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Downtown Building #1 has been in the works for several years. Methods that I developed for the Birthplace of Basketball project proved helpful as did edge cutting detail of ashlar block used on the new Franklin Freight & Storage project. The basic building is 9-stories tall with a width of 9" and height of 24". The first and top floors step back to create more visual interest. The prototype type of the building is shown below. I had hoped to have shadowboxes available for York but the need to complete current orders will likely not make that possible.

Each side has about 180 pieces to subassembly, paint and assemble. The pictures show the use of clear, translucent and Roscolux Grey glazing. Details include three layers for windows providing for two different colors, block joints that wrap on all returns, applied half-round pilasters on mid-elevation windows, and a back panel on the building that is now removable for aftermarket interior detailing.









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Last edited by Todds Architectural Models
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I have ordered some of his buildings and signs before.  They are incredibly well done and come painted and assembled.   Lost of time goes into them.

Doug we never finished the control panel with switches and track plan. The prototype looked great.  I’d love to finish that or if you don’t have time then to get the prototype from you and put it on the layout.

David- I had an issue with the switch controllers not staying embedded in the panel as they are a friction fit from the back. Pushing on them enough times caused them to pop out. I was going to design a backer panel to lock them all in place and got stuck on the issue of lack of access. Thinking about it right now (and off and on for a year or so) I think that I just came up with a solution. I am up to my a** in alligators with some orders and prepping for York, but will get back to it in the coming week or so.



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WH-07 Franklin Freight & Storage

Prototype Shown- Run # 1 in production

17" wide x 16" tall x 2-3/4" deep; 1" deep shadowbox with 1-3/4" deep loading dock and corrugated metal panel canopy

Designed to center an MTH, Lionel and Atlas O O Scale PS-1 Box Car

Can have additional two window column sections for second loading door (two PS-1 Box Cars)

New model features: operating window panels, laser cut edges that include block joints

Run # 1 of eight shadowboxes, your specification of clear, translucent or Roscolux Grey glazing






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The Downtown Building #1 building is completely designed in CADD. This is the first time that I fully developed the building before the shadowbox. One of the changes in the design came about from our conversation about the Birthplace of Basketball 6" deep building. Putting the backs on the buildings was always a challenge for me and, in most cases, I glued them on figuring that customers would have a hard time doing so. Now there is an inner spreader panel that holds all the floors and ceilings in place. This will make aftermarket interior detailing possible. Once complete on the inside, the back panel is now easier to install. Thank you for the prod!

The first floor of Downtown Building #1 is a larger volume than the top floor. It is actually the equivalent of two floors, almost 6" tall. See the axiometric drawing below. The elevations are set back the same distance as the top floor. Having set back elevations on all four sides presents a challenging puzzle of how to install the windows after the inner box is assembled and elevations are applied. The top floor is accessed through the roof to put in the windows. You can see the opening in the prototype picture below.

The three-layer window design first used in the Birthplace of Basketball project to present two different building materials/colors was used in the Downtown Building #1. Another newer feature, at least for me, is that every ashlar block "wraps" on the cut edge. This method creates block lines that read on the edges and corners. Block lines are raster scored to 0.30mm and edges are cut 1/64" x 1/128" at each block line.

I have several verbal commitments for the shadowbox version and was hoping to have them ready for York. With paid orders that I have to catch up on it looks as though that may not happen.

One of the reasons that I took on this building is that it can also be stacked. The base section could be six window columns wide and the top section could be for window columns wide. It will make a very attractive 36" to 48" tall building.


CS-08 Midtown Building 1



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CS-08 Midtown Building 1


I love the older style of the building. When I was in college, I worked part time for Chase Bank in lower Manhattan where the were many buildings with that fascinating style of first floor. In fact, my first job was at 25 Broadway (the old Cunard Building). My department was on “the mezzanine”  - behind the large arched window above the 25 on the left side of the building. You entered the bank on the right (under the red flag), took an elevator up, then walked down a long corridor past the 2-story tall “Great Hall” - an amazing piece of architecture which still is intact, to my little department.


My last job was at 51 Madison Ave. We also referred to the offices behind the arched windows as being on “the mezzanine”. The tall space allowed for an amazing 2-story tall central lobby that runs from Madison Ave. to Park Ave. South (the entrance to the lobby is at the very tall arch in the center of the facade).


So, if you do get around to making the building, I’m in for a 24” version.


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Last edited by Apples55

I am into the 14th run of the WH-03 Paterson Silk Mill and it will consist of four sets of the 5-story version, about 27-1/2" long by 17-1/4" high. One set is spoken for so three remain. Order off the the website or call the shop by close of business this Sunday and you will be able to pick up your shadowbox at York. A 4-story version is shown below. Note the freight doors vertically in a window column.

Main elevations are being cut right now and the 1/8" acrylic window dropouts have 3/4" Arial Bold letters in them. All have adhesive transfer tape on the back and have been lightly sanded on the fronts. One bag of about 60 letters and numbers will be included with each of the four sets. That means that there are four bags of letters available. I offer one each for no charge to the first four responders that email me at




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Weekend Edition: October 1 & 2, 2022

We are offering a free table and chair kit to the first 10 model railroaders  who have not received a chair kit in the past and who request one by emailing Thanks to the first run of WH-07 Franklin Freight & Storage and its extra big window openings for making the table kits fit on a single drop out piece of Taskboard.

Update: Sunday Noon- Thanks for playing along! All of the table and chair kits have been spoken for.



