Few model railroads would be complete without at least a few structures. Even in a rural setting you'll find outbuildings, railroad structures, bridges, etc.
With a little care and work, your buildings can be one of the highlights of your layout. From combining different modeling materials to adding lights, interiors and other details, it is easy to make your buildings unique - even if you start with a common kit. Read on to find more tips to make your buildings the best they can be.
Like any project, building a building kit goes a lot better if you know the basics. If you're new to kit building, you may want to take just a minute to review these essential skills.
Plastic kits are by far the most common structure model kits on the market. These come in as wide a range of difficulty levels just as they do in architectural styles. Take a look at a typical kit, an HO scale station from Walthers and its assembly from start to finish.
From painting to gluing and even some simple modifications to enhance the basic kit, you'll see that even a kit easy enough for a beginner can be made into a one-of-a-kind project.
Despite the overwhelming options in plastic kits, cardstock is making a comeback. These aren't the paper models of decades past. Thanks to laser cutting technology, these kits fit together with surprising ease, accuracy and strength.
If you are looking to expand beyond your plastic cities, these kits are a great way to get started. These are also good kits to get started with, especially for younger modelers, since the building materials, tools and adhesives are so familiar.
Now that you've got a foundation under that building, plant it in the ground. Unless you're modeling a houseboat or a mobile home, a floating building can destroy the look of any good building. Follow these simple steps to put your buildings in your scenery, not on it.
There are lots of ways to weather our models. For more techniques you can see the weathering pages devoted to customizing trains. From drybrushing to fading decals, the same tricks that work on a boxcar will work on a storefront.
For some specific tricks to working with buildings, even one you've already built, read on.