance Repair Glue also has a nice applicator tip.

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cteno4

Hadn’t seen the scotch before, looks like it’s a thick pva craft glue as well. Interesting to try here always picking up different glues to find the “ultimate” one!

 

the arleen pen and tamiya pens have even smaller tips. They are nice but small amount of glue but you can refill them!
 

jeff

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ben_issacs

JohnP.

I use white glue, PVA, but it's problem is that it is water based, so too much can cause warping of the board.

Small dabs are better.

Also, its fairly quick drying time can be a problem when one is laminating two parts together, you have to get them in proper alignment before the glue sets.

Have no knowledge of the other adhesives suggested by other posters, they could be worth trying.

Regards, 

Bill,

Melbourne.

 

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tossedman
On 1/20/2020 at 1:26 AM, Martijn Meerts said:

Tamiya has small tubes of glue specifically for paper craft. It's mostly just white glue, but with some additions I believe. The nice thing is that it comes with a really small applicator, which makes it great for adding small beads of glue.

 

I picked up a couple of these Tamiya glues. Work great. The applicator makes it really easy to put it where you want it.

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cteno4

I love the Arleen’s tacky glue for papercraft. It’s a thick PVA and sets up quickly. They sell it in a small pen applicator like the tamyia and you can just refil from a larger bottle.

 

jeff

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