Review by Charlie Getz
This HO scale model is based on a prototype in Oshkosh, Wis., but is typical of mid-20th century brick buildings in the United States. The prototype photo on Monster Modelwork’s website shows a Soo Line train passing perilously close to the front of the Gibson Body Co. Almost all the kit’s components are high-quality, laser cut, etched wood, or acetate. Also included are a sign stencil, peel-and-stick windows and doors, printed signs, and a cardboard sub-roof.
This model is intended to be a bas-relief, background structure, but the large windows and excellent overall appearance make it a natural for a prominent spot on your layout. The front wall has to be assembled from individual parts, and the American Bond brickwork is superb. Two short sidewalls have to be added – along with a blank back wall.
I followed the instructions, and painted the interior black; but I also added lights and graphics that I re-sized after downloading them from the Internet. (I had searched for “vintage service station interiors.”) Ironically, the images I used were from a vintage Marx, tin, toy garage. The sign stencil worked well, and I used diluted trim-color paint for “goof-proof” results. I copied the Gibson’s paper sign to enable me to use it on both sides, and used yellow ochre wall paint that matched the sign’s yellow closely. I also weathered some bricks in areas that would receive wear, as the instructions suggest.
The result is very realistic, especially with the use of Robert’s Mortar. Trim is a Floquil gray-green color. The only curious feature of the kit is its lack of roofing or ventilators. While a pre-cut, card sub-roof is provided; the instructions suggested using finely sifted soil for gravel on a black painted roof. However, I decided to use Builders-In-Scale seamed tarpaper, and because of the exhaust from auto repair work, I added some ventilators.
Assembly went smoothly, everything fit perfectly, and in a few days, I was the proud owner of a very nice garage – perfect for a scene from mid-century to the present. The large windows justify an interior, and although no floor is provided, one would be easy to add. This was a fun kit.
P.O. Box 2269
Valley Center, CA 92082
Gibson Body Co.
This review appeared in the March/April 2017 issue of the Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette