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Sankei - "Paper" Kits


Krackel Hopper

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I have a search saved on eBay for the Sankei Kurama Station that has long been out of production. The search has never shown anything since I launched it years ago. Today I got a hit. AmiAmi is offering 3 Showa era station kits including my long sought after Kurama. Oddly, these are not yet on AmiAmi's web site, nor Hobby Search, nor on Sankei's web site. There is some implication that there may be more than 3 since these are Vol. 3, 7, and 9. I don't know if these are old stock that AmiAmi got their hands on or if it is a new run.

 

Kurama: https://www.ebay.com/itm/275050393079?hash=item400a47edf7:g:PRcAAOSw6wphqaE9 

 

Kaetsu: https://www.ebay.com/itm/284553180311?hash=item4240b0f497:g:ILAAAOSwxathqaFA

 

Kamakura: https://www.ebay.com/itm/284553180348?hash=item4240b0f4bc:g:zw0AAOSw6qZhqaFD

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Lurk searches are great, I’ve gotten some great things like this in the past doing that. Winner winner chicken dinner!
 

Enjoy.

 

jeff

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maihama eki

Kurama Station arrived very shortly after I ordered it from AmiAmi.

 

I was a little taken back by the huge box (~ 30 x 20 x 3 cm) it came in. It's not like any other Sankei Kit I have. Initially, I wondered if it really was a Sankei kit, but on the back of the box it says "Distributer: Kyoto Model Co., Ltd." "Manufacturer: Sankei Co., Ltd."

 

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Included with the sheets of laser cut material and instructions is a flyer for Eiden.

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You can make it a stand-alone display. It comes with a piece of thin composite board sort of like a high-grade "Masonite" to build a solid display. 

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It's a nice kit. I may have to get the Enoden Kamakura Station from this series as well.

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  • disturbman changed the title to Sankei - "Paper" Kits
maihama eki

I finished another Sankei kit some time ago. It is “Shop F” MP03-83.

 

There were some requests on how I construct these, and I took a few photos along the way to document this a bit.

 

The tools, adhesives, materials I use for making these kits:

-          Hobby Knife (X-Acto) with sharp blades. I like the Z Series #11 blades. They seem to stay sharp longer and are more resistant to the tip snapping off.

-          Water based craft glue (PVA). I use plain Elmer’s glue, and Tamiya Craft Bond the most often.

-          5-minute 2-part epoxy. This works best securely gluing plastic pieces to paper surfaces – like detail pieces.

-          Cyanoacrylate glue (Super Glue). I use the thicker type most often. This is also good for gluing small details.

-          Metal blocks like 1-2-3 blocks. These are good for pressing laminated pieces together while the glue dries. They are also good for squaring up perpendicular pieces.

-          Various small metal squares. For keeping everything square.

-          Toothpicks and pins for applying glue.

-          Tweezers.

-          Magnifier and microscope.

-          Paint brushes.

-          Steel rulers.

-          Paint. I use spray lacquer from cans (Tamiya), acrylic from small jars (Tamiya, Vallejo, others) both brushed and occasionally air-brushed, and some enamel from small jars (Model Masters).

-          Strips and rods of plastic, wood strip stock for details.

-          Detail pieces – either commercially available or scratch built/3D printed/laser cut.

 

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It is important to go over the instructions ahead of time and create a plan in your head on how to put everything together. This is no different from any kit. Sankei instructions are of course entirely in Japanese. I use Google Translate on my phone to read the notes. There are sometimes some key bits of information in those notes that will save you from making mistakes.

 

Next, I decide how I am going to finish out the kit. In this case, I wanted to make two separate shops. I went driving around suburban Tokyo in Google Streetview looking at small neighborhood shops for ideas. I settled on a tea shop and a flower shop. I directly lifted the names from a couple of real small shops.

 

The first is Yamane-en Sugamo Tea Shop. https://goo.gl/maps/g7wqNwho9xU1aCAx7 I borrowed the green awning and the name of this shop.

 

The second is Hana flower shop. https://goo.gl/maps/WygBRexLWasC9mFj9  I also borrowed the awning with the name from this shop.

 

I usually cut out only the pieces I want to assemble immediately to keep everything organized. Cutting the pieces from the frame accurately is important. You don’t want to leave any little nubs or conversely cut into the piece that you want to use. I save all the leftover frames of Sankei material to use for other scratch building projects. The Sankei material is really unique – very stiff, very opaque, usually very flat.

