A New Station

I've long admired these relatively simple, yet classic, French railway stations.  I picked up a kit on my trip to Paris at Transmondia and was able to steal some time this summer to get it done.  The model is from a French specialist company called ARA productions, and its a model of a PLM (Paris-Lyon Mediterranean) prototype.  Its a combination of molded plastic and laser cut for the details.

My construction method for any kit isn't particularly fancy or special.  I have started to do some basic best practices as with any kit.  For example, washing the plastic parts, filing edges to ensure they are square, etc...   One unusual bit of preparation I had to do with the kit was to flatten out the warped one-piece plastic roof section.  To do this I placed the roof section on a block of wood, covered it with a piece of aluminum foil, and then lightly pressed down on the roof under the foil with a clothes iron on low heat.  I was fortunate that this measure worked to take the warp out of the roof!

As I'll be adding interior lighting, its essential to give the insides of the building a dark undercoat (I used a black primer) and then another coat of a more neutral (and appropriate) color for the interior walls. This prevents any light from seeping through the plastic.
I also paint all of the walls and detail pieces separately before construction.  I find this makes painting and detailing a lot easier, although it does become harder to cover up extra glue blobs after construction as it'll require paint touch ups!  I'm not sure if the colors I used are prototypical, they are however the same as what I saw another modeller do with a similar structure in a French model railroad magazine (actually, my wife noticed the buildings in the photos and asked why I don't have any 'cute' buildings like this! So it had to be yellow and green with white trim after that!).
I didn't take any photos of the assembly process, but it was pretty straight-forward (in fact, the instructions were all in French and the illustrations were pretty vague, so it was a little bit of a puzzle!).   I added several SMD LED's....two under the passenger canopy, two at the front door as entrance lights, and I replaced the bulb and shortened the staff on an older Viessmann light for the side of the building.
Above and below you see more or less 'finished' shots of the assembled station wired up with lighting.   I'm quite pleased with the look as it fits this area of the layout quite well (yes, no skyscrapers or urban sprawl on this end of the layout!) and makes for a nice 'rural scene'.
Adding this station into this long neglected section of the layout has also 'forced' me to reckon with the lack of scenery, which I've also been getting a bit done during the busy summer days!  More on that in a future post!

As always, thanks for reading!


  1. Very nice! I think this style of station building fits in perfectly in the scene. Are you going to add any nearby structures or details on the ground? Any name for the station yet?

  2. Hi Sudsana! Thanks for you comment! Oh yes, details will definitely be added. ARA makes some outbuildings that could also be added that could add some more structures to the scene. I've also got some people and other bits to add. However, until I'm done with the surrounding scenery (and therefore, the vacuum!) I won't be adding anything that could get sucked up!

  3. Love this! Great little building and it does work really well in the scene. And the darn lighting! ::: sigh ::: Makes all the difference in the world. That's the first thing I plan on getting dialed in once I get a space for an actual layout to live in - lighting! It adds so much.
    Another awesome piece.

  4. Thanks Malco! The lighting is really nice, unfortunately (as you note) it tends to make the projects at least twice as long to complete! :-(

  5. hello jerry,
    This station is always nice since it is a modlèle French;-))
    seriously you did a great job.
    it is unfortunate for me that is not ARA production station in the style I'm looking for.