Day 8: Metal Earth Notre Dame DIY model

It is day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas Gifts, and I am reviewing the DIY model of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France by Metal Earth. As you may know, the Cathedral is under extensive renovation and rebuilding after its 2019 fire. It nevertheless is a jewel of Gothic architecture in France, but more importantly for Catholics, it is a house of worship.

I compared the completed model to some photos of the cathedral and I think this is a fairly accurate model of it; there are no obvious differences (other than the size of course). The only difference I notice is that the circular windows are simplified on the model, but not so much so that is is jarring, and the overall style is still maintained. I can’t speak for how well it is scaled to the actual cathedral unfortunately; I can only say I think it appears well proportioned. The level of detail on this is great. There aren’t any windows or doors missing as far as I can tell. There are even bricks and roofing etched on to the metal that I think really makes it feel like a palm sized replica. There are varying levels of depth to the model as some pieces are assembled further in or even behind other pieces which I really like; they really did mean 3-D when they said it is a 3-D model.

The model claims to be made of high quality steel which I would agree with although I am not an expert. The thickness seems even throughout the sheet save for the etching, and it acquired minimal scratch marks in the construction process. Therefore, much care would need to be taken during the construction of this model. We’ve had this model on display for at least half of the year now, and it still looks the way it does when we first assembled it, but we do keep it at room temperature in a fairly dry place and don’t live in a high humidity climate. One extra detail I would like to mention is that there isn’t much unused space on the metal sheets, which means less waste.

Metal Earth has different models with different levels of difficulty and the model of Norte-Dame is listed as “Challenging”. Indeed it is challenging. Part of that is because the pieces are so small; the thin pillars surrounding the cathedral are just over one millimeter in width. Additionally, the metal it not very thick, especially since it has been scored to make it easier to fold. I don’t think changing the thickness would be an improvement because it would break too easily if it was any thinner but too hard to fold if it were thicker. Some of the pieces on our model turned out a little warped because of little mistakes we make and couldn’t really fix. There are also little tabs on the the edge of many pieces that are just over a millimeter and about 2 millimeters long which are inserted into other pieces then bent to hold the piece in place. This means you wouldn’t need to glue anything together; just the model is enough, but they are quite the challenge to bend. We had pliers and tweezers out to help assemble this model. Even punching the pieces out of the metal sheet was quite difficult. We found the depth of the etching to be good, but it doesn’t mean you don’t need to be careful. The process of putting the model together, from beginning to end, is not something to be rushed. Patience is key when building this model… you can sympathize with the many, many, many years it took to build Notre Dame de Paris.

One claim Metal Earth makes is that the instructions are easy to follow, but I find this debatable. It’s one of those instruction manuals that are all images, and I know some people that find that to not be enough (*cough* Vincent *cough*). I would suggest taking a look at the instructions for the model you are interested in on the Metal Earth website, and deciding if it is something you think you, or whoever you intend on gifting the model to, can follow.

Basically, there is a lot of opportunities for error with this model. I do really think it is great quality and the end result looks fantastic. I would recommend this particular model for someone that enjoys assembling 3-D models, has some experience with them and has a LOT of patience. There are other easier models that you choose to purchase instead. It comes down to what kind of theme you are looking for and what models you have access to. We look forward to future models of Churches and Cathedrals from Metla Earth.

View details of the Notre Dame model here.
Purchase the model here.

And that is a wrap for day 8! Be sure to come back tomorrow for day 9 of the series with Vincent!

Disclaimer: The Catholic Man Reviews was provided a sample of the Metal Earth Notre Dame DIY model for an honest review of it on this blog. The Catholic Man Reviews thanks Metal Earth for the opportunity for us to review model on our blog and looks forward to future collaborations. All thoughts and opinions expressed in here are our own and reflect our sincere thoughts about the product.

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