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Last edited by Todds Architectural Models

The four steps to a finished shadowbox. About 320 pieces in all plus glazing 56 windows, in this case translucent for the customer to light.

This is one of four 5-story versions of WH-03 Paterson Silk Mill Run 14. The three others are currently in build boxes, painted and ready for assemble to your choice of windows, doors and door locations, and window glazing.



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Last edited by Todds Architectural Models

Anyone have one of these? The shadowbox that started it all. First handed out at the OGR grandstand session in April 2015 to an unsuspecting group that I did not know. There were 48 in all, twelve each of four different versions- two color scheme and two different door locations. It is hard to believe how long it took to develop a little a" x 6" facade and the shadowbox behind it. Does anyone have one of these on their layout? Please post a picture here!


I had a booth in the Orange Hall for the first time in the fall of 2016. We had produced our StreetScape Series 1 of six shadowboxes and this Union Pacific Trackside Warehouse, a structure that I picked off a picture found in a Google search. At two stories tall it seemed tall enough to me. The first thing someone said at York was "can you make it taller?" I estimate that well over 400 12" sections have been produced to date, ranging from 2- to 6-stories tall. A canopy was requested along the way as well various shadowbox depths.



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Last edited by Todds Architectural Models

Yesterday I received a last minute request for a 3-piece WH-01 Union Pacific Trackside Warehouse shadowbox set, the original 2-story version, for York pick-up. There were none in build boxes, but I had started the next run by cutting elevation fronts when the laser was not being used. All other parts are now cut, windows are assembled and painted, elevations have the cast stone painted and masked and most of the pilasters and fascia pieces are on. I have four 1-piece (12" long), one 2-piece (24" long) and two 3-piece (36" long) sets available in Run #12. If you are interested in one of the sets for York in two weeks I need to know today by 5:00 PM. All work on this run-in time for York will conclude when my head hits the pillow tonight.

5AD35A94-DF6A-46D2-93B8-122EBEF1BA0CEF2BDFE5-605A-4646-BE03-9D9771D437BA for York pick-up. There were none in build boxes, but I had started the next run by cutting elevation fronts when the laser was not being used. All other parts are now cut, windows are assembled and painted, elevations have the cast stone painted and masked and most of the pilasters and fascia pieces are on. I have four 1-piece (12" long), one 2-piece (24" long) and two 3-piece (36" long) sets available in Run #12. If you are interested in one of the sets for York in two weeks I need to know today by 5:00 PM. All work on this run-in time for York will conclude when my head hits the pillow tonight.


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Details for York's Laurel & Rex Fire House are starting to come together. Here's the filigree on the long side. PolyBak (Laserboard) with adhesive transfer tape on the back. I'll have carded sets made from door frame dropouts at York. Stop by and pick some up for no charge.

Do you have any pics of the firehouse? Building?? Shadow box???


Here's the real thing. Second oldest fire house in the country. I first saw it back in 2017 when I was frantically trying to find an art store for acetate, having left my stock at home back when I though that it was a good idea to glaze windows to order at the York show. I have had meetings with the York Fire, toured the building inside and out, and will be researching some final details next week. I also need to talk to some modeling experts on how to get the window shades to read. One of many cool details- it is actually two separate fire companies that finally joined together.

I will have a prototype elevation next week.



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The WH-04 Art Factory of Paterson, NJ is an adaptive reuse of a multi-building area across the street from the Paterson Museum. This massive building catches your eye whenever you are returning to the New Jersey Parkway or Route 80 from the downtown. The model is built using architectural documentation drawings that were produced to apply for National Register of Historic Places certification. The O scale model is three pieces that measure 27-1/2" long by 17" tall overall. Five sets were made in the first run. One is spoken for and will be picked up at York. A second is assembled with Roscolux Grey glazing and will be at York. The three remains sets are in build boxes ready for your specification of glazing.



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The next stop for the prototype elevation for the Laurel Rex Fire House will be in York on-site to review for color and corbel details. CADD design is complete and the model will go into production when I return from TCA York.

Interesting that the raster engraving of the brick pattern may have solved the resolution of masonry textures of the corbels and "horseshoes".

Shown with a Menard's Fire Truck.



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Thank you to all that stopped by to shake and howdy last week at TCA York. It was far and above the most enjoyable three shows days plus Wednesday for setup that I have had. Under consideration will be a shadowbox of the B&O Camden Yards main elevations. This will occur after April 2023 as I have plenty in the shop until then.

There is a 25% off laser cut letter sets sale that will run until the end of October, 2022. Enter coupon code LETTERSETS25%OFF when you make purchases on the website. The link to the homepage is

A lot of hobbyists liked the test sample elevation of the Laurel Rex Fire Station of York, PA that I had at TCA York last week. There were two requests for the windows for scratch built brewery projects. The two primary windows of the fire station are now on the website for purchase:





Here is the elevation sample:



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A request was received for warehouse style windows to be used on a G Scale building model. The smaller window is designed for a 2-1/4" by 1-9/16" opening. The larger window is designed for a 2-1/4" x 2-13/16" opening. The intended orientation is vertical as shown. The windows are designed to be installed behind an opening and are sized 1/8” all around to allow for gluing surface and appropriate reveal of the sash and frame through the opening.

Although intended for a G Scale scratchbuild project, these windows will work in an O Scale project. I'll put them in retail packs of 10 if requested.




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Last edited by Todds Architectural Models

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