One of the biggest challenges of modelling a tramway in a country that is located at the other side of the world, is building realistic scenery. The overall impression of the layout will have to convince the audience that they are looking at a village that’s located in Queensland. Unfortunately there are plenty of examples with a complete mismatch between the look of the layout and the location it is trying to depict. I really would like to prevent that my future layout will become one of those …
I presume that most of the structures on the layout will have to be scratchbuilt, but first of all I started looking for kit manufacturers that make typical Australian buildings, which will fit my HOn30 layout located in Queensland.
After some searching on the internet, I found the first Australian kit manufacturer. The brand is called StructOrama and the kits are being sold by Tom’s Hobbies. They have several buildings in their range (varying from a Farm House to a Service Station) which can either be bought pre-built or as a kit. I directly ordered a couple of kits and they arrived yesterday … a quick and reliable service by Tom’s Hobbies.
The kits consists of of injection moulded parts, but only in one colour. So just like resin kits, the model will have to be painted during and after its construction. The overall impression of the kits looks fine and the parts are quite detailed.
Another interesting brand is Oz Kits, which is being sold by Antons Trains. The kits are smaller and the range varies from Corrugated Iron Watertanks to an Open Sided Boiler House.
I have not yet ordered any of these kits, but al will come in due time … a couple of them will probably become part of Koala Creek Sugar Mill.
The Little Building Co seems to be a fairly new brand. They sell a range of laser-cut kits, of which the Queenslander would be the most interesting one for me.
The size of the pictures on the website makes it hard to assess the quality and level of detail of these kits. So I am wondering if they really are a match to the laser-cut kits that are made in the States.
A final brand that I would like to mention is Uneek. It has a range of great detailing parts like Level Crossing Signs or Milk Cans and is being sold by Antons Trains.
I have not mentioned manufacturers like Rail-Central, which have kits that are not suitable for a sugar cane layout. It could however also be that there are quite a few out there that I have missed. If you know of any, feel free to leave a comment below.