Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Stoelzel's Structures Brummie's Burgers Fast Food Restaurant

It has been FAR too long since I last posted a review of a card model building. I started making Carl Stoelzel's excellent Brummie's Burgers fast food restaurant in April of 2013. I began by making furniture items and props for it, which is not my usual method of making buildings. I like to make the building first before working on the furniture and props. Anyway, I didn't get much done before I was admitted to hospital. That effectively put an end to my card modelling in 2013. It took a LONG time before I got my mojo back. But earlier this year I decided I was going to complete this model and over the past three or four months I have worked on it at a steady pace. Last week I finally finished it. Before telling you about the model and how I made mine here is bit of background history that Carl devised.
Welcome to Brummie’s Burgers, founded by Mr. S.M. Quinton and his step brother Bryan during the great meat famine of 1975.  Brummie's began as little more than a of couple students collecting scraps from the local butcher and selling dirt cheap lumps of meat to their college friends.  By the 90s, Brummie's had spread to 50 shops across England, and opened up their first international location in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Today, Brummie's is known to have the best burgers this side of Birmingham, and is home of the original widow maker burger, "the only burger to have, not one, but two full pound patties, sandwiched between three layers of our world famous cheese stuffed fried dough, and dripping from our tangy secret sauce.  The widow maker burger will surely leave your loved ones to mourn, but the nitrates and other preservatives are guaranteed to leave your body in a state of near mummification.  A steady diet of Brummie's Burgers is the best step a prepper could undertake to prepare for the zombie apocalypse, because you will have the nicest looking reanimated corpse around."
There is so much that I love about this model, but one of the things I like best of all is that it comes with its own car park so you can use it as a drive-thru restaurant. The colour scheme of the ground tiles perfectly match those of Carl's Undeveloped Real Estate set. Note that the two large signs on the long metal pillars are not glued in place.
The car park is made up of 12 tiles each measuring 7.5" square to give a board size of 30" by 22.5". That is a decent sized gaming board. The restaurant itself measures 11.5" by 12" and is a tad over 4" tall. The grass bits are glued to strips of mounting card to slightly raise them from the ground. The two pavement areas are glued to two strips of mounting card, which raises them even further.
Note that the restaurant building comes in a choice of four colour schemes. The default colour scheme is brown and red. I did not like this particular choice. I opted for an alternative colour scheme - yellow and red, which to me says fast food restaurant best of all. The other colour schemes were yellow and blue or yellow and green.
The model comes with four litter bins but I have only used two, which I've placed on the pavements on either side of the building. They have not been glued in place.
This is the side of the restaurant that shows the booth (at the far left) where drivers can order and pay for their meals, without getting out of their vehicle. The menu board at the left of the booth has been glued in place. It may look like it is floating in space in this photo but I wanted my restaurant to be separate from the ground tiles so I had to make allowance for the thickness of the ground tiles, which is why the menu board is not sitting flush with the ground. As you can see from the photos above, it looks fine when coupled with the ground tiles.
This is the front of the restaurant and whilst that huge curved window looks very hard to make, in reality it wasn't. It consists of a five tier sandwich. On the outside is the photo paper that I printed the design on. This was glued to a piece of thick cartridge paper. You could use thin card instead. After the glue had dried (I use UHU clear adhesive, which dries very quickly and which gives a strong bond) I cut out all of the glass bits. Cutting thick paper or thin card is a lot easier than cutting mounting card or foam-board. Once that was done I added the centre of my sandwich - the transparenceees (name trademarked by Carl). These are printed on transparent inkjet film. I then glued the inner window frames to a piece of thick cartridge paper and once again cut out all of the windows. This was then glued to the back of the transparent film. The cartridge paper, even though it was double thickness, was flexible enough to be bent into shape. As I said, UHU glue is fast drying so it did not take long to glue the whole lot in place. It sounds complicated and was rather labour intensive, but by taking my time and being methodical the end result was well worth the effort. Of course if you want to keep things simple you don't have to use the transparenceees. But I like my windows to be see through.
This is the opposite side of the restaurant to where the pay booth is. Note the drain pipes, which is a feature on model buildings that is often overlooked. As with all of my card models, the doors open and shut. This particular door uses the sandwich technique that I used for the front window as it has two glass panels in it. The hinges are simply a strip of masking tape.
This is the back of the restaurant. The door is solid "metal." The large brown garbage skip is glued in place, just like the menu board.
