3 Bay Car Shop

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wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#1
A little while ago I (reluctantly) bought a walthers 3 Bay Car Shop Kit for my pending layout. My intention is to make it as realistic (internally) as possible.



As such, I also purchased a number of "Gold Medal Models" industrial detail sets, walkways, railings, ladders etc. I have now just ordered 3 Peco Inspection Pits for the "Shop":



I am hopeful of starting this "build" at the end of the forth coming week.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#5
Olie,

The pictures of the "Shop" look great, the actual kit on the other hand is a different matter. So far, the walls and floor are all warped so getting anything structural to fit together properly is questionable and, at the very least, going to create more work than the kit really needed had it been well made.

On a good note, as I am using the Peco Inspection Pits for the interior the warped walthers floor will be discarded so all I'll have to deal with are the walls. I'm hoping that when they are glued in place, that will help straighten them and the roof, so long as that also isn't warped, will draw everything into square.

So, looking at this from a more optimistic perspective, IF everything does work out it will be an interesting build and, hopefully, will end up looking reasonably good.

As for the trouble thing ... well, lets face it - "no one" is perfect right :)
 

Olie

Active Member
#6
Ah man, that's sucks. Did you contact Walthers about it? I haven't personally dealt with their customer service but I've heard it's not bad.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#7
Olie,

Nope not yet. Will give them a call in the morning and see hat they can or will do about it. To be honest, the worse warping is in the floor of the thing, it is bent up in the middle by about an 1/8". The floor is only 5" wide so the buckle/warp is pretty significant in 1/8" thick styrene.

This is only the second walthers kit I have ever bought and the second kit with warping. The first kit (their Diamond Mining Company or similar name) also had warped parts and parts that were ill fitting. If I recall, that kit needed a lot of sanding and scrapping and "forcing" to get the parts together decently.

If they (walthers) want to argue about it I'll just write it off as another bad experience and find something else OR, use the good parts of the kit, windows, roof sections and doors (I think) to scratch build my own.

I guess I am more disappointed than angry with the quality (or lack there of) of the kit as I have a picture in my mind of how the kit was going to look. I was keen to get things under way so this issue has caused me to hold off until I know what, if anything, can or will be done.

Either way, I AM going to make this work and have my "Car Shop" for the layout :)
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
#9
Tony - I admire your patience in wanting to detail the inside of an "N" scale structure. I am looking forward to the result.
Regarding Walther's structure kits. I only have experience with their HO line of structures and I can tell you that warpage, poor instructions and ill-fitting parts are the norm in my experience. I would think that being the industry leader that they would have better quality control, but nothing has changed in the 35 years that I have been dealing with them. It's too bad as well, because they are about the only manufacturers that make "industry-sized" structures for model railroaders. I do possess some exceptions that I believe are made by their Danish supplier.
I have learned to overcome most of the shortcomings and I have over thirty of their industries and an equal number of other structures. Mike's suggestion works to some extent on the HO parts, as does submerging them in warm water for about 15 minutes and then weighting them down. I have straightened smaller walls by super-gluing popsicle sticks to the inside.
 

Olie

Active Member
#10
I have to second what Tony suggested. Maybe some heat on a flat surface to reshape the plastic. I have found my magnet board has become a heaven sent for squaring and truing up misaligned parts and piece. I don't know the melting point of styrene but if the sun is anything like it is here in Georgia, should get plenty warm. There is the oven as well.
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
#11
Tony. I can understand your frustration with the Walthers kit. I have had the same experience with the warping. They are nice building if and when you can complete them. Their directions are more like suggestions too.

I have used my wifes hair dryer to heat parts of them to get them closer to being straight and true.
 
#12
I was just putting together the Northern Lights sub station. The base for it is bowed up 3/16" on each end. I'm going to have to find a way to screw it down to straighten it out. I have a BUNCH of Walthers buildings that I've built in the last several years, and I'll bet 75 %, at least, had warped parts. It gets very disgusting time after time. I've also dealt with Walther's customer service and was not impressed at all. :(

Joe
 

migalyto

Active Member
#13
My New River Mine kit was all wonky as well. Its the only Walthers kit I've done. I hope my Dairy Queen kit doesn't have warpage (I haven't opened it yet).
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#14
Darn, seems like I have opened a Pandora's Box BUT in what I think is a good way. Can only hope (yeah right) that someone from walthers reads all of this and takes notice.

