Lisbon Milk Shed & Express Freight Office

Publication: Boston & Maine Railroad Historical Society Newsletter
Publication: Modelers Notes #95
Publication Date: March / April 2005

By Jonathan Miner

When modeling a wooden building,there is no material that takes paint, and looks more real than wood. Ever since building my first laser-cut wood kit, I've been hooked.

My most recent project was the Lisbon, New Hampshire Milk Shed and Express Freight Office, produced by Bollinger Edgerly Scale Trains. The kit contains laser-cut wall sections, strip wood,a cardstock roof material, peel & stick roof shingles. Doors, windows, milk cans, and various wooden crates are molded in plastic. Clear plastic window glazing with preprinted "shades" is also provided. (Note: The kit that I received did not contain shingles, but my email message to BEST was promptly answered, and a set of asphalt 3-tab shingles was mailed to me. As an aside, BEST produces several different colors and styles of shingles... see their website for a complete list.)

Six pages of instructions, including pictures and illustrations guide the builder step by step assembly. Included is a photo of the prototype. The instructions also include a brief history of the building. I enjoyed learning about the history of the building, and it helps to set the context of the model.

All of the laser-cut pieces were cut exactly, and fix together perfectly, living up to my expectations. One problem that is sometimes seen with wood kits has to do with the direction of wood grain,compared to the material being model.For example, the wood grain on wall pieces runs side to side, just like the clapboards. The wood grain is not noticeable in the finished model. Some of the strip wood was tricky to cut especially the pieces that formed the molding around the freight doors. I found I could cut the 45 degree angles with a sharp hobby knife, but if you work with strip wood on a regular basis, you may want to look at a miter-box like North West Short Line's "Chopper". To match existing buildings on my layout, I pre-painted the components with Polly Scale #414248 "Rock Island Maroon" and #414278 "Depot Buff". The dock was painted with Polly Scale #500067 "Mud". These colors may not be historically accurate, but there are no known color photographs. The instruction sheet lists the colors used for the model pictured on BEST's website. Make sure that paint buildup does not effect the interlocking wood pieces. The completed model takes up roughly a 3" x 8" area.

The basic structure assembly took a couple of hours, spread out over several evenings. The next task was building the roof, and applying the "peel-n-stick" shingles. Each roof is a single piece of laser-cut cardstock. I folded the pieces on the scribed lines, put a bit of white glue along the seam, and used masking tape to secure it. The shingles are laser-cut to look like standard three-tab asphalt shingles, and have an adhesive on the back. The shingles include a spacing guide that you attach to the roof. The backing paper peels off, and then you stick the shingles to the roof, following the lines on the guide. Once the roof faces are completed,individual shingles are used to cover all the ridges. Applying the shingles took much more time than I expected. But, the look of the shingles is well worth the time taken to apply them. (Note: my roofers are taking a Holiday Break, but hopefully they'll "stick" to it and finish after New Years)


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