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Structures: Sunset Motel (Part VI)

Posted by on January 13, 2012

If you’ll recall from the ending of Part V of this series, I had said I wanted to save up the discussion of the roofing as it’s own blog entry based on my angst on the subject.  Well, here we go…

Normally, I believe that Blair Line does a pretty nice job with their kits overall.  I’ve built a few of them (yet to be posted here) in the past, and plan on building them again in the future like Sam’s Roadhouse, but I ran into an issue on this build that left me quite dissapointed and frustrated.

Now, I imagine it could be just a fluke.  Perhaps an error in quality control, or an oversight by an employee feeding the blank material into the printer, but one that is noticeable enough to my anal eye.

Roofing material printed on wrong side of decals

Gripe #1) As seen in the above picture, the pre-printed roofing sheets were printed on the wrong side of the enclosed peel-n-stick decals.  The correct roofing would have the whole R1, R2, panels printed as a continous decal on the ‘sticky’ side.  Instead, the paper, when printed, was placed upside down so that the printed roof was on the ‘un-sticky’ side and also was then divided up by the pre-determined vertical cuts one would use to remove the backing.  This is reflected by the fact that the roofing for each panel is now multiple parts as demonstrated by the visible seams.

This makes it hard to line up the individual panels so that the ‘shingles’ match.  Also, with multiple seams, and the fact they were printed on this ‘waxy’ like backside, it was very hard to glue down and keep in place.  In fact, it’s come up already one or two times on me.

Close up of applied roofing...pre-weathering.

Gripe #2) The holes meant for the vent pipes do not match up perfectly with teh holes that were lasered in on the roof panels.  Not that big of a deal, but they are off about 1mm.  Nothing a little creative weathering and painting can’t hide.

Gripe #3) At the apex of the two roof panels, where the two individual self-stick sheets appear to come together, there is an additional self-stick decal to be applied across the length of the roof to ‘hide’ the exposed wood and marry the two individual planes together.  It’s a great concept and idea, however, Blair Lines execution falls a bit short.

Close up of roof 'apex' strip

As you can see in this top down picture (above) of the roof line of the two individual motel units, that: A) the coloring is slightly off…it’s actually a tad ‘lighter’ than the rest of the roof.  B) The printed pattern itself is somewhat pixelated and thus does not blend in very well with the rest of the roof.  Now some may argue that this may be a replica of some tar-like shingles at the apex, but I don’t care…it doesn’t look like it matches at a textural level to my eye.  C) The strip is too narrow.  If this strip was a tad bit wider, or replicated two rows of shingles instead of one, it would fit much better.  As it is, this also wants to ‘pop’ or ‘peel’ up and I’ve had to re-glue sections of this at least twice because the adhesive on it’s own isn’t strong enough to last too long.  I shouldn’t have had to glue it at all.

Also in this third picture, you can see the vertical seams of the printing error much better that I mentioned back  in Gripe #1.  It’s going to take some time and effort in the weathering department to help blend down those white-edged seams and make then less noticeable.

All in all, the roofing for the Sunset Motel is below my expectations and if I were a better scratch builder, I would re-do the whole thing with roofing provided by another manufacturer, or print out my own.  Come on Blair Line…you’re better than this.

To be continued….

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