ARCKIT is a set of architectural model building kits that take building design to a new level.
When I was in high school, I took a career placement test and was told I should be an architect. I took a few classes and loved every minute of it, but was lured away by computers and gaming and never went back. Yet scale architectural drawing has always been somewhat of a hobby of mine (I break out the graph paper and draw everything to scale whenever we have a DIY project around the house).
The one thing I never did was actually build three-dimensional architectural designs. When I was younger, it was too expensive and time-consuming to do it the right way, and LEGO, while fun, didn’t really capture the fine detail required to design and build architecture. Fast forward 20+ years and ARCKIT have delivered a set of kits that make quickly designing and building 3D models a reality, not only for professionals but also for hobbyists like myself.
I received an ARCKIT 60 to review, but there are also ARCKIT 120, 240, and Go kits available. The 60 does not refer to the number of pieces in the kit (there are over 220) but to the square meter floor area possible. All pieces in the kits are to 1/48 scale, a popular size in a lot of things so you could easily find additional accessories to use with your kit. In addition to the building pieces, the kit includes an instruction manual–it mostly shows you how to use the pieces and gives some design ideas. While there is a sort of step-by-step basic build in the manual, these kits are really designed to be fueled by your own imagination.
The final inclusion in the box are sheets for printing vinyl ARCKITEXTURE decals. These decals allow you to apply wood, brick, tile, etc. textures to your finished build. Access to a the ARCKITEXTURE digital library as well as the ARCKIT DIGITAL (where you can design your models in 3D before building them) are also included. Unfortunately, I do not access to an inkjet printer so I wasn’t able to try out the decals despite how awesome the idea of downloading or designing my own textures and applying them to my models sounds.
I opened up all the bags of pieces and sorted them out on my table. All of the pieces, except for the clear “glass” ones, are a beautiful, brilliant white and are all well made and solid plastic.
As my first project, I decided to just tackle an included build to learn how all the components work together. I was really enamored with the beveled walls and windows for making perfect corners. There are also little connectors (those tiny little rectangles) for connecting floor and ceiling pieces together even if there isn’t another way to support them. The floor and roof tiles are raised enough that they can then cover the connectors and make it look seamless. While the pieces were a little more difficult to get together than something like LEGO, it makes sense since the end product should be able to be somewhat permanent–although deconstructing a model and building something else is also totally doable.
The resulting build is a gorgeous, stark white and glass house that I can really envision walking through. Even without any of the ARCKITEXTURE decals, I think it’s a great show piece. I haven’t taken the model apart and built something else yet because I love the look of this cool white house sitting on my desk next to me.
While my son isn’t old enough to enjoy ARCKIT yet, I think ARCKIT is a great way to introduce architecture and building design to older kids who may want to branch out to something other than LEGO. If you have even a passing interest in home or building design and want to see your design in real life, I highly recommend checking out ARCKIT.
ARCKIT can be purchased at either Amazon or Barnes & Nobles stores.
Barnes & Noble: