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Who makes the best buildings?

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  • Member since
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Who makes the best buildings?
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, September 12, 2003 9:10 PM
I have gotten some really helpful information from my two previous posts so I thought I would try again. I am in the planning stage for my 4x14 foot HO scale RR for me and my two boys to enjoy (age 3 &5). I know that there are a zillion different building kit makers out there and I was wondering which companies you experts have been happiest with. I don't have time to scratch build everything at the start so I am looking for some realistic looking detailed structures to fill the spaces until I can scratch build some more advance/ craftsman structures. Thanks for the input.

Joe
  • Member since
    April 2003
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Who makes the best buildings?
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, September 12, 2003 9:10 PM
I have gotten some really helpful information from my two previous posts so I thought I would try again. I am in the planning stage for my 4x14 foot HO scale RR for me and my two boys to enjoy (age 3 &5). I know that there are a zillion different building kit makers out there and I was wondering which companies you experts have been happiest with. I don't have time to scratch build everything at the start so I am looking for some realistic looking detailed structures to fill the spaces until I can scratch build some more advance/ craftsman structures. Thanks for the input.

Joe
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    November 2001
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Posted by Javern on Friday, September 12, 2003 10:57 PM
I prefer the Walthers kits, I have found them all of good quality
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Posted by Javern on Friday, September 12, 2003 10:57 PM
I prefer the Walthers kits, I have found them all of good quality
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Posted by Wdlgln005 on Saturday, September 13, 2003 12:39 AM
HO has a large variety of cheap plastic kits to choose from. Model Power structures come both as kits and built structures. Atlas, Lifelike, Bachmann all make easy to build kits. DPM makes small commercial structures. At the boy's age, they could pick them while you build, paint & weather them. Most kits are for ages 8-14+. Just go thru the pages of MR or MRC and see what kind of a town you will be building. Have fun !
Glenn Woodle
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  • From: Nashville TN
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Posted by Wdlgln005 on Saturday, September 13, 2003 12:39 AM
HO has a large variety of cheap plastic kits to choose from. Model Power structures come both as kits and built structures. Atlas, Lifelike, Bachmann all make easy to build kits. DPM makes small commercial structures. At the boy's age, they could pick them while you build, paint & weather them. Most kits are for ages 8-14+. Just go thru the pages of MR or MRC and see what kind of a town you will be building. Have fun !
Glenn Woodle
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: US
  • 725 posts
Posted by Puckdropper on Saturday, September 13, 2003 1:54 AM
"You" make the best buildings. Take the time to paint them, weather them, put "glass" in the windows. I've done this on several of my structures, and the assembled kit looked nice, but these look "nice!!!"
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Posted by Puckdropper on Saturday, September 13, 2003 1:54 AM
"You" make the best buildings. Take the time to paint them, weather them, put "glass" in the windows. I've done this on several of my structures, and the assembled kit looked nice, but these look "nice!!!"
  • Member since
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  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, September 13, 2003 4:56 PM
The best are scratch or bash, but to answer your question the best kits are Faller, Design Preservation, Walther Conerstone, and some Model Power. Also don't overlook older craftsman kits made by various companies from wood, metal, and plaster that some older hobby shops have had for years. With inflation and devaluation of the dollar over the years these can now be a real bargin. In fact I like most kits except really cheap ones like plasticville. Almost any kit can be made to look fantastic with a little care, fitting, and paint. The trouble with cheap kits are warped pieces and poor detail more than anything. Examples are chinmneys that measue 12 feet by 10 feet on a house and doors that are 4 feet tall. Or walls that have a 1/2 bow in them. Avoid most snap togethers.
  • Member since
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  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, September 13, 2003 4:56 PM
The best are scratch or bash, but to answer your question the best kits are Faller, Design Preservation, Walther Conerstone, and some Model Power. Also don't overlook older craftsman kits made by various companies from wood, metal, and plaster that some older hobby shops have had for years. With inflation and devaluation of the dollar over the years these can now be a real bargin. In fact I like most kits except really cheap ones like plasticville. Almost any kit can be made to look fantastic with a little care, fitting, and paint. The trouble with cheap kits are warped pieces and poor detail more than anything. Examples are chinmneys that measue 12 feet by 10 feet on a house and doors that are 4 feet tall. Or walls that have a 1/2 bow in them. Avoid most snap togethers.
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Posted by BruceJob on Saturday, September 13, 2003 7:59 PM
I've had good luck with Walthers Cornerstone and DPM kits. Lots of nice details molded in, good clean molding, easy to assemble. The DPM 'Gold' kits give you structures and extra details all in one box.

