Getting More out of Your Laser Kit

Written by Shawn Branstetter, photos by the author.

Last year I purchased an excellent kit from Kitwood Hill Models. The laser kits are quite nice and very easy to assemble! Most laser kits are pretty much just plywood shapes which resemble walls and some exterior details. Here is a quick tip to add a little extra personality to your structures.

1. Interior details: Adding 2x4 framing and "tar paper" backing to your walls (in this case they are exposed) adds dimension and visual interest to foreground models.

2. Foundations: Most shed kits come with wood blocks. If the sheds are intended to be moved, this is prototypical. However, there are sheds which have a more permanent location. Using plaster, I created a "concrete" foundation which was distressed to show years of heavy use.

3. Roofs: I wanted to increase the level of detail on the top, black craft paper was cut into scale 4 foot wide strips, and glued onto the plywood sheeting. This was distresses and weathered as well.

4. Paint: In this case, heavy use and neglect show with peeling and worn paint. The wood was first distresses and weathered then rubber cement applied to areas I wanted the wood to show through. Paint applied, rubber cement removed and weathered with oils and enamels.

So there you have it. Four easy ways to upgrade your stock kit and and create a unique structure for your own layout or diorama.

About the Author

Shawn Branstetter's picture

Shawn Branstetter

I am a graphic designer and front-end developer, creator of Shortline Modelers. I have been a life-long model railroader with a focus on California shortline and logging railroads.