9 "True-To-Life" Model Railroad House Designs...
to Make Building Scale Model houses Easier
and More Realistic Than Ever



9 Houses And 4 Garages Pack Deal


Downloadable PDF plans to build 8 houses and 4 garages. Authentically detailed model railroad buildings.

Please select your scale
Please select your scale
Please select your scale
Please select your scale
Please select your scale
Please select your scale
Please select your scale
Please select your scale
Please select your scale

If you are a model railroader, or just like constructing scale models for your HO scale, OO gauge, or N scale model railroad layout, then these 9 downloadable scale model houses and 4 garages are for you. Building a scale model house has never been easier or more realistic thanks to the printable paper PDF plans that can be constructed using scrap cardboard or using inexpensive materials like corflute. They key to the realism is the photo-realism of the printable paper plans. They come already weathered and colored with realistic textures including cracks, mold, and faking paint as an example.

These 9 scale model house designs are fun and straightforward to build (each design has easy-to-follow diagrams showing what to do). The paper designs come in easy to download PDF format which takes only moments to download. You can save the designs on your computer (or back them up on your portable hard drive or removable USB memory stick) for future use.

The paper house designs are easy to print and scale (see details below).

Download each plan once and then print out more than one copy if you want without the need to buy more downloads. There is no restriction on how many copies you legally print as long as each copy is exclusively for your private use. Sharing the designs on this website is a strict breach of copyright.

Building a scale model house is a lot of fun

The plans for these houses and garages include recommended construction methods (gluing the designs onto used cardboard or cardstock is proven to work well), but other materials like corflute and foam board are also popular with HO scale and N scale model railroaders (OO gauge in the UK). When constructed… and the adhesive has dried thoroughly, these cardstock scale house models are incredibly sturdy, although that’s not to stop you adding addition strips of card, foam, balsa, or corflute inside the completed printable models to make them as strong as a fortress! It’s a personal choice what you do.
It’s also entirely your choice how you finish off each of these scale houses. The supporting poles and posts can easily be made from balsa wood, dowel, or cheap wood skewers bought from a dollar discount store. A touch of acrylic paint and they look like real supporting posts. Obviously the balsa, card, glue etc is not included with the PDF downloads, but the downloaded printable plans are still only a fraction of the cost of plastic models which need to be shipped, constructed, painted and weathered.

Building a scale model house has never been easier or more realistic because the printable plans are pre-weathered and highly detailed with the utmost accuracy and realism. You can touch up the edges of the cardstock after you’ve finished construction if you choose to. A lead pencil works well, or you could use a felt-tipped pen on artist brush… but touch-ups probably won’t be required.



9 “True-To-Life” Model Railroad Printable Home Designs… to Make Building a Scale Model House Fun, Easy, Inexpensive and More Realistic Than Ever

Please note: the above images are a guide to what the completed models will look like. The scenery effects are shown here to give you some ideas for possible landscaping around the homes. They are a guide only, and obviously the scenery and construction materials are not included with the downloads. If you purchase the OO scale downloadable home plans, you can easily alter your printer settings to 87% and this will print the paper model to precisely HO scale. If you choose to purchase the N scale plans, you simply print the paper PDF plans same size. The paper plans are then glued on to cardstock or corflute and assembled.

Building a Realistic Looking Scale Model House (or Houses) to Bring an OO Gauge, N scale or HO Scale Model Railway Scene to Life

Model railroads shouldn’t just be static, stationary models depicting a fantasy railway scene. To replicate realism they need to look extremely realistic, with scale model building architecture (shops, industrial, residences etc.) and structures (bridges, tunnels, towers etc.); landscape including trees, roads, mountains, people, animals, lights and signals. To be effective an HO scale model railroad layout needs to be realistic looking and interesting, even if it is not based around a real life railroad setting.

For most modelers and hobbyists, modeling scaled down railroads is a passion. Recreating historical scenes from the past, or real life railroads, and even fictitious railroads to suit their fancy; scale modeling is an art. Since these scaled paper models are recreations of actual homes, making them look realistic and detailed is important.

