Walthers recent Modern Police Station presents an easy-to-assemble HO-scale structure that is ideal for entry-level hobbyists to attempt and offers more skilled model builders just what it shows on the box lid or the basics for a custom project.
This single-level structure features brick architecture with tall atrium entry centered on the front of the building. The kit is promoted by Walthers as possessing a contemporary design dating from the early 2000s. The manufacturer recommends plastic glue, water-based glue, modeling knife, and acrylic paint for a successful build. For this presentation, I will employ those items, but no paint will be used allowing readers to see the raw plastic finish of the components to help them make decisions on what they might want to do with their own assembly project.
The kit carries a retail of $39.98 and all contents came bagged in this sample, including instructions and color signage. You’ll find five plastic sprues in the package. The wall sections are molded in a brick hue (upper walls) and light tan (lower walls) with green molded windows, doors, light fixtures (all non-functioning), and atrium roof section. A gray plastic sprue holds the base and roof. In a protective sleeve, you’ll find tinted plastic windows on a sprue.
The instruction sheet is single page with three illustrations, prototype information (taking the builder back to the Roman and Egyptian origins of this type of building and its peace-keeping services), and a heavy cardstock multicolor sheet with inserts to provide window blind detail, parking and trespassing signs, and three options for the name of your police station (Franklin, Springfield, or Washington town names are provided). Before you do any cutting of these signs, I’d recommend making a high-resolution scan of this sheet. This will allow you to print a duplicate, if need arises, and it can serve as a template for creating customized signs for this structure.
ABOVE: Walthers provides multicolor molded plastic sprues for building its HO-scale Modern Police Station kit. Painting is recommended for a realistic look and a product like Roberts’ Brick Mortar will do much to enhance to two colors of exterior wall bricks.
The build process is very simple and straightforward. This structure looks fairly intricate, but it goes together with ease. The walls consist of the brick-color pieces that have a smooth lower area with openings to accept the light tan brick sections. Trim these two styles from their sprues and they snap together and you cement them at the posts and opening. The green-molded windows and doors go into the four wall sections. Look at the instructions for guidance on properly oriented the windows through the brick wall openings. One aspect of this kit’s assembly that I appreciated was it is very forgiving; by that I mean the locations to glue the walls and windows together are all back side spots out of sight… no worries on glue overruns or spots showing.
ABOVE: I built this kit on this self-healing cutting matte from Excel. There are several types of these workspace helpers, check with your local hobby shop for one if you don’t already have one. Naturally, put a fresh, sharp blade in your hobby knife at the start of this project; blades cost little and damaging a kit piece due to a dull blade can destory a project. I grabbed several adhesives to try during this build. Any plastic compatible cement will get this job done. You can use this type of glue to place window panes into window frames, though white glue is a safer selection and will do the task fine.
A tip to keeping your workspace neat is to use the bottom tray of the box to dump the small bits of plastic that collect as you trim parts from the sprues. Frequently lift up your cutting matte and brush the plastic bits into the box.