Vollmer Buildings

After the long process of building the Luetke Office Tower, I've since taken on a few smaller projects.  Vollmer makes some of the nicest, traditional buildings and (like many of us) I've had a few that have been sitting unopened in their boxes for some time.  So it seemed like a fun project to take these on. 

The first structure I built was the Vollmer 7650 "Coffee House", which I built pretty much exactly as designed in the kit, with the usual exceptions of adding lighting and custom painting all of the pieces to make them a bit more unique than usual.
The second structure is the 7654 "Public Records Office".   With this building I decided to take advantage of the fact that there are 4 really nicely done walls and yet only one side (maybe two) will ever be visible on the layout.
Below you can see the three sections (in the kit, this would be the front and two sides) that will make up the 'front', with the 'back wall' making up a side wall.   Since I'm using all four of the provided walls to make up just two of the new walls, I had to create a new side and back wall sections, which you can see to the right and above the four kit walls in the below.
Their are a couple of challenges. A relatively easy one is getting the walls to line up in such a way so that it looks like a real building front and not like the 'sides' that they really are.  This was pretty simple.  The harder task was to re-create the roof-line, which has several different angles and gables that were a challenge to get correct.  I used the original roof section to create templates for the roof angles (you can see this above on the side wall styrene section I created), but cut the roof section into separate pieces to get the gables.
Given that this building will be lit with LED strips, the interior walls were giving the customary coat of black paint to eliminate all the translucency of the plastic, and some balsa wood strips were used to provide structural support as well as a mounting base for the LED strips.
A few ground floor details (which includes a new styrene ground floor to match the new buildings foot print) were added.  Faily minimal; some patterned paper for background walls, some Kibri picnic benches for tables/chairs, and some cheap Chinese N scale figures to add a bit of dimension.
Obviously, if you look close enough, it will be apparent that I used the side walls to make the front of the building a lot longer, but if you didn't know better, this trick is convincing enough! The below photo shows the 'extended' Public Records office building and the traditional coffee house.
Another view of the structures from the opposite end. 
Not evident in the photo is what I ended up doing with the roof.  As you can tell from the above photos, the roof structure was created with styrene, but this is far too smooth and lacks texture even if painted to work well.  I decided to try my hand at using the relatively cheap, downloadable roof tile patterns from Scalescenes.  When I first applied the paper roof tiles (making several prints and many cuts to try and match the odd angles of the gables and roof!) it did appear a bit too 'papery' for me, but I weathered them up a bit with some weathering powder and matte spray which seemed to improve the appearance to acceptable levels.  I am probably still more of a plastic guy, but I think this technique works well enough for me now (NOTE: One of the challenges I have with any paper structure is that my layout is in a garage, so humidity is more of a challenge than it would be in a normal house.  Time will tell how this will impact the paper).

I do have to admit that building this Vollmer structures is really enjoyable...the scale of these projects is not so large that it can seem overwhelming, but the detail and character of these kits are a lot of fun to put together!


  1. Jerry, Absolutely ingenious. Brilliant piece of kitbashing. It never occurred to me that you could do this to extend the length of the Vollmer buildings. Now you got me thinking...


  2. What a great idea. I'd never thought of that either. But it's a perfect way to make a larger building at the back of a scene, or to make a low-profile building against the back of the scene, for that matter.

    And the results speak for themselves. Between the two buildings it's a wonderful urban structure.

  3. Jerry,
    You are always an inspiration to the N-scalers. Well done!


  4. Great ideas and great work as usual, though I had the impression that you would try to extend buildings upwards, not sideways ;)
    Regarding using printed textures, there is a wide variety of free textures, some of them tileable, at www.cgtextures.com.

  5. Thanks everyone! Murat, appreciate the link to CG textures! I think paper / printable can be a huge resource for structures once I can get a better handle on how to work with paper! Thanks!

  6. Hi Jerrry
    Just a wee hint - if you use white wood glue, water mix to fix your track/ballast. Use foam gun cleaner to lift it easily with no mess! Simply spray the cleaner on the track, count to 10 and lift!!
    John from Scotland

  7. Absolutely stunning, I wish I had made mine wide instead of tall.

    Here's how mine turned out. Still needs the final details though.


  8. Here's another good angle of mine

    We both had pretty much the same idea, but I think yours looks nicer and more natural.

  9. @ BaronJ

    Very cool! Now that I look at it, both WIDE and TALL would look terrific!

  10. Beautiful ! Lovely result !!!