laser cut buildings - pros and cons
What's your go-to kit for buildings on your model railway layouts? I've used cardboard and plastic in the past - but for the Brief Encounter monochrome model railway I had to do something different and use laser cut 3mm plywood - the first time I've ever worked with it.
I definitely found lots of pros - and just a few minor cons - with laser cut. Here's a review.
For my 0 gauge layout I have generally used Scalescenes (blown up) and Lcut (laser cut card). Scalescenes are very inexpensive but require a lot of work being essentially a scratch built building. A feature I like (and one that perhaps you don't) is that they are precoloured so that's done. Lcut come in the three main scales and the choice is quite good. You can buy packs that make up a complete kit or components.
Here's a signal box:
I have modified the basic Lcut kit heavily. First I used Scalescenes brick paper for the walls. The other big change is the Scalescenes style of roof construction with overlapping slates. There is an interior that can just be made out.
In 0 gauge laser cut ply kits are eyewateringly expensive and I can't bring myself to spend that kind of dosh.
I'm essentially a card modeller (almost exclusively Scalescenes) and I've only ever built 1 laser-cut kit - a bow string girder bridge from Scale Model Scenery and a great kit it was too - easy to put together and really looked the part.
I was impressed by JS Models warehouse kit but, contrary to your comments Dawn, they did seem to me to be fairly expensive. The other thing I'm not keen on is the dovetail corner joints. They would appear to be quite difficult to hide unless the panels are a really tight fit.
I do have a few problems with Scalescenes - mainly to do with inks fading or running if they get damp. I bought a laser printer in the hopes of solving the problem but it's too soon to say if it has done so. I'll admit that the inkjet gives a better quality print than my laser.
If I could paint, I think I'd probably prefer plasticard although that's considerably more expensive than card.
I've never really costed Scalescenes kits - the download is cheap as chips and one can build hundreds from a single download. However, now I'm about to run out of card, I realise it's gone up in price since I bought a large stock from a wholesaler many years ago. Add to that, inks, scalpel blades, glue sticks and ordinary glue and I realise the costs mount so maybe my feelings about laser cut kits are now less certain. But I still can't paint !!!