Create your own Scenery : Model Railroad Print Out Buildings

model train

As I have touched on in my last few posts, building the scenery for your layout is one of the most rewarding, enjoyable, and relaxing (for the most part) aspects of model railroading. And if you’ve been paying attention (I hope you have been) then you will see that not only is this scenery realistic, its also cheap and easy to do.

While on the lookout for more ways to help you in creating your dream layout, I came across a nice little resource for making your own buildings using print out kits. It’s a simple case of print out the building plans, stick them to card, cut them out and glue together. What could be simpler?

The bonus of using these kits is that once you have it, you can print out and make as many of that building as you like. It’s a great way to populate your layout with buildings.

Also these kits can be resized to suit the scale of your layout

  • OO scale is 100%
  • HO reduce the print to 87%
  • S enlarge the print to 118%
  • Z reduce the print to 35%
  • N reduce the print to 48%

See more - Model Railroad Print Out Building Kits

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Dan Morgan

Dan Morgan fell in love with model trains at the age of six when he visited an NMRA Convention in Seattle with his father. Forty two years later, his passion remains just as strong. After achieving a successful career in architecture, Dan’s particular interest is within layouts and buildings. With a wealth of knowledge on the subject, Dan loves nothing more than sharing this with others and is delighted in the forum of members who are brought together over the hobby they have in common. Dan lives with his wife Helen in Washington. As a professional painter, Helen has learnt through Dan about Model Trains and they now enjoy working on projects together. The only member of the family who isn’t allowed to join in is their over-enthusiastic Labrador called William who has been strictly banned from the workshop! You can find Dan on Google here!

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Leave A Reply (21 comments So Far)


  1. Sam
    2 years ago

    I’ve found another use for paper buildings.

    Several moons ago, I think it was Dover, had these cut and assemble paper buildings in book form. I bought quite a few, but DID NOT cut them out. Instead, I used them as scale plans to scratchbuild my own.


  2. Gary
    2 years ago

    Where can I review/purchase software for model railroad scenery from printouts. There’s no link to ‘see more’ or ”buy’ on this page or in the store (that I could find anyway). Thanks.


  3. Jay Massey
    2 years ago

    Card Model Building kits are a great way to add to your layout and there are a number of places and ways to get them. Fiddlers’ Green, a long time favorite of mine has a number of excellent kits that can be purchased as a CD which allows you to select from different genres and periods. There is also the Model Builder program which has a dedicated design program that lets you design and build your own models in multiple scales or you could even use photos to build up actual buildings and structures. It comes with a good sized pallet of textures that you can use, stretch and fit to your needs, print out on to card stock and build.

    Using multiple print outs and trimming and cutting various parts to realize depth gives you a true 3 dimensional appearance that can rival plastic model kits from commercial model manufacturers. There are also websites that are dedicated to card modeling that will help you learn how to build structures up, landscape them and build all sorts of neighborhoods.

    These are a few of my own structures that I have made up.

    [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v349/treadhead1952/EmDB006.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v349/treadhead1952/EmDB001.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v349/treadhead1952/EmRBC005.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v349/treadhead1952/EmBRS008.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v349/treadhead1952/EMailCaptainsHouse015.jpg[/IMG]

    Fiddlers Green buildings, their website.

    http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/

    Here is the link to the Model Builder Program(s) and all about it.

    http://www.modeltrainsoftware.com/

    You might also check out these forum sites for suggestions on building, freebies and other links as well a great bunch of folks willing to help out.

    http://www.papermodelers.com/

    http://www.zealot.com/forum/index.php


  4. Joseph D Hanley Jr
    2 years ago

    This is great as when you build a plastic model and make an error it’s ruined; here you just make another printout!


  5. Dan Morgan
    2 years ago

    @Sam

    What a great idea.

    I’ve not tried it yet with these kit buildings, but I would imagine that anyone with a bit of computer/photoshop knowledge could make some changes to the coloring, textures and add their own weathering.


  6. Dan Morgan
    2 years ago

    @Gary
    There is a link to the page with the models at the end of the post, or you can get to it from here Model Railroad Print Out Building Kits.
    On that page there is a free building to try, as well as the others that are for sale. There is no special software required either, just save and print.


