I have always enjoyed scratch built structures. Over the years I have collected back issues of the
various railroad magazines and I have seen kits that are no longer available that I would
love to have on my layout. If the picture of
the kit can be enlarged you can Guesstimate the measurements. By measuring a door and making the assumption that
it is the standard height then you can get close enough to build a similar structure. In some cases the kit can be obtained at a show or
from some other source. The problem with a
lot of the older kits is that some of the castings are dimensionally incorrect. In this case you have a couple of options. You can build the kit and place it in the
distance in hopes that the problem cant be seen OR you can use the kit for the plans
and dimensions and scratch build it.
That is what I have done with the old Hienz Pickle Factory. I liked the looks of the building but I
didnt like the fact that so much of it was out of scale. I measured the parts and cut them out of strip
woods to recreate the various parts of the building.
I didnt create the roof exactly as it is in the kit and I roofed it with a
different material. Once you take on a
project like this you can make the kit into how you think it should look. I wanted a wooden shingled look so I created
thousands of individually hand cut shingles. I
covered the add on portion with a sheet metal roof.
The tanks are made from scribed siding glued to cardboard tubes. Simply use your imagination to create or
recreate some wonderful old structures.
of these older kits can be simply spruced up by replacing the window and door castings.
There are a lot of little things that can be done to these older kits.
Do not just overlook them. As a last suggestion, go to the model railroad
magazine search engine on Model Railroader Magazines web page and search on
names like John Allen and E.L. Moore. Both of these gentlemen did alot of scratch building
and wrote many articles for the various magazines. The link to Model
Railroader is on the links page and I have included the link directly to the
search engine here: Model
Train Magazine Index
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