I really pity you HO guys who use walthers kits as they are hanging around. Rumor has it though that walthers is exiting the N Scale market which (if true) from everything said here will NOT be a devastation for us N Scalers :)

Tony,

What if you set the pieces outside with a weight on them for several hours? The warping might come out of it with the heat of the sun.
Mike,

You and others have read my mind, or I yours. Last night I removed each part then "cleaned them up", laid them flat and sat a couple of metal blocks on them. It has taken out a little bit (very little bit) of the warping on the floor section but the walls just bounced back as soon as the weight was removed. I might try it again later in the week when the temps here get back over 70 OR stick them in the oven on "low" for a short time then apply weight and rapid cool them.

Tony - I admire your patience in wanting to detail the inside of an "N" scale structure. I am looking forward to the result.
Thanks mate but this Car Shop is a "BIG" structure so there is plenty of room in it for detailing and will be like detailing a HO Kit. The entire structure is 7" long by 5 1/4" wide by 4 3/4" high, so the challenge of detailing the interior probably wont be all that impressive when said and done. Of course you can forget about the dimensions and just think N Scale ... that might make it look more impressive :)

Regarding Walther's structure kits. I only have experience with their HO line of structures and I can tell you that warpage, poor instructions and ill-fitting parts are the norm in my experience. I would think that being the industry leader that they would have better quality control, but nothing has changed in the 35 years that I have been dealing with them. It's too bad as well, because they are about the only manufacturers that make "industry-sized" structures for model railroaders. I do possess some exceptions that I believe are made by their Danish supplier.
I have learned to overcome most of the shortcomings and I have over thirty of their industries and an equal number of other structures. Mike's suggestion works to some extent on the HO parts, as does submerging them in warm water for about 15 minutes and then weighting them down. I have straightened smaller walls by super-gluing popsicle sticks to the inside.
Not sure if I can agree with you on the "industry leader" side of things BUT considering how long they have been in business you would have thought they would be a little more diligent and pay more attention to detail. Personally, I would have thought DPM would be considered the industry leader (or one of them) when it comes to kits be they HO or N Scale.

The one thing that I noticed, when comparing a wall section of this kit with a wall section from a DPM Kit (also N Scale) was how much more solid the DPM wall was. There was no flexing of the styrene or ABS (which ever material they use) and it felt solid and rigid. Only thing I can conclude from that is walthers uses a lower quality or lower standard styrene or ABS.

I might give your "water and weight" idea a go and see what happens. The two good things (I think) are that I wont be needing the floor section, other than as a template and the walls are flimsy enough to be held in place and shape when all connected and with the roof, which seems okay, along with the detail items I'll place along the walls, more or less replicating your idea of using popsicle sticks to hold things straight. I'll probably use 1/4" styrene and pretend they are benches :)

I have to second what Tony suggested. Maybe some heat on a flat surface to reshape the plastic. I have found my magnet board has become a heaven sent for squaring and truing up misaligned parts and piece. I don't know the melting point of styrene but if the sun is anything like it is here in Georgia, should get plenty warm. There is the oven as well.
The oven might end up being the method I try, although will only test it on the floor section. If I melt that into oblivion then so be it. If I melt the walls into oblivion then I will be "pis#ed" at myself. Now all that is left to do is convince the better half to let me use the oven :oops:

Tony. I can understand your frustration with the Walthers kit. I have had the same experience with the warping. They are nice building if and when you can complete them. Their directions are more like suggestions too.

I have used my wifes hair dryer to heat parts of them to get them closer to being straight and true.
I agree whole heartedly with he "instructions" ... a diagram with numbers and a fairly obscure written explanation. The one thing I will say is the kits are so basic (parts wise) it isn't that difficult to figure out what goes where and how.

I did contemplate using my hair drier (um ... the one I use for drying my painting that is...) but couldn't see myself sitting here for X amount of time looking at the part and just getting really peeved thinking why am I doing this? Why should I NEED to do this????

