In-Box Review
French Shop Facade
Facade M France
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Facade M France (Fassade M Frankreich / Gevel M Frankrijk) from Artitec is a 1/87 resin and photo-etch kit of a French shop front.

Artitec of the Netherlands produces a wide range of models of railroad, military, maritime and automotive subjects, and related accessories - over 260 in HO alone. They also make kits in 1/72, 1/120 (TT scale for model railroading), N ( 1/160) and Z (1/220). Predominately of Dutch, Belgian, French and German prototypes, these models consist of resin and photo-etched metal. While I did not count each one individually, it appears Artitec kits over 100 1/87 houses, apartments, outbuilding, churches, and miscellaneous structures. As Artitec describes their models:
    Artitec kits consist of resin and etched metal components. In the box, you will find resin castings. This material sometimes needs to be sanded or trimmed so we recommend keeping a sharp scalpel and some sandpaper to hand. Resin is not coloured and can be painted with Humbrol enamel or acrylic paint. The small details are made of etched metal.

Artitec was founded by modelers and their passion for the hobby is obvious. Let's look at what they have created.

Facade M France
This kit takes up a footprint of 90 x 35 x 125mm (3.5" x 1.4" x 4.9").

Inside is a resin 'sprue' holding 8 parts and 3 separate resin castings, an etched brass display windows and transoms, plus a clear plastic sheet of 'glass', and an instruction sheet. Those resin parts are:
    Main Facade
    Arcade window facade
    Sides x 2
    Shutters x 6

That 'sprue' holds the 8 parts together with excess resin. It is thin enough that it can be separated from the parts with a clean break. Perhaps some scribing or light cutting might be necessary but I don't think so.

Artitec uses vacuum casting with their resin casting. That creates crisp detail and minimizes the chance for casting flaws such as air pocks, none of which mars this kit. The sides have very slight warpage although that should be simple to straighten with gentle heating.

One thing to keep in mind is that this is not a full kit. It is a shallow facade, "low-profile" or "flat" model. These are popular in model railroading and well known in military modeling, too.

Artitec's packaging is simple, a box as big as needed to hold the model with a specific label affixed to it.

Surface detail is quite impressive. Artitec sculpted excellent fine detail into this trabeated French storefront. It has fine quoins and crisply molded cornices and piers. Finely rendered roofing shingles, too. Stucco cracks and flaking are represented. Hinges for the shutters are molded on, as is the guttering with downspout. The window framing details are crisp, too.

Artitec originally started as a model railroad company. Unlike many military modeling companies, their buildings are not shot up and blown apart out of the box. If one wishes to 'shoot it up' it should be no trouble to add damage.

Instructions and Painting
The line art assembly instructions are clear and simple, illustrating four steps. A simple painting guide is included, referencing Humbrol paint.

While these may seem very simple, Artitec features expanded and detailed how-to guides on their website. It is obvious that Artitec is a model company by and for modelers.

Facade M France is an impressive low profile facade by Artitec. It features crisp casting, excellent detail, and photo-etch. It should be quick and easy to assemble. The excess resin does not bother me as it is easy to remove and clean up. The minor warping should be no problem to straighten out.

I look forward to assembling this building and look forward to integrating it into a layout/diorama. Modelers of 1/87 European structures should be excited by this model and the many others available from the modelers at Artitec. Recommended.
Highs: Crisp casting, excellent detail, and photo-etch.
Lows: Minor warping.
Verdict: I look forward to assembling this building and look forward to integrating it into a layout/diorama. Modelers of 1/87 European structures should be excited by this model and the many others available from the modelers at Artitec.
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: 10.231
  Suggested Retail: 14,30
  PUBLISHED: Oct 04, 2017

Our Thanks to Artitec!
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)

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 2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. All rights reserved.


Looks like a nice set and look forward to seeing what else they offer in their catalogue.
OCT 05, 2017 - 07:16 PM

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