Completing the Kennedy Center model brings me closer to covering the last of the currently discontinued models. Metal Earth doesn’t have an easy way to find out which models have been discontinued (wouldn’t it be nice if they had an “archive” or “museum” section on their website), you just have to browse their list of models and find the ones with the discontinued label on the image. I might never have known but for hearing about it from someone, probably AnimateOrange.
Of course, if I’m honest, I gotta say that I can now kinda tell why it’s been discontinued. It’s a good representation of the subject matter, don’t get me wrong. But it’s got a few design flaws that make it both frustrating to assemble, and very unforgiving in the results.
This two-sheet model seems like it should be pretty darn easy, especially considering that there aren’t any curves to it, or even complex folds. But it makes up for it with a lot of long and narrow folds, combined with full-length stubborn perforations that don’t fold easily. And follows that up with a lot of tab connections that are difficult to complete if you don’t like external twisted tabs.
There was really only one specific place where I really screwed up, and that was with one of the layers of the roof (part 11). This particular layer, unlike all others, is actually placed in the structure with the engraved side down. The instructions don’t call this out, and the shading that usually indicates it… well, it’s not as dark as it usually is. So yeah, had to take that off and reverse it. And it just so happened to be attached with twists, because I thought I could get away with that there. But that’s how these things go, amirite?
I completed the build in just under an hour, because the general shape is quite simple, but there was quite a bit of frustration in the process. And many of the things that were frustrating are things that Metal Earth has now improved upon greatly with their designs. Which, in a way, helps me appreciate the level of dedication their designers have to improving the designs as they go.
The two examples of these improvements that stand out to me are how they handle long edges that need to be folded over and thin strips that connect layers. With the long edges, they’ve taken to making the grooves deeper, perforation holes larger, and/or not connecting the two surfaces along the whole length of the edge. This makes it so much easier to deal with, and execute without making a mess. On the connecting strips, I’ve noticed that the newer models tend to ensure that the strips have at least one corner in them (breaking a rectangle into a maximum of 2 strips, instead of 4). This helps keep the orientation of the parts, even when the tabs are not secured.
Here’s the full build video, so you can see where I made things harder for myself by insisting on not having external twisted tabs: