Computer 2000 kitbash

swampdaddy41

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Mar 6, 2007
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COMPUTER 2000 KITBASH
zz000 resized.jpg


The best way to kitbash a structure that is both easy and impressive is to stack two or more of the same kit to make a taller structure. The buildings I chose is a Pola kit marketed as 4 or 5 different car showrooms by Pola, also imported by AHM, IHC, Model Power and others. I got two of the non-auto showroom versions, Computer 2000 (Pola) and Citibank (imported by Model Power, made by Pola). These are the same building.

The end result is a 4-story commercial building fully detailed on the inside with lights which will look good anywhere on your layout or diorama. Starting about 8 or 9 years ago I stopped gluing buildings up tight leaving at least the roof removable in case I needed to make repairs, change anything, or later add lights. And, in the case of multi-story buildings I now use 2-56 machine screws to hold the major components together. This way I can completely take a building apart for any sort of maintenance (and I find I often need to do so as often I add interiors and lights after a building shell has been finished). In the case of this kitbash I intended a full interior and lights to start with.

The Computer 2000 version of the building is one of Pola’s Master Models and had a detailed 1st floor showroom of computers for sale. I copied the signs that came with the kits to my computer and made various sized ones on the computer for use on the kit. Interior walls were first covered with black construction paper glued in place with silicone adhesive; on top of that wallpaper made on my computer printer was added. Various signs were glued on the walls.

I threw away the cheap blurry window material and substituted a 1-16” thick poured acrylic welders plastic protective piece cut to size. This is substantially stronger than is usual in kits and will not fall out if casually touched and wont be easily scratched. These lenses are crystal clear for viewing through by welders or modelers.
zz1 1st floor from kit 2017 Computer 2000 (020) resized.jpg

(above) The first floor is shown empty of people and after I had added “room” partitions and a paper interior from various photos found on the internet. A receptionist’s area behind the front door and in the upper left of the photo is an “elevator housing” where the wiring will go for the upper floors.

zz2 1st floor finished 2017 Computer 2000 (023).jpg

(above) This photo shows the 1st floor as finished complete with 10 +plus people and the interior with the Pola details. Bookcases and shelving were added from some Preiser kits. Items on the shelves were made from bits of scrap plastic from various structure sprues. Multi-colored items on some shelves to represent books were made from those tiny flat pieces of plastic that have “part numbers on them. These were filed flat (numbers removed) and glued together to form rows of books or products. Note white blocks of plastic with holes in them toward the corners of the building; this is where the screws will go to hold the next floor in place. People are glued in place with my favorite silicone glue, FixAll, available at most dollar stores in the US.

For people in this building I used some of the very cheap Chinese ones you can get on the internet. I had to do a little retouching of the paint on them but through the windows they look fine.

zz3 2nd floor empty 2017 Computer 2000 (017) resized.jpg

(above) The floor of the 2nd story is formed from the sidewalk of the second building kit. This is shown in the brownish color of the kit as a distinct line (in the very last photo)but could be painted to match the other exterior walls. The second story is the “showroom” from the Citibank kit and a major thing is turning the “entrance doorway” of the kit into a picture window for the small reception area by gluing in custom parts you make from leftover kit material from cutting out that window. Also, in the right rear of this floor's wall is an ‘overhead door’ for bringing things into an auto showroom. I cut this out into a picture window for one of the classrooms on this floor. Floor 2 was divided into 2 classrooms for teaching of computer subjects for customers and is shown empty in this photo. A short hallway fronts the rooms whose ‘windows partitions’ are empty frames with no ‘glass’ in them. Heavy acrylic welders protective lens were again used on the showroom windows to the outside.

zz4 2nd floor populated resized.jpg

(above) The second floor as populated with people and detailed is in this photo. Tables, chairs, and vending machines in the receptionist/break room were from various such detail kits from Faller and Preiser. Again, note blocks of plastic with the holes which is were the screws will hold the 3rd floor in place. While I am not minutely detailing the interior the more you add, the better it will look from the outside

zz5 2nd floor outside view resized.jpg

(above) The second floor from the outside (room light) showing how well the interior will show up when lighted in the finished building.