If you stick to small buildings, you shouldn't have much of a problem with warped walls. You might want to start with the plastic kits and move up to 'craftsman' kits with wood, metal and plaster after gaining some experience.

Regards,

Bruce J.
  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: US
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Posted by BruceJob on Saturday, September 13, 2003 7:59 PM
I've had good luck with Walthers Cornerstone and DPM kits. Lots of nice details molded in, good clean molding, easy to assemble. The DPM 'Gold' kits give you structures and extra details all in one box.

If you stick to small buildings, you shouldn't have much of a problem with warped walls. You might want to start with the plastic kits and move up to 'craftsman' kits with wood, metal and plaster after gaining some experience.

Regards,

Bruce J.
  • Member since
    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, September 14, 2003 12:43 AM
Joe,

Another idea: It is often possible to buy assembled kits on EBAY in lots very inexpensively. I am not talking about the craftsman dioramas that go for big bucks, instead I am referring to the lots of plastic items (some of the brands mentioned already in this post) that might sell 6 buildings for $20..00. For some reason shoppers on EBAY seem reluctant to pay big bucks for assembled buildings (craftsman kits aside) and in my eyes they are some of the better bargains still left. Some are junk to be sure, but other stuff is quite nice. I see these lots quite often and have personally sold several very nice assembled buildings on EBAY for very reasonable prices.

Try searching the HO data base under buildings or lots or assembled/built up

With younger kids, some of these buildings could be just the ticket because they could handle them and put them around the layout as they pleased with little worry about damaging an expensive kit....Young kids don't care about the detail, they want to handle the building and really play with it...

From the modeling aspect, these buildings could be inexpensive guinea pigs for modeling techniques. painting, etc that you have the boys help you with...

Just a thought,

Guy
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, September 14, 2003 12:43 AM
Joe,

Another idea: It is often possible to buy assembled kits on EBAY in lots very inexpensively. I am not talking about the craftsman dioramas that go for big bucks, instead I am referring to the lots of plastic items (some of the brands mentioned already in this post) that might sell 6 buildings for $20..00. For some reason shoppers on EBAY seem reluctant to pay big bucks for assembled buildings (craftsman kits aside) and in my eyes they are some of the better bargains still left. Some are junk to be sure, but other stuff is quite nice. I see these lots quite often and have personally sold several very nice assembled buildings on EBAY for very reasonable prices.

Try searching the HO data base under buildings or lots or assembled/built up

With younger kids, some of these buildings could be just the ticket because they could handle them and put them around the layout as they pleased with little worry about damaging an expensive kit....Young kids don't care about the detail, they want to handle the building and really play with it...

From the modeling aspect, these buildings could be inexpensive guinea pigs for modeling techniques. painting, etc that you have the boys help you with...

Just a thought,

Guy
  • Member since
    November 2002
  • From: US
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Posted by wp8thsub on Sunday, September 14, 2003 5:25 PM
"Who makes the best kit " depends to some extent on what type of structure you want. Modern metal industrial buildings can be had from Pikestuff and Micro Engineering, but few other sources. Sometimes it's not who's best but who's the only one.

Aside from the suggestions made by others, I'll add Great Western Models for concrete pre-cast industries, City Classics (now also part of Pikestuff ?) for midsize city buildings, and Smalltown USA (part of Rix Products) for companions to the Design Preservation kits. Also don't overlook the laser cut wood kits from American Model Works and Banta among others. They virtually snap together due to the precise engineering.

One HUGE help when assembling plastic kits with large walls (like Walthers) is to use a very fast drying solvent cement like Ambroid or Tenax 7R. These cements work much faster than typical MEK based products like Testors, allowing you to move forward with assembly withot waiting for glue joints to set up.

Rob Spangler

  • Member since
    November 2002
  • From: US
  • 2,455 posts
Posted by wp8thsub on Sunday, September 14, 2003 5:25 PM
"Who makes the best kit " depends to some extent on what type of structure you want. Modern metal industrial buildings can be had from Pikestuff and Micro Engineering, but few other sources. Sometimes it's not who's best but who's the only one.

Aside from the suggestions made by others, I'll add Great Western Models for concrete pre-cast industries, City Classics (now also part of Pikestuff ?) for midsize city buildings, and Smalltown USA (part of Rix Products) for companions to the Design Preservation kits. Also don't overlook the laser cut wood kits from American Model Works and Banta among others. They virtually snap together due to the precise engineering.

One HUGE help when assembling plastic kits with large walls (like Walthers) is to use a very fast drying solvent cement like Ambroid or Tenax 7R. These cements work much faster than typical MEK based products like Testors, allowing you to move forward with assembly withot waiting for glue joints to set up.

Rob Spangler

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