Printable Paper Models – 28 Realistic Old Wild West Town Buildings and Mining Town Structures. Ideal for HO Scale,OO, and N scale Railroads.

Individual Plans

The US frontier West conjures up all kinds of fantasies and memories of watching cowboy movies featuring the likes of John Wayne, or watching old television series including: Bonanza, Rawhide, Little House on the Prairie, Gunsmoke, The Virginian, Walker Texas Ranger, How the West Was Won, The Big Valley, Laramie, Maverick, The Lone Ranger, The High Chaparral, Alias Smith and Jones, F Troop, Daniel Boone, The Roy Rogers Show, Hopalong Cassidy, and The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin to name some of the most popular wild western series on US television. Phew! That’s quite a list and probably explains why tales of outlaws striding down the middle of a dusty street, dispatching rival gunslingers with a bullet from their holstered pistol, encompasses the western legend we all remember. It’s certainly the reason why choosing to model wild western town buildings or mining town structures on a scale railroad layout has so much appeal for baby-boomer model railroaders.

Now, thanks to this website there is a wonderful library of paper models to download which feature wild western town buildings such as saloons, a sheriffs office, a Bank, blacksmiths, dry goods store, telegraph office, general store, church, gun smith, hotel, barbers shop, school house, and stage depot. The wild western town buildings in this series complement the range of mining town buildings also available as downloads of paper models. There’s a mining chute, workers accommodation, miners huts and shacks, a school house, and mine site office all to download as printable scale models. The kits can be downloaded and printed to HO scale, N scale, or to OO gauge for those in the United Kingdom.

The Wild West attracted a reasonable share of drifters, with the promise of land and mineral (gold or silver) wealth. Guns were very easy to come by, and as we all know from those wild western TV shows and movies, were widely used. In their frontier days, rowdy cattle towns such as Tombstone, Dodge City, and Ellsworth were quite violent places where legends of the wild west settled scores with a bullet. We have heard of the Dalton Gang, Billy the Kid, and Jesse James to name a handful of gunslingers and outlaws from wild western times who frequented wild western town buildings (especially saloons).

Replica a typical scene out of history for a scale model railroad or school project is economical and enjoyable when using download paper plans for making cardboard wild western town buildings in HO scale.

“Gold!! Gold!! Gold!! There’s gold in them hills!!” That line was a common cry heard on the mining frontier in the 19th century American West. This was definitely the case during the 1848-1855 California Gold Rush. Attracting people from literally all parts of the world with hopes of striking it rich, the California Gold Rush was a unique fascinating phenomenon of the wild western frontier day from US history. Gold prospectors arrived by boat, donkey, horse, train, and in covered wagons. Shocking, but many abandoned their families, others gave up good paying jobs in the hope of striking it rich. Sadly, most returned home actually poorer than before they left to have a go at mining for gold. A few struck it rich.

The nickname “forty-niners” became synonymous with these fortune hunters because it prospectors began arriving in California in 1849. These days, model railroaders can construct their own frontier mining town or have a street of wild western town buildings by using paper models downloaded from the internet. That’s a lot less work than digging for gold.

Gold mining required heavy lifting, and the men (yes they were mostly males) spent hours at a time stooped over, or crouched down on their hands and knees hoping to find a sizable gold nugget. Miners worked for months on end often with nothing or very little to show for their efforts.

There were a few women and children in the mining communities so a church, or school house would not look out of place for those modeling a mining town or wild western town buildings using printed paper models downloaded from

Drunkenness, gambling, fighting, prostitution, and general lawlessness was all too common. Prospectors simply turned up to staked a claim. If there was a dispute over a claim it was frequently resolved by fists or a gun. Mining communities of the US frontier helped put the word “wild” in the “Wild West!”

Add Life & Realism to a Train Layout – 8 Steps to Building Model Railroad Mountains

By Guest Columnist Ray Singleton

Model railroad enthusiasts love adding life to their train layouts by depicting different scenic elements in their layouts. The more details you add in your train layout, the more realistic your HO scale railroad will look. One of the most common scenic features for model train layouts is the mountains in the background. Scaled mountains are very easy to build and they can enhance the overall look of any railroad.

