Menards Model Railroading Buildings.

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NP2626

Well-Known Member
#1
Has anyone purchased one of Menards pre-built and lighted buildings. If so, what did you buy and what did you think of it? I'm not in the market as I love to build my own buildings; but, I am interested in the quality of these items and wondering why Menards would think this to be a good line to get into.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#2
I have heard the Menard's line of buildings is somewhat like the old Plasticville line of the past. But with some detailing and weathering they could be improved. Have you looked at the Woodland Scenic's ready built line of structures. They are very detailed and look like almost craftsmanship like buildings, but at a price.

Both lines of structures have interior lighting.

Greg
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
#5
I do not own any of them and I have not seen any in person. As I recall they started in O scale for a few years before they started offering them in HO, I guess that they sold well enough to expand. Like Greg posted, they seem a little "Plasticville-like" and most of the industrial structures do not really scale out too well. Example is the Red Owl grocery that scales to about 2000 sq. ft.; rather small. I noticed before that every model comes with "Jack" the German Shepard. I also believe that all figures are glued in place, a negative for me. Of course I would rather construct a kit anyway. Of the 260± structures on my layout, only one was purchased as ready-built.
I like the Quonset hut, but not the jack & switch on the building's end.
Hard to disguise aren't they?
I don't see me purchasing any.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#6
Willie, I'm of the same ilk, I love building kits and really can't see buying any of these buildings, I was just interested in what those who have bought them thought.
 

migalyto

Active Member
#7
Willie, I'm of the same ilk, I love building kits and really can't see buying any of these buildings, I was just interested in what those who have bought them thought.
For the 60-70 dollars you could scratch build a very sizable, and much more detailed structure. Plus you would have a one of a kind!
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#8
Has anyone purchased one of Menards pre-built and lighted buildings. If so, what did you buy and what did you think of it? I'm not in the market as I love to build my own buildings; but, I am interested in the quality of these items and wondering why Menards would think this to be a good line to get into.
I've puzzled why Menard's would enter this set of products also. I've been following them for about 3 years now. Sure is handy when I suddenly need a 3-rail O-54 curve. Not so handy in the HO area.

I have the "Grandpa's House" in HO scale that I picked up just because it was on clearance for less than 1/2 price. I say it is way more than Plasticville quality, even though out of the box it is still obviously plastic. Needs a good weathering job (not a grunge up weathering but more like Michael Grosses' "realistic new" weathering). I have not explored mine enough to know where the lighting plug/switch is. Still sitting in its factory packaging like 90% of my "stuff".

I will say that the industrial structures signs are the Miller Engineering type, so that is 1/3 - 1/2 the cost right there. I'm after the Morton Salt structure in O-gauge. Can't not have Morton Salt when one lives so close to Hutchinson, KS.
 
#10
Nice to know. The only one I might be interested is the fire station, which resembles the mythical LA County Fire Station 51 from the old Emergency TV program. from the 70s. As there areno Menards within a thousand miles of here, that is highly unlikely.

I prefer to build my own structures, either from kits or from modules.

Boris
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#11
My spin on all this is that Menards felt they could compete in a "niche" that they felt existed: "Already built with some animation"! I think that whether a "niche" exists, is debatable; however, it is their nickel. It appears to me that many people are willing to pay "high buck" for Ready to Run rolling stock; but, many of those same folks want to build their own buildings and structures! To be frank, I'm surprised that the Menards building selections has continued to increase. My spin, which is probably incorrect, would have stated that Menards interest in this product line would have ceased a couple months after the first building hit the market!
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#12
Hmm, considering the cost, compared to the quality/appearance, I'd stick with DPM or Woodlands Built Ups or kits. Personally, Menards are not value for money when placed side by side with DPM.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#13
Hmm, considering the cost, compared to the quality/appearance, I'd stick with DPM or Woodlands Built Ups or kits. Personally, Menards are not value for money when placed side by side with DPM.
For the one I want, it is like getting the structure for free considering the annimated Miller Signs are $50 each, and the structure has two of them on it.
Signs
Structure

But this is Christmas Forest type stuff that I don't know I would consider seriously for a real layout. It is compressed too much.
 

Raincoat2

Well-Known Member
#15
I agree with the bulk of the comments so far on this. I have shopped Menards for the last two years, ever since they built one in Hollister, about 45 minutes south of here. This year they opened two here in Springfield. So I've looked at their structures - they have HO scale and the other day I noticed they have O scale and carry 3-rail (Lionel) track. To me they're pricey at $59.99 and $69.99 for most of their structures, which are all pre-built. They don't offer them in kit form. Even as a relative newbie (2 years) into this hobby, I find I like to build kits 'cause that allows me to control the color scheme, make any modifications I feel like, and name the structure myself. And like Willie mentioned earlier, the figures are pre-glued in place, and that's a negative for me, too. I don't plan on buying any.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#17
Iron Horseman, What is "Christmas Forest type stuff"?
Oh sorry. I forget not everyone has been through a Christmas season with me here on the forum.

Of course one cannot have a Christmas Tree without a train under it. By a happen chance our family ended up with two Christmas trees one year. Each with its own train. That lead to a children's tree. Then every child had to have their own tree and it grew from there. So through the years we have accumulated over 40 Christmas trees. Gave up having 1 train per tree, it is more interesting to have the trains run through all of them. Also by happen chance the town we moved to has an event where people open their home displays to the community so our Christmas Forest gets open to the public. Train displays getting more elaborate also. I fully expect to use the Morton Salt somehow in the display this year.

http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/...hat-are-your-holiday-plans.29899/#post-424518
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/...weekly-photo-fun-dec-18-25.27950/#post-377632
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/index.php?threads/christmas.27903/#post-376930
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/...ds/wpf-11-30-through-12-03.27881/#post-375625
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/index.php?threads/wpf-12-23-12-30.23522/page-2#post-300149
 

migalyto

Active Member
#18
Oh sorry. I forget not everyone has been through a Christmas season with me here on the forum.

Of course one cannot have a Christmas Tree without a train under it. By a happen chance our family ended up with two Christmas trees one year. Each with its own train. That lead to a children's tree. Then every child had to have their own tree and it grew from there. So through the years we have accumulated over 40 Christmas trees. Gave up having 1 train per tree, it is more interesting to have the trains run through all of them. Also by happen chance the town we moved to has an event where people open their home displays to the community so our Christmas Forest gets open to the public. Train displays getting more elaborate also. I fully expect to use the Morton Salt somehow in the display this year.

http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/...hat-are-your-holiday-plans.29899/#post-424518
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/...weekly-photo-fun-dec-18-25.27950/#post-377632
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/index.php?threads/christmas.27903/#post-376930
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/...ds/wpf-11-30-through-12-03.27881/#post-375625
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/index.php?threads/wpf-12-23-12-30.23522/page-2#post-300149
Wow! That’s quite a display you put on at the holidays!
 

Gary B

The Fox Valley Railroad
#19
Well I for one love building my own but did purchase the Menard's Hobby Shop. It's well made and with the lights, signs and details, not really that expense. If anyting, it's a little sterile looking but nicely done.
AAMenards1.JPG
 
#20
I bought the power plant in O. It is expensive, but I don't have the time at this point, to spend to build kits or design my own. There are no Menards anywhere near when I live-my wife ordered it online. When it got here, it had some damage, + although it had lights, it didn't have the transformer to power them (think its 4.5 volts). It seems to be made out of Masonite wrapped with a covering that simulates the exterior of a steel tilt up building. Although I'm not completely satisfied with it, I may look to get the RR HQ and York Hotel buildings in O, as I don't think there is anything similar on the market. The floor space they offer my O scale citizens is relatively small, however they're used to it.
 



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