N Scale Building Wish Lists

samtown191914 Nov 11, 2015

  1. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

    The USRA light pacific and mikado, for two. The MPs just do not get it. Yes, MRC has made some improvements and added sound, but there is no substitute for an all wheels live tender on a steam locomotive. The cast-on handrails also are so-1980s and older.

    Athearn could make an 1880s eight wheeler out of its old MDC N scale consolidated/mogul.
  2. Rossford Yard

    Rossford Yard TrainBoard Member

    I don't see how you can call a company that has given us so many nice, American prototype, structures a black hole for N scale. It would seem to me that they saw a market for these structures, and filled it, starting about 1990, when Kato and Atlas were filling the need for reliable locos and other companies were bringing us rolling stock. If they didn't/don't fill it quite as much as HO, it is probably because it has declined from its peak. As you can tell, I agree with the posts that if a structure is a marginal seller in HO, they won't (correctly) make it in N just because a few want it.

    I disagree with those who say that N scalers as a whole want to model bigger structures. While the most accomplished do, (or those with space) I recall surveys that said the biggest reason to get into N was lack of space, as in a 3 x 6 was feasible, but a 4 x 8 wasn't, given space requirements. Given that, the Ethanol and Steel plants, etc. wouldn't be big sellers (although, I think they did eventually do a second run of the steel mill)

    Now, I don't know for sure, but about 1990-2000, we all thought N scale was 25% of the market and climbing. There are indications that it has leveled off or declined, although I am not sure why this would be.

    I have built two layouts that wouldn't be what they are/were if not for Walther's, just as much as Kato or Atlas. Guiding light for me, not a black hole.
  3. rogergperkins

    rogergperkins TrainBoard Member

    This is my grocery warehouse from the truck loading side; the opposite side is on a rail siding with a dock. Using these modular walls is expensive so purchase of a kit like Wood Furniture as a discounted price is a good start.[​IMG]
  4. Rossford Yard

    Rossford Yard TrainBoard Member


    Looks like you need some doors there. But, I have taken similar situations, added an awning and some other kit doors, with the awning perhaps hiding some of the non prototypical details.

    Overall, very nice scene and I like it. I have kit bashed many Walther's and DPM kits to much bigger structures, built them fronts only on the backdrop, etc. I think the ease of doing that is what keeps the mfgs from making bigger kits. They can always sell the small ones, and the creative modeler can make somethin bigger and unique out of a few of them, a la Art Curren in the old MR.

    Another thing to note, most of those old industries, if you look carefully, added on over time, often with different architectural styles that were in fashion. That old building of yours might have expanded one side or the other with tilt wall, metal sheds, etc. Not to mention different paint, some broken windows, boarded up windows, bricked up windows, etc.

    Allowing for some proto "inconsistency" makes for a more realistic scene for anyone willing to try.
  5. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    Have watched this thread for awhile now. One of the things I have noticed is that when both an HO and a N scale version of a kit is produced the N scale version will seem to lack some of the facilities found with the HO version. Seems more so with some of the Walthers stuff. DPM has produced a nice line of buildings covering several eras and a number can be bashed or cut down and re-purposed into other structures. Small houses that can be configured in different ways seem to be lacking and other than DPM nobody makes suitable structures for the corner neighborhood stores much that used to be prevalent back in the 1900s to the 1970s.
  6. daniel_leavitt2000

    daniel_leavitt2000 TrainBoard Member

    Yes, they are quite different than town houses. They are three family tenements with each floor the plan as the one below it.

    The front door opens up into a small hallway. In the case of my photo in the previous post, the stairway to the upper floors would be located to the right of the front door.

    There is a second set of stairs in the rear, usually diagonally across from the front stairwell. These stairs are boxed out and wind over itself in a squared out spiral. This is also the access point to the basement (usually fieldstone and very low and damp).

    The roof can be flat (more a New York thing), sloped down to the rear at a shallow angle, or peeked like a normal house. The peaked ends always being front and back unlike a town house.

    IHC did produce a kit for this, using houses in San Francisco as inspiration. These kits are long gone and were gaudy to begin with.

    Triple deckers could be varied easily within one laser cut kit: Left entrance, right entrance, flat and sloped roof, open or enclosed porches. In addition these can be modeled in narrow overlap siding (aluminum or vinyl), wide overlapping (asbestos shingle), or flat/textured for tarpaper-faux-brick.
    Rocket Jones likes this.
  7. rogergperkins

    rogergperkins TrainBoard Member

    Most of the details including doors and dock are on the backside of the warehouse. The plan could be modified with doors and docks for trucks as well. Note to the right of the multiple story section is a two story section which is that add-on. I model the 1940s; the business was prospering and thus no weathering or neglected repairs. The warehouse was built for an earlier layout and recycled on the one I had from 2005 to 2014. Thanks for the feedback.
  8. rogergperkins

    rogergperkins TrainBoard Member

    Here is the rail side of the grocery warehouse.[​IMG]
    Calzephyr likes this.
  9. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

    Nice model! Mr. Perkins, I have been wanting that basic kit for my switching layout
    rogergperkins likes this.
  10. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    Those IHC models are in fact known as townhouses or row houses. I was looking at the taller one in the picture which seems to have 3 floors plus the attic dormer which could be modified. The triple-deckers are 3 apartment residences on a narrow lot which is three stories tall. The IHC models could be adapted to create individual triple-deck apartment buildings. But... a ready to build kit would be good.
  11. subwayaz

    subwayaz TrainBoard Member

    CMR has some three story Townhouse out; you can also buy a Porch Kit that is one story, but you would have to fabricate the second and third story to that Porch. Also CMR has discontinued the Third story structures so you would have to find a eTailer with old stock. Nice looking structures though. Sorry I couldn't figure out how to post a picture where I found them.
  12. rogergperkins

    rogergperkins TrainBoard Member

    Here is a link to the Wood Furniture kit; I found it to be a good source of starting materials for create other structures by adding DPM modular walls.
    This was the approach I used for the grocery warehouse I built. I found the Wood Furniture kit at a discount price. DPM modular walls are also
    available at less than MSRP. It is also helpful to get the modular wall blueprint page which can be copied on a computer printer and used to assemble
    a paper mock up of the structure one is planning.
  13. Rossford Yard

    Rossford Yard TrainBoard Member


    Roger, did the same math years ago and had a few large structures cobbled together out of the Woods kit. Later, without doing the math, I kit bashed many Walther structures, buying two rather than using any of their modular. Probably why neither offers the module sections any more. If you really want a building, putting parts and details together is cheaper in bulk rather than module.

    Some say only 10% of layouts ever get the
    level of scenery you have achieved, which has to make structures the worst part of the MRR biz.
  14. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

    Back in the early 1990s when my modeling buddies and I sat down to plan some NTRAK modules, we decided to attempt building things that were not available on purpose. We chose a local prototype scene in an era long gone and got to work developing our scratch building and kit bashing skills. Some of the first projects were a little rough but we improved over time. That has paid off many times over. Now if I want a specific building, I just gather the material and build it.
  15. rogergperkins

    rogergperkins TrainBoard Member

    I agree there is no "cheap way" to get the parts for a kitbash from modular walls or even kits unless one can find them at a discount on the MSRP. After the fact, I added the cost of some of my structures made from modular walls and found at LHS prices that I had way more money invested than I expected. I had to estimate my return on how much enjoyment I got from the projects to rationalize the expense. I now have unique structures that I hope will enhance a future layout whenever it gets built.
    I see a void in n-scale scratch building parts especially windows, doors and details; the etch brass windows and doors I used in early projects are no longer sold by the company.

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