This is probably one of our favourite kits from the Neo Sentry: Easy District range. It’s certainly not as characterful from the outside as something like the Golden Key (which is an amazing building, especially when you include the optional additional floor!), but simply because it includes a full interior.
It’s the first time we’ve done ‘rooms’ inside a building, and now that we have done it we can see the attraction. Immediately the space inside the building becomes ‘alive’, you can visualise your models moving from room to room, checking or clearing them as they go.
We do have to say that this model doesn’t really look ‘right’ until you start adding additional floors. It’s such an interesting shape and the large signage on the building makes it look odd without the added height the extra floors provide. Adding additional floors does make the building much more impressive and even with just one additional floor the model looks ‘balanced’. It’s nice to have some elevation in any table layout and whilst too much can be, too much, this model lends itself well to the increased height. Some of the other Easy District buildings have more ‘charm’ being shorter and with a towering Archibald Hotel on the table you get a real sense of that dense urban clutter surrounding something majestic.
Once again, we’ve tried to make the model more playable and whilst still being pretty much a rectangle the ladder and fire escape up the back, the balcony, the rooms inside all add to help make interaction with the model much more ‘playable’. We’ve used a similar shape for this building as we did for the O’Neil Row building from the Sentry City: Old Town range, essentially a U-shaped building with recessed front entrance. This provides some lovely spots for miniatures to hide in, take cover, run around the corner and duck into the recess or ascend the building up through the floors via the elevator and perch on a high balcony to snipe down at the streets below.
The Hotel sign can be placed anywhere on the building. It does not attach per-say to the actual model but to a back plate which can be positioned anywhere the plate will fit, so you could just as easily attach it to the left hand side wall to help break up the relative flatness of that side of the building.
The separation of space on the ground floor was important for us too. Having such a large lobby for a hotel in an age where space is a premium just didn’t feel right so we added in the little shop on the right hand side of the ground floor that we called “Blue Spirit”. The Japanese characters were provided by a Japanese friend of ours but there seems to be some contention amongst some people that it may not be quite right … perhaps one of those things that gets lost in translation?
You could always opt to not include the extra “Blue Spirit” details and replace those signs with something of your own choosing. No doubt with the extra pop-out pieces (the scrap parts from the kits) you could fashion something that suits, print and glue on something different. Being made from 1.8mm MDF it is very easy to work with an modify.
We’re looking forward to seeing how people paint their Archibald Hotel and the modifications that some of your will no doubt do!