How Do You Like Your Walthers Cornerstone N Scale Kits?

Kisatchie May 29, 2022

  1. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

    I have about a dozen assorted N scale Cornerstone kits, and I hope I'll get a chance to start building one or two either late today or on Memorial Day.

    I'm just curious, what do you think of your kits? Feel free to post comments, etc if you will.

    BNSF FAN likes this.
  2. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

    I have done quite a few of these over the years and do like them but they seem to have gotten a bit expensive in recent years. They used to be made in Europe but more recent releases seem to come from Red China. Here is a list of ones I've built. Some of these were kit bashed and others built as intended. Some of these were on past layouts or modules and were sold off when no longer needed, those on this list will have a *

    Allied Rail Rebuilders *
    Geo Roberts Printing *
    Red Wing Milling *
    Interstate Fuel & Oil
    Glacier Gravel
    Medusa Cement *
    North Island Refinery *
    Hardwood Furniture *
    Al's Victory Service *
    Parkview Terrace
    Walking Beam oil pump *
    Art Deco Bridge

    And I have a Central Gas & Supply waiting for assembly for my current layout. I have photos of some of these in my N Scale structures folder here on Trainboard.
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  3. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

    I've built a few myself with several more in kit form waiting for a layout to go on. For the ones I've built they fit together very well and the detail is quite good. I tend to paint everything now using mostly airbrush to avoid the hand painted brush stroke finish and some of the kits are broken up so that is easier with minimal masking while others require a lot of masking/time. Both my train stations (sante fe and clarkesville) came with separate window frames and doors so pretty easy to paint with airbrush and assemble. My merchants row 1 kit OTOH while a simple build has all of the window, molding and most door details molded in the panels. That took several days to paint but the end result was worth it.


    Final on merchants row. All the window treatments and roof details like vents and AC units had to be added from other purchases. If you are more detail oriented you will likely be purchasing more stuff to get the results you want but they are a great starting point.

  4. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

    Overall, they are good kits. I have almost all the N scale kits (minus the steel plant pieces) and most were easy straight forward builds. A few , like the coaling tower and ash conveyor are a bit fiddly to get all the rigging on the chutes in place (I didn't) and some of the buildings with silos (concrete elevator, Medusa Cement) require a lot of priming/sanding to get the seams to not show, but over all nothing too complicated. Not sure why, but as noted, all the downtown buildings (merchants row I,II,III) all come with the doors and windows molded into the wall sections, but the industrial buildings all have separate castings. And no roof top details on the downtown buildings......guess they want you to buy the "rooftop details" set to get those. My least favorite building was the 6 stall roundhouse........I just could not get things to line up the way I'd like, especially the roof panels.
    Calzephyr, JMaurer1 and MK like this.
  5. Bookbear1

    Bookbear1 TrainBoard Supporter

    I, too, have done a number of these over the years (4 layouts). I find them easy to put together, and they are amenable to kit-bashing. the seam of two side or rear wall pieces (or partial sections of them) can easily be concealed with a gutter downspout or electrical service conduit.
    Calzephyr, Pfunk and BNSF FAN like this.
  6. bman

    bman TrainBoard Member

    I have built several. As mentioned above hiding the seams on the concrete silos on the ADM grain elevator took a litltle work. Other than that I have found them easy to work with.
    Calzephyr, JMaurer1 and BNSF FAN like this.
  7. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

    I generally like mine. They are simple and basic thus take added details well.

    The colors in which the plastic parts come are generally acceptable, so you can paint as much or as little as you want and still have a pretty good building in the end.

    The drawings in the instructions are good although the text is lacking. I long for the days of thicker instruction books with more text that use to come with kits.

    They come in various footprints from El Huge-O (steel mill) to small (various).

    Most, but NOT ALL parts fit well. Some need a little trimming or sanding, some need MAJOR sanding and filling. I have the most complaint with wall seams on buildings. I have to use putty and various sanding tools to get the results that I want. Fortunately, you can get away with this as many buildings have plaster, mortar or concrete fillings or repairs on them. This could be a drawback if you did not intend to do too much painting or weathering as you must do something about the putty, even if you are trying to show a fresh or recent repair.

    One thing that I find indispensable for these (and many other buildings) is those sanding things that look like square pipe cleaners with abrasive on two sides. Of course, you should have at least the basics of eXacto knife and sandpaper, although those are BARE minimum. If you use a sprue cutter, razor blade, files, different grades of sandpaper are sanding type tools you will get better results. In addition, I have a magnetic jig board to square corners. You will do well to have rubber bands, masking tape and small clamps to hold together parts while they are drying.

    One of the most important tools to employ is time; TAKE YOUR TIME. Let everything dry properly. Put it together properly. Make sure that everything is done correctly.
    Calzephyr and Kisatchie like this.
  8. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

    Thanks for all the replies so far! Keep 'em coming.
  9. Hoghead2

    Hoghead2 TrainBoard Member

    20210303_191652.jpg thumbnail_20200525_134643.jpg Steam era water tower, Union Station, Glacier Gravel, Lumber yard are all good. Some of the older brick built kits have overscale brick, but they paint up good. The smaller kits strike me as comparatively overpriced, but the Dairy Queen is cute.

    Hope you are all having a good Memorial Day, Freedom was never free.
  10. jlundy46

    jlundy46 TrainBoard Supporter

    The DQ kit is nice. Didn't have to do any sanding or cleanup. We have a vintage DQ on Main street in Vancouver that is identical to the model. Their Main Street Burger is great!

  11. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    I have built several of these over the many years in the hobby. They are good kits that are generally well molded. The instructions are sometimes confusing or lack adequate detail for proper fit. I have many unbuilt kits of all kinds. I liked the modular kits but they discontinued them a while back. The regular kits are great for kitbashing.
  12. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

    I made the Dairy Queen too!

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  13. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

    The "donut shop" is another fun/easy build. I wish I'd taken pics specifically of this structure but at the moment it is stowed away so I've uploaded a pic of it which is incidental to the focal point of the other walthers build I posted previously.

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  14. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

    I built and painted the Walthers DQ Grill & Chill. One of my favorite structures at this time. I have the refinery and the gas/fuel tank kit too on my layout.

    dq_grill_chill.jpg IMG_2069.jpg
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