Pola Machine Factory (B260, B261 & B262)

A "DKS Top Ten" Retro Kit

Here's a suite of Pola's versatile, ubiquitous industrial structures. I've been using these semi-modular kits literally by the dozen for decades; they figured most prominently on my White River & Northern IV as the sprawling Rearden Metal Products plant, which spanned nearly a third of the layout. I may be stretching my definition of "first gen" with these kits just a bit, as they didn't appear until as late as the late 70s or possibly the early 80s—when, exactly, I've yet to determine, and the research continues. Meanwhile, I'm including them on my layout anyway because they so perfectly fit the early N Scale zeitgeist.

Honestly, working on these kits was almost like going home again. Despite their grossly oversize bricks and other abundant flaws, they were more versatile than modern kits designed to be modular. I can't count how many of them I chewed through working on the WR&N IV! Consider that all of the industrial structures in the right half of the first image below were made from these kits, including the longest single building I'd ever made, measuring two and a half feet, with a skewed underpass in the middle. I also blended them with other Pola kits, like the stone enginehouse and freight depot.


Lou Sassi


Lou Sassi


Lou Sassi

Granted, for this project they're not being modified at all, which will be different, since I've never built them that way. I confess I've had to fight the urge—really hard—to modify the roof of the tall building, as the top edges of the walls look really bad. I just hit everything with dark grey paint and hoped for the best.

I'm planning to apply patches of ground foam to make "ivy," not only to add interest, but to hide some bad wall joints. Yes, ground foam existed back then (although it was rare and didn't look as good as it does today), and I wasn't about to hunt down and buy dyed sawdust. The idea behind this project is to stick with first-gen kits and stuff, but the goal is not to deliberately look bad.

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