I was just putting together the Northern Lights sub station. The base for it is bowed up 3/16" on each end. I'm going to have to find a way to screw it down to straighten it out. I have a BUNCH of Walthers buildings that I've built in the last several years, and I'll bet 75 %, at least, had warped parts. It gets very disgusting time after time. I've also dealt with Walther's customer service and was not impressed at all. :(

Joe
I have to admit that I did buy (in my HO days) some walthers passenger cars that they recommended an 18" radius for (this is HO remember) Bought the cars and, despite my track being 18" radius the wouldn't/couldn't stay on the tracks. Running ONE car at a time, not a problem. Put more than one behind a train and instant derailment. Anyway, I got hold of walthers and told them problem and they basically called me a liar. Sent them a video of what was happening and again blamed my track work and stated it was less than 18" radius. So yeah - customer service? Excuse me while I choke through laughter.

My New River Mine kit was all wonky as well. Its the only Walthers kit I've done. I hope my Dairy Queen kit doesn't have warpage (I haven't opened it yet).
Mike,

For your sake I hope it doesn't either BUT you want put a small wager down that is does :)

The frustrating part walthers is they do make kits that no one else seems to want to and the kits themselves "look good". If only they would consider the quality of the materials they use and make them better, more solid, more accurate (fit wise) and be more diligent on the condition of the parts when sent out. IF they would do that, they would be a great kit, but if this has been going on for 35 years (give or take) then that tells me a lot about walthers practices.

Anyway, lets forget that the kit is a walthers, or try to - I promise I wont bring their name up again unless under duress :)

It looks as though my "Peco Inspection Pits X 3" will be arriving from London (Hattons) this Wednesday. As it is 12:15 am on the East coast now, that'll be tommorow :) So, I'll have all day today to try to get the walls etc as "flat as possible" after which I might need to reach for (not just stare at) my 20 lb mash hammer :)

Once the Pits arrive and I loo at how they go together, the "build will commence" Yeah! Oh, while I think of it - if this build turns to "poo", I guess we all have provided me with the perfect excuse/reason for that happening :) As I am pretty excited about this, I am seriously hoping that it will go together and will look as good in life as it does in my mind ... where ever I left that!
 
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wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#16
UPDATE:

In short ... threw the floor into the next county (well thought about it - seriously) ... it wouldn't flatten out properly despite trying the water and oven method. As was said, I don't care about the floor anyway ... as I wasn't going to be using it.

I put the walls outside and let them sit beneath some lengths of 1" X 4" with weight applied for a few hours. They flattened out nicely UNTIL I removed the weight. The one thing about the material walthers uses being flimsy will let me force the walls straight so I think they will be okay at the end of the day, especially when I add "bracing" along the two outside walls.

So, now I have resigned myself to the fact that they (the walls) are going to be warped a bit, I brought them in and applied a coat of "Primer" and will hopefully be putting on a light coat of top coat - "Tru Color Flat Brick Red" this evening/tonight - sort of pretty soon. I'll put up some pics shortly.

Doing the "top coat" tonight will ensure it is nice and dry for when the Inspection Pits arrive tomorrow and I can think about assembling the walls and cutting out a floor to incorporate the Pits - ooh I am so excited, okay kidding, I don't get excited about too much any more.

My dilemma at the moment is this though:

As I am detailing (as much as practicable) the interior, I want/need clear access and room to move. Assembling the walls fully will limit that I think, even though the kit (for N Scale) is pretty big. I am thinking about assembling the front wall to one side and doing the same for the rear wall and the other BUT also need to keep things square so when both "halves" are joined they will fit properly (fingers crossed).

Basically, how would you guys go about doing the interior work ... walls assembled or partially assembled OR do the interior fittings first THEN assemble the walls? I am talking about the details that will be attached to the walls only at this point.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#20
Well, got a bit keen as mentioned earlier and put the "top color" on ... "Modelflex Light Tuscan Oxide":





The other two sides are the same :) All I really need to do now for the exterior of the walls is paint the "Window Sills" concrete grey and add a bit of Soot around the entrances and so forth. I think this is going to work out okay!!!

PS: Despite how the "color looks" in the photos, it is the same color.
 



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