Another new addition to the growing Model Railways Scenery range of downloadable 4mm kits is the Rural Halt with Platform and Kiosk. Before reviewing the kit, let me bore you with why you should try this approach to kit building.
Downloadable templates exploit the strengths of modern inkjet printers and papers and allow us to use everyday materials found around the home or den to create limitless varieties of basic structures, use different finishes i.e. brickwork colours or pavior patterns and adapt the concept to suit our individual needs. In my mind, this last point overcomes the drawback of any pre made kit – cardboard, resin or plastic where adaptation can be time consuming and expensive.
Now, back to the kit. When downloaded, the template will enable you to build a modular rural or small suburban platform. Such facilities scattered the railway landscape and were built in numbers from the 1950’s onwards to replace the traditional, left over rail and wood platform / shelters.
The kit is generic, features 1970’s onwards British Rail era signage and details and can be simply adapted for any region. This is a well designed, simple to make kit that will provide you a good looking, quick, basic station where your passengers can alight. But more importantly, the kit provides flexibility to meet your individual needs and if you choose, with simple weathering and detailing will provide a great backdrop and structure(s) for your track work and operations.
All you need is a computer, printer with colour ink, straight edge, cutting board, scalpel, white, spray or paper glue, an evening and a steady hand. Maybe a medicinal beverage to calm the nerves as well!
Having made many cardboard kits and used downloadable templates, the standout feature of this kit were the instructions. Instructions are clear and easy to follow (even for a technical buffoon like me) featuring clear diagrams and photo’s of the finished kit.
The template you print is split into seven sections, each on a different page. The sections are Platform 1 – straight and Platform 2 – ramps have four fascia finishes each; Platform surface has three finishes; Platform Entrance has three surface and four fascia finishes; the Shelter has three wall finishes, four floors, three roofs, three roof edges and three roof liners. Last but not least, there is a sheet of spare textures. In addition to the platform, two structures are provided, a basic wooden shelter with bench or a news agents kiosk that often occupied platforms the length and breadth of the network.
Depending on how long a platform you want, you print the platform 1 and platform surface sections multiple times. Each printed section is pre-sized for OO. A feature I really liked is the ability to re-scale for HO. The pages are well laid out, spacious and clear to allow easy cutting. Prints include tabs, score, cutting and fold lines and additional instructions and tips. Templates for internal strengtheners are included.
I used a deskjet printer and standard paper. The printing is crisp, sharp and edges clean; colours and separation and detail on surfaces and finishes photographic. The template for each section was designed to form a self supporting, box style section of platform that can then be reinforced using pre printed strengthening sections.
As I wasn’t using heavy grade artisit paper for this review, I found, when assembled the modular platform base sections weren’t rigid enough. To rectify this, I made a simple card sub structure that I then overlaid with the kit. Although this generated an extra step, I now have a solid platform that can support weight, be moved around or removed safely from the layout.
So, following an evenings work I had a brick platform long enough for a four car train and locomotive. For the more adventurous amongst you, there are now a great range of accessories i.e. brass or plastic railings, drain covers, roofing materials that can be used to add further feel and depth to the printed structures. I chose to weather and add detail using left over bits from my scraps box – wooden sign boards, posters, weeds, dirt and to change the roof on the shelter from paper to corrugated plastic.
Overall an impressive and attractive kit that will serve your passengers well.
- Scale: OO with printing instructions for HO
- Finish: Pristine
- Platform can be assembled to any length required
- Included spare texture sheet sections too
- Free platform kiosk now included
Where Can I Get One?
- This kit is available exclusively from www.ModelRailwayScenery.com