John’s HO scale brewery project

John’s been in touch with his HO scale brewery kit bash:

“Hi Al,

I’ve recently completed a brewery on my HO Scale layout, which serves as a major rail customer receiving boxcar loads of barley malt and shipping finished beer in iced refrigerator cars.

It is located in the town of Manchester, and was the final structure to “complete” the original shelf layout.

I started with the American Hardware Supply kit from Walthers, modifying it into a flat and adding roof details, a scratchbuilt interior consisting of all the kettles and tanks of a craft brewery, lights in both the interior and exterior, and a large outdoor grain silo with a scratchbuilt auger to bring the malt into the brewery.

Of particular interest, I had some success using oil paints for the mortar lines in the brick sections of the building.

I had a blast building it, paying homage to one of my other passions, and spent the better part of the last two months working on it.

I documented the progress in a series of videos. Some photos are below, along with a link to the first of the videos and the playlist.



HO scale brewery

HO scale brewery

HO scale brewery

HO scale brewery

HO scale brewery

A big thanks to John.

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.

19 Responses to John’s HO scale brewery project

  1. Will in NM says:

    Beautiful work John! I wish we had a link to your videos. There doesn’t seem to be one in this post from Al.

  2. NJ Mark says:

    Now THAT’S a microbrewery. Cheers! NJ Mark

  3. George Steffens says:

    Excellent work. I love scratch building the interiors for structures on my layout, as well. I find it fun, as you say and very satisfying.

  4. Robert Brady says:

    Beer, Beer, Someone say Brewing Company?, I’ll buy some.

  5. Charles A. Menges says:

    John: Your work is most outstanding. As the say hard work has its rewards. It seem that your reference to your link of the steps of construction is not available.

    Again Great job

  6. Bob Cassidy says:

    Love the tank setup and the brewery, great job!

  7. Kirk says:

    Great job and I also would love to see the videos [link?]. A ‘how I did it’ on the exterior lights would be greatly appreciated! [Is that a machine screw used for the base?]

  8. Jeff says:

    That is some fantastic work. What a beautiful structure with great details. Thank you for sharing

  9. Mike Balog says:

    Excellent Scratch Building Techniques.. (1.) where did you get the interior plans? (2.) What materials and or available parts did you use on the Interior Tanks? (3.) Supplier for the Industrial Lighting Fixtures? (4.) Where did you find the Water Tank for the Roof and Platform plans? The grain silo looks like a Walthers Kit or was this built from Plastruct?

    ~ Mike in Lebanon, N.H. U.S.A…

  10. John Duryea says:

    It look very original and great detail

  11. Lawrence says:

    You are making fabulous buildings, just a thought, build them and sell them. Well done

  12. Jim AZ says:

    Nice. Appreciate your attention to details. The see through to the interior is really impressive. Thanks for sharing.

    Jim AZ

  13. Marklin ed says:

    Like to put in my two cents faller has a nice brewing kit with large windows to see in side . Copper kettle works I like the scratch build one also…

  14. Joseph Napoli says:

    Very, very nice job. Thanks for the photos.

  15. george zaky says:

    Fabulous! A masterpiece. Your talents and craftsmanship are truly admired. We all would like to know what you have in store next. If you dont have any immediate plans IMHO you can bring in some heavy duty power lines and dirty up the place so the next picture will be so real no-one will know its a model.
    Be well & safe
    George from LI, NY

  16. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Great Job on the brewery!!! I made a Utica Club Brewery on my o scale layout Great Job Again!!

  17. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Great workmanship and detail. Have a cold one.

  18. Bill Luxford says:

    John Guess, I wil play the devil’s advocate and point out that the bottom floor by the shipping doors is for stacking the final product in cases, boxes, and barrels and the tanks you have would be on the 2 floors above and the top floor would be for raw materials being divided up for batching into the vats on the floor below. There isn’t a bottling line nor any place to put the product close to where the shipping or receiving doors are. All this may be in a different part of the building but that would mean that deliveries and shipping would have to travel through the tank farm which would be dangerous for accidents happening. I would move the detailed floor up one level and stack crates on pallets and barrels near the doors on the base floor with the dock. You can still light the Tank farm and have a faint light over the doors inside to shine through the doors onto the platform and have the outdoor lighting supplement the shadow areas, Otherwise really great building. You do nice clean modeling. It is a pleasure to look at. Thank’s for sharing.

  19. John Arthur says:

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the comments and thoughts. To answer some questions, the first video can be found here:

    The exterior lights I purchased on eBay with the screws already installed.
    There were no interior plans, I just made it up.
    The tanks are the Walthers “Industrial tank set”, and the Kettles are made from modified “walthers industrial storage tanks” and some of the piping. The manway was scratchbuilt from roof walks, brass rod, steps from the Central Valley Model Works stairs and steps kit, and styrene I-Beams.
    The water tank came with the base kit.
    The grain silo is a Bachman silo, made from metal. I scratchbuilt the auger from a drinking straw, some styrene and masking tape cut into strips.
    I agree about the loading area probably not being the right place for the tank farm, but the building is super compressed as-is and I wanted the tanks front and center and in easy view. I agree, moving it up to the other windows might have given me a shot at both. Its pretty much permantently attached where it is with an awful lot of CA, so it will need to stay. I intentionally went very light with the weathering, as breweries i have seen in person are intensely clean places.

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