Crossing Shanty Instructions

Crossing Shanty (3644)

We recommend that you read through these instructions completely before beginning your build.

Tools and materials

  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Glue – PVA glue or equivalent white glue, wood glue, etc.
  • X-Acto or razor knife with new sharp blade
  • 3-2-1 blocks or equivalent square blocks or clamps (Amazon)
  • Finishing materials of choice: stain, paint, India ink, weathering chalks, etc.

General Notes

This kit has gone through several revisions. As such, the parts diagram is not included here. Please refer to the labeled parts diagram in your specific version of this kit.

If you want the doors of the buildings closed, do not cut the tabs for the doors.

We have included an extra copy of the most fragile pieces.

On occasion, a natural defect in the wood may result in a small uncut portion. This can be fixed by making several shallow cuts with a razor knife.


Small tabs hold the pieces in place on the wooden sheet. When the instructions say to remove the pieces, cut through the tabs with a sharp razor knife, then lightly sand off any remaining tabs using 220 grit sandpaper. Sand just enough to remove the remaining tabs. Note that over-sanding could change the dimensions of the pieces causing issues with proper fit.  

Quick Finish Method

If you are looking for a beginner-friendly method to finish this model, here is one simple and painless approach.

Use your preferred method for applying paint, but this approach produces excellent results with inexpensive spray paint “rattle cans”.

Choose two contrasting paint colors. For the trim, use a light color such as white or light tan. For the field, use a complimentary mid-tone. Spray paint tends to dry darker, so error on the side of lighter colors and test the colors before applying to the model. We used Rust-Oleum 2x Satin Smokey Beige for the trim and Satin Oregano for the field color.


Without removing any parts, paint the back of the A sheet (this is the inside walls) with the trim color and let dry.

Now remove all pieces from both plywood sheets by carefully cutting through the tabs with a razor knife. If doors will be open, remove them as well.

Remove any remaining wood left over from the tabs by lightly sanding the edges with 220 grit sandpaper. Interior tabs can be removed with a needle file or a small piece of sandpaper glued to a popsicle stick. Sand just enough to remove the tabs. Note that over-sanding could change the dimensions of the pieces causing issues with proper fit.


Finish the floor (A6) and desk (A7) with a light stain or leave natural wood.

Next, tape the wooden pieces onto a piece of scrap posterboard or cardboard for painting. The tape prevents the small trim pieces from being blown away by the force of the spray paint. Create two loops of blue painters’ tape with sticky side out. When assembled, the loop should be about 12” long, which requires about 25” of tape. Attach one side to a scrap piece of posterboard or cardboard box.


Firmly press the four walls (A1 x2, A2, A3 and door A4) to the sticky side of the painters’ tape being sure all the painted interior walls are fully masked with the tape. Paint the exterior walls with light coats of the darker field color. Excessive paint will fill in the etchings. Make sure to paint all the edges in addition to the tops.

Tape the wooden window option (A5), the gables (A10 x3) and the four bench pieces (D1 x2, D2 and D3) as well as all B trim pieces to a separate poster board or cardboard using the painters’ tape. Paint the trim pieces with the light trim color. Make sure to paint all the edges in addition to the tops. 

Assemble The Structure

This is the most critical step in creating a quality model. Take your time and assure the four walls are glued together squarely and accurately. To assure precise 90-degree alignment, use 3-2-1 blocks or equivalent squares to hold pieces together while gluing.

Apply glue by dipping the sharp tip of a toothpick or wood barbecue skewer into the glue to get a very small drop of glue on the tip. Apply the glue sparingly along the edge to be glued. Applying too much glue is one of the most common mistakes.


First assemble the two sides and front (A1 x2 and A2) creating a three-sided structure.

Notice how the long walls are attached to the inside edges of the short walls in the diagram below.

Glue and assemble one side at a time and let dry fully.


Attach the desk (A7) to the end wall away from the door opening, about 3/4″ up from the bottom. The board etching should face up. Now glue the rear wall (A3) to the desk and two shorter walls and let dry thoroughly.

