Maine Central, Lamoille Valley

Maine Central, Lamoille Valley
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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

ET & HK Ide Building

I've started work on replacing the photo mock up stand in building for the ET & HK Ide building, a signature element of the St. Johnsbury yard scene. I constructed the mock up probably 12 years ago. At first glance it does a pretty good job, but of course lacks many of the 3 dimensional details that make it look better.

Photos printed and applied over a foam core base - 2004.

An early picture when St. Johnsbury was still being built and only some of the track in place - 2004.
I have since built the nearby coal shed and the Allen Lumber building. I'll need to also complete the Caldbeck-Cosgrove building to finalize the main structures for this area.

From an op session last year, at the top of the photo, the coal shed behind the red CP boxcar, the ET&HK Ide building, the Caldbeck mock up, and final the Allen Lumber shed building. Behind are freelanced buildings for an ice distributor and a propane dealer.
Using basic dimensions provided via the MEC Yahoo group many years ago, I built up the core using plain styrene, and applied Evergreen styrene metal roofing. I built up the unique trim pieces using dimensional styrene as well as cut sections from sheet for the really wide trim. I am not building an exact replica as the building was deeper than I have space for. There is also a side extension that I am deciding if I want to include.

The unique siding material appears to be 4x8 sheets of embossed metal, giving it a brick like pattern, but clearly showing the individual panels. I found that a material produced by Laser Modeling 3 that replicates this. You can see it on their AR Gilmore Grain building here. The ET & HK Ide building does not have the pronounced overlap that the Gilmore kit displays, so I am not overlapping the pieces.

Here is an in progress picture:

Adding strips of the Laser Modeling 3 embossed panels. The top section appears to have a slightly different panel applied, although it is hard to tell for sure. I am just using V groove siding for that part as it seems to better capture the look of the prototype.
I'll post more pics as things progress. The next steps will be adding the loading dock, its roof and assorted doors. Painting the large block letters will also be a challenge, along with building the grain elevator chute and platform. The delivery tubes will use styrene tube already on hand. Overall I expect this will take a while, but it is good to get this structure started finally!

For reference, here are some pictures I took in 2002. You can also find many more online, and with trains actually in the pictures too! The building is still there and the yard looks a lot better now that the Vermont Railway has taken over operations of the line.

The coal shed is seen to the left of the ET & HK Ide building, and the spur track leads right into it. Up to the right is the corner of the Callback building and some add on buildings.

Trackside view. The dock roof has seen better days! To the left is the add-on section that I may include - I am reviewing different pictures to get a better idea how it looks.

This loading dock is right up to the track. I believe the elevator chutes led to below track level, although I have no pictures of that. These chutes were added later and are not in earlier photos. They were added right around my timeframe, so I will include them as they are a nice detail item.

The panel sections are evident in this shot, and the overlapping is not as pronounced as the Laser Modeling 3 kit, so I am butting the panels up to each other and not overlapping. I will pull a few seams out to match some of the wear seen on the prototype.
There is actually a historical web site for the ET & HK Ide building with some neat older photos. Check out


Unknown said...

Mike, I wonder if you might share the dimensional plans you're using? I'd love to stick this in the dryer and try shrinking it down to N scale.

Mike McNamara said...

Geoff, go to scroll down to the section on the ET & HK Ide building. All the dimensions I have are posted there.

Unknown said...

Great job! Please visit for more information about the business. Rail fans are the main reason I have so many photos of the St. Johnsbury mill building and I am very grateful for that.