Corporate Housing
by Gisby

The Corporations built thousands of prefab houses for their workers.They were small and cheap, and you saw them everywhere. The houses, that is....

One of the more common pieces found in Plasticville 'lots' on ebay is the 'Cape Cod House' It may not be complete, but you usually get parts for more than one.

First released in 1948 or '49, the kit has been issued in various colour combinations. As a result, you may find yourself making franken-houses from different kits. (NB: The chimney is often missing, but the chimney of the Suburban Station is the same piece.)

The kit is also often found assembled and glued together: Taking it apart can be difficult, because the plastic is often old and brittle. If your kits are NOT glued together, take the time to open the gaps between the locking stones. Otherwise they don't allow very tight joints.

Unlike most Plasticville kits, the pre-coloured windows & doors were glued in place at the factory: This causes the huge yellowed areas on the kits. In spite of this, the doors and windows have often fallen off. On the other hand, when they haven't they are often impossible to remove.

I chose to glue my windows and doors in place and paint them after priming. If I could have removed them it would have speeded painting greatly.

The walls have a rather indeterminate texture. Given the popularity of stucco when these kits were made, I assume that's what was intended. The corners represent stone, and actually lock the kits together.

One long wall has a door in the centre plus two windows. The other long wall has a door off to the left and two windows.

The short walls have two windows, or a window with a door to the right. This means that this small house has doors on three sides.

Most of the pre-glued kits I've picked up have two of the doors in the same corner. It looks sort of odd because you can step in through one door and out a different door with your next step.

There is no firm locking method for the roof panels: They were originally held in place by the walls. I taped them together on the outside and ran a bead of cyano adhesive on the inside. When the glue hardened, I taped a piece of sintra in place inside the roof, and glued it in place to strengthen the join.

I've managed to gather enough chimneys for all my houses, although a replacement would be easy enough to make from plasticard.

I actually started collecting the buildings to use as cabins for a Summer Camp scenario. (OK, it was a girls' survivalist camp run by nuns, under assault by maniacs, demons, and giant insects. But that's another story....) Since then I've used them as worker's huts on an arctic pipeline, Corporate housing, and suburban houses.

Like the buildings they represent, they aren't exciting, but they are cheap and useful.

The Plasticville Cape Cod House is still in production.

I accidentally crushed a Plasticville fire truck under my chair leg. Rather than throw it away, I primed it and painted it fire engine green, with silver, black, and brass detailing.

I then sprayed the kit from above with flat black paint & grey primer, and glued it to a base, to which sand, greenery and litter were added. The piece looks rather darker than in the photos. (The flash brightens everything.)