Photos by Richard Schumacher
Woodland Scenics Emilio’s Italian Restaurant models a family style restaurant typical of what you would see from the steam era through today. It is the first of their Built-&-Ready® Landmark Structures® to feature their new Just Plug™ Lighting System. This structure is lit with two warm white LEDs, which simulates the warm yellow color of incandescent lighting. The first floor is designed as a”lightbox” with a photo of the restaurant dining area, and provides an inviting view through the large arched front windows with red stained-glass tops when illuminated. The tables and chairs on the sidewalk coordinate with those inside.
LEDs are the best way to light structures due to their long life and cool operating temperatures. Unfortunately, many modelers are put off by the need to limit current to the LEDs and the parts required to accomplish that, and the confusion of wiring polarity (they only light when connected one way to DC power).
Woodland Scenics’ new Just Plug® Lighting is a modular system, easy to install and use, with absolutely no electrical knowledge or special tools required. The system includes lighted buildings, cars and streetlights and prewired LED lighting kits to retrofit your existing buildings. A power supply and Light Hub is used to power the LEDs. LEDs can be immediately destroyed by over-current, so it is critical that the current is limited to each LED (you cannot just connect LEDs to a standard model railroad power supply). Woodland Scenics’ system ensures the proper current is provided for each LED, making them last for (likely) decades. Of course, if you know what you are doing electronically and incorporate an appropriate current limiting circuit for each LED, you can connect these LEDs just like any other LED. Woodland Scenics’ Light Hubs also have dimmer controls to adjust LED brightness. This ease of use comes at a cost, but it gets you there with absolute simplicity.
Emilio’s has two warm white LEDs. The first lights the dining room interior, the second lights the second floor apartment (the light shines through the windows and skylight). A 24-inch plug-in pre-wired cable connects the building to a Just Plug® Lighting Hub.
The building has great architectural details, a sign which fits any era, second story decorative awnings, and a beautiful paint job. At some point you realize you won’t live long enough to assemble all those kits you have stashed away (I’m looking at you, those plaid and yellow boxes). The Built-&-Ready® Landmark Structures® make it easy to quickly add a finished look to your towns.
Visitors and operators spend a lot of time looking at your structure roofs, unless you have an eye-level layout. Emilio’s has a nicely finished tarpaper roof with a roof hatch, air conditioner, apartment skylight, and plenty of vents. The chimney is very nicely detailed, and the inside of the roof wall is modeled with beautifully painted brickwork (something you don’t see on most models). You can make out a sofa and table through the lighted skylight (doesn’t want to photograph easily, but you can see it when you move your head around the top of the lighted building).
The building sides feature a beautiful brick paint job and light weathering under the windows. Windows feature drapes and blinds.
The left side has weathering of the brickwork at the top and an open blind to look out into the alley.
The brick weathering at the top extends to the rear wall which has a double door, more windows with blinds, and beautifully detailed downspouts, electric and gas meters.
You can easily read the lettering on the delivery doors, and see the printed detailing on the nicely painted meters. These are some beautiful detail parts.
But walking down main street, it is the details on the front that are most impressive. Two tables for two sit outside the front windows and under the (simulated) crank-down large fabric awning.
But the menu sign next to the front door is the highlight of the detailing. The easily read lettering makes me hungry for Lasagna and Italian Ice. Some of Woodland Scenics’ added details have been a little oversize on their earlier Built-&-Ready® structures, but they have all the details nailed on this model.
I purchased my Emilio’s Italian Restaurant from an online hobby store. All of the Woodland Scenics Built-&-Ready® structures come in a transparent fitted package, which is shipped inside a cardboard box. Emilio’s is also available in N and O scale versions. The HO model retails at $84.99.