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Built Review
HO scale
Wooden Barn
Open-Air Storage
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Introduction
Wooden Barn (Open-Air Storage, "Holzscheune") is a multi-media laser-cut HO structure by NOCH. It is kit number 66711. NOCH specializes in model scenery, ranging from nature's rocks, soil, foliage and water, to man-made buildings, pavement, building material and machinery. Many of their models are now animated and equipped with audio. Many of those models are suitable for multiple scales.

Open-Air Storage Barn
This kit is comprised of 10 "sprues" or individual parts. The sprues are laser-cut sheets of wood, medium pressboard cardstock, and paper:
    1. Base (cardstock)
    2. Framing (13 cardstock parts)
    3. Siding & batten (6 wood pieces)
    4. Loft deck (wood)
    5. Ladder ((cardstock)
    6. Roof framing (2 cardstock parts)
    7. Tile roof (cardstock)
    8. Peak cap (cardstock)
    9. Store material (paper)
    10. Virginia creepers X 4 (paper)

The cardstock is firm and smooth and colored in a dark wood brown. Very thin wood is used for the siding and upper floor. It appears to be a scale 3-inces thick. Mottled paper simulates vines. The colored tile roof is laser-textured. An illustrated instruction sheet guides the assembly process. Color PDF instructions are available from the NOCH website by clicking Click here for additional images for this review, below.

Both the card and wood parts are laser-cut directly into the sheets. They are held in place by hair-thin attachment points. Each one of those are sensibly positioned to make cutting the part free without leaving a noticeable burr, and minimizing lateral pressure that could warp the piece. Not surprising, the laser left scorched marks in places. The blackened areas are less than I expected. The cardstock suffered worse than the wood. Where to cut the some parts is shown by thin lasered lines.

NOCH includes a gigantic 20 oz. tube of Uhu glue, a special pasty 4-minute curing glue that dries transparent. I have assembled larger NOCH kits that only included 10 oz. tubes of Uhu, and had glue left over.

NOCH packs the kit in a light one-part box with hinged lid colored their signature yellow. Making good use of their resources, this universal box has a box art kit label taped around it. On the back are images of the model and the model in a diorama, a dimension diagram, multilingual descriptions, and contact information.

NOCH printed several signs for the barn on the inside of the box sides. NOCH also includes a cleverly designed bundle of lumber. I'll explain that later.

So what do the kit pieces look like? Read on.

Detail
Three card interior structures are crisply laser-cut with posts, rafters, girts & bracing, and nailers. The overhangs are lased onto the pieces. Slots are cut into the parts to easy assembly. Separate headers are included. A nice ladder with rungs pre-cut is included. Two roof structures are cut with with rafters and nailers.

Those parts have no surface detail texture.

The roof is laser-textured to simulate tile.

Three sides sport board & batten siding and the wood is beautiful. It has fine wood grain. Notches are cut into the side parts to easy positioning around rafters and headers.

Nature is not neglected and four laser-cut paper creeper vines are included. The paper is mottled. I have used NOCH laser-cut plants and some have attachment points that made it difficult to remove the plant from the paper without damage. These vine models are smartly designed and I did not damage them.

Instructions and painting
No painting is required. All parts are precolored. I can't tell if the wood color is natural or stained. None of that precludes modelers from painting the parts. I have painted NOCH pressboard with acrylics and it has not deteriorated. Just keep in mind that you choose to paint the siding or framing, paint both sides or the pieces may warp.

The instructions are in booklet form. NOCH guides assembly through 20 steps. They are illustrated with sharp CAD halftone graphics. There is virtually no text and no parts are identified by name, only by number. Fortunately, NOCH shows the "sprues" and parts in the first two pages, and they are identified by number. Two symbols indicate "glue this" or "cut here". Curiously, scissors are shown instead of a knife. Also, NOCH includes an area for the modeler to write notes.

