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I have produced several build video’s over the past several months with great response and so I have continued this adventure with the Design Preservation Models Townhouse #1.

Design Preservation Models (DPM) have been a staple in the Model Railroading industry for many years with their injection molded models. This model, the DPM Townhouse #1 is part of a Townhouse collection available in O, HO and N scale. There are at least 3 of these Townhouse kits I am aware of and I have built several of them. Design Preservation Models is a Division of Woodland Scenics, one of the the leaders in model railroad building tools, scenic items and many other Model Railroad related items.

This model build was mostly meant to share technique on the DPM construction and a really heavy weathering to indicate a worn building and show the answer to many questions. The intention is to use this in an area on the layout where the buildings and surroundings are not well kept and so the building itself is by all rights, just down right nasty. The DPM models are in my opinion one of the best models on the market for their realism. Design Preservation Models really did a lot of research in creating such great modeling kits.

A little about the weathering, this model and video was put together to answer many questions about weathering model railroad structures. The weathering is very heavy on this model, even the windows are not immune to some weathering powders. The model’s weathering is applied through many different techniques and I hope I have captured enough here to answer the many questions I have received.

I have to admit, this build was a bit rushed! and the normal time and care taken with some of the details was a bit below standard for me. I did however plan this build more so for weathering and the over all general construction, so, I hope the lack of detail on some of this build isn’t seen as normal model practices.


Welcome to a very special (and long…) video showcasing a technique that was shown to me by Bill Schopf. Bill is a master structure builder, and he agreed to showing the “solid block” method as long as we built a structure for my layout. Gee, twist my arm Bill!

I did some searching and found a cool little building that used to be located on the PRR’s Shamokin Branch in the town of Weigh Scales, PA. It looks to be some kind of small office with an attached storage shed. With only one picture and no dimensions our model is at best “inspired by” the photo- we had to guess at the dimensions, roof pitch, far side wall layouts, etc. Overall it captures the feel of the prototype and will be a perfect addition for my locomotive service area.

The first 15 minutes showcase examples of some of Bill’s current “block” buildings. Here he explains the concept and shows how some of the buildings were made. After this we head to Bill’s wood shop to begin the work on my building. Bill shows the gluing, cutting and various saw work to get the blocks into shape for the building.

Bill then demonstrates cutting and fitting the Northeastern board & batten siding and shows how to mark and cut out the windows/doors. After that I head home to finish the construction. Back in my workshop we see the completed buildings after the siding was glued on, windows installed, roof added and the building painted. The final segment shows the weathered building ready for the layout.

We think you will find this technique interesting and a useful addition to your scratch building repertoire.

Many thanks to Bill for taking the time to show us all how to use this technique!

Bill has a gorgeous HO scale layout, be sure to check it out in the Layout Tours playlist.

Thank you for watching.