Tomytec has once again done urban N Scale modelers justice with the release of three "Showa" era buildings; a hotel, apartment, and an office building. I ordered two of the 'office buildings' with the typical plan to combine the two for an extra-height structure.
As you can see from the above photos, combining two of the structures increases the height from 5 stories to 8 stories. Below are photos of most of the components of the two building kits.
The below is a close up of the main section that is used to give the stock building its extra 3 floors. You will need to cut some plastic to get the bottom 3 floors of the donating building to fit cleanly on top of the receiving structures, but this is not difficult and all the cutting would be in non-visible areas. In my photos I've yet to do this.
Also apparant in the below photo is my biggest surprise and disappointment with this structure: the painted-on windows. Every other TomyTec building I have uses clear plastic for windows, so my expectation was that this building would follow the same formula.
Below is another close up of the 'painted' windows. I am expecting to mill out the painted windows, at least in a few places, to give the building the interior lighting it needs!
The below photo also shows the extra generous sidewalk height....for those folks who use the Kato/Tomix buildings together, this large sidewalk is going to present an annoying inconsistency. Again, compared with past TomyTec or Tomix structures, this is really unusual. Something else that doesn't look right to me is the different heights of the doors for the main lobby and the elevator section. This may be prototypical, but it just doesn't look that great to me. I may add a canopy or something over the shorter door to hide some of this.
So my last couple of comments were a little negative and I want to make sure I offset that with some positives....its a really neat looking building that, honestly, looking at the top photos in context of other structures, really stands out nicely! The 'silver metal' sides of the buildings look pretty convincing to me and the general modern style is always desirable! Other than some minor issues, the painted windows are the only real drawback, however, for those folks who don't light their buildings, I understand this may even be a benefit! Also, the price on this (ignoring the shipping costs from Japan) is really good. Your not paying for the level of quality you'd expect from the new Kato structures, so you shouldn't expect it. Overall, these are a good value and I'm looking forward one day to getting these lit up and detailed for permanent installation on the layout!