Wild West Scale Models:
13 Easy To Make, Realistically Detailed,
Scale Model Buildings... Perfect for Your
Western, or Small Country Town Railroad Scene.



Wild West Town Pack Deal C


Make this scaled down wild west town. Add cowboys and you have a faithfully replicated western scene.

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old wild western town structures scale model size chartsold wild western town structures scale model size charts

These 13 old wild west model buildings are extremely quick and easy to download, print and build. If you are using them for your model railroad, then adjusting the print size to the right scale takes only seconds (see below for details). They can also be easily adapted as buildings for a country town scene from the 1930’s or possibly the 1950’s. It’s easy to download the printable paper models and construct them into a wild western town scene using cardstock, or recycle card from old cereal boxes.

How to Make the Old Wild Western Town Paper Models

Easy and Fun! You just glue the printed-out plans to cardboard (e.g. a used cornflake box can be recycled for this purpose), or you could glue the paper plans to corflute or foam board (you decide). Use a sharp Xacto craft knife to cut the plans out ready for sticking together with adhesive. Super glue or clear craft glue works well. The whole process is surprisingly simple and these scale models of Old Wild West buildings are super strong and realistic when built.

The plans for these paper models also include ideas for adding a porch and steps to these old wild west buildings. These are easily made from balsa wood or popsicle sticks (about $2 from a discount store). This will add even more character these old western town buildings. Details on how to construct the printable plans to HO scale / OO gauge / or N scale is explained below.

How to Download and Print the Printable Paper Model Plans

At the checkout you will be asked to select the size you want your downloaded plans to be. OO HO scale is the most popular scale, and if you select this option the PDF paper plans can be printed same size if you model in OO gauge. Many HO scale modelers print the plans to OO scale and some reduce the printed size to 87% to more closely resemble HO scale sizing. Adjusting the print settings on a home printer is easy. For rail modelers constructing their railroad layout to N scale they just select N scale at the checkout and can then access the plans for the PDF paper models in N scale.

After completing your purchase you will be directed to your download page. The paper plans are PDF files so they are very quick and simple to download. You have the option to save them on your computer hard drive or on a disk or memory stick. The good thing about it is that by saving the files you can print out multiple copies without needing to purchase a second download of each wild western building you purchase. You can build as many of these old wild west buildings as you want. You can even adapt them for a more modern small town scene. That is what makes these paper printable models so versatile and such good value for money.

Print as many copies of these old wild west buildings as you like*.

*There is no limit to how many copies of the paper models you print. The only condition is that the copies you print must be for your personal & private (non-commercial) use.

Old Wild West Buildings: Plans for 13 Easy To Make, Realistically Detailed, Scale Models…Perfect for Your Western, or Small Country Town Railroad Scene

That’s one of the great things about these wild western model town buildings, you download them just once (takes seconds, or a minute or so if you have a really slow internet connection). You can then print each wild west paper model building out multiple times if you choose. So, with the General Store for example; you could make one model building with the words “General Store” on the front then, using the same download; make another building without the words “General Store.” So, your second building would just be a plain building (without signage), or you could glue on a totally different sign such as “Boot Shoe Repairs.” That way you could have a “General Store”, a plain building (without signage), and a “Boot Shoe Repairs” old western town building … all from the same download. None of these model buildings would look out of place in a frontier western town west of the Mississippi River around the late 1800’s, or in the frontier territories of Nevada, Arizona, Dakota, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Montana, New Mexico, California, and Colorado.

How to Create a Genuine Looking Old Wild West Town Scene

The era referred to as the Old Wild West began following the Civil War in 1865. We’ve all enjoyed watching old Westerns with cowboys, cattle rustlers, saloon brawls, train and stage coach robberies, and street gun fights… the goodies verses the baddies. That’s probably why so many model railroaders choose an old western town as focus for their model railroad layout whether it be HO scale, N scale, or to OO scale. There is a certain romanticism about the Old Wild West days, although in reality, life was tough for the early western settlers and pioneers. Famous gunslingers included William H. Bonney known commonly as ‘Billy the Kid’ and James Butler ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok.

