While you can always get the buildings for your layout ready made, if you really want to make it unique then a great way to go is scratchbuilding. As the name suggests it’s building from scratch from raw materials, the most popular being card, paper, plastic and wood (obviously with glue to hold them together).
There are many different routes that you could take when scratchbuilding. The main ones are:
1) You can find or buy a scratchbuilding kit from the internet. With these you download the image files and then print them out (either on to card or onto paper and then stick it to card) and assemble. Some excellent examples of downloadable scratchbuild kits can be found here.
2) You can buy a scratchbuild kit from a hobbyshop. These buildings are essentially flatpack buildings which require assembly. Depending on the model these may also require painting (and if you are going for realism, then they will also need weathering).
3) You can build your own structure from scratch. This is my preferred method as I find it quite satisfying to have buildings which are completely my own.
When building your own structure, a great way to plan your building is to base it on a real building. An invaluable tool for scratchbuilding like this is Google Maps. You can easily find a suitable building that you would like an your layout and by using Google Maps (and especially the street view feature) you can get a really detailed view of the building you are planing on modelling.
In these videos, YouTuber and model railroad builder M.C. Fujiwara shows us the process that he went through to create a very simple, but extremely realistic wooden shed. While what he is showing is in N scale, the principles are the same for any scale; you’ll just need to adjust the sizes accordingly.
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