Zscaleplanet Jun 10, 2021

  1. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

    NO, this is "NOT" a paid endorsement for Basher and Sons. But when someone supports "Z" with low prices and great quality, I do my part to support them with a solid and honest review.(y) HOWEVER, I have also started conversing with Mike Basher on a more regular basis and I am currently working on a project with him. On that note though, this review and build will be my personal opinion and assessment, and is in no way influenced by Mike Basher.

    This SAWTOOTH WAREHOUSE kit came out a couple of months ago, and I picked one up right away when I saw it listed on EBay. It was a surprise release by Basher and Sons, and at a respectable price of $39.95, plus FREE shipping! This is the highest priced kit in their lineup of buildings thus far, but it’s understandable due to the sheer number of brick lines that must be cut for this kit. And although not high in part count, this a rather complex kit.

    As with all Basher and Sons kits, there are no step-by-step instructions. Rather some word instructions are provided and a few pictures to go by. There is a degree of intuition required on the part of the builder.

    No step-by-step instructions for the novice builder may be a drawback, but in my opinion if it keeps the cost down on the kit, I’m all for it.
    The brick walls and various other components are cut in brown laser board. I will demonstrate that this is a plus later when the color is applied to the brick walls.


    As with all Basher kits, the window and door trim pieces are excellent. The window lattices are cut with impeccable precision and yet maintain a good degree of rigidity. Interestingly enough the color choice of this light tan material also gives the appearance of faded and weathered white paint when mounted against a brick wall. I do not paint any of these window or door trim components unless I am changing them to Brown or something of that nature. Otherwise they have a great weathered look to them just as they are.

    And as a sidenote, applying any type of paint to these finely cut pieces will skew the quality of them. I suggest simply leaving them as is in order to highlight their intricacy.
    The window glazing and roofing material are always of great quality as well. Most Basher kits provide a black construction paper material for the roofing. What one can or does with that is up to them.

    While the outer appearance and architectural trim of this building is fantastic, in my opinion something seems to be missing such as an attached office, or the like. On that note I surfed the web looking for sawtooth warehouses in the United States during the 1940s-1960s. The picture pickings are pretty slim.

    Granted this design seems to be predominately in the UK, and only partially in the United States. However I did find this pic which offers a degree of inspiration. Not sure if it’s of a US based building or a UK-based, but needless to say it it has a lot of elements that I want to bring into this building.
    I have several other ideas that I want to add to this kit and will demonstrate those as I continue the build process.

    Stay tuned and I will post additional pics and opinions of this kit.
    Kurt Moose, Joe Lovett and bostonjim like this.
  2. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

    As with my prior review on the 2-stall engine shed, I have elected to use the same acrylic paint which is APPLE BARREL #20577E BARN RED MATTE ACRYLIC.(Walmart $0.87)
    A quick note regarding using acrylic paint. A point of discussion was opened up on the 2-stall engine shed posting, which dealt with the minor warping of the laserboard when acrylic paints are applied, most notably to the longer wall panels.

    The suggestion was put forward to used TAMIYAS ultrathin primer. I did conduct an experiment with the white primer but unfortunately was highly disappointed with two things. Number one, even the ultrathin primer tends to fill the grout lines of the brick on these kits. And number two, I used the white ultra thin primer which did not allow for the rich red brick color to become evident when painting the dark brown laserboard.

    Boston Jim suggested I might try a red primer because it does mimic brick red. However this leads back to the point of whether or not it would fill in the grout lines, making my grout process of no affect.

    Therefore I threw all caution to the wind and decided to simply go back to what I did with the previous builde and apply the paint directly to the brown laser board. The major bonus for this is that applying it by brush, it tends not to fill the grout lines as readily as sprayed paint does. Also, being that the acrylic is somewhat thin, the brown material and red combine for a fantastic brick red color.

    Although laying a heavy flat object on the panels after they have been painted does tend to take out some of the warp, there may still be some evidence of it. Therefore one may need to brace the backside of a warped panel with something rigid such as additional material or a rigid piece of plastic. Regardless for me the trade-off is worth it because I would rather have the rich red color.


    Two points of caution about getting in a rush when painting these panels. First if you want to have the large bay doors resemble a dark wood look, then cut them out before you paint the brick walls. The dark brown laserboard resembles dark wood as it is and adds an excellent contrast if you do not paint them. However do not make the mistake of leaving them in and sloshing red paint all over them. I almost made this mistake.


    The second point of caution is do not paint the staircase which is also attached to one of the brick panels. I almost made the mistake of painting it red too!! Left in the dark brown color it is fantastic and literally requires no paint to be considered complete. Just assemble it and it’s done.

