HO scale harbor small warehouse

Brian’s back in touch – this time with his stunning HO scale harbor small warehouse.

“When the Builders in Scale kit was released many years ago, I purchased it with the intent to add a harbour to my layout someday.

The kit unfortunately was “lost” in one of our moves to other cities but before it was “lost” I was able to make photocopies of the plans which I kept in a mailing tube. These are the ones that I use to make the buildings for my current project.

HO harbor building plans

These three buildings (card stock mock-ups) are what I am going to use in the harbour area. First one is a shortened version for the Ship Chandler building, second one will be a sail maker and the third will be a small restaurant.

card mock ups of building

I used the photocopies as templates to make sure that the size and shapes are correct before transferring to the wood.

card mock ups of building

card mock ups of building

From the above, they were transferred to Board and Batten siding. I only used the wood on three sides of the building and because the back of it is up against the backdrop (wall) I used card stock for this back wall of the building. It cannot be seen from any angle on the layout.

This is where my magnetic corner right clamps came in handy to hold the building square along the bottom edge of it and an elastic band held the top in place.

magnetic clamps for scratch building

I added a wood foundation to the bottom to bring the building up to the right height for the loading dock surrounding it on three sides.

magnetic clamps for scratch building

The windows and doors (from my bits box – left overs from previous kits) were cut out and inserted in the appropriate places. The roofs were cut from cardstock and will be covered with different materials.

HO scale harbor small warehouse:

HO scale harbor small warehouse

HO scale harbor small warehouse

A window box was made from card stock to fit inside the front of the building to display the products sold in these premises. The name of the owner is derived from my wife’s initials.

HO scale harbor small warehouse

It was then glued in position behind the window frame of the building with clear acetate between the frame and the display box.

HO scale harbor small warehouse

The upper roof was covered with IBR sheets from Builders in Scale cut to 8ft X 4ft scale and stuck down with double sided tape. The double sided tape works exceptionally well for sticking down metal to card stock material.

HO scale harbor small warehouse

The two lower roofs were covered with Campbell Scale corrugated iron sheets also cut to scale 8ft X 4ft size. These were also stuck down onto the double sided tape on the cardstock.

All the roofs were painted with an acrylic rust colour and once dry, were coated with a rust coloured powder. This powder is self-adhesive and will not rub off with handling.

Next I added the three loading docks around the three sides of the building, stressed them and then weathered them before adding the details.

Again I added detail from my bits box to make the building look busy. Figures and dogs were added to give the human element, two old guys taking their dogs for a walk decided to do a bit of window shopping.

HO scale harbor small warehouse

Here the workers are knocking off and heading to the bar next door at Red Hook Wharf for a pint or two with their mates.

HO scale harbor small warehouse

The poor guy at the door has to get all the stock inside the building before he can knock off and join his mates for a pint.

The Ship Chandler is all lit up for the night. I had put lights on the outside of the building for a change as there is no detail inside other than a light above the inside of the display window. The building is set back on the layout therefor the interior cannot be easily seen.

Woody’s boat rental is still open as old man Woody is waiting for the last rental to return, hopefully with a large catch of fish.

harbor kit bash

A close up view of the Ship Chandler building from the harbour masters office across the harbour.

harbor kit bash

Another view on the other side taken from the boat repair yard looking at the workers knocking off.

harbor HO scale

That’s all for now. The builders will be back on site tomorrow to make a start on the sail maker building.

harbor view

When I refer to my “bits box”, I actually have two. One is all the leftover bits and pieces from kits that I have built in the past which I have either been kit bashed, modified or made smaller or larger and the left over pieces put in it.

The other is where I keep all my casting collection and when I feel like doing a small project, I look for a few castings to paint and weather to be ready for a future project.

Brian the HOn3 guy – Knysna RSA”

A huge thanks to Brian for sharing his HO scale harbor small warehouse – it’s wonderful to see how he creates his scenery. You can seem more or Brian’s stuff in the Hall of Fame.

That’s all for today folks, please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here, you’d like to make that start on your very own layout.



PS Seen the latest ebay cheat sheet yet?

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

29 Responses to HO scale harbor small warehouse

  1. Kevin McArdle says:

    Great ingenuity, better yet great model. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Paul Case says:

    Brian where did you get the board and batten material that you used to build the building? Great work by the way and nice description of how you did it. Thanks

  3. John Moore says:

    Excellent work! I enjoyed the step by step and photos. Now t tackle one for myself! Looking forward to the sail makers building.
    Thank you for posting this!

  4. george zaky says:

    Words from the master! A thousand thanks for a great ” how to”.
    George from NY

  5. John Roetman says:

    Very nice work. The completed project looks great.

  6. Kenneth Seegert says:

    Exquisite work, very well done in appearance. Great Job!

  7. Brian Messenger says:

    Replying to Paul’s question, their are two companies (that I know of and use) that make board and batten wood in different sizes and scales, one is Kapler siding and the other is Northeastern scale Lumber – both available mainly from Walthers in Milwaukee USA. Check these product names on their website. Brian

  8. Jim Hodgson says:

    Beautiful work; gives us all a standard of craftsmanship to which we can aspire!

  9. NJ Mark says:

    It’s all in the details. Fantastic lighting. I love all of the little people going about their day. Cheers! NJ Mark

  10. Cary B says:

    Beautiful build Brian, remarkable detail

    Cary B

  11. Eugene Rizzardi says:

    Great model thank you for sharing

  12. Johnny says:

    Very Creative and a True Modeler. Very Nice, and well made.

  13. Albert Lyons says:

    Wonderful job !!

  14. Billy Mills says:

    I’d ;like to see the plans themselves

  15. Michael Foster says:

    Hi Al,
    I am sure many other modelers have kept your posts for back referencing, I have cataloged/grouped them since early 2016. It came as a shock when suddenly all of the past posts are no longer available, all that research – gone.

    Do you have a master library that readers can visit?

    Having now retired I plan to restart my model SR railroad but alas many of the ideas I had from other readers submissions I no longer can read.

  16. James carryl says:

    I owned one of the early kits back when I thought I would turn a carport into model train hobby room. Sadly I sold it as a collectors kit years ago.
    You’ve done a Great job with very little . This shows what a bit of inspiration and a plan can become.
    Well done.

  17. Brilliant!
    Excellent work…

  18. Robert Brady says:

    Super great work love the realism it represents.

  19. A M A Z I N G !

  20. Tony Kitty Hawk, NC says:

    Excellent “how to” – really helped!. Thanks!

  21. louie klein says:

    MAN! you are good.

  22. Gary Manganiello says:

    Wow…. your model really came alive when you added the detail with the figures and scenery additions. Fantastic model.
    I went to their site ; great stuff. I have been looking for this type of “GOOD” detail for my layout.

    Alastair…this is why I love you service and your club…….other modelers sharing this kind of information and showing their work is fantastic.

  23. Chris Sylvester says:

    Wow you did a great job and it looks awesome when you added it to your layout thank you for sharing that !!

  24. Greg Schaefer says:

    Brian makes a good point here. You don’t need the kit…you need the plans. Circumstances are keeping me from building a traction layout until I move. But I always wanted to build a sailing ship. I found a Bluejacket kit of the Jefferson Davis at a rummage sale. I was wondering how you fit a 36 inch model into a 24 inch box. When I opened the box, it was full of stripwood, and sheet wood with some castings. But there were 3 pages of full size plans. You literally build the model by making your own parts. If there is a building you like, take pictures of the real building, take some measurements for references and you can literally make your own building. If the building was from a 100 years ago, look it up on the library of congress website. (Or whatever) I was able to to get plans for a Chicago Northshore and Milwaukee “Insull Spanish” passenger station. I can build it accurately now, because I have the plans. Nice work Brian.

  25. Jim AZ says:

    Details. Details. Details. They’re all there. Nicely done.

    Jim AZ

  26. Alabama Mike says:

    Brian, you dock buildings and scenery are beautiful. So realistic looking. Excellent work. thanks for sharing.

  27. Brian Rockey says:

    Fantastic modelling Brian. Very envious.
    Best to all
    Brian, Wokingham, UK

  28. Ruben Simon says:

    Well planned, well executed. Very nice!

  29. DJfromNJ says:

    Brian, Very nicely done. Easy to follow your details. A super job and equally super results. Thanks for sharing!

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