HO model structure kit review part 3
This article is likely the last on the aforementioned topic as the A&R expansion is virtually complete with primary industrial structures. I saved the best??? structure review for the last, as it is notable for numerous reasons as you shall see.
I spent most of my career operating in various coal fired power generating stations so I just had to have one on the A&R. After a bit of research, I located the seldom seen or heard of HO scale ‘Korber’ ‘General Light and Power’ kit with a decent reproduction of an early coal fired plant, at least from the picture! It was on sale from ‘JusTrains’ for $125 US plus s&h compared to the regular price of $175US. By my standards, that is an expensive kit but it seemed to fit the bill. Walthers no longer carries Korber kits and I think I know why.
It arrived in one week in a nice sturdy box and is well wrapped. Upon opening the kit, I am stunned as it appears to be NOT HO scale. It says HO but gosh it looks off for scale. Anyway, the powerhouse windows, man doors and freight door all scale out okay. However, the wall bricks are at least twice the size of the Cornerstone bricks. I rationalize them as okay since the early industries often used something like a cement block size brick for the walls. By the way, the last Canadian structure of this style was the J Clarke Keith power plant in Windsor Ontario and it was torn down several years ago. This kit is made from urethane material and the walls are about 1/4” thick.
This kit is noted as being ‘easy’ to assemble. Well I would not call it a complex kit but it does require some definite forethought during assembly. The instructions are neatly typed but are lacking in much detail and as far as I am concerned incorrectly written for some steps. The accompanying diagram for the kit is of VERY, VERY poor quality.
Each powerhouse window requires assembly of three separate steel sash windows. The window openings are large enough that the assembled windows slid around in the frame so that it is difficult to glue them accurately in position. I painted many of the stone details in the kit with a concrete color and I am glad I did as it really sets off the architectural elements nicely.
The bad news with this kit is basically associated with the provided coal dump house and enclosed conveyor belt. First off, the dump house is designed for the coal hopper cars to run up perpendicular to the house. This is NEVER done in the real world as the hoppers always run into or at least parallel to the dump facility! Plus they have included wood stock to build an elevated ramp which unless you have at least 8’ of room for a lead track, the grade would be excessive (2%+) and you could only have one hopper car on the dump track at a time. I elected to have a more practical ground level dump facility instead. The other problem with the coal handling structure is that it DOES NOT scale out for HO. An example of this is a scale 5’ wide man door, slate roof shingles that are about 8’x4’!!?? The appearance of this dump house is absurd and is likely made for G scale. I installed a new roof from left over parts from other kits.
Finally, when you pay that kind of money for a kit wouldn’t you expect some detail components? You know, like roof vents (common on any power house), door light fixtures, etc. This kit has none of that. In fact it has absolutely no extra parts at all.
Once this powerhouse was assembled however, it looks good on the A&R. It has a commanding presence standing about scale 120’ high. As much as I was disappointed in its overall quality and lack of detail I am still pleased with the outcome. Korber have about forty different kits in their line in including two grain silo facilities. They are at least twice the price of the similar Cornerstone structures and based on the powerhouse kit, I can’t believe they are worth the price.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)