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I have forever been a Plasticville, K-Line, Marxville, etc guy.  Love to kit bash some of them and redecorate others into something they were never intended to be.  I ordered my first Ameritown kit, a city hall, which will be relabeled as a public library.  Lordy, what a surprise.  Somehow I got the idea that they were complicated and difficult to build.  I couldn't have more wronger (I was an English teacher.  Could you tell?).  It looks easy and bashable, the on-line instructions are convenient, the on-line graphics are spoilers and I won't be using most of them.  Some of the signs are spot on but the windows stink. 

Looking for advice on adhesives and mortar effects.

I see a lot more of these going up around town, when I ever get a town...or a layout....or an operating train.

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@Rich Melvin posted:

Ouch. That hurt. 

Which kit did you buy and what could we do to improve the windows?

Hi, Rich.  I didn't nean to hurt anyone's feelings.

I got #303 City Hall.  It's a smaller building than the old Logan, Utah Post Office (pre-1965 era, corner of Main Street and Union Avenue), but I need a Carnegie Public Library from the same period and that will only involve hanging a different sign on the building.  Even the color is very close.  Easy fix.

My issue with the windows is that they are not sharply done and there is almost no variety from one building to another.  I'll likely make my own and use photos from web searches, either as I find them on-line or montages from several different pictures.

Trust me when I say that the kits themselves are beyond any criticism I may make, the details are crisp and very nicely done, and I can find no better on the market.

Thanks.  I'll be looking for a Hickman Abstract and Land Title company next (corner of Main Street and First North Street).  My aunt and cousin ran that from before it for twenty years before I was born and it is still in the family today.  I'll get it done in time for the company's 100th anniversary.

I like the Ameritowne kits and have several on my layouts. The exterior window frames are somewhat difficult to paint neatly because they're integrated with the brick walls but that's just part of the fun. I would like to see some different, and perhaps larger (in width and height) new wall configurations. In my opinion, Ameritowne kits are good value for the money.




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Forty Rod - by the statement "the windows stink" I assume you mean the window treatments you can download from the web site? Yea there is not much variety but it is easy to search the internet for window treatments and make your own file. I have built up a file with quite a number of different window treatments over the course of building these kits. You can print the treatments on card stock if you don't want any light coming through or print on vellum if you want light coming through from the inside but still have it difficult to see into the building or print.

With respect to glue I have always had good luck with Plastruct Plastic Weld. I use super glue on top and bottom to align walls for clamping then wick in the plastic glue to make the joint.

For mortar there are as many different methods as there are probably forum members. I have tried quite a few and finally settled on joint compound. It is 'instant gratification' in that one wipes it into the mortar lines then wipes off the excess right away. I work in sections using my fingers / palms with a damp sponge and towel to wipe off my hands when they get too much compound on them.

Express Freight Storage [4)

Window treatments

Blakman Dry Cleaning 4 Story

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Express Freight Resident [2)

Express Freight Resident [1)


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  • Blakman Dry Cleaning 4 Story
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Rich: Constructive Criticism is acceptable as long as it's worded in such a way not to hurt or insult the feelings of another party.  Sadly, it does happen from time to time when the words seem to come out wrong.  What counts in this case is an apology.  "I'm sorry!" is probably as old as time itself, but still works, at least it always does for me.

This is what I enjoy most about OGR railroaders.  I've found members of the OGR family to be very polite.  In the event they happen to mess up for whatever reason, an apology is never very far behind.

Thanks guys, you're a great bunch, and I'm proud to be a part of this family!

Joseph Toth Jr.


Last edited by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer

Well, I'm on my way.  Got the front steps glued together and started sanding the other parts.  I'm going to take my time with this one and make all the mistakes early on.     The more I look at the parts the more impressed I am with the detail in the castings.  This looks to be a very well thought out kit considering how reasonable the price was.

I asked a friend about joint compound and ended up with a ten pound package.  I suspect that will be a tad more than I'll need.....ever!

I completed my first Ameritowne kit recently. The small factory. I was also impressed with the detailing. The windows are a bit of a PITA to paint but that's part of the fun as Melgar said. I used some acrylic paint thinned to a wash for the mortar. Brushed it on and blotted it dry till I was happy.

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I have a number of AMERITOWN buildings - some are complete structures, some are just front flats.  All are well suited to the 1940s-50s era of my layout. I confess I'm not a skilled kit-basher; thankfully, these buildings are AOK as-is out of the box.

However, I've placed "curtains" behind the window frames with some windows blacked out. With a light inside each building, the effect is convincing.  Some residents are "at home" and others are out or asleep. I've added signage by Miller to some buildings. Those animated electric signs enhance these buildings with a neon-like effect; i.e., REXALL DRUGS, SHAMROCK HOTEL, WOOLWORTH'S, AMTRAK ticket counter, etc.

A commercial row of buildings along a "Main Street" with a sidewalk, street lights, and vintage cars on the street or parked at the curb will make a realistic scene -- with people figures.

As mentioned, joint compound is perfect for applying "mortar" to the brick joints, but I doubt if the maker of that product will present a marketing campaign to advertise its "secondary use" by modelers.

Mike Mottler    LCCA 12394

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