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Quick Look: Menards HO scale Red Owl grocery store

Read this review from the August 2017 Model Railroader
Menards HO scale Red Owl grocery store
The back of the Menards Red Owl store is just as detailed as the front

Price: $69.99 plus shipping (free shipping to local Menards store)

5106 Menard Dr.
Eau Claire, WI 54703

Era: 1955 to 1988

Comments: Home-improvement chain Menards entered the HO scale structure market in 2016 and has rapidly grown its line of factory-assembled models to a dozen in just one year. The company’s latest release is a Red Owl store.

Red Owl was a Midwestern chain of grocery stores that operated from 1922 to 1988. At its peak there were more than 400 stores in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin.

The Menards Red Owl was inspired by a store that once operated at the corner of South Hastings Way and Fenwick Avenue in Eau Claire, Wis. The store opened in December 1955.

The HO scale Red Owl measures 43⁄4" x 95⁄8" x 33⁄8". The laser-cut tempered-hardboard building has a printed interior with three figures pushing shopping carts and a checkout counter with the Red Owl logo. Outside, there are three more figures, a coin-operated children’s horse ride, a trash can, and Jack the German shepherd.

The back of the building has two truck docks with weather bellows and a door to the office. The sides feature period advertisements and wall-mount light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

The building has more than 25 LEDs, so it really stands out when illuminated. In addition, there are three motorized vents on the roof and a Red Owl sign that can be constantly illuminated or flash in blinking patterns. A separate 4.5V power source is required to operate the lights and vents. There are two jacks, one on the right side of the building and another concealed inside. The control switch for the sign is next to the jack on the right side of the building.

If you’re in the market for a ready-to-install grocery store for your HO scale model railroad, you’ll want
to check out the Red Owl store from Menards.

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Plan and design an around the room track plan.

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