THIS PRODUCT, part of American Model Builders' Laserkit line, offers an early 20th-century grain elevator kit in O scale. This is appropriate for the steam and early diesel eras, but driving around the countryside, you could probably find similar structures still in operation today.
The kit, modeled on a "Northwestern Line Elevator" plan from a 1913 edition of the Grain Dealers Journal, includes laser-cut wood and paper parts for the grain elevator, dump house, and office, plus a sheet of replica agricultural advertising signage.
All that's required for assembly is cyanoacrylate adhesive (CA) and wood glues, a hobby knife with sharp blades, and a couple of squares to keep everything plumb. With a footprint of 10 by 17 inches, this kit offers a lot of impact without taking up a lot of real estate.
Building the elevator and accompanying buildings is a straightforward affair, thanks to well-illustrated instructions and accurately cut parts.
The design is well thought out; the parts go together with tabs and slots, and minimal sanding is required. I took a modular approach to construction, building the elevator in several subassemblies before putting it all together.
Brace the interior of the long faces of the elevator to avoid warping. The tall structure is built in two halves. If for some reason they don't neatly go together, don't fret because a lateral trim piece will hide the joint.
I painted the main structure before applying the adhesive-backed trim, doors, and windows. All are scale thicknesses, and the multi-part windows and doors look fantastic. A bit of medium-to-thick CA is good for attaching the agricultural signage to various points on the building. The signs really bring the elevator to life.
The grain elevator is a ubiquitous structure, one of those trackside buildings that have a distinctly rural feel. Whether you build it as an operating business or make it an abandoned structure, this Laserkit by American Model Builders adds a unique landmark for your O gauge railway.
O SCALE GRAIN ELEVATOR KIT BY LASERKIT/AMERICAN MODEL BUILDERS
Price: $149.99 (no. 472 Farmers Grain & Stock Co.)
Features: Laser-cut wooden construction, trim, doors, windows
Pros: Realistic structure, nice appearance, modest layout footprint
Cons: Surface space may warp and require extra bracing
Made in the United States by American Model Builders