    Final note on using primer — it just did not work for me on these specific kits. Granted it may work on other materials so I have not given up on it yet. And I know the likes of Robert and Jim have had extremely good success with using the ultrathin primer on Carlos Pintos vehicles. All I can say is experiment and go forward with caution.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  3. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

    The next phase of this build is to add as much realism to the brick walls as possible. I start off by using a graphic illustration / pigmented ink markers. I get the Masters Touch 5-pack from Hobby Lobby, part #1666767. These are also great for highlighting the windows on Carlos Pinto’s vehicles. Boston Jim uses a different brand, but this is the best I can find in South Dakota.

    I use the 0.3 marker to mark various bricks in a random manner.. Generally focusing on the lower and mid part of the structure where moisture, mold and mildew will accumulate. And of course a few random ones here and there at the top.



    It is not necessary to be too precise in this process. Random black marks flowing in the same direction as the bricks is all it takes. And one does not want to get too carried away either.

    The next phase in this process is to add the grout. You’ll notice I continue to leave all the parts in their trees, as it makes it easier when applying the grout lines in the next phase.
  4. CNE1899

    CNE1899 TrainBoard Member

    Really nice work! Thanks for the tutorial!

  5. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

    Wow, this is a really nice build!

    Thanks for the tips as well!(y)
  6. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

    Scott, Kurt - Thanks! Stay tuned as this build will take a little bit of time, and I’ll try and make it as informative as possible

    Now comes the fun part, which is applying the grout to the brick lines. These lines are very fine, and I think you’ll see the benefits of the above steps when it comes to brush painting the bricks, as I previously mentioned.
    Again, I use Doc O’Briens weathering powders. In this case we are using Highlight White for the grout. Also, choose a flat thick brush and do not mix your paint brushes and your weathering brushes. You need to have separate brushes for both operations. This particular brush is about a quarter inch wide.

    Apply the white powder in a left to right, up and down manner ensuring that you get decent coverage into the lines themselves. Granted, in some cases the powder may fall deeper than other parts of the wall, but that’s OK. Inconsistency in the grout just adds character to the final product. However you want to ensure that powder is in all of the crevices.


    As you can see I did both panels on this particular tree, and you can see there was quite a bit of powder that was dusted off and fell off when I tapped the panel on my work bench. Again, you’ll want work in quite a bit of powder with your brush.

    So this is where the magic really happens. Take a relatively soft, but not gummy eraser. Just about any pencil will do, although I like to use “el cheapo” mechanical pencils from Walmart, as the white eraser is near perfect for this process. Just a note, but I have not used a standard pencil with a red eraser. Not sure if that a racer would be too hard.

    Start the process of slowly dragging the eraser flat faced across the bricks. Apply a moderate amount of pressure, but be careful that you do not bare down hard on the panel. It DOES NOT take an exceptional amount of pressure. You’ll need to develop your technique.

    The above pic is a nice “before and after” comparison. As you can see you do erase off quite a bit of the white weathering powder.

    Seeing as I just hit my picture limit, which is only 10 pics per post, I will demonstrate more of the grout line work in the follow-on post.

    Final note, observe the black bricks we applied prior to the grout process. I think this certainly adds character and yet more realism to the brick wall. It gives the appearance of broken bricks, tumblers, mildew, or something to that effect.
    drken, gmorider, zdrada69 and 5 others like this.
  7. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

    Nice technique!
  8. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

    Truly enjoy learning something new! Thanks!
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  9. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

    I’m starting to feel as though this review and build is a bit redundant of the Basher 2-stall engine shed that I also built. Sorry if some of this information is repetitive. However we are hearing in the industry that there are a lot of people picking up model railroading, and Z-scale is benefiting specifically from it. So maybe there’s a newbie out there that will latch onto this info as well and pick up something.

    Here are a few more pieces of this kit that also had brick work on it. I would note that the longer skinnier pieces take a bit of the finesse when running the eraser across them. Make sure to run the eraser lengthwise and delicately, such that you do not fold or break any of the components. 71A8034F-FA80-4FD0-9568-D218109AE65A.jpeg


    0468A3B7-1898-4551-AE95-0E3ED0ECE7AF.jpeg I started loose test fitting some of the detail components, as I wanted to see how the brick work fared. As you can see this Basher kit has a lot of character and depth to it. I plan to add my own spin on this kit as well.


    Don’t touch that dial…more to come…
    gmorider, Kez, zdrada69 and 3 others like this.
  10. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

    Dang, that brick and mortar is legit looking!

    Well done!(y)
  11. CNE1899

    CNE1899 TrainBoard Member

    Very nice technique! I'm a newbie, so thanks!

  12. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    Ooooooooo ... you get almost ALL of white chalk powders off using the white ‘drafting’ eraser. You can get them in a block format too (like a track cleaner shape).
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  13. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

    Indeed this has crossed my mind more than once. And I have discovered one thing, that dragging the eraser from one end of a wall to the other—it actually creates a more fluid look and leaves less residual powder behind. A larger eraser would facilitate this much better.

