How To Build a Model or Structure Kitbash a Texaco gas station

Kitbash a Texaco gas station

By Bill Barnwell | March 17, 2023

The author used a broken structure to build something new

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I had an idea to kitbash a Texaco gas station using pieces of a broken Wells Fargo Pola building. I wanted the station to look like something from my memories. I had a drawing of a similar station that I’d made back in the 1980s. My building looks similar to this drawing.

handmade drawings of a Texaco gas station
The author made these drawings many years ago of a Texaco gas station. Photo by Bill Barnwell

First, I carefully cut the structure to maximize the number of usable pieces. Most Pola western style buildings have a separation strip running horizontally around the structure, which splits it into two pieces. This was my first cut, made using a table saw. [Note: Wear protective eyewear when operating a table saw. – Ed.]

a green plastic structure under construction
The Texaco partially assembled. The author removed the edges of the salvaged pieces using a table saw, to ensure a good fit at the joints. Photo by Bill Barnwell

I moved on to the cutting the sides. I discovered that cutting the side pieces in half left a good size piece that worked well for kitbashing small buildings. I saved the second floor for another project.

I made sure the corners fit together by remoting some of the wall’s thickness using the table saw. Because parts of the original structure were damaged, I also needed to repair broken and cracked walls. Model Masters liquid glue works well on Pola products, and melts the plastic back together. [Testors has discontinued Model Masters liquid cement. Testors offers a similar product (#281216), as does Piko America. – Ed.]

I decided on a flat roof; I used one for the main building and one for the overhang near the pumps. The top façade became the front top “look at me” part of the station.

partially completed gas station structure with red pickup truck model near bottom
The basic shape of the gas station is coming together. The white façade on the top will be the centerpiece with the Texaco stars atop. Photo by Bill Barnwell

I found some decorative red stars made for ceramic Christmas trees to become the Texaco stars on top of the structure. I made small rings out of PVC pipe, then painted them black. The star’s edges were glued to the PVC piece. The stars are lit from underneath using small LEDs powered by 2 D cell batteries. Batteries also power the pump area and station interior.

To complete the look, I purchased some weathered decals and gas pumps (from eBay). I modified the gas pumps’ hoses, as the originals were too large and didn’t hang properly. Visit the post on “Barn’s Texaco” from the GRW forum and read about the roof color and EPA warring on the pumps, and more.

model Texaco gas station on a table
The Texaco station is ready to serve customers. The author purchased the decals and gas pumps online. Photo by Bill Barnwell
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