HO Scale Buildings and Structures

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Christopher62, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. Christopher62

    Christopher62 Member

    I'm new to the hobby (as an adult that is), and I was wondering, there are about 50+ different companies that make HO scale model building and structure kits. Can any of you recommend some of the better or higher-end companies? The models that would have the most detail and look the most realistic? Am I correct in understanding that the better models are often wood, and laser cut?

    Thanks all!
  2. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I know that the higher end mega-detailed stuff is usually the laser-cut wood structures, but have never built any. They're pretty expensive too. I find that Walther's plastic kits are decent for my taste.
  3. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    The laser-cut kits tend to be older, wooden structures. One of the reasons they are so expensive is they include a huge number of detail parts... roofing details, windows, doors, barrels, tools, etc. The laser-cut kits, although often complex, are also fairly straight-forward to assemble, and go together well.

    Some "craftsman" kits can be little more than a set of plans, detail parts, and raw wood, so don't think that just because it's a wood kit, it's "better".

    Craftsman resin kits can be just as detailled as the laser-cuts, but can be more difficult to assemble, because they can warp, and you have to use epoxy or CA to assemble them.

    The plastic kits are all by-and-large pretty good, but some are better than others in terms of design and/or detail. I haven't assembled any lately that I'd say were real dogs... DPM kits I found needed a bit more sanding/filing to get decent looking corners, but other than that I found them to be good kits. I've built kits from Walthers, Woodland Scenics, Model Power, IHC, Heljan, Kibri, Pola Vollmer, Faller - I found them all pretty good.
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Many of the so-called craftsman's kits aren't necessarily that realistic, although most of them are at least very interesting to look at. If you gave each of ten acomplished modellers the same kit to build, you'd probably end up with 10 (or maybe even more :rolleyes: ) buildings that might vary widely in detail, realism, and workmanship. Choosing the kit is just the first step; what you make from it is the journey that determines its final appearance.

  5. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Walthers has the best buildings in my opinion, I love there detail and they are fairly easy to build to :thumb: :thumb:
  6. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I like the Campbell Scale Models structures. They are not new or laser cut but they do have personality. Lots of wood and it must be cut to size. Even the metal siding and roofing come in sheets and have to be cut. Definitely not instant gratification models. They have some very complete drawings and instructions. The only laser cut kit that I have built was a Banta Model Works cab for my Bachmann Porter loco. I did have a problem with some of the peel and stick adhesive. It seemed to be dried out when I peeled the backing off.
  7. spyder62

    spyder62 New Member

    I do laser kits and try to make them as easy to build as plastic. add the fact that nothing looks like wood then wood. By not having casting and fancy boxes I also try to keep the price down to were if I was buying I could get one. the 200 dollar box of strip wood is not for the first time builder.
  8. stripes

    stripes Member

    I can highly recomend Rich`s kits, (I sell them on my site too! ) Because they are good quality and easy to detail. The SAW FILERS SHACK is my favorite, I am building it as an old hippy artists place complete with artist, easel and nude model !

    Other good quality kits that wont break your budget is JL Innovative , lots of details and suited for almost any era!

  9. Christopher62

    Christopher62 Member

    So some of the more advanced kits are basically sheets of wood that are marked or scored as to where you need to cut the pieces out? Yea, that's not for me at this point. I still have nightmares of buying a balsa wood model airplane kit like that as a kid.

    Thanks for the input!
  10. stripes

    stripes Member

    Hey Chris, start small, Get a simple laser cut wood structure and try it out first. I recomend Rich`s 2 story out house! It is un-common and is a good simple kit to get your feet wet with wood. You can order direct from Rich at : http://www.rslaserkits.com/HO-Scale.html or me at: http://www.modelrailstructures.com/index.html There is a few tutotials on staining wood, weathering, and peeling paint effects on the forums.
    Hope this helps.

  11. Christopher62

    Christopher62 Member

    Wait a second... A two-story outhouse!? I wouldn't want to be the person on the bottom!