zz6 3rd floor empty 2017 Computer 2000 (013) resized.jpg

(above) The 3rd floor of this kit-bashing is the 2nd floor of the Citibank kit. It is now the workroom for the Computer 2000 business where they design, build and repair the various computers they sell. Most of the interior is in the rear, as the front is a hallway with numbered office doors (part of the Citibank interior). As this building will probably be view-able from both sides I put a full interior in the rear too.
(below) The next photo is the 3rd floor populated with people.

zz7 3rd floor finished top front 2017 Computer 2000 (030) resized.jpg

zz8 3rd floor finished outside front resized.jpg
(above) Room light shows the interior of the 3rd floor from the outside rear. The floor is sitting backwards on top of floors 1 & 2 just for photo taking; and, will be facing the other way when the building is done.

Floor 4 which is the 2nd floor of the Computer 2000 building uses the simplified, and blocked, interior, of the Citibank building. These are the large windows blinds. For the window glazing I used Evergreen plastics clear sheet which also blurs the non-existent interior. This is substantially thicker than what comes in the kit; but, it is not perfectly clear which also blurs the non-existent interior..

zz9 4th floor empty 2017 Computer 2000 (018).jpg

(above) The first photo shows the bare 4th floor with some 2-56 screws and a large LED (originally intended for illumination)). The second photo of this floor shows the only added interior – a receptionist area which will have no further detailing. The large conglomeration of plastic parts in the dead center of the floor are scrap sprue parts and some Evergreen shapes to provide a place to screw the roof (thru the central chimney) on to the building.

zz10 2017 Computer 2000 003.jpg

(above) Notice the four white (Evergreen shapes) poles which hold the window shades in place. This was done so if I ever get the notion I can take the ‘window blinds’ out and put in a visible interior. I doubt I’ll ever do this as three highly detailed floors wore me out some.

zz11 4th floor finished front view 2017 Computer 2000 (resized).jpg

(above) An outside view of the 4th floor shows the simplistic detailing of the window blinds to block a detailed view of the interior. In the reflection of floor 2 windows in this photo you can see my fat hands holding the camera to take the picture. And, in the last photo of this series is the completed building from the outside BEFORE any interior details were put in taken after the shell was done but not screwed together.

zz12 Complete C2000 beforelights and people, small blanked.jpg

(above) A very early photo of the building before any details were added to the interior. Though I’ve left off describing most of the many intermediate steps of adding the interiors I think the photos will give you enough direction to do your own interior. It is amazing what you can do on you computer (and printer) toward detailing a building. I did floor coverings, wallpaper, signs, and other decorations on the computer, printed and cut them out; and, glued them in place.

I will add a part 2 to this kitbash thread shortly showing the wiring and lights which were added in about a year after the structure was finished. First I need to disassemble the building to get more photos of the lights and wiring. I did not take the photos with the idea of an article; but, they were handy as I used them to document the stages of construction of this kitbash. I will add more exterior views in the next part of the article of all the sides.

Any sort of large commercial building could be made from any too kits in this series including a 2-story auto showroom if you think about it.

Click a thumbnail to see a larger picture.
I had fun doing this one, Swamp Daddy
 
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swampdaddy41

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thanks, One of my better efforts I have to admit. Will show lights and clean up the spacing of the text soon. Took forever for me to figure out the photos (Claphands) but I'm getting better at it.

have fun everyone, Swamp Daddy
 
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Revell-Fan

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WHAT??? :surprise::surprise::surprise: When did you do that??? How long did it take??? This is freakin' AWESOME!!! ClaphandsClaphandsClaphands
 

swampdaddy41

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WHAT??? :surprise::surprise::surprise: When did you do that??? How long did it take??? This is freakin' AWESOME!!! ClaphandsClaphandsClaphands
Revell-Fan: Empty shell was done during 2014 (don't recall month it was started but was worked on for months though not solid every day until I got what I wanted. Interiors (room partitions, floor coverings, wallpaper, etc.) took place off and on during 2015; lots of hours there and some redo here and there. Most of the wiring (lighting) was done in the last quarter of 2017 with the arrival of dozens of SMD LED strips from China :cool:. New photos will show this later on. Some of you will like a scratch build I am not finished with (when I post it) even better than this one.

