PENNSYRR.COM by Jerry Britton

Jerry Britton's PRR Middle Division in HO Scale

IMG 3247

Years ago I recognized the superior appearance of craftsman kits, but two factors held me back: skills and budget. Then I overcame the budget -- well, sort of -- and started acquiring a few kits to build at "a later date".

Last year I started small, building Fos Scale Models' Tiny Lou's Grill. It was fun and easier than expected, and no real issues.

This past month I tackled four more kits and, after a less than stellar experience, decided to rank my preference of manufacturers. So, here goes...

Grade Manufacturer Kits Built Observations
A Fos Scale Models

Tiny Lou's Grill

Gardiner's Tack, Feed & Farrier

  • Parts are complete
  • Pretty good instructions
  • Extra dimensional lumber
  • Well-fitting parts
A Bar Mills Models Saulena's Tavern
  • Parts are complete
  • Pretty good instructions, though room for improvement
  • Well-fitting parts
B Railroad Kits

Foley's Hookers

St. Martin's Corner Gas & Groceries

  • Some parts missing but quickly provided by manufacturer
  • Mediocre instructions
  • Reasonably fitting parts
F Carolina Craftsman Kits Raudabush Building
  • Missing parts
  • Very poor instructions
  • Design didn't account for hiding ends of corner seams (bevel or vertical beam); owner said that was for me to figure out!
  • Way overpriced for what you get
  • Will never purchase another of their kits


Still on the shelf:

  • Railroad Kits' Reaghan Feed Mill
  • Fos Scale Models' Rankins Steak House
  • Interaction Hobbies' The Pork Store

Looking forward to trying:

  • Mine Mount Models
  • ITLA Scale Models
  • Jason Jenson Trains
  • KC's Workshop
  • more Fos Scale Models
  • more Bar Mills Models