 

Frequently, Sankei kit construction require you to laminate/glue together wall pieces to form the complete wall. The instructions may indicate that you should put the interior wall pieces together and then assemble the outside walls onto that. I prefer to laminate the wall pieces together before assembly as much as possible. Doing so allows me to press these pieces together while flat and allow the glue to dry while they are pressed together. This allows for precise alignment of the pieces and a very flat lamination. I use flat steel blocks or plates to do this. These are “1-2-3” blocks that are used by machinists. They are very flat, square, and heavy. There are ones with threaded holes, and ones like this that are smooth on all surfaces.

 

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Here you can see I have laminated several wall and roof pieces. Another point is to check the fit with mating walls before you glue anything together to make sure you know exactly how the pieces should be laminated together.

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maihama eki

Next, I plan out how I will put these pieces together. I use squares and square blocks to make sure the pieces all go together square and straight. I will usually use the floor or roof pieces to make sure the wall sections all go together such they fit into the floor properly, but I do not glue the floor to the walls at this time.

 

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Next, I apply glazing inside the windows, apply and window coverings over that and paint and detail the interior walls as I desire. This is also a good time to paint anything on the outside that you want to do differently. In this case, I didn’t care for the blue roofs, so I sprayed them with gray lacquer.

 

Edited by maihama eki
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maihama eki

The next step is to add lighting as desired and route the wires such that they are hidden and routed to exit through the floor.

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I like to check the lighting at that point to make sure there are no odd light leaks or translucent wall pieces. If there are, I paint over them on the inside or add opaque strips of leftover Sankei card stock to block the leaks. Here you can see a sliver of light coming from under the front wall, and a slight translucence to the front wall. I fixed both of those items before I sealed up the structure.

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I prefer to only light a few rooms rather than lighting the entire interior of a structure. This is much more realistic looking. It requires partitions – floors and walls to separate the rooms.

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maihama eki

The next step on this kit was to build the interior details. I used a laser scribed piece of thin birch for the floor of the tea shop and painted a checkerboard pattern like vinyl flooring or tile on the flower shop. Then, I filled the space with appropriate furniture and goods. Some of the items, like the tables in the tea shop are commercially available – they are from Sankei. Others are 3D prints that I did or were available from other creators like our old friend Kabuto Models Kabutoni – the flower pots. The figures are unpainted figures from Preiser that I painted. The laptop computer is scratch built from flat styrene strips and painted.

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Finally, I seal up the building – putting on the roofs, gluing the walls to the floor. I usually glue these together somewhat lightly in case I every have to open things up again – it makes it a lot easier to do so.

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maihama eki

Now, I add the exterior details – the balconies, the awnings, the air conditioner units, gutters and downspouts, electric meters, plants and details on the balconies. I didn’t care for the Sankei paper awnings, so I 3D printed some new ones in theme with the shops I picked. The sign for the tea shop is a laser etched thin birch wood. Laser printed decals decorate the white awning.

 

In the end, you have a pretty nice looking piece that will fit into the neighborhood on my very slowly progressing t-track module.

 

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This is admittedly a lot of effort for a single structure, so it is probably not practical for every structure on a large layout.

 

I always initial and date the bottom of my structures, so I know when I built them.

 

 

 

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Tony Galiani

Wow - this is great - thanks so much for posting.  I have been reading past threads on doing these kits but it is great to have this info so well organized.  I feel I have been doing okay with my Sankei builds but always feel that they could be better and less of a struggle to assemble so this is very helpful.

 

One thing I have noted about the Sankei kits is that the internal structure allows for easier interior detailing - I need to try that on my next builds.

 

edit: I forgot to ask - do you have any tips on cutting to avoid getting little nubs on the edges?  I always start out with a fresh blade but still cannot seem to get clean cuts.  It is possible to clean off the nubs with extra cutting or some sanding afterwards - but it is also possible to damage the sides a bit doing that if you are not really careful.  I always seem to struggle a bit with that part of the construction process for the Sankei kits.

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

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Maihama,

 

wow! Thanks for such a wonderful tutorial on the  sankei assembly and upgrading! Really nicely done! Kudos!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200
On 4/23/2022 at 3:08 AM, maihama eki said:

Next, I plan out how I will put these pieces together. I use squares and square blocks to make sure the pieces all go together square and straight. I will usually use the floor or roof pieces to make sure the wall sections all go together such they fit into the floor properly, but I do not glue the floor to the walls at this time.

 

DSC00384sm.thumb.jpg.d9405c634159e629c97800caf63788b1.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Where did you get that small metal cube? It looks really handy.

