Mike Stampers Reviews Page #6

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Click on the above pictures to see a larger view of the picture.

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These are pictures of the completed St Stevens cathedral in Vienna, by Schreiber Bogen in 1:300 scale.

The instructions show 165 parts, but once you start on the model you will find that quite a few parts have upwards of 8 pieces with the same number then a, b and c as well. One numbered part consists of 36 pieces with the same number!

This kit must be the most complicated model I've made. There are three line drawings of the building and most of the parts have numbered, some of the parts are not identified in the drawings and in some cases it's difficult to determine the shape or fit of some parts. The only words of instruction are "follow the numbers" this is also a problem because there are cases where a piece has a,b,c and d and the drawings do not show this.

Because there are so many towers and buttresses, I had to make many templates, there are over 24 buttresses and I made 3 small templates for each one. The towers and "sub" towers have at least 3 templates each,

I am most pleased with the pieces on the top of the spires, the drawings and the picture on the cover of the kit show that the card has been cut round the outside, which looks as if the pieces are in balloons, this applies to all the crosses on the side of the building. I spent ages cutting out the detail, for me it was a worthwhile exercise. The spire top shown in the picture is about 1 ½ inches high.

This model has taken about 3 months and has given me great pleasure, although there have been a few problems, although the fit of the parts has been spot on which encouraged me to finish the cathedral.

The cover of the kit grades the difficulty of 4 out of five, I shudder to think what it will be like to make on that is a 5. But watch this space.

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For a bit of light relief I tried my hand at one of the Dover kits, my daughter has made a few of theirs and I was interested to find out about them. This one is the friends meeting house in Sturbridge.

The biggest problem is not in the making but the printing. It's my pet hate…..all the pages are glossy. But the biggest disappointment was the church clock. The cover of the kit shows it with a traditional black face whereas the kit has a yellow face! This was a straightforward model and I embellished it with railway model trees, grass and gravel. I spent a day and a bit in Sturbridge some years ago and this model brings back some great memories…. Except for that clock!

I would say that the Dover kits would be a good starting point for a modeller, for the most part the pieces are a good size and the heavier than usual card would give a beginner a lot of confidence.

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Any one who knows anything about card buildings will "instantly" recognise this as a kit from L'instant Durable. The building is Chambourd in the Loire Valley and is one of a series of "Chateaux of the Loire" from L' I D.

As with all their kits the instructions are in various languages as is the excellent history of the building. Also, like all the other kits of theirs that I have made, there is a slight problem with the fit. I mainly centres around the base sheets. The ground plan is just a bit smaller than the parts that fit on it. May be I don't fold the pieces in exactly the right place but in a lot of cases the walls hang over the lines on the ground plan.

The above is a small problem and is outweighed by the kits themselves. The detail and the subjects make this models almost irresistible to me. One of the pictures shows the top on the central stair case. The original plan being attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci. The piece show in the picture is about 4 inches tall and consists of 8 flying buttresses, three towers and two domes, plus a few bits of embellishment. Just this piece took about 8 hours to make! The whole building is about 3 feet by 2 feet and took over 2 months to make. I generally spend about 12 hours a week on my models, so this has taken almost 100 hundred hours. The size of the real building may be judjed by the scale of the 3 figures I put on the front wall (they are on the roof of the gate house)

I have mentioned L' Instante Durable kits before and the number I've made would indicate that I enjoy making their products. Chambord is no exception. Like all their buildings they are complicated but not difficult. But practice on a few buildings buy others before you start on this one!

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This page was created by:
Saul H. Jacobs M.Ed.
Avionics Specialist, United States Air Force (Retired)
Microcomputer Technology, Pima Community College (Retired)
Tucson Arizona