At one time Revell was a big player in HO scale trains; and, I too, am a fan.

have fun, Swamp Daddy
 
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swampdaddy41

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OMPUTER 2000 KITBASH, Part 2

The structure shell was built around 2014, the interiors added in 2015; lights and wiring in late 2017 (remember it’s held together floor by floor by 2-56 machine screws – so almost anything is possible later on). There are so many of these screws it is time consuming to take it apart; but, it can be done for whatever reason. And, in this case it will come apart for me to photograph interior lights and wiring for the second part of the article.

In this building there is “no space” between the floors to place normal LEDs, much less bulbs; to do so would require a lot of extra modeling to raise the building between floors. But, new technology came to the rescue – SMD LEDs (SMD = surface mount device) these are strings of LEDs about 1/32nd of an inch thick with glue backing which can simply be glued to the ceiling of each story. Strips or 3 or 6 are usually quite adequate for modeling purposes. They use less current than even normal LEDs (unless you get the super bright ones). Since the structure can be disassembled you need plug/socket sets to disconnect the wiring between each floor. Nice small ones from China were just right for the job.

Since I had to take the building apart, in any new photos you will see COLORED IN RED the extra plastic blocks glued to the walls for machine screws to hold the building together. This will make the construction method clearer.

New photos of the front from head on:
Computer 2K pix 004 cropped resized.jpg
Below: Lighted up after dark. Almost makes me wish for my old film camera; these digital cameras automatically boost the gain under low light conditions. I might actually have to read the manual to turn this off. Bluish effect on the third floor is because bright white SMD LEDs are used here (6 of them – no photo yet of the ceiling) and warm white ones are used on floors 1 & 2. Light cracks are not visible when it’s properly screwed together. I do see one slightly “radioactive” area of glow on the wall of the 3rd floor reception area from the brighter lights – I’ll have to fix that.
Computer 2K pix 003 cropped resized.jpg

(below) New Day-Night Photos of the right wall (wrap around picture window) below:

Computer 2K pix 010-12 cropped.jpg

New Day-Night photos of the left wall (reception areas); some light cracks in these photos will not show when the floors are properly screwed together:
Computer 2K pix 005-6 cropped.jpg

Below: The rear wall. Note the roll-up door on the 1st floor actually leads nowhere inside but I left it on to suggest the company can get deliveries of materials. The same roll-up door on the second floor was cut out into a picture window in the wall of a classroom. You can see the professor at his desk.

Computer 2K pix 001 cropped resized.jpg

Below: I am having trouble getting good lighting when the lights are on even with the flash turned off as the camera boost the gain so much it simply washes out the insides of the windows.
Computer 2K pix 002 cropped resized.jpg

Below: First floor’s ceiling showing 3 warm white strips of 3 SMD LEDs each. This ceiling is made from the 1st floor from the Citibank building kit. Almost all parts of both buildings are needed to make the various floors and ceilings. At the lower left of the photo outside of the building you can see the plug which powers the SMDs. This will mate with one in the ‘elevator housing’ when the ceiling is mounted to the floor structure. And, it is invisible from the outside.
Computer 2000 pix 010 cropped 1stC resized.jpg

Below: 2nd floor ceiling showing 5 sets of surface mount, warm white LED strips. The white squares are pieces of hollow Evergreen rectangular shapes glued over wiring to hold it flat against the ceiling where it cannot be seen from the outside when the building is assembled. Note: these SMDs require a resistor in series for 12—16v. They illuminate the training rooms and reception area on the 2nd floor of the building. The second floor ceiling is made from the ‘roof’ of the Citibank building.
Computer 2000 pix 012cropped 2ndC resized.jpg
No picture yet of the 3rd floor ceiling as I had trouble with the wiring for the large individual LEDs there and ripped it all out (last night) substituting more SMD LED strips.

Below: The underside of the roof showing some lighting ready but I will not finish the 4th floor or the lighting any time soon.

