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Making Buildings For A Model Railroad

Jan 30, 2008
Most of us have no desire to become an architect, but most model railroaders wind up getting into the act at one point or another. It's sometimes impossible to find exactly the building you need to complete your layout, leaving you to come up with something of your own.

So what does it take to make your own buildings? And do you need to have some serious carpentry skills or can the average hobbyist manage?

The fact is, building a quality replica can take some intricate miter cuts and may require some advanced woodworking skills (and tools). But an alternative is the "kitbashing" method, where you take an existing model and use them as the foundation for your building, modifying them to suit your needs.

For kitbashing, the tools can be quite simple. An X-acto knife or scissors is often enough to manage, along with some imagination.

Some of the materials you may find useful when making your own buildings include balsa wood, mat board, foam, lightweight plastics and even cardboard.

Plaster and corkboard, spray adhesives, gold or silver foil and glitter can also come in handy. You can find most of these materials at your local hobby shop, and they are not particularly expensive.

Where You Can Find More Ideas

Tips and articles on working with these materials have been printed in many magazines that you may want to see if you can find either in a 2nd hand bookstore or by demand at your local library.
About the Author
Looking for more ideas for designing model railroad scenery? Visit TheModelRailroader.com for lots of helpful tips. Get a copy of my report "Model Railroad Design Secrets" at http://www.themodelrailroader.com
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