For anyone interested
in modeling that pastoral branch line of the Lackawanna railroad
affectionately called the Sussex Branch, one station among them
all is an absolute must. Branchville, being the terminus, boasted
several industries which kept passenger and freight trains running
into the village until the very end. The station building itself
stood longest of any on the Sussex branch, but met its end in 1994.
The good news
for modelers is that the N Scale Architect has resurrected this
ancient wooden structure in HO and N Scale. The kit comes in a box
adorned with color pictures of a completed model. Both ends of the
structure are shown.
Within the box the joyful modeler will discover five laser cut sheets
of micro plywood. One of these is a thinner adhesive backed detail
sheet. Also included are white metal chimney castings, a plastic
shingle sheet, templates for the roof sections (for cutting the
shingle sheet,) window glazing, a parts identification sheet, and
for this kit are quite good. I've come to expect instructions for
kits to be generally lacking, or to at least be aimed at those who
are experienced in the hobby. With the well written descriptions
and numerous photos, anyone who knows which end of a hobby knife
to grasp will have no difficulty following the steps to complete
this model. To the experienced scratch builder, this kit will look
like a gift from the elves who have done virtually all of your whacking
and hacking while you slept, leaving only gluing and painting to
of the parts is highly desirable as it's easier when they're still
on the sheet. I made only minor touch ups on the edges of the pieces
after I released them with a straight edge razor blade. The manufacturer
has even supplied extras of the small parts in case of breakage.
Now there's forethought as well as thoughtfulness!
I took into the bohemian ways of model building is that I used the
wooden roof pieces to mark and cut out the shingle sheet instead
of the supplied template. Why cut twice when you can do it once?
I also used hot melt glue to install the window glazing and shades.
So far this has held up very well.
my kit pretty much as per the instructions and the end product came
out very well. Things I might have done to improve matters would
include additional interior bracing. The walls do not look bowed
on my station, but the sides are thin and stiffness would be a great
This kit is
timeless for any Branchville aficionado. It includes all the details
necessary to model the station in any year from 1869 to 1966. Only
'subtractions' of gingerbread, chimneys and proper weathering are
required to reflect age and period.
Most modelers will wish to recreate this piece of the Sussex Branch
in the 1950-1966 era. This is easily done by assembling the kit,
and by leaving off the center and freight end chimneys, plus any
gingerbread sticking up above the roof. For added realism, you'll
also want to carefully cut the trefoil ornament from the bracket
that lives on the east end of the station on the street side.
For this period,
the modeler will want to omit the supplied platforms and ramps on
the freight end. Instead, you should install 'bash boards' on the
street side. I made these from Evergreen strips, appropriately distressed
with a saw blade. Imagine all the pick-up trucks banging into that
while picking up L.C.L. deliveries.
The track side
will require a straight platform, which extends enough to block
the closest door. I added a makeshift ladder to the back of mine
to match a few photos I've seen.
to model pre-1915 need only paint the model the appropriate colors.
I suggest oxide red with green trim for 1869 to 1915 and light gray
with green trim for 1915-1945. These are approximations of course,
but will have to do till we get color photos from those eras.
The final detail
I added to the model was a station sign. I picked an appropriate
size piece of scrap from the bits left over (you didn't throw them
away, did you?) and painted it black. Then I applied decals in Railroad
Roman Dulux Gold. When the decals were set, I trimmed the sign,
notched the four corners and gilded the edges with gold paint.
I think the
only real nitpick I have with this kit is the lack of board detail
on the eaves. It's not something you really, see, but sometimes
it's the not-so-evident things that really make a model great.
Is this kit
worth the list price of $89.95? I say most certainly so! Good instructions,
nice details, and versatility make this a great addition to the