Duluth Company Plumbing Supply thoughts and critiques

I just completed (for now) the build of one of Brett's legacy kits. I wanted to post photos for critique as well as possible comments on various techniques and ideas. As is true of various builds, we do our best, but are always looking to improve. I said for now is because every time I study the model closer I always find a minor error to correct or possible upgrade.

For those who may not have attempted a Sierra West Kit build yet, I would highly recommend one of the smaller legacy kits as a good intermediate step before tackling one of the newer larger kits.

So study the photos below all taken on the modeling bench with an IPhone under my normal bench lighting. I welcome all comments and questions. The goal is better modelling by all of us.

duluth 12
Duluth 23
Duluth 24
Duluth 26
Duluth 28
Duluth 31
Duluth 32
Duluth 34


  • Gosh....there‚Äôs so much to take in here....the cobwebs in the open window...the dock bumper....the weathered siding...the track and ties...hand laid?....I could go on and on. Well done
  • Fine execution! I love the first shot with the streaking on the roofs going all the down through the canvas awnings. Painted siding shows the building was well taken care of, but it's been a while since the last coat of fresh paint. Newspaper in the trash can is a nice extra touch.

    Areas that you can give a minor tweek for next time would be to add a little variation of color in the vegetation, and the tarpaper roof looks a bit thick.
  • What scale? Sorry, I only know Brett's recent kits.
  • It is HO scale.

  • I have this one in my que... what did you use for the main paint colors?
  • Excellent work Rick. Coloration and weathering are just right. I always liked this kit and you have done a wonderful job. Thank you for posting and sharing with us.
  • I do appreciate the comments. The track is indeed hand laid. I enjoy handlaying track. I even used a jewelers saw and cut down through the web of the rail to simulate 39' rail sections. I did not have any joint bars though. That will be one of those yet to be done details.

    I used the material Brett provided for the rolled roofing. I have used thin tissue paper in the past which is more prototypical in thickness, but there are a few things that need a bit of exaggeration in the smaller scales to be seen from a more normal viewing distance. Personal taste,

    I am in full agreement on the vegetation. The one disadvantage I have is currently living in Hawaii. It is truly beautiful and a great vacation destination, but living on Kauai is a desert for railroad modeling. Most of my modeling supplies are in boxes on the mainland awaiting my return when I retire. Anyway I had to order a handful of scenery supplies and the grass was super bright green when I got it. I toned it down with a wash of Rembrandt chalk Deep Yellow in an alcohol wash, but I need more vegetation variety in type as well as color.

    Is a model ever really done?

    The color I used on the building walls is Floquil Mud (still have left over) and the trim is a heavy wash of Rembrandt Tete Morte Rouge 343.3 in alcohol. I find "painting" with Rembrandt chalk dust in alcohol gives a great very flat and slightly varied finish. I also use Brett's Reaper paint set, but the chalks are my favorite for most of the weathering.


  • Well done Rick.
  • Rick....have vacationed on Kauai a couple of times and became fascinated with the remains of the Coco Palms Hotel....found a copy of the book which tells the history of the hotel
  • I drive past the Coco Palms every day going to and from work. It has been a long road, but it looks like the owners have the clearance to take down the old structure and build a new resort there.
  • My build of Duluth is nearly finished, just need to add some foliage, but don't have the right stuff at the moment. Your work is amazing and one of the very best productions of Duluth Company I have seen. Your approach of starting with the less extensive early legacy kits mirrors what I am doing. Started with the two small sheds and the Duluth. My current project is the Railroad Camp, but I am trying to use many of the newer techniques that Brett has developed for his current stable of kits in the post Floquil era, and hopefully build those one day as well. Your Duluth is inspiring! Thanks for sharing.
  • Well Rick, nice solid build of a great early kit. Your track work caught my eye as well, very nicely done. Love the worn tar paper on the side shed roof.
  • Very nice build. I like your attention to detail. Great job. Phil
  • Thanks for all the positive comments. To have encouraging words from Ken is an honor. I am still looking for ways to do even better. Comments for improvement are always welcome too.
  • Rick,

    Great coloring and weathering on the roofs. The weathered boards underneath the platform are well done. The weathering on the railroad ties is excellent. Excellent dirt variation. Natural looking.

    There seems to be a lot of "fuzz" on the boards on the main building. Maybe it does not appear that way to a viewer in person.

    Are the ends of the rafters on the main building stained on the ends? In the 6th picture down it looks like they are not. Two pictures above it looks like they are. My experience with staining board ends is to take whatever stain you used to color them in the first place and dilute by about 5 times. Make a separate batch of it. I do not like the effect full strength stain has on board ends making them black.
  • I wire brushed the walls similar to what we do to stripwood for aging, but probably didn't spend enough time with the steal wool. I also have difficulty with more fuzz appearing when you weather the wood. I'm thinking it is the moisture in the AI that may cause some fibers to stand up. All a constant learning curve.

    The rafters are weathered on the ends. I find the IPhone is not the best color rendition camera. I had one shot I really liked the angle of, but came out with everything looking blueish. In person doesn't agree with the camera at times.
  • i really like the way you applied your foliage. what did you use?
  • The foliage on the diorama is a combination of static grass and grass tufts. The grass tufts are from Scenic Express both plain and with flowers. I thought it was way to bright a green so toned it down with a wash of yellow chalk in alcohol. To me it still needs more variety of both color and type, but it was all I had to work with. When I get more supplies I will probably add some tall stems, weeds, etc in place of some of the grass.

    Even though it appears done and I have set it aside, I will probably do a little more detailing when the layout is ready for it. I will probably add labels to some of the crates, signs on the building, etc. That should make it pop even more.
  • What a great job you have done on this kit Rick, superb.
    The structure itself is aged and weathered beautifully, obviously an ongoing business with all the associated dirt, grime and aging that would occur but not broken down and dilapidated and in good repair, wonderful.

    Shingles look fantastic in colour, variation and age.
    I keep scrolling around the dio looking at the so well done details. The junk/trash ones have great rust effects and show what they are, the ones in use have a perfect level of use and abuse but are obviously still functional and the new items on the dock show yet another level, clean and new but also blend in with everything else and don't stand out as shiney or fake, they just 'fit in'

    The supporting cast of scenery, track and foundation only adds to this great dio, the scenery is natural, the track superb and the age and weathering on the loading dock matches the structure perfectly.

    Very nicely done.
  • Very kind of you Karl. I still see more things I can do to it, but happy everyone enjoys what they see. The idea of this forum is to share. I learn all the time from the posts here.
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