Wickenburg Post Office

Publication: Continental Meleller
Publication Date: October 2009

Bollinger Edgerly Scale Trains have added to their selection of structures with a kit for the Post Office at Wickenburg, Arizona. The town dates back to 1863, and owed is initial prosperity to gold mining. Subsequently the fertile area was exploited for agriculture. The railroad arrived in 1895. This building still stands, but is no longer a Post Office. In model form, with typical western false front design with recessed doorway, awning, and sidewalk, it could no doubt have other uses.

The kit includes laser-cut wood and plastic parts, stripwood of varies sizes, plastic moulded doors and windows (pre-cut glazing), a plastic chimney, wire for the sign bracket, a printed sign, and a large decal for an advertisement.

There is peel & stick tar paper for the main roof covering, plus a generous supply of corrugated metal for the awning.

The cross bars and insulators for the telegraph pole are white metal castings.

The main parts are laser cut, with overlays for the front in wood (board and batten) and the sides and rear (plastic sheet, providing an excellent impression of stucco).

Tab and slot construction makes for positive alignment and a robust substructure of walls and base. All the parts are accurately dimensioned and fit perfectly; the overlays correspond exactly to the main walls.

The modeller must cut and fit stripwood for the door frames, corner trim, awning frame and supports, and the board walk, which has to be made up plank by plank.

No provision is made for interior walls.

A neat jig is provided to guide and support the awning during assembly.

The instructions occupy six sides of A4; as usual from B.E.S.T. they are thorough and helpful, illustrated with colour photos showing the process step by step and the completed model. A separate double-sided A4 sheet offers tips on weathering wood and castings.

The suggested procedure involves assembling the laminated walls separately first, than bringing them together on the base. Those not confident in their ability to align the overlays accurately might prefer to build up the inner walls onto the base, taking advantage of the excellent tab and slot system, than applying the overlays.

One aspect worth extra attention, whichever method is used, is blending the stucco round the rear corners.

Rather than just glue the sign to the front, it is worth making and drilling locating holes for the wire supports - this is not only stronger but also makes it simpler to assemble.

Although the supply of stripwood in c.8" lengths is not itemised in a parts list, the individual strips have colour-coded ends and are packed with a slip that gives a key list, identifying each type by size. Further, the instructions consistently refer to these actual (rather than scale) sizes, which all helps avoid confusion. This is a marked improvement over some previous B.E.S.T kits.

Lengths to cut are given in the instructions but it is always worth checking against the actual structure, not least because the sizes given tend to be generous and the supply of stripwood is not! Used with care, there is just the right amount.

No special tools are required-just a good sharp craft knife, a metal straight edge, fine sandpaper, and suitable adhesive. Assembly should present no problems given care and a little patience.

Colours are suggested, and it is recommended that most parts be painted or stained before assembly, but our sample has been left unpainted to show the materials.

The 'footprint' of the structure is 6 3/8" x 3 3/4" (162mm x94mm) over the side walks. It is 3 3/8" (87mm) high to the top of the false front (not including the chimney or telegraph pole).

A very useful generic building for a western scene.


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