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New Kato Office Buildings


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Hobby Dreamer

Thanks again Ken for taking the time for a detailed response and some great links. I know that some people think this is an expensive hobby, but those kits you linked to seem well-priced (some German kits are many times the price) and if one did not know they were N scale they would easily pass for HO. Really nice looking!!!

 

For the roof, if its an issue, its easy to transform low detail. You could add figures maybe doing repairs or add a number of vents, skylight etc that are found at Walthers if no where else. Or paint and weather.

 

If those kits do make it to the US then perhaps they will have different labels or none at all...

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Are these made in China?

Note the fine print under the bar code in one of the photos, most of Kato's buildings are made in China.

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Are these made in China?

Note the fine print under the bar code in one of the photos, most of Kato's buildings are made in China.

 

Thanks.

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Rooftop details can be added if there are none.  I think it's harder to take a roof where things like ventilators are obviously molded into the roof structure rather than being separate parts, and make it look better, and that's where I think these are weak.  I've included some more photos to show this (and compare them with Kato's best, and a typical Tomix roof).

 

Not that I'm displeased.  I knew what these roofs looked like from Hobby Search's website a week or two back.  I'm disappointed that they're not up to Kato's prior best, but I'm still pretty happy with the buildings.

 

Photo 1: All four buildings in a row

 

Photo 2: rooftop detail (left two)

 

Photo 3: rooftop detail (right two)

 

Photo 4: for comparison, the roof of two of Kato's modular towers, with separately fitted detail parts

 

Photo 5: and the other extreme, a typical Tomix roof (actually with more detail than usual; it has the elevator/ventilator hut)

 

Photo 6: and a close-up of the detail on the front (note the signboard by the door to the left)

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Hobby Dreamer

Thanks again Ken, for these posts and your effort.

 

About 10 years ago I was considering HO vs N and got some black sandpaper of various grits to use as roads or rooftops. It would not be hard to cut a piece to fit around the detail (elevators)to remove a bit of the bland. (You could use brown paper as well)  Actually, I'm really impressed with the detail of these kits given that it is N. On the other hand, because it is N you cannot help but view these buildings from above and see the bland.

 

In some ways its to bad that they are not flat, plain roofs so that one could add items.

 

Thanks

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That's true, and you could also mask off the roof and spraypaint/airbrush the details to different colors, which would give them some dimensionality.  Eventually I do want to detail these (interiors mainly, but the roofs need something).

 

I'd never though of sandpaper as a roofing material, but that's an excellent idea, I'll have to remember it.

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Mine arrived from Hobby Search today via EMS, came to about $48AU each with shipping added, with their 50% off shipping if you use Paypal it came to 3050 yen. I'm pleased with them, they seem up to the usual Kato standards The Boutique and Office Building cries out for interior details especially if it's going to be lit up, I guess you could put a big 'Office space for lease' sign in the window. The roof detail could do with a bit of paint to make it stand out.

 

I really need Kato to make straight Unitram sections to enlarge my city. :grin

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I just got emails that 3 of 4 the four new buildings have been restocked at HS.   :cool:

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I just got emails that 3 of 4 the four new buildings have been restocked at HS.   :cool:

 

All four are showing as in-stock now, and are the three top sellers on the site at the moment, so they're going fast.

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Mine arrived from Hobby Search today via EMS....

 

Mine arrived to Budapest this evening as I see it on JapanPost home page. I am afraid there are no EMS posting here at the weekend, so I have to wait until Monday.

 

Ken!

Thank you for the detailed picture! I am happy with this roof detailing.

 

Can somebody help how to write in Japanese: "Office to let"? Plus it would be great a phone number of a Japanese office builder company. :-)

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Hobby Dreamer

This might be a good idea, based on previous posts.

 

Could we start a thread or use part of the gallery to share images such as signs and interior detail since these can be printed ?

 

For interior detail of shops one could place a figure or 2 just in the doorway and then use printed paper or stock with images of shelves etc. For higher floors one could print out curtains maybe even including a few plant images. Paper is so easy to re-size or cut.

 

I was sitting on the fence for these structures since I planned for 2-story structures only but these last Kato kits do look great and if they can be lit. (But I will wait until they come to the US).

 

Cheers

Rick

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Thanks Ken for sharing your photos and observations of these kits...I just received mine today (I've been on vacation for the past 3 weeks so coming back was like Christmas!) and had similar thoughts and questions (and made some similar observations on my blog before I got here!  :grin) , although I think most of the efforts made by Kato with this series is a big step forward compared with their older buildings.  The lack of being able to treat these as 'modular' units is a problem and curious that Kato missed out on the easy incremental unit sales that feature would allow.

 

The roof details (or lack of) don't bother me at all, my roofs and buildings all get painted, weathered and whatever else to make it more realistic. I actually think these are just as good as anything else they've done in the past.  That little crane for the window washers on the '5th Avenue Building' is cool, right?  :cheesy

 

I do share your problem with regards to space...with the release of these buildings all at once, I've quickly run out of urban space to plant these monsters!

 

All in all, considering the choices that Kato (and to a lesser extent Tomix) are providing us with modern high rise structures, this is something of a golden age!

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Does anyone have a clue as to when the DioTown 5th Avenue Building will be available again? Newbie here, how long does it take them to restock over at Hobby Search?

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Does anyone have a clue as to when the DioTown 5th Avenue Building will be available again? Newbie here, how long does it take them to restock over at Hobby Search?

 

If you live in the US/Canada (or anywhere that US shipping is acceptable) you can buy them from MB Klein (21 in stock as of posting)

 

http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/KATO-N-23437-Built-Up-5th-Avenue-Building-p/kat-23437.htm

 

Price is $5 more then HS, but you'll probably make that back and more in the lower shipping costs (these building are big and heavy)

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