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maihama eki
20 hours ago, Tony Galiani said:

I forgot to ask - do you have any tips on cutting to avoid getting little nubs on the edges?  I always start out with a fresh blade but still cannot seem to get clean cuts.  It is possible to clean off the nubs with extra cutting or some sanding afterwards - but it is also possible to damage the sides a bit doing that if you are not really careful.  I always seem to struggle a bit with that part of the construction process for the Sankei kits.

 

I think you are on the right track. A fresh blade is definitely a good start. The other thing I tend to do is use as much magnification as possible, so you can see exactly where you are cutting.

 

I've not had good luck sanding card stock. It tends to fray and look bad. If I need a little more off, I use a sharp knife.

 

17 hours ago, gavino200 said:

Where did you get that small metal cube? It looks really handy.

 

It is handy. It's steel, so it's heavy, and the sides are all perpendicular. It is sort of like a cube shape 1-2-3 block.

 

I have accumulated a bunch of rectangular, square sided pieces of steel, brass, and aluminum over the years. They all came from one of two places.

 

Some of them I picked up at work. We do some light, tech manufacturing where I work. We have our own machine shop with machinists, and I know some of the guys that work there. Occasionally when I am over in their area, I rummage through their scrap bin. This cube shaped thing appears to be a sawed off piece of 1.5" x 1.5" steel bar. It is sawed off to almost exactly 1.5", so it is nearly a perfect cube. Since it is a piece of inch dimension stock, I think it probably came from there. I have a vague recollection of it sitting on my desk at work for years before I brought it home.

 

I also bought some similar items at Tokyu Hands in Shinjuku. They have a large assortment of steel, brass, and aluminum shapes for hobby purposes. The flat plate also in that photo came from there. I love that Tokyu Hands. They have an outstanding selection of small tools and a wide variety of high quality materials for hobbyists. I could spend a couple of hours looking at everything.

 

I know - not super helpful.

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gavino200

Thanks guys. I ordered a set of 1-2-3 blocks without holes. I'll look out for metal shapes as time goes by. Tokyu Hands was an amazing experience. My wife found it for sewing hobby stuff. When I stumbled into the hobby section it was like entering Aladdin's Cave. Awesome place.

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I do the same when I visit a machinist friend, try to go Thru his scrap pile for little milled bits that he has parted off. 123 blocks are great, quite useful. You can never have enough of them! Great for holding stuff while gluing and such.

 

cheers,
 

jeff

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Tony Galiani
13 hours ago, maihama eki said:

 

I think you are on the right track. A fresh blade is definitely a good start. The other thing I tend to do is use as much magnification as possible, so you can see exactly where you are cutting.

 

I've not had good luck sanding card stock. It tends to fray and look bad. If I need a little more off, I use a sharp knife.

 

Hadn't thought to try cutting the kits under magnification!  Will give that a try this week.

Tony

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disturbman

For cutting, there is a good and a bad way to do it. You have to cut from the side where the tabs appear slightly cut or recess. If you don't, you might leave some nubs.

I'll check, but I'm pretty sure it's possible to sand Sankei's cardstock, but you'll need very finely grained sandpaper, similar to what bookbinders use. It probably would fray slightly but not to the point it would look horrible on a kit, even more since the tabs are left in places that shouldn't be too obvious.

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Tony Galiani

I have been able to sand Sankei's cardstock though with mixed results.  Very fine sandpaper is a must.  I am hoping to improve my cutting technique using the advice here to do a better job and avoid the issue going forward.

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

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Tony Galiani

I came up with a tool that I use to assist when working on assembling corners.  I call it a Fujihara Device simply because I saw it on one of the Fujihara Diorama videos.  It ran me less than US$2.00 from pieces found at the local Scrap Exchange

Originally I intended to glue the larger piece in but had misplaced it on the disaster that is my workbench so used two small wood pieces for the basic corner.  When I found the larger piece, I realized I could use it for taller/larger pieces that needed a 90 degree join so keep it handy to use as needed.  I did use a metal square to make sure the corner was good.

Not as nice as steel squares or cubes but cheap and cheerful.

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

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Yep 400 works well on sankei laserboard. Best to use sandpaper glued to a block to get a flat and even face.

 

elevate the sankei piece on a small bit of thin ply or chipboard and let your edge to be sanded hang out just a tad over the shim board. Then use your sanding block along that edge of the sankei moving the block along the table, bit free hand. This way you get the full edge of the sankei piece sanded evenly as if the sankei piece is flat on the surface the block is on you won’t.

 

you can also make corner jigs out of legos. 
 

another simple one with hair clips and a little block of wood.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200
4 hours ago, Tony Galiani said:

 

Hadn't thought to try cutting the kits under magnification!  Will give that a try this week.

Tony

 

Yes!!! Everything is better with mag!

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