Pop Gracins from Bar Mills, that is. As the three prople who read it remember, I did a build thread/kit critique on Model Tech Studio's "Repairman's Row", last year. I then swore off threads/critiques for all time. But things are kind of slow here this summer, so... Well, no build thread, since it's already built. but a critique anyway. I've heard Bar Mills take some shots over the years, but found the few structure kits I'd built by them. both enjoyable and well done. So, this year at Springfield I picked up a few of their more "diorama oriented" kits. Here is the first I built, and my observations/comments.
I found the kit extremely well done. Everything fit perfectly. The instructions, while not as detailed as those of FSM or SRMW, are on par with the instructions by FOS, Railroad Kits and several other kit producers, and certainly complete and well done enough to finish the kit.
Anyone who has built either FSM or SRMW kits, will tell you they hold your hand from opening the box to finishing the diorama. It appeaars that Bar Mills philosophy is more.....here's how we did our diorama, now go and do your own.......you'll apppreciate and enjoy it more. I like that philosophy....sometimes. This was one of those times. Generally, I have nothing but good things to say about this kit.......with two small caveats. One with this kit and one with Bar Mills kits in general. First, the kit was to have included two Bar Mills fence sections to complete the diorama. There were none in my kit. I know that kits with many pieces, produced in quantity, some parts can get forgotten. I'm also sure an e-mail to Bar Mills would have brought replacements quickly. But, a two minute trip to the parts drawer marked "Stairs, ladders and fencing" and I pulled out an unopened Bar Mills fence kit with four sections. I used all four on my diorama. Minor, and almost not worth mentioning. The only other gripe I could come up with is Bar Mills irritating (to me) habit of not telling in the instructions what colors they used on the pilot model shown in the build. Again, I think their philosophy is, use your imagination and dream up your own color schemes. You'll enjoy it more. Maybe, and being primarily a scratchbuilder, I do usually use my own colors. But sometimes, I like the colors they used on the pilot and would like to know what they are. Now, all that being said, they did include the building colors in this kit. It's just that they aren't consistent about doing this from kit to kit. Again, minor. All in all, it was a fun build, went quickly and well worth the cost of the kit. I look forward to their future offerings. Quality kit.....quality company.