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Ask MR: What’s available to model a newspaper building?

By Steven Otte associate editor | November 7, 2021

Newspaper offices come in all shapes and sizes; pick to fit your layout

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A model of a brick building with corrugated steel annex bears a sign reading “Walworth County Standard”
A model of a brick building with corrugated steel annex bears a sign reading “Walworth County Standard”
When Steven Otte found this already constructed brick building under the Milwaukee, Racine & Troy, it reminded him of a newspaper he worked at in Ohio. So when the MR staff built the Bay Junction project layout, Steve kitbashed it to turn it into a newspaper. Steven Otte photo

Q: As an old newspaperman, I’ve been looking for a newspaper structure kit to add to my layout, but there doesn’t seem to be much available. I know there used to be newspaper office buildings available in HO, but there don’t seem to be any on the market now. Any ideas? – Marc Silvestrini

A: I worked at a succession of small, local newspapers for more than 20 years before coming to Model Railroader, and one thing I can tell you about the buildings they were housed in is no two were the same. Some were more than 100 years old, others were modern; some included the printing press onsite, others were just offices; some were big enough for hundreds of employees, while others were just small storefronts. In other words, all it takes to turn any commercial structure model that fits your layout into a newspaper office is signage.

I built a newspaper building for MR’s HO scale Bay Junction project railroad by joining an antique-looking brick office structure with a Pikestuff steel annex to represent the press room and mailroom (see the photo above). Depending on the space you have for the model on your layout and the size of the town you want your newspaper to serve, anything from a Design Preservation Models Walker Building to a Walthers Central Beverage Distributors kit would serve.

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