  7. john c
    2 years ago

    Another source of downloadable buildings which are FREE
    http://www.wordsworthmodelrailway.co.uk
    these kits are superb


  8. Steven
    2 years ago

    Nice scenic layout, it certainly shows what can be done with paper and card. A pity that all the buildings are boaded timber (US) so in the main no use for me. Ipersonally use the scalescenes website (scalescenes.co.uk) for my models,and there are lots of more sites simular just seach on the iternet, and happy modeling with card.


  9. Steven
    2 years ago

    Further to Dan´s comment regarding the site address and a free tryout building. I have just been tothe site via his link and found a wide range of models as per my last comment but no free download to try.


  10. Paul
    2 years ago

    If anybody is into British layouts this is a great site with spectacular models. You just have to have a lot of spare sharp craft blades available. It is surprising how quickly cardboard blunts knives.

    John even has a couple of free samples so you can try your skills before you buy. The kits are also great for kit bashing just by combining various ‘parts’. I’ve built quite a few and am well satisfied.

    http://www.scalescenes.com/


  11. Rolland Hein
    2 years ago

    I agree, building structures from scratch for my G scale lay out is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my hobby. Thanks for sending these suggestions along.


  12. Dennis Davidson
    2 years ago

    There seems to be no easy or consistent way to enlarge the house drawings to 118% for S Scale. If anyone has a set process for this I would like to know it.
    Thanks,
    Dennis


  13. Jacqueline Langey-Johnson
    2 years ago

    We model in ‘O’ and would love to build some of the buildings for the kid’s club of our local TCA division. We are trying to figure out if our printer will be able to print the enlarged sheets or if we will have to go to to a commercial printer.

    The percentage for enlarging to ’0′ would be appreciated so we can get started. Any help would be appreciated.


  14. Dan Morgan
    2 years ago

    @Jaqueline
    There’s a scale chart cheat sheet that you can find here for converting one scale to another http://dfarq.homeip.net/2004/07/a-model-railroad-scale-conversion-chart
    According to that sheet if you wanted to convert from “OO” to “O” you would need to increase the print size to 158%. For that I would imagine you would need to go to a commercial printer, unless your printer can do A3?


  15. Steve Lindhurst
    2 years ago

    Hey Dan,
    I thought it was a really neat idea untill I saw how much they cost. That’s pretty much too rich for my blood. About 1/4th of the price seems like it would be fair( $2.49 as opposed to $9.95). I can find real model kits, used maybe,all day long for ten bucks and get texture for the money.
    It’s a good ideah, but not on my budget. I’ll have to probably scratch build first as I have plenty of wood laying around(I’m a disabled cabinet-maker).


  16. Wayne Boyd
    2 years ago

    My opinion is to keep all the buildings , weather them as best you can and fit them in to the town or industrial area. Like the oil tanks and large tanks could make an Oil delivery company . As for the tunnel entrances I think they look just fine as most old tunnel entrances look very rugged so just make the base look more like it was part of the original construction. Your platform so far seems to be comming along great and i hope i get to see more videos . I’m new to HO model trains myself and building a 6 ft x 10 ft platform that hangs from my garage ceiling and I’m going thru the track layout and gluing down phase now . Seeing your work will help me a lot so Thanks for the video !


  17. Gandalf
    2 years ago

    Instead of going to a professional printer why not print in OO guage then cut the print into more manageable sizes, scan and reprint at the greater scale. “Simples!”


  18. Rob Daliel
    2 years ago

    came across a few years ago and thay looked like paper the new one looks realistic


  19. Chef Jeff Tendick
    2 years ago

    I have used paper and card board buildings for all areas of layouts, even up front. The quality of paper cut outs is fantastic these days! I strongly recommend using them and then later if you want to, spend some money on kits and replace them. They are an easy way to get your scenery up and running and can easily be replaced later.

    Cheers!

    Chef Jeff Tendick


  20. Dan Morgan
    2 years ago

    @Gandalf
    “Wizard” idea :) Thanks mate


  21. Kenb
    2 years ago

    In looking for scenery, many times I just take the camera out, find the required view and away we go.. print out the picture and that is it – stuck on a back drop or on card for 3d buildings.

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