Yes indeed Chris, "N" Scale being 1/160, most of these little guys would make Lep leap for joy. Just to show you how sick I am, I am considering buying a set of unpainted figures in this scale to populate the future RR layout. Time to breakout that one hair paint brush!
I got started on my next project, the Ed Katz Ice Company. It is a natural for just about any railroad layout that will feature steam engines as a primary power source since before the advent of more modern refrigeration units, the only way to keep perishable goods intact for any length of time was to use a well insulated box car and generous quantities of ice. The Ed Katz Ice Company building in the New England Village folder is a pretty good place to start on one of these for a railroad layout. It has the look and size for one that would be placed along a railroad to service the old insulated box cars. In the interests of having one to go on the layout I am planning a few modifications that will be required. For this article I will actually be building two of them. One of them will go on the layout with a few additions and a second one will be built using the original layout provided in the kit with all of its' bells and whistles plus a few of my own.
Looking at the instructions and extra parts provided in the kit gave me a few ideas for both of the builds and I will describe the whys and hows as I go along. Because I am building two of them, it will take a little longer than it would if one were to just cut and glue the kit together. It looks like the whole thing could be finished in a weekend if you really just wanted to build it as is. There are a couple of figures provided in this one to add to your layout, a foreman and a worker, these are printed front and back and designed to be folded up to form a little thicker than a single sheet piece. There are also a couple of fold up blocks of ice to add, since I am making multiple copies to do my usual 3D build, I will have enough to have a cocktail party by the time I am finished. Part of the exterior accessories is a pretty nice ramp and walkway set up that provide some more visual interest. You can chose to either just cut out the basic pieces and glue them up or get a little more into it by cutting out the open spaces in the framework to make it look a bit more realistic. Adding some 3D by using extra printed pieces to detail up the walkway that is attatched to the side of this ramp also is another feature that I picked out to work on.
You also get the inside surfaces of the main doors, a ridge board for the roof and corner boards to help hide the glued together corners of the building and any imperfections that might occur when doing that. Since these ice houses were designed to be somewhat insulated with thicker than normal doors, walls and heavy hinges to support those heavy doors, this is another feature that I thought would benefit from some more work. To gain this extra thickness I will be adding layers of card to the parts that I will be building up. These will get edge colored with Sharpie Marker pens in appropriate colors to match their surroundings.
Part of my builds that I have been doing have been the addition of landscaping and this one will be no different. It does offer me a little variation on the usual green grass and spring time look with the original building though since it looks like the Ed Katz Ice Company is shown in mid winter with snow on the ground. I will have a few tricks to make it look more appropriate in that setting so this will be a rather interesting little project for me all the way round.
Here is where I get to start.