model buildings



The Raw Materials For
Building Model Railroad Structures

model railroad structures

Structures come in all shapes, sizes, and construction techniques. There are completely assembled plastic buildings, plastic kits, laser-cut wooden kits, cardboard kits and even brass kit structures available. Kit bashing and scratch building of structures is almost a separate hobby in itself. Most hobby and railroading shops will have a supply of styrene shapes in all sizes and a selection of brass tubing, wire and different kinds of wood sheets and strips for building and modifying models.

Claws, Teeth, and Clamps

Tools for structure modeling are simple. An X-acto knife, a small zip saw and some corner clamps are about all you need to build any structure. Adhesives and work space round out the tool list, although there are a number of nice-to-have tools such as the NWSL Chopper. You’ll also want to include a scale ruler to help with measurements. Using a scale ruler is a lot easier than measuring and trying to convert to millimeters of fractions of an inch in your head!

More Than a Miniature City

Don’t forget that the railroad itself will need a suite of structures. Storage sheds, depots, maintenance shops, roundhouses, yards, sanding towers, fuel and water structures are all required just to help the trains move from place to place.

Old Man Weather(ing)

Let’s look a little more at realism in structures. If you drive around your town or county, you can see many examples of structures that have been in place for decades. Most owners will paint them and do maintenance periodically, but there are plenty around that show signs of weathering. It’s pretty common to find a structure that has been neglected and has peeling paint, broken windows, sagging roof, or porch and stairs about to fall off. These are things that you don’t really see when you drive by unless you are looking for them, but they are really at the heart of making your layout appear realistic. Weathering techniques are incredibly easy to do and will be covered in some detail at a later time, but keep in mind how much structure and scene disorder, chaos and disrepair can add to the drama!

Plan the Work, Work the Plan

And finally, even if you don’t intend to make photography a hobby, an inexpensive point and shoot digital camera or smart phone is one of the most useful tools you can acquire. It will help you document existing prototype structures and machinery that you can model and provide you with a permanent inventory of all the elements of a real-life scene that you may wish to duplicate in miniature. Take a LOT of pictures from all angles, and don’t leave out the surrounding trees, grass, street details, etc!

One final word of advice: Have fun! Your model might not be an exact duplicate of the real thing, but it will certainly demonstrate your style and technique to anyone who views it.

 Scenery Techniques

Constructing Buildings

Series 1     Series 2


model railroad engine shed

Locomotive Maintenance Shop

model shop

Model of Old Store

bus shelter model

Passenger Shelters

grain barn silo model

Barn + Silo

Restaurant model building

Big Building

Factory Model Building

Warehouse/Workshop Building

model railway depot

Inward/Outward Goods


model railroad shops 

Model Shops For Background
More Info

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Model Buildings

B419 Railway Shed
B420 Railroad Shed
B421 Cabin
B530 Silos
B423 Church
B424 Office Building
B425 House
B426 Barn Grain Silo
B427 Shop
B428 Grain Elevator
B429 Restaurant
B430 Containers
B431 Small Train Station
B432 Signal Box
B433 Waiting Shelter
B434 Railway Station
B435 Engine Shed
B436 Engine Shed
B437 Engine Shed
B438 Crossing Shanty
B439 Telegraph Office
B440 Railway Goods Depot
B441 Station Platform
B443 Factory Farm Building
B444 Barn and WC
B445 Tractor Shed
B508 Wild West Town
B466 Houses
B520 Mining Town
6 Rail Yard Buildings
Walls Bridges Tunnel Portals
8 House & 4 Garages


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Low Relief Buildings

B446 Low Relief City Buildings

B459 Low Relief Industrial

B473 Low Relief Houses

B474 Low Relief Terrace Houses

B482 Low Relief Terrace Shops

B489 Low Relief Rail Yards

B546 Low Relief Rail Yards

B496 Low Relief Shops

Extendable Buildings

Tall Warehouse Buildings


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tall scale model warehouses - low relief structures

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