    However, sometimes it’s that variance and inconsistency that has a degree of realism. So it’s six of one, 1/2 dozen of another. But I am thinking about grabbing a larger drafting eraser like you suggest and seeing how it does.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
    bostonjim likes this.
  14. animek

    animek TrainBoard Member

    Not trying to hijack this great thread.
    But I had found other similar technics on Youtube to simulate mortar. by using plaster and alcool, this also works very well, I've tried it.
    The video demonstrate the technic on a N-Scale kit , but it works very well with Z.

    And also some paint technics to create stains on bricks. .
  15. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

    LOL - hijack away! I LOVE any and all “realism” tips when it comes to Z-scale. The more realism we can bring to the table, the better. Our suppliers are doing their part to create realistic level platforms. It’s our job to take them to the next level and actually make them stunning.

    Both of the vids you provided are excellent.
    CNE1899 and Kez like this.
  16. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

    Posting some additional pics of minor progress I am making on this kit, and with input about how this build is going. Installed wall trim pieces. I’m sure there’s an architectural term for these pieces, I just don’t know what it is. :LOL:
    These pieces are delicate and I used FALLER’s Laser Kit Glue to install them via a fine tip application bottle. I do not recall where I got one of these bottles, but I did find a similar one at Hobby Lobby the other day. If you do not have the FALLER Laser Kit glue, get it. I have had tremendous luck with it thus far.

    Once you apply the glue to the backside of the trim piece it is critical that you work fast to make sure your alignment is 100% accurate. Once things settle in and there’s no going back so work quickly. Also have something flat and heavy on standby to lay over the pieces want you to install these. Side note: The archway insert piece with door can be inserted wherever the builder wants it. Basher puts a lot of options like this in his kits, which are nice.

    As a sidenote, the barn style doors are simply taped in place for reference. Again, on one side of this building I am going to build a truck loading ramp and will also be shortening the doors to accommodate for the height of the loading ramp. This will be demonstrated later.
    I was really itching to start weathering this building, so moved ahead on these two panel using grimy black powder. Applying weathering powder is some what technique and some what experiment. I found that weathering the corners and the edges seems to work better and then just weathering everything. And I wanted this warehouse to have a well used look to it, but not overdone.

    One thing I am experiencing with these laser board panels, is the propensity to continue to warp just a little. After I installed the trim pieces the panels lifted up on the ends a bit. This was remedied by putting both panels under a slightly heavy flat object overnight. The next day they were fine.

    As a final note on this segment, I was tinkering with the idea of putting some simulated corrugated steel sheets over the triangles above each doorway. I have seen other buildings that had this. See pic below:
    However after much consideration and pontification, I decided to not apply the corrugated tin look because the intricacy of this trim and the building itself was just too perfect. Granted it would’ve certainly added an unusual and exciting touch to the building, but so does the trim itself.

    With that said I will use something to simulate corrugated tin on the roof, instead of the typical black paper strips that are given with the kit. This will certainly add a bit of “zing” to the top side.

    More to come…..
  17. CNE1899

    CNE1899 TrainBoard Member

    You are doing an outstanding job! Both in the modeling and commentary.
    One thing I do when gluing objects together that need to align, is to butt heavy objects (metal blocks) against the edges. I make sure the blocks are slightly taller to help guide the upper piece onto the lower piece.

  18. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks Scott, although I hope the commentary is not too much. But for a few "nubes" out their, it may be of value.

    Noted on using metal blocks for support while parts are drying, during the edge to edge install. I use the same approace in some cases. On these thin walled kits, I have also resorted to "internal" corner support pieces, such as 1/4" blocks of balsa, or whatever I can find. That way the corners hold at 90*, although even then I get some "oh-so-minor" warpage or flexing. I will probably demonstrate when I begin that phase of this build.

    This is a decent kit. The tollerances are really tight and the footprint is really good. I think 8-doors is a bit too many. My concept will be a rail or truck loading dock on one side, and possibly a single truck loading dock on the other, with two of the barn doors that open at ground level. Lots of options.

    What this kit is really in need of though, is an attached office -- although I may devise something.........
    bostonjim likes this.
  19. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

    Hi, Lance
    I have added the Basher "boat house" kit to the 2-stall engine house as an office. I turned the garage door side to face the wall of the engine house. It looks like they were made for each other. I'm sure it will work on the sawmill factory as well. It will hide a door or two. Jim
    CNE1899 likes this.
  20. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

    Excellent suggestion, Although I already found the office I needed for this project. I am using the office from Micro Trains Military repair shop, office and gate kit. The office, with some modifications, looks like a late 50s, early 60s type of building that might’ve been added to an older building. It won’t be used to hide any bay doors but will attach nicely against the warehouse on an end, hiding one of the smaller windows. I’ve literally been working on this building most of the day.

    In reality though, offices of the nature you and I are discussing are far and few between for Z-scale. Thus, we improvise. Hint-hint to Basher or anyone else for that matter.

    Now in regards to Basher’s boathouse, I never really looked closely at that kit until you suggested it. That is a really great kit for anybody doing a pier or lake scene.
    CNE1899 and bostonjim like this.

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