Way back in 1961 Revell Models introduced an HO kit of a bakery, the Superior Bakery. This was the first plastic industrial model to be brought out in HO scale. It was one of three new kits (Operating Engine House, Weekly Herald and the Superior Bakery) they released using the same basic walls and roof on all three. To make the three kits different, they modified the end walls and added separate details specific to each kit.
These were the first plastic kits to be released that enabled modelers to create larger and more intricate industrial buildings by kitbashing them together. Most notable was the work done by Art Curren and featured in his book, Kitbashing HO Model Railroad Structures.
Over the years I have used these kits for various kit bashings, including power plants, small and large manufacturing buildings, and, of course, a bakery or two. However the thing that would always cause me to pick up another Superior Bakery kit was the cyclone vent that protruded from the side of the building. This part (there are actually 7 pieces to the vent) would go on to become dozens of what Art Curren would refer to as “non-descript apparatus”. I have turned it sideways for use on a roof, upside down and right side up, doubled and tripled them together, and cut them in every form imaginable. I don’t think there is another detail part that I have used more; it is the detail part of choice when it comes to industrial models.
Ultimately, it got to the point here at SMARTT that instead of having us purchase dozens of full kits, we cast our own modified vent parts. We now have an endless supply of those vents, which enables us to come up with even more variations of those non-descript industrial apparatus.
Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the kit’s release; I don’t think there is anyone producing the kit at this time, however they do become available on eBay from time to time, as well as at model train shows and at some hobby shops. Also, if you have never built a Superior Bakery do so. It is a great little structure to build “as-is”. It is industrial, but can fit into most spaces, and it does not need to be near a railroad siding, it was released without a RR loading platform. Hopefully someone will pick up this neat little kit and make it easily available once again!
from the April, 2011 SMARTT Newsletter