Here is an overhead view of the restaurant without the large sign on a pillar. The roof was the last part of the model that I made and was the part I was least looking forward to making. Why? Because it looked so difficult to make. But I'm an experienced modeller and I was not going to be defeated. So I carefully read the instructions - something I recommend you should do before making any model. Once I had cut out all the pieces and done a few dry runs I came to the realisation that this was not going to be as hard as I feared. I began by making the main roof by gluing my printouts to thick cartridge paper. Next, I cut out a large square of foam-board to which I glued three sides of the roof to. This was the lowest level of the roof and the biggest square. The gutters that run around the roof are the same thickness as a piece of 5mm foam-board. Each roof side comes with a large underside flap which gave me two points to glue each roof side to the foam-board - the flap and the gutter. I then slotted progressively smaller sheets of foam-board into place. This is why I left one side of the roof off. I should point out that this is not the method that Carl suggests in his instructions but I could see it working well for me. I think it took five layers of foam-board before I reached the large flat level in the middle of the roof. Note that there is a small wall running around all four sides of the main roof. These four walls were reinforced with mounting card. Before gluing the central roof section I added the fourth side in place. Then it was a simple matter to slot and glue the central section in place. My roof is unbelievably solid and very thick. Once that was done I used a similar technique to make the roof of the pay booth. That roof is glued to the main roof. Finally, I added signs to three sides of the roof slopes and painted the edges. Yes, it was tricky to build but it wasn't as hard as I originally feared. Incidentally, Carl offers two versions of the roof, the complex version that I made or a much simpler roof with a single set of sloped tiles. No way was I going to make the simple version! I relish a challenge.
And so we come to the interior. From top to bottom you can see the drive-thru pay booth, the kitchen and serving area, the main dining area, a storeroom and the toilets. This view is the best for seeing what is in the storeroom and the toilets. In the storeroom, from top to bottom, are a large stack of shelves, a small unit with a few trays on top and a large sink unit with one tray off to one side. In the toilets against the outer wall are a flush toilet and an urinal. This is the first time I have seen a urinal in any card model so well done, Carl. To the right is a wash basin and on the left wall is a dispenser for feminine products. Although this is a uni-sex facility I have no doubt that whoever is using it will lock the door behind them when doing what needs doing.
If you look closely in the pay booth at the top of this photo you can see I have added a desk with a till on it. The till came with the model but the desk did not. It came from the WWG Mayhem Police Station set. Sorry, Carl, but I needed a small desk and this fit the bill perfectly. In the toilet room you can see a condom machine next to the door. It really is a unisex toilet with dispensers for male and female products.
From this angle you can clearly see the serving desk and the menu board above the desk. On the menu board the eight dishes shown at either side are the same eight dishes shown on the external menu board. Naturally! In the centre of the board is a sign proclaiming "Home of the famous WIDOW MAKER BURGER." Ah, only in America! At the back of the kitchen you can see a small unit upon which stands a microwave oven. Next to it is another unit with a couple of trays on top of it and finally are a pair of sinks. Some of the posters were already printed on the interior walls. The red poster on the far wall above the work unit was one I added from a selection. Also, note the paintings hanging on the walls are all optional extras. There are eight paintings in total and I used all eight. The one on the side wall of the conservatory that doesn't have the door in it is the hardest to spot.
Check out the two dispensers next to the wooden door in the kitchen. They sit atop another small unit. To the left is an ice cream dispenser and to the right is a drinks dispenser. Both offer a variety of flavours. In the centre of the dining area is a trash receptacle. This is one of two such items. If you look at the two windows at the top of the photo you can see that the "glass" is slightly tinted. I like this effect better than them being totally transparent.
In the kitchen I placed the main cooking devices in the middle of the floor. From left to right are a pair of deep fat friers, a large hot plate for grilling burgers, and finally a four ring oven. The long serving desk is stacked with cups and glasses. I added a couple of tills to the desk. Note that the menu board is double-sided. In the dining area I placed two small square tables in the conservatory area (top of the photo) whilst five large circular tables were positioned in a V-shape in the main area. Note that the table in the middle has had two extra trays added to it as I didn't want every circular table to show two trays.  Each circular table is surrounded by four chairs, whilst the two squares tables can seat two each. The second trash receptacle can be seen in the upper right of the photo.
I should point out that my review is somewhat biased, but on the other hand, I do rave about ALL of Carl's products. The reason for my bias is that Carl announced a competition to come up with a suitable name for the restaurant. One of my suggestions was for Brummie's Burgers, a nice alliterative name, that Carl thought was the best choice. Naturally I was delighted to win the competition. My reward was to receive a free copy of the model. Incidentally, if you are not keen on the name, Carl provides a full sheet of alternative names, many of which were submitted to him in the competition. One alternative is a place called Vampi's Fans, which has a nice ring to it! If you fancy purchasing this fine model it cost a mere £3.39 from Wargames Vault - a real bargain when you consider it consists of 91 pages. I love this model and I can't tell you how pleasing it is to have my card-modelling mojo back.

