by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
Small Track House (Streckenhäuschen)
Series: Laser-Cut Minis
Media: Pressboard, velum, heavy paper
This small trackside shed is one of dozens of NOCH Laser-Cut Minis models. NOCH uses laser technology to cut and etch highly detailed models of plants, lumber, buildings, and other models. NOCH currently advertises 67 of these sets in three scales: HO, TT, and N.
Small Track House (Streckenhäuschen)This kit is packed in a label-backed end-opening carton. Inside are 11 pieces on four "sprues" of laser-cut heavy card sheets, a paper roof, and velum window glazing. The card is firm and smooth, and colored in a dark wood brown. A well illustrated instruction sheet with several languages guides the assembly process. Color PDF instructions are available from the NOCH website by clicking Click here for additional images for this review, below. No glue is included.
The kit is built up from a foundation, four walls, two windows, a door, a roof, roofing sheet, and the velum. The components are precisely laser-cut. Surprisingly, not all edges are singed by the laser. The parts are cut through and held to their sheet by two very small connectors. They are easy to cut out.
DetailsLook at the detail laser-etched into the windows and door. Extremely fine lines are burned into them representing wood detail, hinges, muntins, and the door handle. Curiously, two door handles are etched in two positions.
Exterior building detail is very impressive, too. The walls are lased to resemble board and batten construction. The boards are textured with striations to appear as unfinished lumber.
Look at the window and door exterior detail: trim, jambs, and framing. On an end are two cargo doors with hinge detail lased into them. They are cut loose, held shut by the tiny connectors, and could be positioned open.
AssemblyThis model went together quickly within about an hour and a half, including distractions. I used Uhu glue, left over from a previous NOCH kit. The only tool you really need is a sharp blade to separate the parts from their sheets. Be aware that even with a razor sharp blade, some material may remain from where you separated a piece from the sheet and you may see an uncolored spot. Start with the windows and secure the velum, then attach the window framing to the inside of the window openings.
Next, attach the walls. They fit against the edge of the foundation, not on it. Be aware that the wall with the door only fits a specific way against the foundation piece. The end walls are sandwiched between the side walls. I used a magnetic gluing jig and machinist angles to square the walls and create a tight fit.
With the walls good n' true, I set the roof. It is a single part cut with extended battens, rafters and ridge beams. It is lased with a crease to bend it at the peak. Use care bending it as the thick sturdy board can twist slightly. That will affect how the roof seats upon the walls. Finally, take the paper tar paper roof cover, fold it to match the roof pitch, and secure it to the roof. Now you have a small trackside shed for your layout!
CustomizingI've seen lineside structures built of cheap unfinished lumber, and tar paper was used extensively from the dawn of the railroad age. Wood or slate or asphalt shingles can easily be authentically substituted in lieu of tar paper. Built out-of-box this shed looks great and is at home on American or European layouts. I plan to paint it to match my prototype and will add the photos and description of it taking paint.
Final ThoughtsI am very impressed with this model. I have found these thick board models easy to work with. The amount of detail NOCH creates with their laser is fascinating. This shed may or may not have a specific prototype yet it will look fine on any layout. It was easy,quick, and very enjoyable to build up.
My only minor complaint is that cutting the colored board exposes small uncolored spots. This really isn't anything as wood can be damaged or weather unevenly. And when I paint the structure, problem solved!
I think this makes a great looking shed for 1/72 through HO (1/87). Outbuildings like this can be found anywhere: railroad, airfield, factory, house.
I happily recommend this model.
We thank NOCH for providing this sample; please tell sellers and vendors you saw this model here -- on Railroad Modeling!
Click here for additional images for this review.