by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
Scale: HO scale (1/87)
Series: Laser-Cut Minis
Media: Pressboard; plastic; paper
The BuzzBeehouse is a unique model in the NOCH Laser-Cut Minis series. NOCH uses laser technology to cut and etch highly detailed models of buildings, lumber, plants, and other models. NOCH currently advertises over 60 of these sets in three scales: HO, TT, and N.
Beehouse (Bienenhaus)This kit is packed in a label-backed end-opening carton. Inside are nine pieces on two "sprues" of laser-cut heavy card sheets, a card roof and window frame, thin translucent frosted plastic window glazing, and paper 'decal.' The card is firm and smooth, colored in a dark wood brown. A well illustrated instruction sheet with several languages guides the assembly process. Color PDF instructions are available from the NOCH website by clicking Click here for additional images for this review, below. No glue is included.
The kit is built up from a foundation, four walls, window parts, roofing sheet, and the paper 'decal.' The components are precisely laser-cut. Surprisingly, not all edges are singed by the laser. The parts are cut through and held to their sheet by two very small connectors. They are easy to cut out.
Beehouse can find many places with its small footprint of 1.85 in. x 1.18 in. x 1.38 in. (4.7 x 3 x 3.5 cm).
This model is a typical shed with uses limited only by one's imagination.
DetailLook at the detail laser-etched into the window and door. Extremely fine lines are burned into them representing wood detail, hinges, muntins, trim, jambs, and framing. Curiously, no door handle was shaped.
Exterior building detail is simple. The walls are lased to resemble low grade lumber construction. The boards are textured with striations to appear as unfinished lumber. The roof resembles simple tar paper.
Hoisting the hiveAssembly was easy and quick. It took me more time to photograph Beehouse than to build it! From first cut to completed model was about 10 minutes. I built it per the box but had to add a local touch by painting the door and window blue. This card material is probably vulnerable to sticky tape so I masked the door and window with a sticky note, then brush painted with a craftstore acrylic. I did not want complete coverage on the door to simulate weathering, so I used a stiff acrylic brush.
I used Uhu glue (Available from NOCH website.) left over from a previous NOCH kit. The only tool you really need is a sharp blade to separate the parts from their sheets. Be aware that even with a razor sharp blade, some material may remain from where you separated a piece from the sheet and you may see an uncolored spot. Start with the window and secure the frosted sheet, then attach the window framing to the inside of the window opening. Then add the paper 'decal' over the bees' hive openings.
Next, attach the walls. They fit against the edge of the foundation, not on it. The end walls are sandwiched between the side walls. I used a magnetic gluing jig and machinist angles to square the walls and create a tight fit.
With the walls good n' true, I set the paper tar paper roof cover atop the structure. It is stiff and just stays put courtesy of gravity. Now you have a small shed for your layout! Built out-of-box this shed looks great and is at home on American or European layouts. It is shown built with a NOCH Flowering Fruit Tree and Spruce.
A honey of a kitI am very impressed with Beehouse. I have found these thick board models easy to work with. The amount of detail NOCH creates with their laser is impressive. Beehouse was easy, quick, and fun to build up.
Beehouse looks like simple sheds all over the world and will look fine on any layout. One could leave the back off and mate it to any structure as a small office or storage room.
My only minor complaint is that cutting the colored board exposes small uncolored spots. This really isn't anything as wood can be damaged or weather unevenly.
I think this makes a great looking shed for 1/72 through HO (1/87). Outbuildings like this can be found anywhere: railroad, airfield, factory, house.
I happily recommend this model.
We thank NOCH for providing this sample; please tell sellers and vendors you saw this model here -- on Railroad Modeling!
Click here for additional images for this review.