Model train cardstock buildings

Kirk’s been in touch about his cutting maching – if you’ve ever made model train cardstock buildings, you’ll see the advantages:

“Hi Al,

I have been looking at hundreds of postings from you and have made a couple of observations that may be helpful to modelers…

1] Always try to ’round’ corners on backdrops instead of having sharp angles. Jeff’s last post of his painted backdrops is a perfect example.

This will let the scenery ‘flow’ much more realistically.

2] When a hill, ridge, or mountain meets the backdrop, ‘pull’ it away from the vertical surface slightly and let it ‘roll’ downward a bit.

This will add more realism to the depth of field.

Don’t know if this is worth posting, but feel free if you think it might be helpful.

Best to you,


And now on to Mike – who has sent in pics of this little gizmo:

“Hi Alistair,

I just wanted to introduce this machine, which is very good for scratch building, especially if you are as ham-fisted as I am.

I’ve used it a lot on my N gauge layout (still a work in progress).

This is the machine.

Model train cardstock buildings cutter

Model train cardstock buildings cutter

It comes with software to allow you to design on screen (about an hour to learn it) and a deep-cut blade is useful.

It doesn’t cut all the way through plasticard, but a bit of work with a blade completes the job.

These are some of my scratch builds using it.

First picture is the thing as designed on the software, second the result.

Fallen down stone building:

cutting maching template

scratch built building

cutting machine template

Model train cardstock bridge

cutting machine template

Model train cardstock buildings

cutting machine template

Model train cardstock bridge

cutting machine template

Model train cardstock buildings fence

cutting machine template

Model train cardstock buildings coal bunker

Your readers may be interested in this machine.


What fabulous creations! Although Mike’s were all scratch built, there’s a range of printable buildings here.

Now on to Bill:

On his last post (which is here) he mentioned his switching layout video, but I didn’t post it.

So here it is:

A huge thanks to Bill and Mike.

I had a look on ebay and
(Here’s a link for it).

I think his creations are fantastic – and in N scale too! His model train cardstock buildings look great – particularly impressed with the bridge.

It looks like an impressive little gizmo.

Has anyone else used one?

Please do leave a comment below if you have.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

8 Responses to Model train cardstock buildings

  1. richard Sappelli says:

    What ever Bill was talking about with his switching layout we will never know as the sound was too low and garbled to understand. When you make video please test the sound before posting it. We would like to hear what you say.
    thank you. RJS video director. HHS.

  2. Jack says:

    I got my wife a Cricut this past summer, very similar to the one in this post, and I could immediately see all kinds of applications for model railroading! Buildings, decals, the list goes on! But it has come up missing. I suspect she has it hidden in a corner somewhere.


    I had no problem with the sound ! 🇺🇸

  4. The layout is looking great so far. I can’t wait to see more. Have fun and happy modeling.

  5. Dick Walter says:

    Bill; nice job on the coal trestle. My father owned a coal (and oil) business in the ’50s so I’d like to pass on some thoughts. The trestle bents had side to contain the various grades of coal. These were extremely thick boards, perhaps 2″x10″s. Also, the area in front of the trestle was never allowed to have scattered coal all over it. Some would scatter as the hopper cars dumped but was immediately cleaned up. Otherwise, the heavy coal trucks would crush the lumps which contributed to increased coal dust which no on wanted to breath in, especially on windy days!

  6. Tracy says:

    My wife has had one of these machines for some time for her paper crafting hobby. I recently tried using it with your printed houses, and especially in N Scale, it helps a lot with precision. The thing I like most about using it for your printed houses is that I can cut out multiple copies that are exact, and layer them easily.

  7. Bill in Virginia says:

    Great tips and love the craft cutter Mike showed 😀

    Dick – thank you so much for the details on how coaling yards are set up. You’ve given me some ideas for some additional detailing including a clean up crew. Thanks!

  8. I love the info for N Scale things and love this site Al.
    Be well and stay safe every one !

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