Did anyone happen to catch the article in the latest MODEL RAILROADER about super-detailing this somewhat bland looking coaling tower? Well, I happened to see it and took a closer look. After reading the article, I wasn't all that impressed with making the changes but it did kind of force me to take a little closer look at the kit itself. Hence the basis of this post.
The first thing I saw was the small building on the left side of the photo above... hmmm, a perfect looking generic shed. I'm always looking for small buildings to serve as storage sheds and for other purposes on my layout. It seems that one can never have too many of them as if you look at older railroad photographs, they were everywhere. It would seem that instead of building a new, bigger structure when additional storage or even office space was needed, the railroads opted to build another one instead of either adding on or replacing an existing structure. So the end results are that you had lots of smaller buildings that seemed to spring up wherever they were needed.
Along those same lines, I noted that the top of the coaling tower looked like another small shed just waiting to be "liberated" from the rest of the kit's parts. A few strokes with an X-acto knife along the board lines and the four walls needed for the kit should come off with a snap.
Finally, the other thing that caught my eye was the stairways, landings & railing. The quantity and quality of those parts alone probably makes the kit a good purchase. I think Plastruct sells their stairs & railings for something like $5 for two rather short pieces.
The kit now sets in my "to do" pile and when I'm done with cannibalizing it, I'll have two miscellaneous shed-type structures and some new stairs for another yet-to-be thought of building. Not bad for one kit costing only about $12 delivered.