46 comments:

  1. Damn fine work as always Bryan!

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  2. Now that is one fine model....You have earned a "Vampiburger", with xtra blood sorry ketchup, for that

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    1. Mmmm, Vampiburgers! Now that sounds great, Toni.

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  3. Great work Bryan! I've really missed reading your reviews on the card buildings.

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    1. Thanks, mate. I've missed doing them so it's great to be able to post one again.

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  4. Great looking model Bryan, you've really surpassed yourself with this.
    I did have one thought ithough in that it could have done with a more imposing entrance, even just a set of double doors would have been sufficient.

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    1. Thanks, Joe. That is not something I had even thought about and to be honest I don't even think it matters. There are three doors that customers can use to enter the premises. Which one do you think is the main entrance?

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  5. I can imagine my horde in there. I am talking about players not zombies.... but sometimes it's hard to tell! Nice work mate I am slowly coming around to card buildinga and may well tale your advice about the free derelict one!

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    1. Thanks, Clint. The free derelict building is a great place to start. At least you don't have to make any furniture for it!

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  6. Stunning piece of work Bryan. This reminds me so much of a Spec Ops level in Call of Duty it is untrue. Your building work is so inspiring every time, thank you for sharing!

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    1. I'm not familiar with Call of Duty, Adam, but thanks for the compliment anyway.

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  7. Wow Bryan!
    What a great build. You've done a fantastic job on this one Dude!
    Brummie's Burgers deserves a place on everybody's Zombie Apocalypse game table.
    I have to agree Carl's kits are just great.

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    1. As a newbie to this card modelling side of the hobby, Bob, I hope you don't feel intimidated by my builds. Remember, I have been doing this for many years now and I consider myself a very experienced modeller. In my mind, Carl's models are just the best on the market.

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  8. Really great!! Fantastic work from Carl and great review by you. This came out pretty damn cool.

    I can see people standing on the tables fighting of the damn teenagers in their search for junkfood!

    Oh wait...I meant to say zombies and not teenagers....

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    1. Zombies? Teenagers? What's the difference? Both species are pretty much brain-dead! ;)

      Thanks, Johnny.

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  9. Ah, what can I say that others haven't already said...

    I wish that I had more time, energy and space to undertake (and complete!) projects of this size. I'm quite jealous, you know :-) .