You can build hills and mountains with some basic materials that you can easily find around your house, or you can use insulated foam board which you build up in layers and carve into shape. Following are the simple steps that you can follow to construct a mountain using traditional techniques:

Step 1

Mark the area where you want to place the mountains on your layout baseboard with a marker. Make sure that the area you have marked is easily accessible from all angles. This is necessary because you will have to add details to your mountain from various angles. Spread a sheet of plastic on your layout board around your work area. Use masking tape to secure the sheet in place.

Step 2

Make balls from the pieces of newspaper around 2 to 4 inches in diameter. Fix these newspaper balls on your layout board with a masking tape. Arrange these balls on your layout in the shape of a mountain.

Step 3

Take some cardboard and cut it into strips of varying lengths, having a width of 1 inch. The next step is to stick these strips on the newspaper balls to give your mountains a more accurate shape. These strips will also provide support for plaster. When applying the strips, use a crosshatching system. Start working from the base of the mountain all the way up, leaving an inch of space between each strip. Place vertical strips along the height of the mountain and add horizontal cardboard strips on the mountainsides. Do not forget to add flat areas on your mountains for making roads, rails, or for placing structures. You can create flat areas by flattening the cardboard strips over the newspapers where you wish to add a flat surface.

Step 4

When you create a flat area for railroads along the mountain, make sure that you leave ¼ to ½ inch space on both sides of the rails for the train. If there isn’t enough clearance the trains could derail. The key point is to always ensure your mountain is strong enough to support any extra items (structures, roads, vegetation, track etc.) you might decide to add. You wouldn’t want it collapsing under a heavy weight.

Step 5

The next step is to cover the mountain with plaster cloth. Wet the plaster cloth by soaking it in water; hold it over water until it stops dripping. Place the cloth on the structure that you have built for the mountain, covering the newspaper and the cardboard strips. You can cut the plaster cloth according to your needs before wetting the cloth.

Step 6

Give final shape of the mountain to the damp cloth with the help of a plastic knife. Use the curved side of the knife to roughen up the surface of the plaster cloth to give it a natural look of a rock. Try to add details using the knife and keep flat surfaces where you want to add rails or roads. Keep the model overnight to dry.

Step 7

Once the plaster has dried overnight, you can now paint it according to the mountain type that you are trying to depict. Try to find a colored picture of the mountain range that you want to build to serve as a color guide. Paint the mountain in layers with darker shades at the base moving up to lighter colors. Make sure that you start at the bottom of the structure and then move upwards.

Allow the paint to dry overnight. After the paint has dried you can add grass, vegetation, or any structure that you desire.

Step 8

Remove the plastic sheet that you placed around the model railroad mountain to add connecting roads and rails.

These steps will help you in adding beautiful mountain structures to your train layout to add life in your structure. However, please note this is the traditional method of construction; you should also consider the more modern and increasingly popular method of using sheets of pink or blue insulated foam which you glue together before carving into shape. Have fun making your railroad structures and scenery – an enjoy running your scale trains.

Back to making a mining town or wild western town buildings to scale, there is a comprehensive range of designs on this website. They are perfect for modeling a scaled scene from the early US history we all remember depicted in TV programs from the 1950’s and 1960’s and from films made in the 1930’s, 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s. Some of the more famous cowboy films depicting life in the wild western days from US history include:
The Searchers (John Ford, 1956), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1966), The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969), Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992), Shane (George Stevens, 1953), Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939), Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968), Red River (Howard Hawks, 1948), High Noon (Fred Zinnemann,1952), The Magnificent Seven (John Sturges, 1960), Ride the High Country (Sam Peckinpah, 1962), My Darling Clementine (John Ford, 1946), The Ox-Bow Incident (William A Wellman, 1943), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill, 1969), Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959), The Gunfighter (Henry King, 1950), Vera Cruz (Robert Aldrich, 1954), Winchester ’73 (Anthony Mann, 1950), and Ride Lonesome (Budd Boetticher, 1959).

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