Precision Products Red Barn kit

1:24-scale structure kit
Precision Products Red Barn kit
Kevin Strong
1:24-scale "Red Barn" kit
Precision Products
3461 S 5225 W
Cedar City UT 84720
Prices: See text
Web site:

Plan for a 1:24-scale styrene barn; construction uses Precision Products veneer sheets; experience level-beginner

Pros: Simple construction; can be done with minimal tools and experience; panels have realistic look once painted

Cons: Lightweight construction materials-finished building must be anchored in the garden
Precision Products Red Barn kit
Kevin Strong
Precision Products Red Barn kit
Kevin Strong
Precision Products Red Barn kit
Kevin Strong
Precision Products has been around for quite some time, offering vacuum-formed plastic veneer sheets for buildings in 1/2"scale (suitable for most garden-railroad scales). Sheets are available in a wide variety of patterns, including clapboard siding, stone, brick, corrugated metal-the list is quite long (see the company's web site for a full listing). There are few building materials you can't get a Precision Products sheet to match. The panels are 16" square, UV-stable, white styrene. History has demonstrated that they hold up to the elements well. I've used them in the past for a few buildings on my railroad.

The product line was recently purchased by Ozark Miniatures, who has put together a line of "QED" or "Quick & Easy Drawing" plans that allow the modeler to build a number of structures using Precision Products sheets. Plans sell for $4 (postpaid) and-like the veneer sheets-are too numerous to list here. Each plan includes a materials list so you know how much of which veneer sheet you will need to purchase.

Also recommended, and sold with the sheets, are "Perfic Panels," which are 16" square, 3/16" thick, styrene-laminated foamcore panels, to be used for the frame of the building to which the veneer sheets would then be laminated ($20 for a six-pack). These kits are simple to build and can be constructed with basic tools (a hobby knife and a straightedge).

The kit I built was #14, the Red Barn. This is a small barn, measuring roughly 7" x 14" x 10" tall. Barns came in all shapes and sizes so, at this size, it's certainly suitable for most garden-railway scales. It looks right at home on my 1:20.3-scale Tuscarora Railroad.

The drawings show exactly how to lay out all wall sections on the Perfic Panels; then you use those same templates to cut the siding. I started by doing just that-armed with an ultra-fine-tipped Sharpie and an 18" steel ruler, I laid out all the base, wall, and roof panels, and the stiffeners to reinforce the roof. I was impressed with how easily the Perfic Panels cut. One swipe with a sharp knife, then just bend it along the cut to snap the pieces apart.

Once the basic shapes were cut, the next step was to then glue everything together. For this, Ozark sells a glue called "Omni-Stick" ($5.50/tube). This is a fairly thick glue that-as the name implies-is designed to glue pretty much anything to anything. You just run some along one edge, then stick the pieces being joined together. I anticipated needing some clamps but, for the most part, did not need any at this stage. I did use some small pins to hold the roof stiffeners in place. You could easily use a few pins to reinforce the corners, too, but the glue was viscous enough that it held most things in place quite well. It sets up to be resistant to movement in just a few minutes, though it takes 24 hours to fully cure. One word of caution: the stuff smells similar to model-airplane glue and will result in a similar light-headed feeling if you breathe the vapors too long, so it's best to use it with decent ventilation.

Once the frame was dry, the siding was cut to fit each wall. I used the rough-planking siding, corrugated-metal siding for the roof, and an assortment of "barn details" that included various doors, windows, and other details. All the siding was easily cut with a hobby knife. The instructions tell you to cut out openings in the siding for the doors and windows to fit through. The doors and windows on the sheet I used were opaque, as I had no need to see through them. If you're making a building with a proper interior, you can get clear window sheets-then just carefully paint the mullions. You will need to cut the appropriate openings in the wall sections, too, so you can see into the building.

The veneer sheets were glued onto the frame with the same glue. Because the sheets have depth to them, make sure you use a fairly thick bead of glue so that it firmly attaches to both the frame and the veneer. When I glued the veneer sheets on, I did opposite sides first, using Scotch tape to hold the sheets firmly to the frame by taping over their edges every so often. After around 30 minutes, I removed the tape and glued the other two sides. I then did the roof, taping it as well to make sure the edges butted up as flush as possible at the corners.

Once the glue dried, I trimmed off any excess, then used spackling compound to fill in the joints around the windows and on the corners where there were gaps at the joints. I don't know if this is the best stuff, but it said "exterior grade" and I happened to be installing a chair rail in our dining room at the same time, so it was handy.

Once dry, a coat of gray primer and the appropriate-color paints finished the barn. Some gloss-black paint on the windows gave the impression of glass without needing to be transparent.

I found this kit to be well thought out and easy to put together. It really is something that can be done with a minimal number of tools on the kitchen table. The finished structure is light, so the building will definitely have to be anchored.


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