Elgin Car Shops
Custom Model Building Services for Model Railroaders Everywhere

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Elgin Car Shops - Custom Model Building and Finishing by Pierre Oliver

Custom-Built Westerfield Kit


Effective May 25, 2022, I will no longer be accepting new commissions for custom building work. Time for me to focus on my own projects.

Many thanks to all the clients who have
entrusted me with their projects to date.

Your rolling stock,
professionally built and finished

Thank you for your interest in my services. The following should give you enough information to decide whether my services are right for you. If you have any questions or need more information about a specific project, please use the contact form on this web site to get in touch. I look forward to helping you achieve the rolling stock variety that will bring your layout to life.

What’s your experience?

I have built, painted, lettered and finished hundreds of freight cars, passenger cars, cabooses and non-revenue equipment for clients in North America and around the world. A partial list of manufacturers whose kits I have built and finished includes: The BGR Group... Branchline Trains... Funaro & Camerlengo... InterMountain Railway Company... Kaslo Shops... Mullet River Model Works... Mt. Clare Shops... Norwest Kits and Castings... Red Caboose... Rail Yard Models... Ridgehill Scale Models... Southern Car & Foundry... Speedwitch Media... Steam Shack... Sunshine Models... Sylvan Scale Models... Tichy Train Group... West Shore Line... Westerfield... WrightTrak Railroad Models... Yankee Clipper Models...

Please note this is NOT a complete list, so if you do not see your kit’s manufacturer listed here please contact me to discuss your project.

What can Elgin Car Shops do for me?

I offer several model building services, outlined below.

  • I make it my business to know what kits are on the market. As your kit builder, I will help you identify rolling stock kits and variants that are appropriate for your layout’s era and location.

  • You may ship me your kits, or I can order them directly. It’s up to you. Please remember that my rates for custom building do NOT include the cost of the kit.

  • I will build your kit to the manufacturer’s instructions, then paint (airbrush) and letter (decal or dry transfer) the finished model to your specifications.

  • If you want changes to the manufacturer’s specifications or additional details not supplied in the kit, I am happy to discuss.

Please see the rates section below for details on pricing.

What are your rates?

Specific rates depend upon the kit so the prices below are a guideline. For the most accurate quote, please contact me to discuss your specific project. All rates quoted in US dollars:

  • Kit assembly service example: An HO scale resin freight car kit, including underbody detail, air hoses, paint and lettering (assuming lettering is supplied with the kit), Kadee #58 couplers and Kadee trucks: $130.00.

  • For cabooses, please add $20.00 per car.

  • My rate to assemble HO passenger cars ranges from $200.00 to $250.00 per car, depending on the model and the finish. Please contact me for details.

  • For weathering, please add $15.00 per car. Weathering is very subjective, so the better you can describe for me what you are looking for, the better the job I can do for you.

  • I am a fan of replacement wheelsets from Reboxx and can supply these for $5.00 per car.

I’m in the United States - but you’re in Canada: Is that a problem?

Not at all. I have done business across the United States/Canada border for years without any difficulties. I’ve also done business with clients in Europe with no problems. I now have a mailing address in the United States to which my US based clients can send their kits to without having to deal with any border issues. The postal service works fine for shipping kits. Using a courier service such as UPS or Fedex will speed things up but in the end cost us both more money. In my opinion, the time saved is not worth the expense.

If you have any questions about shipping, use my contact form to get in touch.

What are your terms?

My terms are straightforward:

  • Contact me to discuss your project so I can provide you with a quote.

  • All prices are in US dollars.

  • A 50% deposit is required before work begins.

  • The balance is due before your finished models are shipped.


>> See My Gallery of Finished Work


©2022 Pierre Oliver - Elgin Car Shops - Images may not be used without permission.