Metcalfe Parish Church H0/OO scale
The Metcalfe Church arrives in a slim A4 box
The back of the box shows a close up of the window detail and the extraneous gate.
Comments on Construction
Constructing the church required around 15 hours of effort spaced over several days; a large amount of this time was spent holding components together while they set. I loaded the dishwasher while waiting on one piece - multitasking! If you started this project on Friday evening then I feel you could reasonably expect to finish Sunday evening.
The instructions reference a component that does not appear to exist when detailing how to affix the pointed roof to the tower so be ready for this.
The instructions don't seem to mention the painted strips that go on the inside of the tops of the walls to cover the bare cardboard there, make sure you have attached these before attaching the capping stones.
I do not recommend following their advice and cutting out all the components before starting, this makes them more difficult to keep track of while not saving you any time.
1 Parish church
The church is made of high quality cardboard sheets combined with a single sheet of plastic. For a cardboard item the quality is very high with clear detail. However this material is not forgiving and while a small number of spares are provided any significant mistake will likely ruin the entire model.
The instructions are provided in english printed onto two small A4 booklets. These start out satisfactorily however as the item progresses they somewhat decrease in quality. As an experienced modeller I didn't have a great deal of trouble following them - apart from when they mentioned a component that didn't exist! They could however have been much clearer and would have benefited greatly from being spread over more pages with a larger number of diagrams showing more detail.
I highly doubt these instructions were tested to any great extent!
From a distance the church looks very nice; on closer inspection there are some points that stand out as being rather poor. The turrets are perhaps the worst of this. The church also lacks much in the way of detailing (one cross on an entire church?) making it look somewhat factory like.
As terrain, the church's main table top usage is to block line of sight. The model is strong enough to support models standing on it however there is not a great deal of space to do so.
I paid £14 for the church from my local model railway store, online it seems to retail for around £15 delivered - for an item of this size and complexity this is cheaper than most terrain produced by other companies. On the other hand, most other terrain requires far less of an investment of time to construct. For those with the time or who enjoy construction for its own sake the kit represents a bargain. For those attempting to get their collection up and running I feel it would be worth investing more in a quicker to set up alternative.
The church offers the experienced modeller, with time on their hands, the ability to add a large item of terrain to their table top without much in the way of financial investment. It also offers the modeller a project into which hours could be poured adding small adjustments. For an inexperienced modeller or one more interested in having a set of terrain than making one the church offers hours of misery followed by likely disaster resulting in an unappealing mess arriving on the table top - assuming anything arrives at all! All in all 7 out of 10