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All Gauge Model Railroading Page

Army Barracks

Classic Tin Litho Building

The military Training Center playsets were a popular item from the 1950s into the very early 1960s.  The Louis Marx Company produced several versions of them.  Like its other playsets, the company would normally pack a tin litho structure with the plastic figures and accessories.  This particular building, marked U.S. Armed Forces Training Center, is modeled after the wooden barracks used by the U.S. Army.  Barracks of this type were built during World War II, and some remained in use at least as late as 1980.  They were wooden two-story structures, heated by an individual coal furnace, with an office, private room for a sergeant or officer, and facilities for the troops.  

The barracks shown here is amazingly accurate in its basic shape, lithographed details and most of its colors.  Barracks were usually pained a white or off-white shade, with green window and door trim.  This model uses a greenish yellow, although all real-world examples I saw used a dark green.  The lithographers even included the "fire escape", double door to the coal furnace and a couple of trash cans outside. The Training Center barracks is an amazingly realistic and correct model of the real thing.

This building is made to an almost precise 1/48 scale.  Here is the back of the building, with the double door entry to the small coal furnace.  In warmer climes, that area would be used for storage.

The Louis Marx company made these soldiers, which were often included in Training Center Playsets.  They are standard World War II American troops.

Side view - the long windows on the bottom floor indicate the lavatory and shower area.

Building front, with the single front door.  Behind it would be a small vestibule opening to the bottom floor and a stairway to the second floor.

The Marx loco is visible on the bottom of the door.  "CO. A" on the top sign means "Company A".  The sign reading "T7 - 34" is the house number, and it is replicated at each corner of the building.  

Other end of the building and the fire escape, which is almost like a small portico from the second floor.

The fire escape - in some real barracks, the ladder faced the door rather than the wall.

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