Archive for December, 2018


When I posted the article about the Durango Fire Hall, I forgot this little beauty.

Mt. Albert included this little chemical fire extinguisher from Aspen Modeling Company along with their fire hall kit.

It measures about an inch and a half tall, and is composed of cast plastic parts. I pre-painted all the parts, and used CA adhesive and Zip Kicker to assemble it.

This was one of the first items I built with the kit. I set it aside on a shelf in my workshop, and totally forgot about it!

Read Full Post »

The Durango Fire Hall

What follows are three views of the Mt. Albert Fire House kit. This is a very elaborate, well detailed kit. It comes with a DVD that shows over 80 color pictures which correspond to the steps in the written instructions.

You’ll notice that there is no bell showing in the cupola on these three shots, but the kit does have a very nice heavy brass bell.

This will be my fire hall in Durango, so I wanted to change the sign to reflect that.

I did a little work on my computer to change the sign, and then gave it a light spray with flat beige paint to take the reds down some, and give it a dusty look. I used my standard techniques for painting and weathering the rest of the model. I start with a gray stain made with 91% isopropyl alcohol and a little black leather dye. Then I dry brush with a little light gray acrylic paint. I always stain the wood before I do any gluing. No matter how hard you try, you will get glue showing, and it does not like to take stain the same way the rest of the model does.

In order to save layout space, I shortened this structure front to back as I have done with other kits. This will be the tallest building on my layout, but it should be. The cupola has a windowed lookout area, and you want the little O scale firemen to be able to see all over town from here.

I installed five lights in the fire hall, three outside like the ones shown on the original model, and two inside so that I could see my fire engine at night. I used a system I had employed some time ago that carries the power for the lights on two brass rods running out of sight through the rafters. It is fairly easy to solder the leads from the lights to these brass rods.

This photo shows the two parts of the roof assembly that I will leave unsecured in order to have access to the wiring for the lights.

Here you can see the brass bell. I had to add the clapper. I also added a lightning rod to the roof of the cupola. I thought it looked a little unfinished without it. On the back of the hall I soldered wires to the tips of the two brass rods where they protruded through the wall, and enclosed those wires in small styrene tubes to take the electrical service down through the roof of the add-on structure.

When I shortened the building I made an error in cutting the sub-wall and the outer wall on the second story of this side, so I just created two boarded over windows. It was easier (and more interesting) than cutting the window openings in the sub-wall plywood. My window shade technique has been described elsewhere on this site.

The figure of the man holding open the door is from Scenic Express, and I assembled the fire engine a long time ago from a white metal kit. I always intended that this fire engine would be used in Durango.

Here is a close-up of the styrene conduit that carries the power from beneath the layout up to the brass rod lighting system.

The kit comes with shades for the three outside lights, but they are just decorative. I substituted the Old Fashioned Green and White Lamp Shade & Bulb from Miniatronics.

I painted the interior of the fire hall black, and used black wiring to carry the current down from the brass rods to the lower lights. Maybe I’ll come back with some black Gorilla tape to secure the wires to the wall a little better.

All five lights that I installed can be seen in this view. The interior floor is made from coffee stir sticks.

This is the scene I had in mind when I envisioned the use of the two interior lights.

Read Full Post »