5.5mm Association

The Harold Minkwitz Archive

Converting HO Buildings to Scale 55

The question is always posed with an out of the mainstream scale, what about buildings? We don't wanta' scratchbuild em all. Fortunately other scales provide buildings that can be modified. Yeah, some are outta scale for their original scale. The addition of new doors and stairs will make them Scale 55.

These are the ones I have in my possesion.

The Lifelike Stock Pen

This is the right size out of the box and very inexpensive.

The Walthers Cornerstone Stock Yard

The dual-loading chutes almost line up with former Bachmann On30 stockcars.

The Walthers Champion Packing Plant

I was going to use this along the backdrop with standard gauge meat pickup and narrow gauge cattle supply.
HO Brick buildings to a larger scale are dependent on how coarse the HO bricks are moulded. The Packing House bricks and the DPM bricks measure out at 2 x 5 compared to 2-1/2 x 8 of real bricks. I think that is an acceptable layout brick size. The newer Walthers Module buildings have "HO scale" bricks and aren't convertible.

HO Design Preservation Models

HO storefronts lend themselves to conversion because of the tall ceilings. The clapboard building needs the doors rearranged but the brick front will work as is.

AHM Brick Buildings

AHM and others had these buildings with almost Scale55 bricks. They can be had on E-Bay and at train shows.

Heljan Edison's Laboratory

Heljan's Lab offers a good source for kit-bashing. Art Curren made one into a grain elevator.

Lifelike Supply House

Lots of kitbash material.

IHC Novelty Ironworks

IHC is out of business but still can be found. A good building for along a backdrop.

Bachmann HO Plasticville Coaling Tower

This has been used in Art Curren's Frenda Mine. Makes a good ore tipple.

Walther's New River Mining Company

Sheathed with wood siding it can be backdated to the 1890's. The track spacing is wide enough under the tipple to accommodate 55n3 cars. The frame under the tipple is high enough to clear the 55n3 cars.

Atlas Passenger Station

The Atlas station can be raised by adding additional clapboard to the wainscot at the bottom of the building to make a small station.

Model Power Silverton Water Tank

Only has to be weathered and detailed.

Model Power Mine

Makes a small built-in-days 1880's mine. Could be improved with battens covering the openings between boards.

N Scale 120' Walthers/Heljan Turntable

Makes a 40' 55n3 turntable, will probably need some mechanism rework.

HO windows

Tichy and Grandt Line offer HO windows that work well in Scale55. The doors are too small, but their Scale48 doors will work.

O Scale Doors

Tichy (on the left) and Grandt Line (on the right) offer O scale doors that will work for Scale55. These can be used to replace the HO doors. The Tichy entry door can be lowered by adding a transom at the top. Common in the nineteenth century.

Heljan Brewery Structures

The Heljan Brewery buildings offer correct size brick. This is a wall from the bottling plant. It just needs larger doors.