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I was volunteered to assemble a DPM kit for my NTRAK club’s fundraiser, and was reminded how much I hate working with DPM kits.

BANTRAK, my local NTRAK club, builds a raffle layout each year as a fundraiser. We put together something small, sell some tickets during our big year-end show at the B&O museum, and use the proceeds to fund our activities.

Various club members take on different responsibilities, and I was volunteered by a friend to build one of the buildings for the layout: a DPM “Roadkill Cafe” kit.

I procrastinated, as usual with things like this, and only got started when I got the “hey, can you get me the building on Sunday” email (on Monday).

So, I embarked on a crash course of building the thing, and was reminded how annoying building these kits was.

First off, there’s the obvious issue that all of the windows are cast into the walls. This means that you can’t do the normal trick of painting the walls one color, then spraying the windows and trim another, and just assembling them. Instead, I had to hand-paint all of the window and trim detail, which takes a good amount of time.

On top of that, I found out that, as cast, the building isn’t square. The back wall is about 1/32″ too wide, and had to be cut down with a razor saw to actually get the building close to rectangular.

Next, there’s a draft angle cast on all the walls, requiring significant sanding to resolve.

And finally, neither the window or roof plastic is cut to size.

These are not serious problems, but they do add to the time to build the thing up.

However, a concerted effort was made, and I wrapped it up in the week I needed, including making my own signs!

I painted the structure with craft and model paints.

The brick color was “Russet” from DecoArt’s American Line with a wash of Plaid’s “Nutmeg” (#944) from their Folk Art line. The windows are DecoArt’s Slate Grey, and the lintels and roof trim are all the old standby of Poly Scale’s Grimy Black. The roof was just plain flat black.

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