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Ask MR: What did MR’s birthplace really look like?

By | March 27, 2020

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Question: I just purchased the Model Railroader animated sign [available from the Kalmbach Hobby Store at kalmbachhobbystore.com/product/ layout-accesory/84033 – Ed.]. I also have a resin kit of “The Birthplace of Model Railroader” sitting on the shelf. Not that the combination would be prototypical in any way, but I’m considering using the two together on a T-Trak module. The prototype information in the kit is a bit sparse. Are there any pictures of the building in a back issue? Can you supply me with any information about the structure and trim colors? – Vincent Sanders, Chicago

Answer: There aren’t many photos of the prototype building that the “Birthplace of Model Railroader” kit was based upon. I’ve only ever seen two; both are black and white, and neither shows a lot of detail. Above is one showing the front and partial side of the building, unfortunately obscured with a pile of plowed snow. (The other, showing Al Kalmbach and two printer’s helpers holding the first issue of MR, shows only the side door.) So much of what we think we know about the building is guesswork. However, if you want more information to help you assemble and paint your kit realistically, check out Cody Grivno’s “Step By Step” article in our January 2019 issue.

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