To complete a model railroad Old Wild West town scene there needs to be at least one saloon, maybe a hotel or boarding house, a sheriff’s office and jail, blacksmith, general store, gunsmiths, and a Bank. Other buildings can also be added like a church, school, and other stores or perhaps even more saloons (they were very common from 1865 to 1895 and later. After all, the saloons were where the entertainment was – well, for the men anyway. The ‘Old Wild West’ was famous for cowboys, Indians, the lawmen (Sheriff, Marshal, Deputy, Judge), gunslingers, the early pioneers, the gold prospectors, the gamblers, wagon trains, the scouts, the gangs, the outlaws, the saloon ladies, and the gunfighters. These can all be included if you are modeling an old western town scene complete with old wild west buildings in HO scale, or OO scale, or N scale.

An HO scale model railroad layout around this western theme could also include a nearby mining town, ranch or railroad station and telegraph office. It all comes down to what features the railroader wants to include.

How to Create a Small Country Town from the 1950’s or 1930’s

These downloadable paper models of buildings can be printed with or without the signage provided. For that reason, the model buildings could easily be used to complete a small country town scene set sometime in the 20th century (maybe the 1930’s or 1950’s). Buyers on this website can access a sheet of extra signs (in MY Account area), so you glue a totally different sign on any of these paper models. The plain buildings (minus the signage) could even be used a farm buildings. The possibilities are endless.

Some History – How the Railroads Got Started

Railroads were first developed in England thanks to George Stephenson and other pioneers of the early technology used to run steam engines. It wasn’t long before engines built at the Stephenson Workshops started being shipped to the United States. Prior to the Civil War even the rails were generally sourced from England.

How did early railroads change America?

The Americans were quick to see the potential for how railroads could stretch in all directions linking cities and towns from one side of the country to the other. The savings in time and money were substantial when compared to transporting goods, gold, mail, and people by traditional wagons or stage coach. By comparison, stage coaches were very slow and the journeys across the plains were dangerous.

It is no exaggeration to say that the construction and operation of railroads in the US transformed the economic, social, and political landscape of a country that was still only about 50 years old. And, the change didn’t stop there. In the next half century, America was in the midst of a development boom with the expansion of train tracks, the construction of bridges, tunnels, telegraph systems, railroad stations and depots to support ever expanding railroads. The United States Of America might be a very different country today if it were not for the development of railroads linking up towns and cities across the country in the old wild western days.

What challenges did the railroads face?

Apart from the geographical challenges, the early railroads (although generally successful) faced financing pressures with the fast and expansive expansion. Some of this was a direct result of opposition from skeptics, stagecoach operators, wagon drivers, canal companies, turnpike operators, and even in some cases saloon and business owners who saw their livelihoods as being under threat from this new form of transport that was changing the face of America. In many cases opposition turned to violence and even sabotage of tracks and other railroad assets.

Were the railroads affected by train robberies?

As is depicted in the old western movies, robbers progressed from robbing stage coaches to robbing trains. These criminals generally worked in gangs robbing gold shipments, payrolls, and train passengers. They typically struck in isolated locations or where the trains ran at slower speeds. This was truly the Old Wild West! The thieves would sometimes place an obstacle on the track or removed wooden ties (sleepers) to slow, stop, or derail the train. On other occasions they rode their horses parallel in line to the train, so the rider could jump aboard a moving train leaving another rider to grab his horse. The nearest town with a Sheriff or Marshal was often days away. That’s what makes replicating old wild west buildings in an 1800’s type mining or western town so fascinating. Scale paper models are the perfect way to achieve this for model railroaders, craftspeople, people interested in creating dioramas, or even kids doing school projects. Model building is a fun activity for young and old. Back to the history of the US old wild west –

Once onboard the train, the gang member would unhitch the rail car(s) from the locomotive. Dynamite was often used to blow open the safe. Sometimes members of the gang would ride the train posing as train passengers ready to cease control at a pre-determined location. Perhaps the most famous characters from wild western US history include: Wyatt Earp, ‘Billy the Kid’, ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok, Jesse and Frank James and the Clanton gang, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Arguably the most notorious and well known event would be the Gunfight at the OK Coral.

Preventing train robberies became a high priority for railroads including Southern Pacific, Northern Pacific, Union Pacific, and Central Pacific. Wells Fargo was also affected.

