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 "Choices" Challenge: B&O Tower Kit
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Author Topic Next Topic: SRMWs kit No. 240 HO Car Shop - Diesel Shop Build
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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 01/01/2021 :  12:19:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A friend asked if I were willing to built an old kit he bought off the Internet. It's an old Alexander kit of a B&O tower that sat in Indiana.

Here is the box:



The instructions:



The contents:



This will be a challenge to build, as I will explain in future posts.

Mike




_________________________________________________
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

Edited by - Michael Hohn on 01/02/2021 09:07:04 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 7487

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/01/2021 :  12:28:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Alexander kits were great designs, but often their implementation was a bit behind the conception :-)

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8982 Go to Top of Page

robert goslin
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/02/2021 :  02:45:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
looks like a good kit Mike. Is the kit for you or are you returning it finished to your friend ?

Regards Rob

My current build.
http://railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=53468

Country: Australia | Posts: 2953 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 01/02/2021 :  09:11:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Dave, these are old kits and I'm realizing how much Campbell raised the bar when they started releasing their kits.

Rob, thank you. I'll be returning it to the owner. He didn't know what he was getting into when he bought it. Honestly, I didn't know either, but it's certainly fitting for a challenge.

Mike


_________________________________________________
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

Country: USA | Posts: 7487 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/02/2021 :  09:26:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Does anyone know which kitmaker originated die-cut wood pieces, like in this kit and the Campbell kits?

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8982 Go to Top of Page

bitlerisvj
Fireman

Posted - 01/02/2021 :  09:48:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Michael, this is a great kit and builds up to a very nicely detailed prototypical structure. Take your time and review the instructions really well. There is one place I would watch out for and that is the placement of the stairway and deck. If built as instructions and drawing shows, one of the supports wants to be in a position where the window is. You may want to modify this area so you can properly support the deck.
Good luck and regards, Vic B.



Country: USA | Posts: 1452 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 01/05/2021 :  11:23:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bitlerisvj

Hi Michael, this is a great kit and builds up to a very nicely detailed prototypical structure. Take your time and review the instructions really well. There is one place I would watch out for and that is the placement of the stairway and deck. If built as instructions and drawing shows, one of the supports wants to be in a position where the window is. You may want to modify this area so you can properly support the deck.
Good luck and regards, Vic B.


Vic,
Thank you for the heads-up and encouragement.
Mike


_________________________________________________
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

Country: USA | Posts: 7487 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 01/05/2021 :  11:29:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by deemery

Does anyone know which kitmaker originated die-cut wood pieces, like in this kit and the Campbell kits?

dave


Dave,
I don't know when Campbell started, but I believe it was in the 60's, so Alexander preceded them. But whether Alexander was first I wouldn't bet on. If you count die-cut ("punched") card, Suydam was around in the fifties also. More below.

Mike


_________________________________________________
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

Country: USA | Posts: 7487 Go to Top of Page

Ensign
Engineer

Posted - 01/05/2021 :  11:49:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike, this old kit looks like a lot of fun!
Made even better by offering your talent & skills for your friend, by building it for him.
Best of luck with it!

Greg Shinnie



Country: Canada | Posts: 9163 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 01/05/2021 :  11:58:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A Little History

This kit was first advertised in the December 1958 Model railroader. It appears to be available to this day, although I assume with improvements in quality. The April 1959 Model Railroader ran a generally favorable review, although they pointed out a couple of easily fixed problems. A couple of openings are not stamped out correctly.

Wondering how old the kit I'm working on might be, I did a little trace of Alexander Scale Models in magazines during the late 50's and into the early sixties. I discovered that Alexander changed address every half decade or so in its early years. The address on the instructions and box match the address in the magazine ads from the late fifties to early sixties. So, the kit on my workbench might have been produced as much as seventy years ago. Of course, it's possible that when the business moved, the new address was advertised in MR but already-printed instructions and box art were used for a period of time.

Back to Work

The die-cut walls are pretty rough along the edges, so I cleaned them up. Removing every irregularity would alter basic dimensions and I had to leave well enough alone.

The castings needed to be cleaned up, some more than others, and one window casting is not quite right:



I've cleaned up the castings and started assembling the walls.



The vertical siding was very poorly made, inconsistent both in width and thickness. Plus, it had to be pieced together for the longer sides. Butting them up against the main siding reveals all the edge irregularities in both vertical and horizontal siding. Fortunately the irregularities will be covered by a trim piece. Not complaining, just observing.

Mike



_________________________________________________
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

Edited by - Michael Hohn on 01/05/2021 12:02:24 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 7487 Go to Top of Page

Guff
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/05/2021 :  3:18:32 PM  Show Profile  Send Guff an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Mike,
Seems like you have a challenge on your hands. Good choice to choose this kit for the forum challenge. Have fun!


David Guffey

Country: USA | Posts: 2145 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 01/05/2021 :  5:25:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
David,

Thank you! It is indeed somewhat a challenge, but so far Iím winning (I think), so Iím having fun.

Mike



Country: USA | Posts: 7487 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 01/05/2021 :  6:39:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ensign

Mike, this old kit looks like a lot of fun!
Made even better by offering your talent & skills for your friend, by building it for him.
Best of luck with it!

Greg Shinnie


Greg,
Thank you. Youíre very generous in your praise. I enjoy building for other people, especially when as deserving as this particular friend.
Mike



Edited by - Michael Hohn on 01/05/2021 6:40:52 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 7487 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/05/2021 :  7:04:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'll be following along. I see what Vic was talking about - the instructions show the 2nd floor door almost directly above the 1st floor window; in the pre-cut wood the offset is larger.

James

Country: USA | Posts: 6915 Go to Top of Page

Larryc
Crew Chief



Posted - 01/07/2021 :  11:11:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Michael looks like you've got your work cut out for you. If anyone can pull this off you can. Keep going.


Country: USA | Posts: 899 Go to Top of Page

mikethetrainman
Fireman



Posted - 01/07/2021 :  1:01:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike: looks like you have a handle on this kit. I sure that it will be great when your finished. Looking forward to following along.

Mike Mace
Northern Division of the Santa Fe

Country: USA | Posts: 1903 Go to Top of Page
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