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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Everything old is new again (or something like that) by Todd Walton

I’m sure many model railroaders have at least one structure either on their layout or on a shelf which was built in your early days of the hobby. Before you had all the skills you have now, maybe it was a kit, maybe your first scratch building project. I’d like to tell you the story of my very first HO scratch built structure.

I originally planned to build a small town passenger station similar to one in the Kalmbach book ‘Easy to build Model Railroad Structures’ by Willard V Anderson. I decided to use sheet styrene with molded in clapboards for the siding and to make it a small freight shed rather than a depot. I never really liked how it turned out, even though I used sheet plastic siding, the long sides had an inward bow to them. The roof, which was simply a sheet of cardboard with tissue paper glued down to represent tar paper, also had a slight sag in it that I couldn’t figure out how to fix. So it spent many years on the shelf in this condition, once in a while I’d take it down and dust it off and perhaps paint it in my ‘railroad of the moments’ structure colors.

Then an interesting thing happened a few years ago, I was going through a Walthers monthly sale flyer and saw a sale on their Cornerstone Modular’s structure pieces. I ordered some and when they arrived I was looking at the package of foundation pieces when an idea hit me, I could use the foundation pieces in the kit under my long neglected freight shed! I used the pieces, cutting and fitting them as necessary and glued them under the shed. Doing this eliminated the bow in the siding that perplexed me for many years. (FIGURE 1)

I added some stairs which also came in the kit. The back side of the structure still looked a little plain. (FIGURE 2)
So I added a Monroe Models unloading platform. (FIGURE 3)
Being able to identify new pieces has given me the resurgence to continue to improve my little freight shed. I have a lot more I want to do to it, the list includes • Rain gutters • Corner trim for the siding • Rafter tails for the roof • Rain barrels And last but not least, weathering and aging everything. Check back as I continue to spruce up my little freight shed that time forgot.

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