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    1. I feel for you, Hugh. I'm fortunate in having lots of time, energy and spare space.

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  10. Great looking build, Bryan!
    I have to reprint some of mine as I glued the atrium to foamcore and not card, doh...read directions first!
    I am really just getting familiar with it though to add a sun room to a townhouse. A long way to go as of yet, then I got to finish with the furnishings!

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    1. Thanks, David. I really can't emphasise enough how important it is to read the instructions. Great idea to make the front part of the restaurant as a sun room for a town house.

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  11. WOW just WOW Bryan. I have seen you make a fair few card buildings in my time and this has to be my favourite (Biased) All the little details make it a joy to behold it makes me think of that zombie artwork with Romero serving zombie customers in a diner. Great job mate despite it taking so long to get it to a finished state(Not your fault I may add) its just AWESOMENESS!

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    1. Simon, you have every right to be biased. I'm guessing the name of the owner, a certain Mr. S.M. Quinton, didn't go unnoticed by you. For those who don't know, Brummie's Burgers was named after you from back in the days when Brummie was your computer user name. If it wasn't for my unfortunate hospital stay and long recovery I would have finished this much, much quicker. I'm glad you approve of it, my friend.

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  12. Wowzers! What a terrific job, mate. I demand an AAR post haste.

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    1. Ha, ha! I was just waiting for someone to make that suggestion. It will be done, Simon, but I can't promise post haste.

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  13. Dude ... sweeet. Sorry just been watching TV. Great work as always. Nice to see you back in the building mojo

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    1. Thanks, Phil, and it really is wonderful to have my building mojo back.

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  14. Very impressive, as always! I love the card buildings you have done and it is inspiring to see such great results. I wish I had more time and patience (and concentration!) to get more of these buildings done for my own games! Not that they would be to your level of detail, mind you!

    Awesome build, I love it!

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    1. Many thanks, Nobody667. I put a lot of love into this build and I think it shows.

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  15. Welcome back into card modelling. Very inspiring even if not my preferred period (I am more into 40's or sci-fi in that matter). The building is neat. Does it mean batrep mojo is on its way?

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    1. My batrep mojo has never left. It's just a bit difficult finding the time to set up my gaming board for another batrep. Naturally, I want to do a batrep that features this model.

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  16. You were 100% correct, you took this one up to a whole new level. This is no way disappoints.Thank you for this write-up, It's my favorite one you done so far, and as others have said, it's good see you cutting the card again.

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    1. I really must thank you, Carl, for designing such a perfect model. Yes, it really is perfect and is exactly what I was looking for in a fast food restaurant model. It may have taken far longer to make than I originally envisaged but once I got my mojo back a few months ago nothing was going to stop me finishing it.

      You may be interested to know that I'm currently making my first vehicles from your Auto Park set - 5 SUVs. Expect a review soon.

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  17. Not much to add, really. I am repeating myself (and others, for that matter!) here, but it is a stunning building. The atrium is a really, really nice touch. Great work, well worth the time invested!

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    1. Thanks, Mathyoo. You are my only follower to have actually seen it in the flesh, so to speak, even though I still had most of the interior detail and roof to add when I showed it to you. I am immensely pleased with it.

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  18. That's one beautiful build Bryan,
    Simply awesome!!!

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    1. That's mighty kind of you to say, Dave. Thanks.

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  19. Great work Bryan, I love what you did with the ground tiles

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    1. The ground tiles are as much a part of this model as the restaurant itself, Shinto. I love them as well.

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  20. wow... woooow..... WOW.... WOOOOOOW!!!!!!!!

    utterly incredible :))))

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    1. I take it you like it then, Stephen? Thanks, my friend.

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  21. Hey Bryan, long time lurker and fan. Great to see you back at the buildings, inspirational as always.

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    1. Good to have you on board, Darren. I thoroughly enjoyed getting back to card modelling. Expect a lot more from me soon.

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