Moffett Models Scale House Kit

As mentioned yesterday, I’m about to start a new project:

 photo ScaleHouseKit_zpshkqwardj.jpg
(A fun summer project)

A couple of weeks ago while surfing the net I found a neat little model for sale – a scale test car once offered in brass by Southwind Model Works. The car is en route to me as I type this, so I don’t yet have a photo of it to share – but there’s a write-up on these models, with a couple of photos, in the Product Gallery* on the NASG’s website.

Once I determined I could get the model, the question became: “What to do with it?” My branch does not have a track scale, and there’s no room to add one even if I felt like straying from the prototype (which I definitely do not).

Still, I like oddball pieces of equipment (which was the primary reason behind building a CNR snow plow, despite modelling August) and I think relocating a scale test car can provide an interesting wrinkle to an operating session: the car must be handled directly in front of the van (caboose) and a train with one of these in tow cannot exceed 20 mph.

I may not be able to run such a train at home, but it occurred to me that it would be a great talking point on the S Scale Workshop modular layout.

It also occurred to me that I might have room to build a small module for the Workshop that features a track scale. They’re interesting structures, and we could weigh cars during a session – perhaps as they come out of the brewery that’s the focus of a module set by fellow Workshop member Andy Malette:

 photo Workshop-Laval2014-AM-02_zps3ece49c4.jpg

So, I started looking for photos and other information to scratch-build a model of a track scale. Andy saw a post I made to the CN Lines Yahoo Group, put the call out to some mutual friends, and I ended up relieving Jim Martin – another member of the Workshop – of an unbuilt kit for a scale house in S… once offered by Pete Moffett, who is also a member of the Workshop.

It’s a funny, small world in S.

The kit looks like a fun project – although I’m going to consider my options for finishing the structure and then decide whether I will build the kit or the resin castings as patterns to make my own walls in wood. Windows, doors and other hardware will be useful, regardless.

But I have a great, small, fun project to tackle this summer – perfect since our house is under renovation so many of my larger projects will be on hold. Regardless of whether I build this kit or use it as the basis for a scratch-built scale house, I’m looking forward to it!

(*The NASG Product Gallery is a terrific resource for those working in 1:64. It’s a great way to figure out what you’ve got – or what might be available for one’s layout. I like it so much, I’ve gone through the gallery looking for gaps in its coverage, and have supplied photos to the gallery’s manager to help fill some of the holes.)

11 thoughts on “Moffett Models Scale House Kit

  1. Sounds like a really fun little project that would be ideal as a muse to inspire a module. I enjoyed reading the story of how this all came together. Talk about a neat community too eh?

    Speaking of that module, featuring a scale house, it would be a great example of something that should be a part of a public display layout to explain how a railroad goes about its business and the role that understanding how a car was loaded played.

    Sounds like great fun indeed.


  2. Long ago MR had extensive coverage on track scales and test cars. With the new online article database or the earlier 75 year collection it shouldn’t be too hard to find. As I recall either MR or RMC had a working electronic scale article once too.

    Have fun!

    • Hi Bill:
      That’s true, as a search on the Model Train Magazine Index will confirm. Unfortunately, my copy of 75 years of MR on DVD is now useless, because MR stopped supporting it and it no longer works with my computer’s operating system. As a result, I’m reluctant to every purchase anything from Kalmbach again. But that’s another story…

  3. There was one of those scale houses in the Brantford CN yard until recently. It will make an interesting scene.

  4. I’ve got a little kit by Blair Line for a scale house in N as well as the REALLY little Micro-Trains scale car to test it with.
    Hopefully one day I’ll get around to building the thing, in the meantime it’ll be interesting to see what you do with yours, Trevor. I like the idea of separate modules incorporating small scenes, industries etc. that won’t fit in with the main theme of the layout.
    I think there was an article in a fairly recent (<5yrs) Model Railroader on scale house operation complete with drawing, track layout etc.
    I've also built a rail weighbridge (as we call them over here) for 009 but that's another story……
    Thanks for the blog Trevor, although it's not necessarily directly applicable to what I'm doing it's always entertaining, thought provoking reading.
    Kind regards,

    • Hi Simon:
      Thanks for the kind words about my blog. Much appreciated. I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration over the years from UK modellers, which I hope is reflected in this large (by UK standards) but simple layout.
      I think the article to which you refer is one by Bill Darnaby on adding scale houses to his HO scale Maumee Route. That was in the September 2002 issue. It’s most useful.
      There have been several articles over the years, as a search on the Model Train Magazine Index will confirm.

  5. Hi Trevor,
    It’s taken me a while to track down the article I had seen about a scale house; as it turns out, it’s p.82 of a Model Railroader special issue (undated, though some of the adverts have a copyright date of 2007) entitled How To Build Realistic Layouts: Freight Yards.
    The article, ” A classic Pennsy scale house” is by Harold W. Russell and has N scale drawings for a PRR scale house and a dimensioned drawing of the layout of the tracks and weighbridge as well as a brief description of the operation.
    There’s also reference to Bill Darnaby’s article, which it says is available free on line, though that may no longer be the case of course!
    Kind regards,

    • Thanks for this, Simon. Much appreciated.
      I’ll be sure to look up this one for the weigh bridge dimensions.

  6. The article is probably this one

    A small Pennsylvania RR freight house
    Scale drawings for a trackside structure you can model
    by Harold Russell
    from Model Railroader September 2011 p. 41

  7. UPDATE: Hmm… I called this “a fun summer project”. Well, that didn’t happen. Other things did. But perhaps it’ll be a fun winter project instead.

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