The structure sits on top of the floor. Glue the structure, squarely centered, onto the floor (A6) with wood etching up. Note: The unfinished sides of the floor will be covered with trim.


Attach Wall Trim

 The trim pieces are “peel-and-stick”, making attachment simple and glue-free. Use the long edge of a razor knife to remove the paper covering. Line up the trim with very light pressure against the structure until the trim is in the exact place, then press down firmly.


With the model flat on your work surface, attach the short wall trim (B1) to the short wall (A1), making sure the trim piece is centered and the bottom is flush with the work surface. Press trim firmly in place. Repeat for the other short wall.

Attach the rectangular wall trim (B3) to the long rear wall (A3) using the same method. Make sure the thick bottom trim board sits flush with your work surface. There will be a slight gap at the top for the roofline. Attach the front wall trim (B2) to the front wall (A2).

Attach The Windows

There are three options for the large window on the back wall – a counter, an awning, or a glass window. The counter could be used for a newspaper stand, or a fruit or food stand. The counter/awning (A5) is attached after all the windows are attached. If you choose a glass window, follow the window instructions below.



For either of the options, attach the large window frame.

All the windows are assembled following the same process outlined below.

Assembly sequence: The large window on wall A3 uses frame B4, sash B7 and glass C1. The three medium sized windows on walls A1 and A2 use frames B5, sashes B8 and glass C2. The small window on the door (A4) uses frame B6, sash B9 and glass C3.

Assembly Method: Attach the window frame to the exterior wall making sure the frame is centered evenly when looking at it from the inside of the structure and lined up with the exterior etching lines.
Next, peel the protective paper off the corresponding window sash. Note that we have included an extra copy of each of the fragile sashes. From the inside of the structure, stick the sash to the inside of the window frame so that the sticky side of the sash is facing the interior. Use the sharp tip of a razor knife to “poke” it firmly in place against the frame.


Cut through the tabs holding the corresponding window glass in place on the clear plastic sheet. Remove the protective tissue paper. The glass is a tight fit and must be lined up precisely. Carefully center the glass in the window frame. Use the point of a toothpick to press the glass into the sash.


If you chose a counter or awning: For a counter, glue the edge of the counter (A5) to the bottom of the window frame parallel to the ground. For an awning, glue the wooden awning (A5) to the top of the window frame parallel to the ground or slanting downward. 

Attach the Door 

The peel-and-stick kick-plate is designed to cover the gap between the door and the bottom of the floor. Attach door kick-plate (B10) to the bottom of door (A4) so that the height of the door plus the kick plate fills the door opening.


If you choose to have the door closed and it’s still attached to the wall, you may skip this step.

Place a thin line of glue along the inner corner edge of the door. With the shanty standing upright, place the door in position, propped open, and let dry thoroughly. From inside the shanty, place reinforcing line of glue along the door seams, 

Assemble the Roof

The roof is removable and is not attached to the structure. The text on the roof pieces should be right side up when the roof is in place. Note that the length of one of the two roof piece edges (A8) is longer than the other (A9). The shorter piece is edge glued to the underside of the longer piece so that from the end, it forms an angle with equal lengths.


Place a thin line of glue on the top edge of the shorter piece. Place the roof in position on top of the structure. Hold the roof onto the structure with your fingers to maintain the proper angle until the roof maintains its shape.

Attach the gables before the roof fully dries as you may need to slightly modify the roof angle. The gables (A10) are attached so that the top fascia trim is flush with the top of the roof line. This assures a smooth surface for the roofing material. Place a thin line of glue along the inside of the fascia and attach to the roof. Repeat for other side.

Roofing Choices

We have included roofing materials for either a tar paper or shake shingle roof. 

Tar Paper Roof

Refer to our instructions on tar paper roofing. 

Tar Paper Roofing Instructions

Shake Shingle Roof

Refer to our instructions on shake shingle roofing. 

Shake Shingle Roofing Instructions  

Bench Instructions 

Note that we have included an extra copy of the fragile front legs (D1) Attach the front legs (D1) to the bottom of the seat (D2), then attach the seat to the rear legs (D3) of the bench.