How To Build a Model or Structure Kitbashing a lawn maintenance business

Kitbashing a lawn maintenance business

By Bill Barnwell | April 22, 2024

Using a broken building to create something new

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My middle son owns a landscaping business under the name of PLM (Professional Lawn Maintenance). I decided to kitbash a structure on my garden railway based on his business.

I had found a rather beat up PIKO America stone building. The walls were unattached and it was missing a roof. It also had glue residue on the back where a shed roof had once been attached. It was in poor condition, but for $15, I couldn’t resist rehabbing it.

front of model structure on grass
Bill Barnwell photo

I first removed the windows. I used acetone to soften the old glue, and slowly scraped it away with a hobby knife. It was a tedious process but having a motor tool helped. I had to re-carve cracks and remove debris from the rock base using the tool.

I colored the exterior stone with multiple layers of colored acrylic paints to simulate Coquina, which is indigenous to the area. Coquina is a form of limestone consisting of sea creature shells.

close up of model structure
The lawn mower was found at a hobby store. Bill Barnwell photo

Coquina buildings in the area have rock layers separated with a rather coarse layer of black tar. After painting, I scribed the mortar lines with a small tip permanent marker and sealed the surface with Krylon dull coat clear spray paint.

roof of model structure with solar panel: Kitbashing a lawn maintenance business
The author cut a circle in the roof and added a solar panel taken from a garden path light. Bill Barnwell photo

I added an awning (a leftover Playmobil piece) and roof from an older ScanKit (no longer produced). I added lighting using a solar pathway LED installed in a 1 3/4″ hole in the roof.

The old-time lawn mower model I purchased from a hobby store and although it is 1″ scale, it looked good as a sign/logo. Lettering came from a sign maker. They’re acrylic pieces used for restaurants’ daily specials.

Mike’s signage on his actual business uses orange with white edges. I hand sprayed the letters orange, let dry, and then stuck the orange side face down on masking tape and sprayed them again with white paint.

Mike’s brother Brian (of Barn’s Texaco) couldn’t say the word Michael when he was a toddler, so he called him “Mike Mo.” How fitting that 40 years later he would own his own mowing and landscape business.

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