J&C Studios O Gauge Archive

O Gauge / O Scale Forums and Individual Blogs
for Model Railroading

What is the J&C Studios O Gauge Archive?

J&C Studios O Gauge Archive

O Gauge / O Scale Forums and Individual Blogs for Model Railroading

What is the J&C Studios O Gauge Archive?
(Guest)   JCS Archive   Great Train Stations of O Gauge   From 4 MTH Banks to One Station PHOTOS RESTORED
This topic is also posted here:
From 4 MTH Banks to One Station PHOTOS RESTORED
John Sethian
Joined: Sep 14, 2008
Topics: 1 Replies: 0 Topics: 1
My Archive Category |
posted Sep 14, 2008: 


Here is my kitbash of four MTH bank buildings into a city station. I know others have turned MTH banks into a station, but I wanted a certain look that required a bit of surgery. First, I wanted to give the impression of a big city station, but without taking up too much space. I created that look by making the wings sections narrower and shorter than the center section. The overall footprint of the building is 34" long x 9" wide x 7 1/2" high. The wings are 11" long x 7" wide.

Here is the station set up in a temporary diorama:

The clock is a Lionel, and the taxi cabs are all from Ertl (bought from eBay at around $5.00 each)

While the MTH banks are a good starting point, they have few architectural details that don't make sense to me:

First, I eliminated the part of the side walls that extends past the roof. That is an architecturally bombastic detail that is more appropriate for a Russian government building than a US train station. Second, I eliminated the pointed cap above the center door. It just doesn't go with the rounded windows. And third, there are far few entrance doors in the MTH bank for that sized building. So I made the number of doors match the number of windows in the center section in order to give the impression of a busy city station.

A few construction details:

Whenever I kit bash something, I make many Xerox copies of all the sides of the building:

You can then cut and paste sections to make a full size mockup of your pending masterpiece. This is good technique for visualizing the final building and saves a lot of time and "do overs".

I started by completely disassembling the bank:

This is straightforward, but I did need a punch to remove the columns.

Next comes the surgery. MTH buildings are very well built, with lots of internal bracing. As you can see from the picture below, I had to break each bank into four separate walls. Here is a picture of the two wing sections:

The best way to cut the walls is with a straight edge and a Zona razor saw with 32 tpi. I like the Zona saws because they are deep and rigid. Clamp the straight edge to the wall as shown here:

Note the straightedge (in this case a steel ruler) is on the side you want to keep. That way if the saw slips you won't hurt anything. Or at least not anything on the building..I did go through a box of band aids during this project! I also went through three saws. Like I said, MTH makes tough buildings.

In some cases I had to make several cuts just to get a corner. I glued everything together with ZAP-A GAP CA+. This is the slow setting, gap filling cyanoacrylate glue made by Pacer industries. I clamped the parts together, applied the glue as a fillet, and when everything was aligned as I wanted, applied the "Zip Kicker" accelerator. (Both products are available from Micro Mark):

Since I completely broke the buildings apart, I needed internal bracing to restore the structural integrity. Here is a picture of one of the wings:

The hardest part was the center section doors. The upper story is simply the side of a bank. But each of the four doors is from the center of each of the separate banks. I had to cut the front steps and pillar supports from each banks front into 2" wide sections, and then get them to fit seamlessly next to one another, and line up with the windows above. I also had to shorten the doors and door frames, and the caps on each door. And make everything match up. In a close up view you can see some of my more successful and less successful matches:

All of this required a lot of internal bracing. The braces are Plastistruct I beams. Make sure you get the gray kind, not the white kind, as the former is much stiffer:

A couple other details:

The roofs are colored coarse texture mat board, lightly dusted with gray primer. The skylights are form the MTH operating gas station, with the "glass" painted with Testors Dull coat to make them opaque.

The skylights are from the MTH operating gas station. At $24.00 each they were not cheap, but after exhausting several options (GRandt Line, DPM, Pecos River, making my own) I finally threw in the towel and ordered the MTH ones.

Each character in the sign was made by pressing on ten "press on letters, one on top of the other. This gave the sign some depth

One more thing. I am not sure, but I think I would have a hard time getting MTH to honor these:

As you might imagine, this was a bit of work, but it was fun, and I now have a unique station for my layout:

Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 110 Replies: 517 Topics: 110
My Archive Category | My Website
posted Sep 14, 2008: 

John - this is an excellent station! It very much gives the sense of a large, urban station, and is a magnificent centerpiece to your spectacular layout.

Thanks for the in-depth build instructions - this is a great project!

J. Larsen
Joined: Sep 23, 2009
Topics: 1 Replies: 7 Topics: 1
My Archive Category |
posted Sep 23, 2009: 

New member here... What I have seen so far is fantastic. I'll be back to check
out more... J. Larsen
Joined: Mar 5, 2011
Topics: 3 Replies: 2 Topics: 3
My Archive Category |
posted Mar 5, 2011: 

Man, that's nice! I swear I just looked at the MTH bank building today online (KB hobby having a sale) and thought that would make a nice station, and when I saw your pics elsewhere on this forum it really reminded me of it, and now I have read what you did with 4 of them! That's great. I may be copying your idea in the future because I love the look of your station.
Charlie Easton
Joined: May 17, 2017
Topics: 0 Replies: 1 Topics: 0
My Archive Category |
posted May 18, 2017: 

I realize this is an old post but I have finally decided to go the 4 banks to 1 station route. I have 3 banks on hand and my LHS is getting the fourth as soon as he gets an order together. My problem is that apparently the photos here are no longer supported due to some sort of changes either on the site or here on my own computer. Who knows?
The modular guys at this past York had a 4 banks to 1 station on their layout and they had enough material left for a nice additional structure. I talked some to the guy who built it and he was helpful. I suppose I could stare at the pictures I took at York but it would be really nice if this post could be "resurrected" to it's original state.
Any hope of that happening?
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 110 Replies: 517 Topics: 110
My Archive Category | My Website
posted May 19, 2017: 

Great to hear Charlie, and hope you'll share with us your progress.

Yeah it's too bad about the photos now gone - they are unfortunately hosted elsewhere (not uploaded to the J&Cindy Studios site), so we can't do anything to make them appear.

But I will reach out to John Sethian and see if he can either get them back online, or better yet upload them here.


Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 110 Replies: 517 Topics: 110
My Archive Category | My Website
posted May 22, 2017: 

Thanks John!

© Copyright 2007-2024 J&C Studios, Inc. All rights reserved.
View our Privacy Policy 
Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms and Conditions
This site built with POJO Jenerator   Site Map