The scale needs to be consistent whether it’s the size of the model train; the people getting on it, the cars in the car park, or the houses, buildings, structures and accessories surrounding the track. Even the colors need to look natural without being too vivid; otherwise it will spoil the illusion of everything in the scene being real. The smallest thing can distract the eye and spoil the overall effect. So whether you are building a scale model house from photo-realistic downloadable paper plans glued onto cardstock, or buying the more expensive plastic model kits, attention to detail is important. Fortunately the downloads of these houses and garages come already pre-weathered with very realistic textures such brickwork, stucco, and painted wood (in some cases even with peeling paint for added realism). The paper model houses are delivered quickly via the internet so there is no shipping to pay or waiting for a parcel to arrive in the mail.

Depending on what era or geographic location is being modeled, the train track might pass through or near residential areas, small towns, or even larger towns or cities. In bigger towns or commercial hubs, the train stations are likely to be busy, with lots of people and vehicles adding to the scene. The nearby streets might include shops, apartments, residential houses, or perhaps office buildings or warehouses might be built depending on what location or era is being modeled.

I reiterate what I said earlier; to appear 100% authentic, the architecture needs to be convincing without looking plastic or fake. Real looking weathering and detailing makes it easier to replicate the resemblance to real world structures and architecture, and increases the authenticity and credibility of the entire N scale, OO gauge, or HO scale miniature model train layout. Buildings can look more true to life when the surfaces are not too perfect. That’s where details like flaked paintwork, cracks, mold, rust, and fading can add greatly to a scene’s realism. Building a scale model house using downloaded plans takes care of this because when the PDF paper models are printed ready for gluing to cardstock they already have colored textures (brick, wood, stucco, iron, tiles concrete etc) that include reastic weathering techniques such as cracks in brickwork, calcium stains on concrete, rust on iron roofs, cracks on tiled roofs, peeling paintwork, mold on stucco surfaces etc. That’s not to say the houses and garages look like wrecks. They have just enough realistic weathering to show some age caused by the sun, weather, and expected natural wear and tear.

Plans for Building Scale Model Houses

Downloadable buildings are inexpensive and easy to buy, and make, and add amazing depth and dimension to the railroad model. Modelbuildings.org offers various types of model buildings for purchase with the range of scale model houses being particularly varied and interesting to met the needs of modelers in different locations modeling different geography and eras. These model building kits can easily be purchased online, downloaded, and constructed as per scale and paper choice (normal photocopy paper glued to cardstock or corflute is ideal). Scale model printable house kits of this type are not only money savers, but also superbly authentic in appearance. While buying individual houses and building designs is not particularly expensive, opting for the bulk-buy kits on the website is a fantastic option when constructing larger railroad layouts. The PDF download files for the house designs can be saved for later use, so the modeler can make additional model houses at a later date if required without incurring the costs of additional downloads. Some a simple neighborhood with a couple houses could be extended for very little cost into a bigger street scene with multiple homes and garages.

The houses and model buildings on the web site are easy to assemble, and can aid dramatically in adding depth and dimension to the model railway. A streetscape or a residential area using printable model house kits can help in adding to the realistic illusion of the railroad layout. However, having each house building model to the correct scale is important, unless the home is built to a smaller size and positioned against the background, so as to appear a mile or two away in the distance. That’s where the versatility of these paper model house plans comes into play; unlike plastic model kits they can easily be made smaller by scaling the size of individual houses down on a home printer. These plans can be constructed to HO SCALE, N SCALE, Z SCALE, or to OO GAUGE and sizes in between. Enlarging them bigger than S SCALE can cause a loss in quality print resolution so is not generally recommended.

If you are building a scale model house to appear in the foreground, then an wrong-sized building can ruin the illusion and make the model look unrealistic and toy-like. Attention to scale is important to make the entire scene convincing. Any property; whether it’s a farm, a home on a residential street, or a shop in a town, can add to the real world feel, and reinstate the notion that the land is populated, that there are humans who actually live there. A deserted property can look artificial and like something from a ghost town.

How Important is Detailing When Building Scale Model Houses?

The key to making a railroad setup look realistic is by first paying attention to everything around. Noticing how the residential homes and houses are placed, the shops in the street, and people, trees and even how the railway stations look. Detailing and minute things like using people around the model, weathering on the model buildings etc., will add life and realism to the railroad setup. It will then cease to be just a model, and will become a replica of the life-size of a real life scene.

While it can be quite tedious for some hobbyists; it is important to first plan and design the layout by deciding the track configuration, deciding on typography and landscape elements, and allocating space for various properties, be they a farm, a factory, a mine, shops, a train station, or a streetscape of residential homes. Careful planning for each structure or property is needed to make sure the layout does not look too crowded or oddly populated, or deserted.

