Making an Entrance
There's no doubt that tunnels can create a dramatic focal point to any railroad. The tunnel portal is one of the most important elements of that feature. An ugly portal (or no attempt at a prototypical portal at all) can completely ruin the illusion, making your tunnel look like just a hole in the ground. A proper tunnel portal, however, can make your tunnel a memorable aspect of your garden landscape.
Natural cedar tunnel portal; wing walls available separately; supplied assembled, ready to finish. Dimensions: Portal: height 13-1/2"; width 13-1/2" depth 2"; tunnel opening 7-3/4" x 11." Wing walls 11"x11" as reviewed—may be customized.
Pros and Cons
Building flats are a good way to fill tight spots on our railways or help hide fences. VES Enterprises has introduced a line of flats that should be robust enough to fulfill that service.
Fully painted wood building façades; glued-in plastic windows and doors. Dimension: Length, approx. 24" (varies with specific building façades chosen); depth: 2.5"; height, no greater than 11" (varies with specific façades chosen).
Pros and Cons
VES Enterprises, PO Box 11672, Casa Grande AZ 85130, has introduced a “Barnyard Trio” of structures in 1:24 scale, including a barn, an audio-equipped farm shed, and a new, taller grain silo. The barn is built of exterior-grade plywood with Precision Products trim details. The farm shed has a built-in barnyard sound system/speaker from ITT Products. The 19"-tall silo is constructed of PVC, with wood trim. Structures are supplied fully assembled and painted.
Branchline Service Facility (façade)
VES ENTERPRISES (www.gtrainbuildings.com) has introduced a new limited edition facade which depicts a branch line servicing facility for steam locomotives ... The unit includes a yard shed, coal bin, sand pile and water tower ... The coal bin can be replaced with a pile of stacked firewood if that is your railroad's fuel of choice ... Scale is 1:24 and overall measurements are approximately 24"W x 10" H x 3" D ... Suitable for either indoor or outdoor use, the facade is primarily constructed of cedar and redwood with molded windows/doors from Precision Products ... Price is $ 69 plus $ 11 shipping (for contiguous 48 states) ... To order, contact email@example.com
GRM, April 2016
VES Enterprises is featuring a limited edition loading platform with storage shed ... The shed consists of a "converted" caboose body with "boarded up" windows and a large freight door added ... It is mounted on a platform of redwood planks over a cedar base, resulting in a structure which will weather naturally and hold up well outdoors ... Overall size is approximately 12.5" wide, 8.5" deep. and 5" high ... Nominal scale is 1:24 but the unit will work within the entire G- scale spectrum ... (Freight items and figures shown are not included.) ... Price is $ 33 plus $ 11 shipping within the continental US. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.gtrainbuildings.com to view additional offerings.
If you have need for a cabin in the woods, or perhaps you want a '50s-style roadside motel, VES Enterprises' cabin may be just the ticket. This is a very basic structure. The cabin itself measures 6" square, with a 3" front porch. In 1:24, that scales to 12' square. There's not a lot of detail to the cabin but it wouldn't be hard for the modeler to add more (signs, porch, seats, etc.) to help bring this structure to life and make it a suitable foreground structure on your railroad.
The building is built from cedar and painted with exterior-grade paint. The roof is a single, composite-fiberglass shingle laid over the entire sub roof, so there are no seams for water to seep into. Doors and windows are Precision Products' vaccum-formed styrene, glued into the wood. The actual window panes are painted black. The front porch is untreated redwood.
My review sample is green with white trim but other color combinations are available. Construction is sturdy and should be able to withstand the elements well. Cedar and redwood are weather resistant, and the exterior-grade paint should protect them all the better.
The manufacturer states the scale to be 1:24, but says they'd be suitable for scales upward of 1:20.3 as well. If I were to put this on a 1:20.3 railroad (at least in the foreground) I'd be tempted to figure out how to put in a taller door or a sign overhead that says "Duck." The door scales out to a mere 5'5" in 1:20.3 scale. Beyond that, there's nothing on this structure that has any intrinsic "scale" factor to it, so it would be well suited for a variety of common garden-railroad scales. It's the details that the modeler will put next to it that will really give it its sense of size.
I can see four or five of these cabins in a row as a small motel or hunting-lodge-type scene. The basic bones are there, and sturdy bones at that.—K.S.
1:24-scale wood cabin
PO Box 11672
Casa Grande, AZ 85130
Price: $39 + $11 s&h
Ready to use, 1:24-scale cabin (may be suitable for 1:22 and 1:20); built from wood; painted with exterior-grade paint. Dimensions: length, 9"; width, 6"; height, 6.5" (excluding smoke stack). In 1:24 scale, this works out to 18' x 12' x 13', respectively.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Sturdy construction; crisp finish on paint
GRM, Fall/Winter 2014 (to be published)
Given that the saloon was a focal point in any western town, VES Enterprises has added a fourth version to its line of old west buildings. This two-story model features an upstairs front porch covering a redwood boardwalk on the lower level. Overall dimensions are approximately 12"W x 11"D x 11"H. As with all VES products, it is in 1:24 scale and is furnished completely assembled, painted, and ready for indoor or outdoor use. Price as shown is $79 plus $16 for domestic shipping / handling. Consult our website at www.gtrainbuildings.com for additional information on other saloon types priced from $49 to $79, fully assembled and painted.