I first was acquainted with Imagine That Laser Art (ITLA Scale Models Inc.) during the NMRA National Convention in Philadelphia, 2006. What drew my attention to the kits was their display of the HO elevated trains similar to 3rd Avenue in The Bronx, NY, where I grew up. I was very impressed with the construction.
Fast forward to present day, my wife and I moved into our retirement home in 2008 and found myself with a 1,500 square foot basement. I constructed my dream layout and within the last few years, I needed to find quality background buildings.
I remember seeing the ITLA kits and went on their website to see what they were manufacturing. To my delight ITLA’s “3D” laser structure kits can be used for Flats, Shallow Relief and Full Walled structures.
After reviewing their selection of kits, my first purchase was the HO Scale Allstate Factory with the 4th and 5th Floor extension. The kits arrived well packed and the assembly manuals were so well written that I couldn’t wait to get started.
These kits are manufactured with premium quality woods, Micro Plywood and MDF Hardboard. The quality of the laser cutting is so precise you could actually build these kits without using glue.
I used rattle cans to paint the buildings and DAP Fast’N Final to simulate mortar between the bricks.
What I love about the MDF material is that it’s stable and won’t warp or shrink with humidity and changing temperature.
Since I operate my railroad using TT/TO Time Table and Train Orders, it’s hard to find structures or buildings that are “Railroad Worthy” where the rolling stock is overpowered by the size of the buildings. To my delight, ITLA recently came out with their Modular Industrial Wall Kits. I could not wait to get my hands on them and purchased 21 kits!
ITLA has a number of different modules that you can mix and match to customize your structure. I also purchased their Loading Docks, Entryway inserts and Fire Escape kits. This allowed me to construct a building that can service (5) freight cars and look proportional to my rolling stock beside them.
The modules are constructed in such a way that you can pre-paint and weather all the components before assembling. I added interior lights in the loading docks and gooseneck lights over the freight doors.
Another nice detail touch from ITLA are the window pane fillers that are included. You can paint them in different colors and fit them inside the windows to simulate broken window panes replaced by metal. This also brought back memories from my childhood.
Reviewing some of the other kits ITLA provides, they are manufactured in such a way that you can rearrange the footprints to easily fit your needs.
ITLA will soon be releasing Piping & HVAC Ducting details for these Modular Industrial Wall Kits and I plan on buying a number of them. These will be able to be used on any of their kits.
Check out ITLA’s website for videos and detailed instructions on their Industrial Modular Wall Systems, Painting & Assembly tips.
Western Illinois Division
of the New York Central