How Do Paper Model Kits Of Houses Compare To Plastic Model Kits?

Model building kits of varying types can be used to enhance and liven up a model railroad. While downloaded paper model building kits are easy to access and construct from scrap cardboard, the more expensive plastic model buildings are a good option too. The only drawbacks with plastic model kits is: the high cost, and the extra work required to try and make the weathering and detailing look somewhat realistic and less like painted plastic. Unlike downloadable scale paper models; each plastic kit needs to be purchased separately, whereas a downloaded design is purchased just once and printed several times (to make multiple buildings) if required. They can even be cut up to use against a backdrop, whereas it would be a waste of money to butcher a $100 plastic model kit.

The old myth of plastic models being stronger than downloaded plans built with corflute or cardstock has been put to rest. Fact is; it is easy to construct the downloaded paper printable designs to be remarkably strong by utilizing cheap-to-buy corflute, or foam board sheets. Some modelers even build scale model houses by gluing the designs to plywood, or cardboard from used cereal boxes. The options are numerous and generally inexpensive, especially when several scale model houses are made from one sheet.

Additional supports can easily be built in during construction. Often it is simply a case of adding some basic internal supports made from cardstock scraps or corflute, however most railroaders don’t see the need for additional strengthening, as the houses natural strengthen as the glue dries. It’s a personal choice.

Downloaded paper model kits like the ones at modelbuildings.org comprise structures that are highly detailed and have well designed doors, windows, and surfaces that look like real bricks, real wood, real concrete etc. Also, with all the weathering techniques already included in the designs, it is easy to create the look of a real worn down house, garage, or structure.

Do Paper Model Kits Need Airbrushing, Weathering, or Detailing?

Downloaded printable model house building kits from modelbuildings.org are photographic in appearance, and are already designed and weathered. So unless specific features are required, the weathering, airbrushing, and detailing are already completed. The PDF download plans allow the builder to put together the pieces and, if necessary, detail them further. Regardless of what which modeling kit is used, it is advised to paint edges before or after putting them together. This will add to the effect and will make the scale model houses look even more real and life like. Again, this can be achieved to precision by carefully noticing real life buildings and the effects of the weather on them. Sometimes just running a lead pencil or artist brush along the edges will hide any joins.

Weathering is an important part of not just buildings, but also structures and bridges, train cars, engines, and the landscape. Notice how different houses and buildings have been weathered differently over time, and use the various weathering techniques to replicate the effect. This is particularly important with plastic model kits, as they usually require considerable work to achieve anything near the fine detailing found on photographically textured download kits.

Building a Residential Street with Scale House Models

When building a model railroad, the element of realism is a must. It adds depth and dimension to the setup, making it look larger than life and real at the same time. Scale building kits are a great aid in this case. Added to the backdrop, they add perspective and make it look real.

With the printable building kits for these houses it is very easy to create a residential area on the layout, or pop a house amongst some trees in a rural setting. The track may not have to necessary pass through the residential area, nor do all houses have to be facing the track. The variety of the plans for printable scale houses available makes is very easy to create a residential area to suit the requirements of almost any HO scale, N scale or OO gauge model railroad layout. The various kinds of houses can be arranged aesthetically to recreate a real life residential area.

While the train and the tracks are an important part of the modeled scene, the backdrop and scenery is what makes the model railroad particularly interesting. Trains running on a track laid out on a flat surface does not look as interesting as a track running through a carefully designed landscape or residential / industrial district. A background made up of buildings, houses, roads, industries, cars and people livens up and adds a new dimension to the scaled railroad layout.

A paper house model kit can easily be printed off the website modelbuildings.org, and added to the scale model railroad. Each house in the building kit can be zoomed in or out, to proportion, so that it fits the scale of the model that is being built – N scale, HO scale, S scale, Z scale, or OO gauge. Low relief model-house kits positioned against the bench top background can add amazing dimension and create a feeling of continuation.

Modelbuilding.org has a variety of multi pack printable model building kits for fast downloading, including a big range of houses, residential buildings, and apartments. The valued priced package deals of paper building kits contain sets of 5-9 models that can easily be purchased online, printed, and printed out as many times as required.

Load more