Following on from his review of the Foamweks cutter for architectural model-making I gave my 3rd lad (who’s in my office once a week for TY work experience) the task of testing out the Arckit Modelmaking kit. Here’s what Fionn Stephens had to say:
“Looking at what stands before me, it looks like a sophisticated, architectural specific competitor to Lego. But it is in fact the Arckit: the Architectural model making kit. The way I’d normally make Architectural models is to just cut out some foam-board and stick it all together and then hope for the best. The Arckit: Go takes a different angle, in the box comes ready made pieces which you slot together.
To get to grips with how every thing goes together, I’d recommend to follow their instructions and make their sample model. The instructions are wordless and slightly difficult to follow, but it’s nothing that a closer look can’t solve. The only problem that I had was that on the instructions given, sometimes the arrows which to which pieces go where, look like their pointing to one place but actually in fact are going (actually correctly) somewhere different. It took me an age to realise that I had put a stair in the middle of where a wall should be. The confusion came from that on step 5 it had a picture of a stair with an arrow pointing downwards, I presumed it was indicating that I put the stair on top of the base. The arrow was really pointing to where the stair should be in the box of step 8. If you looked at the picture of the completed model beforehand – unlike me – you probably wouldn’t have the same problem.
Once you’ve got to grips with how everything works, you’d probably want to make your own designs. This is where the Arckit comes into it’s own. For quick designs it’s very good, you can effortlessly make any building that you want – if you have the right amount of pieces, that is.
In my box of 160 pieces (The beginning GO kit), I ran out of the notoriously scarce walls-with-the-little-edgy-thingy pieces to make my model. I subsequently had to use the windows-with-the-little-edgy-thingy pieces to complete my model. If you look hard enough at the photographs you might spot what I’m talking about. My second attempt at designing my own model worked out better. I used all the glass panels I had and the finished result looked generally cooler.
In a parallel universe where I got the larger box with the more pieces, I can imagine the endless possibilities that await me. Of course, in my own universe, I am contemplating whether I should buy an add-on pack of ten walls.
If you are planning to make your own Architectural models, and you don’t want to carry out the fiddly process of cutting out foam-board and glueing it all together, I’d highly recommend this product. All in all this is a great product to bring your ideas out of your head in into the real world.”