W.S. Kelly General Store Kit by Inter-Action Hobbies in HO

Based upon a real building still standing in Cogar, Okla., this Depression-era general store was featured in the movie “Rain Man.”

W.S. Kelly General Store Kit by Inter-Action Hobbies in HO

September/October 2022Review by Charlie Getz/photos by the author

Based upon a real building still standing in Cogar, Okla., this Depression-era store was featured in the movie “Rain Man” with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. The kit contains laser-cut resin-impregnated board, basswood and matt board parts; 3-D printed parts, styrene components, tulle screen, acetate, wood, wire, signs, decals, laser-cut shingles and full-color illustrated instructions. The detail/interior set is absolutely worth ordering as it includes interior lighting and full interior details. The kit can be partially customized when ordering with options for which brand gas you wish to feature. Inter-Action kits are known to be challenging, but this kit was one of the most straightforward I have assembled.

However, there are fine details and assemblies requiring patience and the kit took the better part of a month to assemble, but none of the steps was inherently difficult. Indeed, the hardest steps were optional, such as adding the interior components and detail lights (not included) for the Coke machine, telephone booth and gas sign.

I followed the instructions without problem but did stray from the assembly chronology where it made sense. The walls represent stucco so I added a thin coating of Crescent Creek Scale Stucco to the assembled shell, smoothing around corners. The walls were then painted white with a dark green lower band as I exercised the Sinclair Gas option. I also researched Sinclair gas pump colors, using craft paints to achieve that look. In so doing, I learned that the Sinclair gas pump islands were painted a dark green. Interior walls were also painted and the laminated/layered wall assembly made bracing unnecessary though bracing is provided. I used Paper Creek printed wood siding (discontinued) for the store’s wooden floor.

Kelly Store

The next step was assembling and adding the myriad of details included both in the main and detail kits. The LED light bar, which must be wired, insures both the detailed store and garage interiors will be visible. I added more details and some figures to each and also a chimney run under the roof chimney opening. I added wood stoves for heat to each portion. There are more signs than can be used and lovely custom decals for the gas globes and Coke cases. Even the prototype’s rusted sign on the awning, which I left off, is provided. I followed the instructions suggestions on coloring the shingles, using transfer tape to affix them to the lined roof cards. I added dental X-ray lead-foil insert strips as flashing around the chimney.

oth the Coke machine and telephone booth are modern image so I back-dated the phone booth with olive-green paint and styrene filler panels in the lower portion (I suggest Inter-Action consider adding this option to future kits). The modern Coke machine components were saved for a friend and I substituted a vintage HO-size Coke machine casting I obtained from Coca-Cola of all sources, at their Atlanta headquarters gift shop. (Inter-Action does offer a vintage Coke machine separately.) I also added an Inter-Action cigarette machine, available separately, to the front porch, shortening one of the lovely provided benches to fit. I installed my own pre-wired 0604 micro-LED lights in the cigarette machine, gas pole sign and front facade light.

The details lift this kit above the ordinary. The ice machine (also available separately) is superb as are the pumps created from laminated layers with a laser-cut nozzle, chrome rings and decaled 3-D printed globes. The final details are the 3-D printed Coke cases with decals and individual empty Coke bottles (which are microscopic!). I hope these parts will be available separately one day. Provision is made for adding detail lights to various components, as noted, and a provided jig allows formation of door handles from the wire provided. I appreciated the screen doors with push bars for the front entry. The engineering and thought put into this kit is reflected in the overall ease of assembly and precise fit of the parts. All in all, this kit is another winner for Inter-Action.

Inter-Action Hobbies
P.O. Box 1021
Chase, BC, V0E 1M0


W.S. Kelly General Store (HO)
MSRP $72.95

Optional interior details and lights (HO)
MSRP $16.95

September/October 2022This review appeared in the Sep/Oct 2022 issue of Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette. Subscribe Today!