The list of famous outlaws, cowboys, gunslingers, and Lawmakers and Lawmen of the Old Wild West days includes:

Billy the Kid, Bat Masterson, Bill Tilghman, Texas John Slaughter, Wyatt Earp, Tom McLaury, Ben Thompson, the Sundance Kid, Black Bart, Doc Holliday, Billy Clanton, Butch Cassidy, Cole Younger, Clay Allison, the Dalton Gang, Frank Canton, Frank Stillwell, Frank McLaury, the Hole in the Wall Gang, Frank James, Jesse James, John Wesley Hardin, Heck Thomas, Joe Walker, Henry Starr, Robert Ford, Slade the Terrible, Johnny Ringo, Morgan Earp, Virgil Earp, Sam Bass, The Wild Bunch, Judge Roy Bean, Pat Garrett, and Wild Bill Hickok

Who were famous train robbers from the Wild West?

There were several including Jesse James and the notorious James Gang, along with Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch. In one robbery an excessive amount of dynamite was used and $30,000 was blowing into the air by the Wild Bunch. Texas Rangers, Pinkerton men, and U.S. Marshals were involved in arrests, convictions and sentencing of the robbers.

How did railroads compete with existing transport systems?

In 1827 Baltimore, was the third largest city in America, yet was 200 miles nearer the frontier than was New York. To compete with the Erie Canal and New York, Baltimore needed the development of a railroad to transport freight and people to the West. So, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad came into being with construction started July 4, 1828.

New railroads followed and the speed and efficiency of railroad transport was quickly recognized. As an example; the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad laid a 17 mile track that reduced an all-day, 40 mile, canal trip to less than an hour by train. However many railroads tracked longer than 17 miles.

When was the transcontinental railroad built?

Perhaps the most ambitious project of its time was the construction of the 1,907 mile transcontinental railroad (otherwise known as the Pacific Railroad or Overland Route) which stretched from Sacramento to Omaha. Construction began in 1863 and was completed in 1869.

The railroad connected San Francisco Bay on the Pacific Coast to the existing Eastern rail network on the Missouri River in Iowa. Three railroad companies were involved: the Union Pacific Railroad Company, the Western Pacific Railroad Company, and the Central Pacific Railroad Company. Thousands of immigrant workers including many Chinese and Irish were used to lay the track, build the bridges, and dig the tunnels. It wasn’t easy building railroads in the wild west.

What were the conditions like for railroad workers?

The rebuilding and expansion of many southern railroads began in the 1870’s and 1880’s following the American Civil War of 1861 to 1865. Low cost convict laborers were a major part of the workforce. They worked in chains, and were usually underfed, and poorly housed. Medical treatment was basic if any. Life was tough and the convict laborers life expectancy averaged around 3 years, with around 10% dying in the first 4 months.

When was the great railroad strike?

There have been several railroad strikes. In 1886, 200,000 rail workers where involved in the Great Southwest Railroad Strike involving the Missouri Pacific and Union Pacific railroads.

Then, work on the Eastern rail trunk lines was abruptly halted by a workers strike in 1877 in response to a 10% drop in wages, profiteering by companies, and continuing worker injuries and deaths. Then in 1887, railroad regulation to ensure price fairness, was enacted by the Interstate Commerce Commission.

A crowd of thousands in Baltimore took part in a bloody confrontation where 20 strikers got killed. The crowd of angry workers and their supporters ripped up train tracks, as well as destroying a locomotive and some passenger cars. Five hundred troops were bought in to bring about order. The railroad workers strike had also spread to other places including: Pittsburg, Reading, Harrisburg, Chicago, and St Louis.

In all; more than 100,000 rail workers went on strike, at least 100 people died, with a further 1,000 or so jailed. It had a major impact by stopping more than half the nation’s freight movements. Some concessions were made by the railroads, but they also increased the strength of their own internal police forces to help maintain order and reduce crime.

There were no doubt good times and bad times in the history of early US railroads and old wild west towns. It the wonderful images the history brings to mind that makes modeling a scale paper replica of an old wild western town such fun. These paper plans can be downloaded and are printable for HO scale model railroads as well as for N scale and OO gauge model railways.

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