Märklin, Inc.

When Märklin, GmbH introduced their American prototype locomotive and cars, there were no structures available which were based upon American prototypes.  The American subsidiary company, Märklin, Inc. introduced a series of appropriate structures to accompany the American prototype trains. These buildings have a nice generic feel, quite suitable for your railroad.

These structures are made of solid polymer and come painted in one color, but really need to be painted further to make them realistic.  Most of these buildings are commonly available, although there can be periodic shortages of a particular structure. This is especially true of No. 2631, the two story residence.  It is not only popular with Z-Scalers, but also is quite popular with modelers in larger scales who use these structures for background buildings. Their smaller size can be effectively used in the larger scales as forced perspective buildings.  Even though the buildings are quite close to the viewer, their smaller size in relation to larger buildings in the foreground makes them appear to be far away.

In painting these structures, the windows need special attention. Everybody has their own favorite technique; mine is to paint the window trim first, then paint the window “panes” with silver paint.  After this has thoroughly dried, I then brush on a very thin wash of a dark color such as black. Alternatively, Tamiya makes a clear color called “Smoke” which gives these windows the necessary depth.

For what it is worth, I sacrificed one of these buildings by turning it upside down and used a milling machine to rout out the insides of the building. My hope was to remove enough material to have the windows be open. It didn’t work, but you might be more skillful than I.

Märklin, Inc. Structure Kits

Later, Märklin, Inc. also commissioned some laser-cut wooden structure kits:

These buildings require assembly with wood glue and painting, but they’re great looking and useful additions to American prototype railroads.

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