HO scale train buildings

Brian’s been back in touch, he’s been adding to the HO scale train buildings on his layout:

“Hi Alastair,

Please keep up the excellent work you are doing on your blog. I am sure that this is very much appreciated by all your followers. I do not always comment on them but read all of them and save to a folder.

Herewith an article of two kit rebuild/kit bashing plus some work on/under the layout.

I added a few more pictures at the end of the article of the never ending work around layout room.

Many many years ago I built this Pola (a European kit manufacturer) as it came out of the box with no modifications to it other than paint and weathering.

I pulled it out of my cupboard and decided that I can use it on my layout but it needs a complete rebuild.

This is what it looked like with the old roof after cleaning all the dust off it with a few details on the boring looking platform in front of it.

HO scale train buildings

The first thing that I decided was to re spray it grey and the doors and windows green, add an interior of some sort.

As seen below, I marked out a double door opening to make a front loading/off loading building. As an afterthought, I did not like the grey paint scheme.

HO scale door

I delved into my bits box and found a double door resin casting which I promptly split in half to fit the new wider cut opening in the front for the Goods to be added. Apologies for the poor picture quality.

model train building door

Next I test fitted the opening with the doors. This was before the repaint to a brick colour.

HO scale train buildings

Next the building received a coat of brick coloured paint and the doors were painted green. The windows were painted an olive green.The two decks were roughened up to show lots of wear and tear. The weathering process will follow.

HO scale train buildings

A name for the industry is still to be determined. Possibly an engineering works. I will print an appropriate sign once I have figured out what to call it. The deck has been painted and weathered as well as the doors.

 HO scale train buildings

Starting to add the details around the outside and inside the building.

ho scale building

Added a small tank to the side deck. I will still add more details to it.

 model train warehouse

Below I have added one of my resin cast stores (a lean-to) to the side of the building.

model railroad warehouse

I was not happy with the original roof and found a spare one from a similar kit at a friend’s place which he kindly donated to me and this made the building look much better. (The old original roof that was removed was saved and will be used elsewhere). This building is now ready to be installed on the layout.

 model railroad warehouse

While I was scratching around in my cupboard, I found this station kit (a cast plaster one and cannot remember who made it) that I built about 40 plus years ago. This photo shows the finished product.

model train warehouse

This is what I found in the cupboard amongst a lot of unfinished buildings started many years ago. (What’s new? and I am sure that a lot of us do this) I also found a damaged HOn3 box car.

The remnants of a previous attempt at building a small station was also in there. Does not look that good and no wonder I did not complete it.

HO scale kit bash

I decided to add the two together to form a small passenger/freight station for the next section of my layout on the lower level. Two pieces of cork were glued together to give me the base at the correct height.

 HO scale kit bash

I had some random stone castings that I used to surround the base.

HO scale freight kit bash

A wooden deck was added, roughed up, plank lengths scribed onto it and then stained and weathered. More of my casting details was added to the end of the platform.

HO scale loading platform

Added details on it from my bits box to finish it off. This is where I really appreciate having spent time (an hour or two) on painting castings for my bits box that are ready to place as I build new (old????) structures when needed.

A small dock crane was added to load/offload goods. Figures were added as well as some details on the right hand side of the station. It is now ready for placement on the layout.

The Pola building took me four days to complete and the above station about seven days.

The next big project is to mount 28 Blue Point switch machines, under all the points. (Turnouts)

This is where I was fortunate enough to think ahead when I built my layout to allow for access under it. I mounted casters on the bottom of the cupboards to allow them to be moved to be able to work underneath it as seen below. Work in progress.

This photo below shows the tight space I have to work in/under at the corner.

Topside the wires from the Blue Point switch machines can be seen coming through the points above.

HO scale model railroad

Slowly getting the track back in place except for the dropper wires to the buss wires underneath. The white piece top middle is the supplied template to use for positioning the point motors underneath.

laying HO scale track

This is as far as I am right now.

Until next time.

Brian – the HOn3 guy in Knysna.”

A big thanks to Brian for sharing more of his HO scale train buildings.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

model train answers

10 Responses to HO scale train buildings

  1. Fred (skull ) Anderson Melbourne Australia says:

    Very good use of old buildings ,just using his imagination. it all comes together very nicely. I am very impressed.

  2. Macbear says:

    I love this modified model. My industrial units have been built using LINKA – plaster cast sections which I have modified. Naming businesses is a challenge, and I have adopted a mainly tongue in cheek theme. I have: the Lee-King Pipe factory; Terry Bull oversees a brewery; Bill Border is into advertising … Not to everyone’s taste, I grant.

  3. Glyn Jones says:

    I always enjoy seeing the progress on your railroad Brian – great use of an old model Kit being refurbished for the new layout. Being an ex Rhodesian and knowing how difficult it can be to obtain materials in South Africa at times, it’s nice to see someone not only persevering but creating a beautiful scenery and an interesting layout. Keep us posted. Glyn in Santa Fe

  4. Dirk van den Berg says:

    Brian is a real master at work. Photos do not do his layout any justice.You simply have to see it in person. Well done Brian!

  5. Brian Olson says:

    Great additions, even greater additions to the additions!

  6. George Zaky says:

    Always a treat to hear how you took something, I would accept as adequate for my layout, and make it spectacular on your layout.
    You mention resin casting- are you using that system? I’d like to have your thoughts on that if you do.
    Big Al
    Brian, Java- Aaahhh nice AM-
    Hvala (Serbian)

  7. Steve Ruple says:

    Nice building additions, look good.

  8. Mike Balog says:

    Brian. Great Craftsmanship re working older model building and adding many different parts and changes to come up with a New building. FOR MacBear, – you could have a part of a small store front with the Sign: “Lon Lee Matchmaking Service”…. OR “Lon Lee Laundry & Dry Cleaning Service”…. for Laughs.

    Mike in N.H., U.S.A.

  9. Brian Messenger says:

    To George, in the casting process, I make a master of what I want, and then make a silicone mold of it and then cast as many of the item that I require (if I need more than a few, otherwise I just use the master as it is). I make the castings for myself only and do not sell any. If I cast a few, then I put them in my “bits box” to paint up when I feel like. I can then use a ready painted and weathered one when needed for the layout as shown above.
    I did publish an article on the blog a long time ago on the casting process with photos. Perhaps Alastair can find it and re publish it.
    I will take photo of my “bits box” and ask Alastair to publish it. The photos will be self explanatory.
    Brian – the HOn3 guy in Knysna RSA

  10. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice set up. good work.

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