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I received my Menard's Cripple Creek Engine Works and after I finally got it unpacked (it was fairly well packed) The first thing I noticed was the absence of engine house doors, a problem which I can rectify with basswood and miniature brass hinges from a doll house company, this will enhance its appearance greatly since the lighting inside is pretty bright. I am considering taking a yellow paint pen and coloring the lights a bit to help tone down the brightness even though I like it, it's not very realistic, at least not for an older structure as this is supposed to be. It's like old historical structure meets modern, well-lit gas station. Overall I really like the model but one thing sticks out almost jokingly and that would be the red flashing lights on the roof. What the...? Hey China, it's not a skyscraper! It's a humble, one story building. I am going to tone them down with a paint pen as well since they are so bright and, well, ridiculous. Maybe I can think of a better use of the wiring since it's there. Over all, on a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being best) I'd give this model an 8 - 8.5. Hinged doors and losing the flashing lights would have gotten it a 10. I still recommend it for it's scale appearance and a lot of the detail it does have.

-Ralph Miller

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@Rjm posted:

I received my Menard's Cripple Creek Engine Works and after I finally got it unpacked (it was fairly well packed) The first thing I noticed was the absence of engine house doors, a problem which I can rectify with basswood and miniature brass hinges from a doll house company, this will enhance its appearance greatly since the lighting inside is pretty bright. I am considering taking a yellow paint pen and coloring the lights a bit to help tone down the brightness even though I like it, it's not very realistic, at least not for an older structure as this is supposed to be. It's like old historical structure meets modern, well-lit gas station. Overall I really like the model but one thing sticks out almost jokingly and that would be the red flashing lights on the roof. What the...? Hey China, it's not a skyscraper! It's a humble, one story building. I am going to tone them down with a paint pen as well since they are so bright and, well, ridiculous. Maybe I can think of a better use of the wiring since it's there. Over all, on a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being best) I'd give this model an 8 - 8.5. Hinged doors and losing the flashing lights would have gotten it a 10. I still recommend it for it's scale appearance and a lot of the detail it does have.

-Ralph Miller

Ralph, thanks for your thoughts. You stated the lighting inside is pretty bright. Just so happens I was at Menards today and they had one lit up on the display shelf. It caught my eye so I was looking it over. I was dissapointed to see there were no lights on the inside. So now I am wondering was the display defective? Can you verify the lighting inside of this building. Thanks

@jini5 posted:

Ralph, thanks for your thoughts. You stated the lighting inside is pretty bright. Just so happens I was at Menards today and they had one lit up on the display shelf. It caught my eye so I was looking it over. I was dissapointed to see there were no lights on the inside. So now I am wondering was the display defective? Can you verify the lighting inside of this building. Thanks

Sadly no, the display is as it should be. I was disappointed as well when I got mine because it also did not have any lights inside. Just around the perimeter.

Last edited by Trainmaster04

My bad. The outer lights are so bright, it looked like there were lights inside as well - there are not. I noticed this about an hour after I wrote this review as I was still working at home and taking care of business items. When I got back to it, I realized that it did NOT have lights inside (which was a bummer) - Hey, just figured out what to do with the wiring to those flashing red lights - INDOOR LIGHTS!!! Toned down of course.

Menards Cripple Creek Engine Works is loosely based on the enginehouse that Master Builder John Allen scratchbuilt for his lengendary Gorre & Daphetid HO scale layout which was featured in magazines such as Model Railroader, Railroad Model Craftsman, NMRA Bulletin, as well as a book on the GD LINE and Allen which was authored by long time MR Editor Lynn Westcott.

Visit www.gdlines.org to compare.

Rjm, there are a number of threads on the brightness/color of Menard’s building lighting.  I use a stepdown converter to power the lighting at 2.75-3vdc for my taste.  And, use Tamiya X26 orange for changing the color from the blueish leds on the buildings.  Personal taste is really at the forefront in lighting on our layouts.  There are many members who like the lighting just as it comes from Menards.  YMMV 15A0E0B5-21C7-4AAB-92AB-3946CB16FAA1 264A9C4C-303C-4FA4-A8F3-D9627BD38E7B

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