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Army Headquarters

Classic Tin Litho Building

In the 1950s and early 1960s, the Louis Marx Company produced a grand array of historical and military playsets .  The sets frequently included a tin-litho building.  One popular theme for Marx was its "Training Camp" sets complete with soldiers, equipment, vehicles and a tin building.  The simple building shown here is interesting, as the basic form was used for everything from construction sites to Wild West cavalry barracks.  The only change was in the lithography itself.  This particular building was one of the types of tin structures that might be included in various versions of the Training Camp playsets.

Our example is a U.S. Army Training Center Headquarters.  It is lithographed as a one-story wooden building with tarpaper roof.  The basic color is olive green.  Buildings like this were common on military posts throughout the country.  They were usually painted an off-white with green trim.  Different colors existed, and it would not be unlikely to find a green one.  The one-room shacks served as various kinds of offices and supply rooms.  They had been built during World War II, and in some places remained in use into the 1980s.  For instance, similar buildings and their attendant barracks were still used in Fort Drum, N.Y., at least as late as 1980.

Though a simple theme, the Marx lithography is stunning because of its amazing attention to detail.

Barracks front, complete with lithographed shrubs and walkway. This building is "scales" for 2 1/4" to 2 1/2" figures.  It is approximately 1/32 scale

A close-up of the front door.

The interior looks very much like the real Army wooden offices .

Close-up shows such lithographed details as the calendar, mail slots and training schedule.  No doubt the lithographers had first-hand experience in such buildings during World War II.

The interior from another view.  These buildings were usually packaged with desks and a few other office-type items.

You can see the fire extinguisher, training charts and a small bookshelf for training manuals.

The side shows a plain wall with shrubs.

The wooden floor is clear and realistic.  Lithography used by the Louis Marx Company was very detailed and complete.

This side has a window.  Windows on these small buildings were cut open rather than having lithographed panes.

From the front, you can see the walkway and lawn.  Note the stone-trimmed wooden walk.  In real life, many headquarters type buildings had rudimentary landscaping of this sort.

Click here to see the Army Barracks Building

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