PLEASE NOTE:The 60 + Model
Railroad Structures Shown on our Website Can Be Built in OO gauge, HO scale, or in N
Construct HO Train Buildings from Scratch.
A Method Suitable for N scale
and OO Gauge Buildings Too.
HO scale is one of the most commonly used scales
for building model trains because it allows you to add realistic details without taking a lot
of space. Adding scale buildings to your layout makes your setup more realistic. The more you
get involved in making railroad layouts, the more inclined you will be to construct scenery,
structures and buildings from scratch. Adding buildings directly from the kit will save time
but it is incomparable to the joy of constructing every structure in your railroad from
This HO building of a house is one of the ones featured on this
website and was made using cardboard cut from a cereal pack. It cost less than
The most important detail that you need to focus
on, while constructing structures for your train layout, is the scale. It is absolutely
necessary that you convert the real dimensions of a structure to 1:87 to make each structure
look perfect with your HO scale trains.
Following are some of the steps that you can
follow to make realistic HO train buildings from scratch:
Step 1: Make sure that you
research well before you start making your own model buildings. Look around for different
building styles to get an idea about the dimensions of the buildings in the real world. If
you want to create a scene from the past eras then you need to search online or look into
different magazines, to get an idea about the buildings that you trying to
Step 2: Once you have decided on
the real life building that you want to add in your model, determine its size. Use an online
conversion calculator to convert its dimensions to millimeters or inches. For example the
building you want to make is 60 foot tall; it will be 720 in inches and 18,288 in millimeters
in its real size.
Step 3: Once you know the total
millimeters, divide them by 87, to make it fit for your scale. For example 18,288 millimeters
when divided by 87, will be around 210 millimeters. This should be the height of your HO
train building once it is completed.
Step 4: Use plastic model
sheeting (foam core or core flute) to create the outer walls for your
Step 5: Cut the sections from
the sheet and stick them together at right angles with CA glue accelerator and cyanoacrylate
glue. To support the structure you can add plastic beams or block in the interior corners of
Step 6: To give your HO train
building a more realistic look, add different floors to the building. You can add floors by
sticking horizontal strips of plastic sheeting, alternating between empty spaces and strips
Step 7: You can cut windows and
doors in your building to add life to it. People who like to add minor details in their
models even add curtain in the windows to make them look more real.
Step 8: Use a primer spray to
prime the building once all the glue has dried.
Step 9: Once your building is
complete paint it using an air brush or spray paint in colors that are appropriate for the
buildings of the era that you are trying to create. Use silver or gloss black to replicate
glass, or use clear acetate plastic sheeting. Paint is one of the most important factors in
making your model structures look real. Use colors that are more realistic.
You can also add weathering effects on your
buildings by using different painting techniques and appropriate colors. You can add many
details in your model train layout using the same steps. You can add fences, billboards,
trees, cars, and people to your model with the help of the same technique. All you need to do
is to make sure that you scale the structures.
All About OO
Building your own model railroad can be one of
the most engaging and fun ways to “while away the time.” If you too have been captivated by
this art, then why not join the world of railroad lovers? You don’t need to spend millions to
finance this hobby as most of the things can very easily be constructed at home. Don’t know
where to get started? Well, no stress, research a little on building your very own railroad.
You will find hundreds of tips that will help you out.