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Building the Bar Mills N-scale Billings Baked Goods model

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  • Member since
    January, 2016
  • 12 posts
Building the Bar Mills N-scale Billings Baked Goods model
Posted by MikeShort on Thursday, January 10, 2019 9:13 PM

I want to share my experience building the N-scale Bar Mills Billings Baked Goods model. It is a wonderful, quirky building with, as they say, one foot in “reality,” the other in “fantasy.” This is a craftman's kit for sure, intended for experienced modelers with good eyesight (or great magnification). It is not available in any other scale, which makes it very appealing to us N-scalers.

 

But there are some gotchas along the way, some of which I avoided and some of which I ran into headlong. I'd like to share them so if any of you embark on this journey, you have a smoother ride.

 

  1. I made a copy of the sign that goes on the front of the main building. The copy was a little bit too big. I expect the original is as well. If you go the copy route, I would reduce it to 95%. The trim covers part of the sign otherwise, hardly a show stopper, but still a little annoying.

  2. The instructions suggest adding the docks to the main building before building some of the other pieces. They are very fragile. The back long dock especially has to fit up against the elevator in the rear. If you glue the long dock in place before the elevator, it will almost certainly not fit. Tolerances for the whole model of very tight. I built up the dock and the elevator, but did not glue anything into place until I was sure that everything fit, and I was pretty much done handling the main building. Final gluing took place pretty much after everything that didn't go on the roof was built and fitted.

  3. The fascia on the front dock is too long. It's important that the dock fits the side away from the stairs perfectly. So you will probably need to trim the long fascia.

  4. The instructions say the short back dock attaches to the main building but it doesn't. It attaches to the left wing.

  5. When building the docks, parts 67 and 68 are pretty much invisible in the drawings and I missed them. They provide a surface for gluing the supports under the dock. Missing them probably made the docks more fragile, but do not affect the appearance.

  6. Windows and doors fit, but they are tight. If you got any paint in the openings, you will need to remove it before inserting the windows and doors.

  7. The bracing diagrams are excellent with the exception of the peaked wall for the left hand part of the structure. Those braces are shown going all the way to the roof line, but if you do that, the rafter pieces will not fit. Trim them with a 3/32” gap like the side pieces for that wing.

  8. When you are assembling the concrete platform with the stairs that attaches to the left wing, it is pretty easy for the layers to wander on you after gluing. A little care should take care of that.

  9. The trim piece on the left wing attaches to the roof. It's nearly impossible to discern this from the illustrations. This trim piece makes a real difference in appearance. There are similar pieces with the right wing, and I didn't bother with them. There I can't tell the difference.

  10. The fit on the three pieces of the right wing is fussy, but you will eventually be able to get things where they need to be.

  11. There is a piece of 1/16” bracing that goes above and INSIDE the door opening of the shed on the roof. It says that in the instructions, but it is very easy to miss. The illustration is not helpful.

  12. And now we get to the water tower. The instructions say “This assembly can be frustrating.” That is a lie. This assembly WILL be totally and completely frustrating, and there is nothing you can do about it unless you are a better modeler than I (and maybe you are). You are supposed to wrap a thin piece of plywood around a tiny spool to sheathe the tank. It doesn't bend that far. You can “coax” it all you want, but it will not go. My first effort was an ugly affair where the plywood mostly broke in five places and looked like some deranged pentagon. I gave up and broke the piece trying to remove it. I ended up cutting the sheath every two or three planks and gluing the individual pieces to the spool. The results were passable.

 

If this sounds like whining, it's not. I love this model. It is a precision piece of work from Bar Mills, and they deserve commendation. Also, the N-only approach is very appealing to us jealous types! If you are building in N-scale, and have been tempted to acquire this kit, I hope you jump in with both feet.

The Billings Baked Goods Company

Another view

The back

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 5,204 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, January 10, 2019 9:36 PM

You did a nice job.

So everyone can see:

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    January, 2016
  • 12 posts
Posted by MikeShort on Thursday, January 10, 2019 10:28 PM
Thank you, Henry. I've gotten pictures to display before, but it always takes me three or four or twenty-one tries!
  • Member since
    January, 2016
  • 12 posts
Posted by MikeShort on Thursday, January 17, 2019 10:57 AM

... and this time, it only took twice. Still learning that IMGUR site. I should probably leave a note to myself here about how I did it:

Go to the images tab.

Click on the picture.

Choose Direct Link for the right URL.

Just talk amonst yourselves while I talk to MYself. Stick out tongue

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