Computer 2000 set 4 pix 004 cropped Sresized.jpg

Below: The roof of Computer 2000 showing the screw in the chimney that holds it to the building when installed. The roof hatch was colored silver with a Sharpie pen and the whole thing will eventually get a bit of weathering.
Computer 2000 set 4 pix 005 croppedS resized.jpg

Below: I got a good close-up of the 1st floor sales area showing the bookcase with bits of sprue material inside representing literature or other products for sale glued inside. At the upper left of the photo notice the V-notch in the wall; several notches had to be carved into existing walls to allow the wiring to pass into the “elevator” housing area. This is almost impossible to see from outside the building as you would have to tilt it up and squint.
Computer 2000 pix 001 cropped resized.jpg

Notes:
1. I used some foam core board on the 3rd floor upon the recommendations of some modeler friends. The stuff warped almost immediately after it was installed. I won’t be using that again for any highly detailed work that will be visible.
2. SMD illumination is the way to go. Get the kind with a built in resistor for 12-16 volts or you’ll have to solder resistors in when doing the wiring. Great items to use!
3. Any red color surrounding a hole is where a machine screw will go to hold the building together.

That about wraps this article up except for photo substitution when I can get better ones.
 
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Gandolf50

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Hope things work out... the led strips I got, the glue backing did not hold at all, so I used double sided scotch tape and they have held / can't remove them now!
Of course, I stuck it on a metal surface, which makes a great deal of difference! Yours looks like you will have no trouble at all! AND... LOOKS GREAT!!
 

swampdaddy41

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Hope things work out... the led strips I got, the glue backing did not hold at all, so I used double sided scotch tape and they have held / can't remove them now!
Of course, I stuck it on a metal surface, which makes a great deal of difference! Yours looks like you will have no trouble at all! AND... LOOKS GREAT!!
You are right; I figured out right off that built in glue-backing wasn't going to hold as the strips tended to curl up quite quickly. On those photos showing the wiring, click for the enlargement and you will note small dabs of silicone glue (looks like a shiny blob in the photos) holding the LED strips in place forever. Still I could pry a defective strip off with a sharp knife for a replacement. Also used dabs of that glue to hold some of the wiring down; and, in some places small sections of hollow rectangular Evergreen plastic tubing were used to hold wiring in place. Thinking ahead pays off though some things still had to be learned by trial and error the old-fashioned hard way.

Have fun modeling, Swamp Daddy
 
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swampdaddy41

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I thought I was through with this thread but there is one last thing I want to add here. The micro-sized plug & socket sets (white in the photo) that you might find on a computer printed circuit board are hard to solder and have proven unreliable and two of the 4 in the Computer 2000 building have failed from too much use. The red plug & socket sets on the left of the photo look like they are designed to be used more than once or twice; and, while bulkier than the other ones have been reliable so far. As the white ones fail they are replaced by the red ones. If using plug-socket combinations in your project you might want to avoid those circuit board ones even though they are nice and small.

Computer 2000 IN pix 028 cropped resized.jpg

Have fun, Swamp Daddy
 
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Gandolf50

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I thought I was through with this thread but there is one last thing I want to add here. The micro-sized plug sockets (white in the photo) that you might find on a computer printed circuit board are hard to solder and have proven unreliable and two of the 4 in the Computer 2000 building have failed from too much use. The red plug sets on the left of the photo looks like they are designed to be used more than once or twice; and, while bulkier than the other ones have been reliable so far. As the white ones fail they are replaced by the red ones. If using plug-socket combinations in your project you might want to avoid those circuit board ones even though they are nice and small.
Yep ... trial and error... I also had a few problems with the plug sockets... but it was the attachment to the LED strips, and the pierce connection. I went with what looks like a combination of what you used, but they will still cause flicker in the LED's if bumped, ended up hardwiring the power source into a connector, soldiered in and shrinkwrapped.
 
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swampdaddy41

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Hi all: Another last thought here (they never end) after I finished re-inserting the photos after the site glitch. When doing any building the first thing I've learned is to copy (scan) the original decor sheet for use later on; once you cut it apart it is a bit like Humpty-Dumpty in getting additional needed copies.. The Computer 2000 logo was particularly handy later on when duplicated in several sizes to glue to the building's exterior and also used when making the interior wallpaper as you'll note it on all the interior walls that are visible. Also a giant sized billboard on the roof will feature this logo.

Use your scanner and printer when kit-bashing, Swamp Daddy :)
 

zathros

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When I had a repair shop, it was always ribbon connectors and their sockets, they were one time use, and not good at that, especially anything with Aiwa on it.