Auntie Pat's Palace
by Gisby

This imposing edifice is Arnica Montana's model 201-K Five-Sided Saloon. Mine dates from before Hawgleg was producing them, so may differ in detail from theirs.

It's a resin kit, consisting of 16 well-cast parts, and is not recommeneded as a first-time kit. They suggest building one of their simpler kits first.

In style & scale, it is a good match for the Ertl Cow Town. Doors and windows are open and cleanly cast: separate doors are supplied.

They suggest building the kit on a base, to provide more stability. This is probably a good idea, although I chose not to, using an interior floor instead.

Test fit the five walls to ensure a good fit. If you need to sand them, use wet sandpaper to avoid resin dust, which is quite nasty.

Tape the walls together and trace the inside dimensions onto your floor material. (I used sintra) Cutting a paper pattern will come in handy later.

If you want to use a base, place the walkway against the building and use this to trace your base outline.

If you are going to add an upper floor, measure the height on the inside, and glue supports in place. Make sure they clear each other when the walls are assembled.

Tape the five walls together, and run a bead of cyano adhesive along the inside: it will flow in and join the walls. Add the floor at this time.

N.B. Always use a good quality cyano adhesive to build resin kits. Dollar store glue is full of fillers, and will just lead to frustration.

Some people swear by epoxy adhesive: I have never had any success with it, so cannot offer any advice there.

When the glue is hard, run a bead down the outside as well, to strengthen and fill the joints.

Fill the seams when the glue is dry, and file/sand them down. I also added putty to strengthen the inside seams.

Place the building on a flat surface, or glue it to it's base, leaving room for the walkway.

Dry fit the walkway to the building, and trim as needed. When you are happy, glue the walkway to the building and/or base. Fill any gaps in the walkway.

Dry fit the balcony platform to the building front, flush to the door sill. Mark where the bottom of the platform sits.

Glue plastic strip or similar along this line as supports for the floor. This will make attaching the balcony easier.

Assemble the balcony, filling any gaps as needed.You may need to build bannister detail at the corners.

You can attach the balcony now, but it is easier to paint the building and balcony separately, before assembly. I know I wish I did it that way!

My building didn't come with a roof, so I made one. I added a taller section behind the hoarding to clear the upper windows. The seams in the tarpaper are white glue, applied after the piece was primed.

The supports for the roof need gaps, so you can remove the upper floor if needed. Continuous supports will trap the floor so it cannot be removed.

Both roof and upper floor were made from sintra, using the paper pattern I mentioned earlier. I added a handle to make lifting the floor easier.

There are two side/rear doors, which need little steps added. I made these out of sintra. Because they tend to get knocked off easily, I put them on thin plastic tabs, and just place the tabs under the building when it's in use. The steps store easily inside the building.

I primed the whole building with a flat white primer.

The front walls were painted yellow ochre, washed in black, and drybrushed with yellow ochre and several lighter yellows.

The white trim was painted white, and washed in black. It was then drybrushed with an opaque light grey, and overpainted/drybrushed with a cadmium white. I have had problems before where a nice white area turned transparent with age: The light grey underneath makes it less obvious when it happens.

The side/rear walls were painted grey, and given a heavy black wash. They were then drybrushed with several greys and a light tan, to simulate unpainted, weathered wood.

The walkways, balcony floor, and steps were painted tan, and given a heavy black wash. They were then drybrushed with several greys and a light tan, which is how I USED to simulate unpainted, weathered wood. (I worked on this kit for a while, and apparently my painting style changed.)

The roof was painted black, and drybrushed with various greys to bring out the seam details.

The signs were printed on my computer, and affixed to card, and glued to the fronts of the building. There should probably be a a LOT more signs, but I don't have a lot of imagination.

When finished, it's a beautiful kit, and looks great. Any flaws are the result of my lack of skills. Mine isn't as crooked as it looks in the photos, I swear: Close-up lenses do odd things, and have made the kit look wonkier than in real life.

It weighs a ton, but is darn impressive on the corner of your main drag!