Review by Charlie Getz
The Atomic Cafe, available in O, HO, and N, were released to honor Downtown Deco’s 25th anniversary. I assembled the HO kit. This is another winner from Randy Pepprock, owner of Downtown Deco, and features his superb brickwork and design. The kit contains plaster walls, and castings for a hanging sign, a Tichy door, Rix storefront, full color signs, roofing, cast plaster sidewalks, and illustrated instructions. Materials will vary in the N and O scale versions of the kit.
Assembly is simple, but the preparation and coloring will determine the effectiveness of your model. Follow the instructions, and you will create a believable finish. I used craft paints for both the blue façade and bricks, using multiple shades to accent individual bricks as recommended. I also used Robert’s Mortar instead of the concrete paint wash suggested. The cast-in detail really becomes apparent after painting.
I thinned the large wall signs with sandpaper, applying them with white glue for a painted-on appearance. The large hanging front sign really makes a statement, and I used matching craft paint for its frame. I kept the storefront the same blue color as the accent walls, though in hindsight, I should have followed Randy’s suggestion to match the sign color. I also added a cardboard base, lights, and given the large storefront windows, a café graphic from City Classics as an interior.
I decided to add corner bracing (not provided) to reinforce the walls after sanding the walls to insure a tight fit. I also added putty in the corners to hide cracks. I encountered no problems with breakage, but Downtown Deco says that it will replace any piece broken in assembly. Be careful and you should be fine. I added Builders-in-Scale seamed tarpaper on the roof to save time, though tarpaper is provided. The roof details come with the kit. After hanging the provided awning, I had a wonderful, funky, roadside café to add to a scene. I enjoyed this kit.
P.O. Box 335
Conner MT, 59827
MSRP N ($39.95)
MSRP HO ($44.95)
MSRP O ($89.95)
This article appeared in the May/June 2017 issue of the Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette