Olin Station (Atlas Passsenger Station 706)

This is a review/assembly of the Atlas Passenger Station 706 kit. (Click on images for higher resolution versions.) Olin wanted a station for his trains, so I went looking for one that was visually interesting and suggested it to Grandma Bev as a Christmas present. This one is… Gorgeous. But it also has approximately six gazillion tiny pieces and was more complicated to put together than rocket surgery. Had I known that, I don’t know if I would have chosen it. But considering that my first model assembly attempt was the ridiculously huge and fiddly grain elevator, I suppose I should have expected it. Initially, my mom was going to just assemble it at her house. It is molded in three colors with the intention of being able to assemble it right out of the box, but I discovered as I read the directions that even ‘right out of the box’ required some painting and a significant amount of fiddling.

It is molded in burgundy with green accents, dark grey roof pieces and white windows and doors. Olin’s favorite color is blue, though, so I really wanted to be able to paint it.

I completely forgot to wash the pieces before I put the primer on. It didn’t seem to matter, though, the paint sticks just fine. I used some whitish Rustoleum spray primer that says “Sticks to plastic!” that the guy I found at True Value said he used to use on the models for his layout. That took a couple of days to dry as I sprayed one side, let it dry, then turned over the pieces that needed to be painted on both sides and sprayed them again.

My paint in ‘colors’ was Testors acrylic plastic model paint in Dark Blue, Guard Red and Steel, mixed as necessary with drops of plain old black craft arylic from Wal-Mart to change shades, and just a touch of White for the wash on the chimney.


The brightest blue is the true color, and I added more and more black as I painted the different sections, doing the roof last with the darkest blue/black. The doors, I painted with plain old black and left the frames primer-colored. After that dried, I painted everything except the chimney and phone booth with a black wash to give it some depth and irregularity. (The chimney is white-washed and I used a paper towel to blot away the white near the top, so it would look stained.) The platform is grey primer with a black wash over it. It did kind of crinkle and crack in a couple of places, but I think it adds interest.

After I assembled everything, I touched up some of the white spots from imperfect assembly or cutting the pieces from the sprues, touched up the phone booth with red (could have made it a Tardis! But, too much blue already…), applied my labels and decals, and sprayed the whole business with Krylon matte finish 1311.

IMG_3221That phone booth gave me fits. It’s not on there perfectly and never will be, it didn’t go together as it was described, and I completely failed on the decal application. However, if my 1:87th scale people need to use a phone, they can get out their microscopic cells. If they need to change in to their costumes, they certainly know what a phone booth looks like.

I do love the details, though. The fuel oil heater on the side is just entertaining, as are the teeny weeny dolly, scale and baggage cart.

IMG_3217I do have to say that baggage cart made me feel like a crazy person while I was assembling it, though. I was wielding a tweezers and a pin, applying microscopic amounts of glue to secure steering mechanisms that I couldn’t even completely see

It looks cool, though, I guess.

One of the things that bugs me is that the chimney is ‘split’. It didn’t go together perfectly and refused to be glued together perfectly, so it looks less than ideal. Also isn’t in there exactly straight, which I just noticed after I took photos. Also, the roof supports don’t actually completely connect to the roof, they just sort of hang there. That was more annoying while I was trying to assemble it than it is now, though.

One of the things I’m proud of is my kludged ‘custom signs’. I really, really hate waterslide decals. I got the freight sign on without too much trouble, but the telephone booth signs were a disaster. The model came with several different location name labels for the ends of the platform, but I really wanted it to be “Olin Station”. So, I got out my label-maker (a Brother P-Touch H100) and some black-on-clear label tape, set it to deco mode number 4, and it printed some beautiful little station designators that were precisely the right size and went on with no more, if no less, hassle than the waterslide decals.

IMG_3219Photography note: Images were taken with a Canon Rebel XS E05 DSLR with a scratched 18-55mm auto-focusing lens, with natural afternoon sunlight for the ambient light and supplemented by my kitchen overhead. Background is the cheapest light box of all: off-white newsprint draped over my toolbox and kitchen table.

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