Model Railroad News Product Reviews

Menards Ready-Built Structures in HO

Menards presents its new HO-scale structures attractively and securely in two-piece plastic packaging. This illustration shows the hobby shop and cabinet factory as you’ll receive them. These offerings represent the first HO-scale items exclusively available from Menards for its Gold Line Collection series.

Menards Ready-Built Structures in HO

MRN Aug 2016Review and Photos by MRN Staff

Within the pages of Model Railroad News, you’ve read and seen a number of model railroad-related releases coming from the Menards chain of home improvement stores. To date, these offerings included O-gauge train sets, rolling stock, and structures. Finding model railroad supplies at a location such as Menards is great exposure for the hobby. If you wanted to support these efforts, but don’t participate in 3-rail O railroading, there are two new Menards items to consider.

Just released for Menards’ Gold Line Collection are two HO-scale structures. Similar to what the store did with O-gauge buildings, these new HO offerings come fully assembled and ready for placement. The pre-built buildings include Menards Hobby Shop (#279- 5001) and Dakota Cabinet Factory (#279-5002). These structures previously appeared in Menards’ collection as 1:48 O scale renderings. Produced in limited quantities, you can order these HO releases from Menards online and have them shipped to your door or your local store. If you select shipping to your local Menards, bring your online receipt with you on your next shopping trip to the area designated for customer pickup of special orders. This method of delivery omits any shipping and handling fees for your order.

Menards Hobby Shop

Every model railroad town should have a hobby shop as part of its downtown business district. The two-story Menards Hobby Shop is a corner building with brick walls. A decorative cornice runs along the upper edge of three sides of the hobby shop. All exterior sides of the structure feature laser-cut wood window and door frames. Clear window material is present in all windows on this release. A tarpaper black roof includes vents, and a ladder runs up from the back of the building to its roof. A silver electrical box is among the details on the building, and it is surrounded by additional details along the provided sidewalk. The sidewalk base includes people and animal figures, plus two trash cans and a dumpster. All these details are hand-painted and enhance the appearance and realism of this building. Menards includes a printed board interior and a hobby shop owner figure inside this release. The footprint is six inches long and three inches wide. This building fits in well with selections from other makers of HO structures of this style of architecture.

Menards Hobby Shop

Known for i ts line of O-gauge buildings and rolling stock, Menards arrives in HO with this hobby shop structure. Fully assembled and decorated, this new HO offering is available for $59.99 direct from Menards and includes interior illumination.

Dakota Cabinet Factory

The other debut HO-scale building is Menards’ Dakota Cabinet Factory (#279-5002). This offering sits on a 10-inch wide by 6-inch deep base. The surface of the base includes grass and sand/dirt ground coverings, as well as two trees. Compact in size, Dakota Cabinet Factory appears to include all the necessary elements for this type of business. On one end is a powerhouse with coal bin taking up a corner of the lot. A loading dock runs across the back of the shop, and raw materials are stacked under a protective covering on the opposite corner. A fence runs from the storage area over to a small receiving office shack. Between the receiving office and the main building is a path for truck deliveries. The building includes signage on the factory, storage area, and on a provided electrical building occupying one corner of the lot. Figures, stacks of lumber, and crated finished cabinets help decorate and add animation to this scene.

Menards Dakota Cabinet Shop

You can almost hear the buzz of the saw running as you view Menards’ new HO-scale Dakota Cabinet Factory. This $69.99 offering comes as shown in this illustration with all details decorated and ready for placement on your layout.


Both structures come with factory-installed lighting. Menards sells a 4.5-volt AC adaptor (#289-4006) that will power either of these offerings. LED lights provide interior illumination; exterior signs feature lighting too. Each structure includes a socket located inside, as well as one on an outer wall for connection to the 4.5-volt power supply. A slider switch resides next to the exterior socket on each release for controlling lights. For the seasoned modeler, these assembled structures provide a project well on its way to fitting into a location on one’s layout. There is little you would need to do for these releases to make them fit into a well-detailed model railroad. For the beginner, these eye-catching buildings have it all. Pick out your location, put them in place, and you have two great instant additions to your pike.

HO Scale Ready-Built Structures

Menards Hobby Shop
#279-5001, MSRP: $59.99

Dakota Cabinet Factory
#279-5002, MSRP: $69.99


This review appeared in the August 2016 edition of Model Railroad News

This article was posted on: July 21, 2016