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Metcalfe-type Industrial buildings

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Hi All,


I'm currently gestating a project for next winter that might become an exhibition layout. The dimensions are quite restricted, my choice, and wont be changed, but I want to tap into experience of building for example the Boilerhouse and factory, which is Metcalfe PO284. From the drawings onn their site its hard to be sure to what extent the building can be assembled differently to how its shown, as it looks as if it consists of a number of different elements assembled into a whole. What i cant tell is where the elements meet, are there 2 solid walls back to back or does the plan leave an open space or spaces where the joins are. Same applies to  PO283.


In the diagram, each square is 20cm, which is the width of the project - think Lack plank, but it isnt of course. I have a through track on the line A-A, the turnouts and track above are just there to explain the location of A-A, they arent there. Below is a siding which in the space B-B will be straight. I want to place buildings so that they block direct view of A-A so that I can exchange stock there (or possible place cassettes), while having a platform section at the front, as PO283 does, that aligns with the siding track. PO283 doesnt quite seem to fit in the space, which seems to be about 75mm. I have therefore considered using PO284 and running the track A-A through the factory, and reorganising the remainder of the kit or kits. I didnt particularly want to chop it up as that hasn't gone well in the past! I need the building length to be approx 70cm in total.


Any thoughts?





project building query.jpg

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IMO Metcalfe buildings aren't the best and are usually very generic. However, they are cheap and basic card kits, so if they don't do exactly as you want they can be adapted and hacked fairly easily to fit. And if you need to know the model size check out the Metcalfe website that gives dimensions for all their kits.





Edited by grahame
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  • 4 weeks later...

I've not built a Metcalfe kit for years but from what I remember they are pretty good about printing detail all over the buildings so you can assemble the groups in different ways.


If you left of the platform then the 283 would fit, perhaps with miniature platforms just outside the doors.


In my mind it'll look a bit odd with the different buildings in a long strip though.  I think it would look more believable with either one type of building stretching along most of the length or buildings that were obviously built at different times joined together (like on the Scalescenes boxfiles).

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Hi RobinofLoxley

I would just buy the factory kit and see whats inside. Metcalfe PO284


As Grahame said above they are cheap and adaptable. I had the other factory kit and used the sides and ends to make some low relief models between  20 mm and 50 mm from front to back.

They are designed to assembled in several different ways. they have floors and a back to make up into a complete box for strength.

Here's mine....




Starting at the loco smoke-box there is the boiler house and chimney which was reduced in height to fit under the top of this  layout in a box shunting plank effert.

Then the next four buildings are all ends or one side of a factory kit along to the warehouse with the green doors. Which is just 10 mm thick I'm not sure if that kit is currently available.


Then into the distance are some homemade buildings little more than Metcalfe brick paper stuck to a cardboard shape and on the retaining wall is the Metcalfe terrace front kit unmodified.  Extra card was from the backs of writing pads and food boxes.

You can see about 600mm of the layout here.


I also cut different amounts off the bottoms to give a variable roof profile.

Get the kit and have a play around with it, as Grahame suggests if it goes wrong  which it won't as they are well designed my kit came with  a sheet of brick-paper to match the rest of the kit so  modifications could be made to match.




The factory with north-lights was also reduced in depth and it's little platform cut to fit the siding.

Everything was painted with Wilkinson's furniture varnish  to matt everything down and dull the colours for an industrial grime look.

The boiler house behind the coach was unmolested.


Have a go to make  Metcalfe PO284 factory fit your site.

We look forward to seeing your progress.

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I’ve used Metcalfe industrial kits on my layout and they are sturdy and can be modified with pre-planning. I tile the roofs because I don’t like the printed look. Corners coloured with watercolour paints or filled then painted improves the look no end. Add pipes, groove planks on doors, add details inside, add lights inside and out and the models become a lot less generic.

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