Assembly
Including time to photograph the progress, I assembled this kit in less than 3 hours. Very little test-fitting was required. However, that generously huge tube of glue was somewhat of a problem. The smaller 10 oz. tubes have nozzles that allow a small amount to be squeezed out. This big tube's nozzle is bigger and it is easy to squeeze out too much glue. Even though it dries clear, excess glue looks bad; I spent a small amount of time cleaning off the excess glue. But that has nothing to do with the kit.

Perhaps half of the time was spent cutting the pieces out of their sheets. The framing parts are in a thick sheet. Several careful passes with a heavy duty hobby blade was required to cut through the tiny attachments. The thinner sheets were easier to cut, yet one should use a straightedge to prevent a slip of the blade.

Once the parts were cut out and I learned to control the glue, I started mating parts together. The Uhu glue cures quickly and it really grips the material.

Assembly of the sides and roof framing was straightforward and quick. Getting the loft deck seated requires attention because it has specific notches on one side.

However, the siding requires care. NOCH cleverly lased out the siding boards and battens separately. The batten is lased in the shape of the specific siding parts. Each strip of batten is held by a tiny tab to the "sprue", creating a batten cluster. De-sprue the cluster and then test-fit it onto the exterior side of the siding. I trued the cluster to the siding with a straightedge. Be careful not to bump a batten askew. Once I was satisfied with the positioning, I applied the smallest gobs of Uhu that I could to each end of each batten, plus some in the middle. Next I set it against the straightedge and set it upon the siding. Then I pressed them two pieces together until I was satisfied that the Uhu was set. Finally, per NOCH's instructions, cut the tabs at the bottom of the battens. Cut the tabs away from the batten bottoms as close to the ends as possible or that fraction of a millimeter of material will inhibit your proper aligning of the siding to the framing. If alignment of the batten and siding is slightly off, aligning the siding with the notches for the rafters and headers will be difficult.

My first siding assembly needed further trimming and more force than I liked to get it to seat between the base and the roof. The other end siding practically snapped into place. I used no glue on either of the three parts.

However, the rear board and batten siding does have a problem. It does not fit under the roof eaves. I had to sand the battens down a bit to get them to fit. Sanding caused a few to pop loose from the siding. Fortunately, repair is very easy so long as a batten is not broken.

Attaching the roof is simple - fold it along it's prescribed peak and set it on the rafters. Then glue on the peak cap. Done.

With that, this shed/barn is complete and ready to got on your layout or diorama. But recall the sheet of store material? NOCH directs us to cut it into three equal pieces, roll it up and place it in the loft.

Recall my mention of a cleverly designed bundle of lumber? When you remove the batten clusters from the wood sheet, the wood material spaced between the strips are still there. NOCH scribed a line along each and shows to cut the pieces, transforming "negative space" material into useful scale lumber!

Finally, step 20 has the caption, "Fitting of decoration at one's own option." This shows putting the store material in the loft and adding a bundle of lumber to the base. It also shows the attaching of that nicely portrayed Virginia creeper vine.

Conclusion
Sheds and barns like this are found nearly everywhere. With its siding of real wood, this sharply made kit is very good to look at. It is small enough to put almost anywhere on even small layouts/dioramas, and can be combined with other structures.

NOCH's instructions are good. The laser cutting of the pieces is excellent. Assembly is fairly easy. Care should be used aligning the sidings and batten.

The only real complaint I have is the need to bevel the top of the rear siding so that it will fit under the roof overhang.

I happily recommend this neat little Wood Barn.

Please remember to tell vendors and retailer a that you saw this model here - on RailRoad Modeling.

Click here for additional images for this review.

SUMMARY
Highs: Clean, sharp laser sculpting of parts, easy assembly, clever use of scrap material. Actual wood is used and a large tube of excellent glue is provided.
Lows: Fit of the rear wall paneling.
Verdict: WOOD BARN is a great looking and quickly assembled model of a type found almost anywhere.
  Scale: HO Scale
  Mfg. ID: 66711
  Suggested Retail: $28.00, 24.99
  Related Link: NOCH Barn Video
  PUBLISHED: May 02, 2016
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 89.22%

Our Thanks to NOCH!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2017 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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