    Thanks guys for the advice.
  12. spyder62

    spyder62 New Member

    Thanks David and send photos of your art studio when it's done will add it to the web site.
    As for the two story outhouse It's a easy kit to build 1 to two hours after paint dries. It's done as a gag building, but they had them in high snow areas used the bottom in summer and top when the snow got to deep.
  13. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    I agree, though their decals are hard as :curse: to put on sometimes. Just don't buy from Walther's website, their stuff there is WAYYYYYYY to expensive, you can get the same thing cheaper at a a LHS. Of corse, the Walthers isn't done yet, and my other 3 buildings are a custom painted/weathered freght house that was as boring looking at as uninteresting plastic structures go, and I have two custom weathered Atlas pre-builts (pass. station and snack bar that I turned into an Ice Cream stall) that look swell.
  14. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    high end kits

    If you are asking about high end kits --they don't get much higher or better than Fine Scale Miniaitures ,Master Creations. or SS Ltd. The level of detail in any of these guys products is amazing.
    That being said, I would not advise making one of these your first project, they do require a bit of skill & patience to do them justice.
    As has been suggested try something a bit simpler first.
    Plastic or resin buildings can be made to be quite impressive when done right & the painting & weathering is done well.
    There are several good books to teach you how to paint & weather -- I think Dave Faray (sp) did one that was very informative.
  15. wickman

    wickman Member

    If you want to get the feel of doing a fine scale minature type building try a Campbell structure like Barrel factory or along that line.I've done laser cut and got the impression I was pieces together a puzzel ( can be very fragile) I have a Fine Scale Minature #170 Super Sawmill that I feel just about ready to attempt. I also have a bunch of Bar Mills one of which I will be doing in the next couple weeks. I've done , or at least assembled the walls on a few DPM's , very straight forward. I think what makes the model is good instructions , readiness to do some weathering and prepainting before assembly and getting the right structures thats going to fit into your layout . Don't make my mistake which was jump into ebay and grab the first dozen structures that I thought would fit nice into a town setting ( these all will be resold onto ebay one day LOL ) .:wave:
    Oh yes these are a few I have ordered kits from ( I got a lot of work ahead of me )
    Peco Track Ho Scale
    Valley Model Trains
    banta modelworks
  16. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    There is (or was, 30 years ago) a 2-storey outhouse in Calgary at Heritage park. The explanation was that the top storey was for hotel residents and the bottom for saloon customers. (Spoiler: the lower storey walls were set in farther than the top.) The NMRA did an April Fool's article on classifying muti-storey biffies by number of holes-- you should see the diagram of the 4-8-8-4 !
  17. myltlpny

    myltlpny Member

    I have several Campbells Scale models (and several more in boxes waiting to be built) but my favorites are by Downtown Deco and Builders in Scale. I love craftsman kits, but for your first one, I would probably stick with a laser cut kit and go from there. Woodland Scenics make some nice small kits which go well as additional scenery. There's also nothing wrong with plastic kits, I have several. With a little weathering and some details they too can look very realistic.

    Attached Files:

  18. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I think the kits by Walthers & DPM are a good place to start for someone just getting into the hobby…They’re inexpensive, yet well-scaled, with good detailing…
    Also, if you’re interested in getting into the craftsman type wood kits, I think Campbell kits are good for beginners to start with…Once again, nice kits at a reasonable price…
    For a beginner, I think it’s little more prudent to start with good, low-cost kits before you move on to the more complex, high-dollar stuff…
  19. Go Big1

    Go Big1 Member

    If I can tag onto this topic, I have a related question. I have not purchased any structures yet, but I think I like the look and have heard good things about the Walthers kits. I know that I want to have the Glacier Gravel kit on my layout, so that is my planned first purchase and build.

    The question is, where is the best place to buy that kit? I know the kit sells for $39.98 on Walthers website, but everyone says to get it elsewhere. My LHS does not have much in the way of structures in stock, so that is not an option for me. What is the best website to order it from, and what is considered a decent price? Or, do I wait for a train show? It sounds like good deals can be had there as well.

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