Downtown Deco Atomic Cafe in HO Scale

Downtown Deco Atomic Cafe in HO Scale

HO ScaleReview 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.

Downtown Deco
P.O. Box 335
Conner MT, 59827
(406) 821-0181

Atomic Cafe
MSRP N ($39.95)
MSRP HO ($44.95)
MSRP O ($89.95)

May/June 2017

This article appeared in the May/June 2017 issue of the Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette