New :

MÄRKLIN & RAILROADS : A personal view by Christian Vinaa

New :

  • Scale and size
    • 5", 1, LGB, H0, TT, N, Z

  • Electricity - Electronics
    • Turnouts
    • Signals
    • Light barrier

  • Real trains ( scale 1:1 )
    • Real trains - scale 1:1
    • Selection of train videos

Buildings - plastic kits

Unless you want to make a very stylistic layout, i.e. a display layout, or an under-the-ceiling suspended layout : YOUTUBE : The Ultimate Executive Toy : A Suspended Acrylic Railroad

you will need to populate your layout with at least something; buildings, trees, landscape and people.

Buildings can be constructed from assembling kits, scratchbuilding ( especially if you want to build something that hasn't [yet] been produced as a kit ) or perhaps even readymade buildings.

Kits, mostly plastic, have been produced from the 1950's by a variety of makers and a variety of quality.

Names like Kibri ( Kindler & Briel ), POLA , Vollmer and Faller are ( were ) household names. Now they have stopped or has been bought by larger producers, although the brand name has continued.

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Auhagen is quite another story. Originally a family business, that happened to be in the, then, Russian occupied part of the fallen Third Reich, later the former DDR, was then "confiscated" by the state of DDR, only to be given back to the family after the unification of Germany in 1989-1990.

Auhagen has been very active and innovative, and has especially catered for the more "northern" german style of buildings ( Prussia - Preussen ), where the 3 older producers were more oriented to the southern German style; - quite obvious since they were mainly located in Bayern, Baden-Württemberg and the Rheinland.

The English-American model-railroader of course had there own producers; Airfix, Bachman, Revell and Atlas to name only a few.

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Assembling a plastic kit.

In honesty it all boils down to practice, practice and practice.

I know a guy who have made VERY beautifull houses from kits for many years. He claims that he even now gets better for each kit he assembles. The first kits he assembled he now frowns upon even though they are quite good.

However there are a few good basic rules you would want to know about :
  • If you want to paint / weather; do as much as you can before assempling the kit. Especially smaller parts should be painted before assembly.
  • Use sharp knives / cutters to cut the parts from the "tree" or "sprue".
  • Put the parts together without glue to see if any adjustments should be made.
  • Use as little glue as possible; - liquid glue is usually better.
  • READ and follow the instructions.

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Ideas for the advanced builder :
  • Should there be moving parts ?
  • Enterior lighting ? Paint the walls black ?
  • Should you choose another color scheme ?
  • Could you make i.e. 2 houses out of one kit - if a house only was seen from one side on the layout.
  • [ Put your own idea here ! ]

In the old days the producers had the opportunity to send you replacements for faulty or missing parts. You can't count on that anymore. Please check a kit when you buy it, and check for missing of faulty parts.

Keep the old instructions / manuals. Visit the producer's website and download whatever information and pictures you can find regarding your kit. That information might not be there next year.

Copyright © Christian Vinaa
2014 -
"Märklin" and other brand names and product names and logo's
are ©, TM or registered trademarks of their respective owners,
and are used on this website for purely informational purposes.

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