Skip to content

Let’s Build the Ashford Tower!

October 6, 2009

Buffalo Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad Ashford Tower in HO scale

It’s about time for another structure article. Therefore, I’ll be building the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh’s “Ashford Tower” that’s offered by the great, but not well known manufacture known as Railway Design Associates. Their excellent structures are very similar in construction and molding quality to the popular DPM kits, and their kits have plenty of realistic character without looking like a characture. I bought my tower kit off of eBay directly from their online store for $20.00 and free shipping.

RDA Ashford Tower

Extra Detail Parts

The kit itself is really quite nice and comes with plenty of extra details, obviously from other kits they offer. For any model railroader, this is a huge benefit to get so many neat detail parts in with your kit in addition to your building kit. It definately is an accurate kit with sharp details and some really beautiful windows, including the unique oval windows on the top of the first floor. They even captured the unusually thick 22″ concrete walls of the prototype!

Ashford Tower Unpainted

Construction is pretty straight forward, like a DPM kit you must first file down the walls so that they’re square where necessary, then paint and glue it together. For paint I used Floquil “rattle-cans” in Tuscan Red for the base color for the roof (*we’ll weather and fade it out later.) and for the concrete I used rustoleum textured concrete paint for it’s excellent realistic color and somewhat rough finish.

For this kit, I wanted to really detail it since all the windows would probably be open and clean. I went about scratchbuilding a varnished wood floor and scratchbuilt the electro-mechanical interlocking machine found in many towers from the 1920’s.


The long wooden cabinet houses the electo-mechanical interlocking device, but that balsa-wood floor simply won’t do. I took thin basswood sheet and cut it into scale planks with kitchen scissors. I then varnished it with a mix of craft paint and acrylic gloss medium. I typically don’t gloss anything I model, but I felt the interior of this building would benefit from it once it’s illuminated with bulbs.

building a scale wood floor

There’s the floor test fit into the building, I still need to paint the window detail on the inside of the kit.

Ashford Tower Interior
The interior was then detailed after the varnish dried with a variety of detail parts I had on hand. The guy in green is a Micro Machines figure, perfect HO scale by the way.

The Interior was then test fit..

Stay tuned for part 2 which includes the final details and weathering.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 22, 2010 6:31 pm

    Wow, I found this article when I was searching for trains from Ashford! It was an interesting read.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: