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,
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.