Sunday, February 7, 2010

Buildings suitable for 25/28mm

Some of you may already know about the woe's I have had with some of my paper buildings here on the Gulf Coast with all this extreme humidity.  Oddly enough, my biggest problem has been with the foamcore board warping like crazy.  Even cutting the tiles down to the 7" size still results in massive warping.  In any case I have had to go to a complete redesign and this will take time.  I am not abandoning my WWG paper buildings because it is simply too good to pass up, and secondly, there is no better solution for downtown style buildings.  For Suburban and Rural settings however, WWG does not really fit the bill and I also wanted some sturdy easily transported buildings for Con games.   Some of the guys on the THW forum were discussing railroad buildings the other day so I thought I would post what I have found so far.  Here are my findings thus far:

I've managed to score some pretty good deals on plastic railroad buildings for use in our ATZ/Post Apoc games.  The two cheapo brands I have tried so far are K-Line by Lionel and Plasticville by Bachman.  Both of them make pretty good plastic kits, but there are some significant differences in the molded colors and playability right out of the box.  I always leave the roof sections loose for playability and I cut the hold down pins to make the roof sections go on and off easier.
I'll post a few more buildings back on this thread as I finish them.

Here are a couple of small buildings by K-line right out of the box.   These are very easy to snap together and they are cosmetically good enough to play as is while you are debating about touching them up.  Because of my time constraints I will leave these alone and just play them for now.  The blue roof on the Police Station, while wierd, still doesn't bother me too much for some reason.  At some point I will probably asphalt it.  The auto parts store comes with advertising posters that snap in the windows.  These buildings are quite sturdy.

These are two more kits by K-Line.  These have already made it into our games and they look pretty good overall right out of the box.  The Quickie mart has a nice sign and the roof still removes pretty easily for playing.  I like the retro gas station for that "po dunk" town look and the garage doors are functioning.  These are also quite sturdy units.

Another two kits by K-Line, a house and a school.  These actually turned out a lot better than I was expecting.  They are sturdy and quite playable.  The only thing about these that bugs me is the pale gray roof on the house, and the pale seagreen roof on the school.  The school roof actually looks pretty nice even though the color is strange, but the gray has got to go.  I will be attending to this pretty soon.

Here are two ranch houses by K-Line.  These are not up to the same quality as the rest of the line.  The one on the right is well built, but definitely needs some paint help,  I've already done some work on the roof of that one.  For some reason, the brown colors on all these models need help more than the other colors.  The house on the left is not bad, but it is a little skinny and has a horrible brown roof that really needs some fixing up.  This kit came short one part with half the chimney missing.  I will mention this to the company and see what kind of a response I get.  In any case I can make a paper one with Fat Dragon parts if need be.

Two more K-Line kits, this time of warehouse/factory buildings.  I like these.  They have functioning doors in the back and some cool features like clear lights over some of the doorways.  They are pretty sturdy, the roofs come off easy and they are fair sized for playing.   If someone souped up the paint job they could be really nice.  For now I will just play them.

Finally we come to a Plasticville set.  This is the hobo shanty set, and I absolutely love it.  Now, one thing about the Plasticville stuff, is that you absolutely better plan on painting it.  The colors they are molded in are just horrible (yes even more so than my feeble attempts to touch them up!)  I threw a quickie flat brown base coat on these, then just dry brushed and added some details.  This was fast and rough work but they are already much more playable.  Plasticville makes some great odd and different pieces but you will have to do some work. 
Another Plasticville building, the roadside fruit stand.  I love this building also.  It has a cool scale and cash register and lots of produce to display.  But, it is another one of those deals where you WILL be painting everything.  I did a pretty shoddy job here but I still like it fine.  I'll probably go back and put in a gravel floor later.


  1. They look really good. Some of them may look out of place in an urban setting but for rural and suburban settings, they're ideal. As you say, they fill certain niches not covered by WWG. I'd be happy to use them in my own ATZ games. The ones I like best are the roadside fruiterers (I just love all the sculpted detail on it), the warehouses and the shanty shacks. With the 24/7 store I'd want to replicate the interior so it matches the printed front windows!
    Which brings me onto a question I'd like to ask. You say that you are making the roofs detachable (very wise, I'd do the same) but how easy would it be to add interior detail to them? I can see that you are going to be limited by the floor space but nonetheless, I'd certainly want to add something to the interiors. For the most part they look okay as is, but give them some care and attention with a good paintjob and you could really make them look outstanding.
    (I think I know how you'll respond to that one - you'd love to but you don't have the time. 'Tis the curse of gamers everywhere, my friend!)

  2. Hello,
    Very interesting post. I was aware of the Plasticville products but never see before the K-line. Any of them are very popular in France (in fact, the O scale is not very popular). But all this fine pictures without a single mini for some size comparison...

  3. I love the factory buildings since I first heard of K-Line some days ago. They look like pretty large buildings, but are not very expensive. They just need a little rust and dirt and maybe some urban graffiti decals from Armorcast.

    Just in case you haven't seen this, while browsing for pics of o-scale buildings I found this inspiring gallery of touched-up buildings:

    Thank you very much for this great blog!!

    Whiteface / Oliver

  4. Karl,
    I'll get some minis posted for size comparison first chance I get. I know it was dumb for me to forget this!

    Vamp, I think they could even be interiored using WWG stuff.

    I love that site!