Large Scale Central

Dollar Store finds

There is a dollar store near the grocery store that I go to several times a week.
I try to shop in the dollar store a couple of times a month too.
I go to get cheap reading glasses because I sit on them and drop them and am

basically murder on the glasses.
Anyway today I found some things I will be able to use now or put in my junk box to use later.
They had square solar yard lights that look like the Revell Crossing Tower kits from the 50s/60s.
They had a Hot Wheels scooter that looks like the Cushman one I drove around town in the 60s.
And they had two Make It Blocks kits one that makes a bus stop with a bench, a trash can and a light pole and the other makes a robot( this one’s parts will go in the junk box for now).

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Great finds. The yard light is brilliant. I have seen the everywhere of course but it never occurred to me to use the for something like a switch tower or??. I will be heading down to my local store/s to pick a couple up for my scrap bin. The make it blocks does have some good detail parts as well.

Added plus, the solar light has solar lights , so it’s ready for outside and night with a solar panel built in! Awesome find

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I bought five of the lights for $1.25 apiece. They are easy to take apart/four screws and a couple of clips. I plan to paint the solar light bulb because it is very bright. The paint cuts the light output in half. I will mask and paint the lower glass panes and make a base from a piece of scrap wood. I have some ladder stock I will attach and I will make the bin out of some scrap wood too.

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Which Dollar store is the one you went to? Maybe if one is near me I will stop by and wander through it!

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I am totally motivated by this post. I was looking at pics of crossing/switching towers and this is an awesome staring point. The roof line is very plausible. Blank put the lower third of windows like you are suggesting and make them solid and add a lap side/brick/ or post and beam base and you have a very realistic model that is lighted. I already have one for my wye. But I was thinking of moving it to my yard and using one of these lights to make a new one for the Hecla complex which is going to occupy the wye. Even though the.real Hecla had no such thing . . .my railroad my rules right.

Not to hijack your thread. I only offer the above as a thank you for the excellent suggestion and motivating idea.

I found this galvanized metal at my Dollar Tree. They are labeled as “galvanized metal plaque”. They are approximately 7 inches square. Some have 2 holes with a small rope hanger. The ones with 4 holes and 2 ropes are not corrugated the same.


Our local store is the Dollar Tree that went to $1.25 for everything up from a dollar before.
I think they are affiliated with Dollar General so try them.

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I will look for some at our store even though I have crimped hundreds of cola cans with my Fiskars.
It won’t hurt to have a different pattern for my roofs. Thanks.

Hey Richard, welcome. Great to see your still active in the hobby.

This is what I came up with on my solar light conversion. I still need a barrel and a bin for the markers and flags. I bought five of the solar lights. I want to build a wooden post base like on the original Revell tower to replace the solar light pole. The other lights i will take apart using just the top to light up some of my buildings. The top resembles an attic vent blower when it is flat. A bendable soda straw painted black acts as a light tube to bring the light into the building. The rest of the light

parts go into the parts bin.

Not sure how Dollar Store buys there products for sale in each store, but I would think all store have different buyers/products and not all items be found in each store. If you find a good buy, buy all of them and sell them at your local railroad show, or club meet, or give them to your railroad buddy.

This is brilliant. Nice job. I went to my local dollar store and they didn’t have anything anywhere close just the smaller round ones. But a stop at Wally World and I found one for just under 4 bucks that is tapered toward the base. I was going to copy your idea but as I looked at it I thought is would make for an interesting turn of the century fire lookout tower. Not sure any where ever tapered but the builders of mine had a flare for the uncommon :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Thanks for the idea and very nice project.

Dollar Tree has a website. You might be able to order on line.

I bought five more of them leaving about two hundred of them to sell to others.
I belong to the Florida Garden Railway Society.
Maybe I can give the extras to some of the other members?
Maybe a clinic at one of the meets?
Thanks for the idea to spread a little good will.

I looked in my Dollar Tree today.
I didn’t find any of these panels.They did have some crimped like this but they were pre-cut
into animal shapes.
Thanks for the heads up though.

This will be the final entry on this subject for my part.
I’m enclosing a photo of the finished crossing tower.
Harvel, the crossing guard, makes a little on the side by having the local express drop off shipments to others with him and he delivers them when he gets off. Don’t know what live animal is in the live crate but it is heavy requiring two people to lift it at least according to the stickers.

I am sad this is your final post on this thread. Job well done. Outstanding for a dollar.

I’ve ordered a sitting figure to sit in the tower on the chair shown.
It won’t show through the windows.
It will be old so the name Harvel seems appropriate.
I like making up back stories for my scenes.

And thank you for your comments.