G scale building plans

Cary’s been back in touch with his G scale building plans:

“My name is Cary from Crestwood, Kentucky. I’ve been working on my outdoor G scale layout – I have yet to lay the first piece of track, but the ground work is done, I’ll be laying track this summer.

If you want to get an idea of what the outdoor layout will look like, it’s here:


In the winter months I’m making buildings, vehicles, people etc. Basic building construction consists of a fiberglass base, birch plywood walls, concrete board for the roof, real shingles and exterior house paint for all of my G scale building plans.

I have both Bachmann and Aristocraft trains which are 1/22.5 and 1/29 scale respectfully. I build to 1/24 scale which is also known as 1/2 scale (10 ft = 5 inches, 6 feet = 3 inches etc.) It’s a bit of a tradeoff between having nice detail and having something that will hold up outdoors. In addition to weather elements, I know I’ll have deer and other critters walking across my layout.

Time period is late 1930’s. Location to be rural mountain area in the U.S. G scale accessories are not as commonly available as HO and far beyond my limited budget. I’m having great fun scratch building, using improvised materials and shopping the second hand stores for little pieces of treasure. The vehicles are all die cast metal and consist of toys and truck coin banks that I can
usually find for $12-15. The ability to make people (and other accessories) out of clay has really made the hobby more interesting and creative.

Here’s some of this winter’s projects, hope you enjoy.

“Ralph’s General Store”

g scale building plans

I found the farm equipment at a second hand store and the tractor from Ebay for $8. The truck is a modified 1/25 scale coin bank.

g scale building plans

For my G scale building plans I sometimes find images on the internet. There is one in the front window and it turned out to be a nice touch. The packages are dollhouse accessories that I coated with polyurethane. The flour sacks are clay.

g scale building plans

All the figures are sculpted from clay except the gentlemen next to the convertible, he’s a pewter figure I found in a 2nd hand store for $5.

g scale building plans

The coke bottles are dollhouse accessories from Hobby Lobby. The produce was made from clay and the coke machine was built from a template I found at paperdioramas.com. I found the signs on the internet, laminated and used double sided adhesive to attach them. Just about everything has been lightly dusted with flat lacquer to remove any gloss.

g scale building plans

“The Old Woman and the Bear”

The chimney and both figures are made from clay. G scale building plans doesn’t have to be expensive, I found the bear in a second hand store for 50 cents and he became the inspiration for this project.

G scale building plans:

model railroad building

I intend to put this in the wooded area between the two towns I currently have planned. I’ll be on the lookout for accessories to place around the building to give it a more “lived in” appearance.

G scale figures

“The Ice House”

G scale truck

The truck is a 1/24 scale die cast coin bank modified to a flatbed. The tarp in the back of the truck is clay.

G scale figures

The figures are clay, the ice blocks are hot glue shot into a mold lined with silicone release paper. The shovel is also clay and the cart was scratch built using some wheels from a toy. (The worker is suffering from a bit of back pain)

model railroad building

The Ice House was built in the 1800’s for storage of “natural” ice hauled in from the frozen lakes. With the coming of electricity, the owner has upgraded his operation to include an ammonia refrigerant system.

I always look forward and appreciate getting Alastair’s emails to see what you all are up to.

I hope to have trains running by the end of summer and have my layout populated with my creations next summer. The sooner the better, I’m running out of room to store them!

It’s so great to be able to share my progress with other enthusiasts who have the same passion. Thanks for viewing my post and happy modeling!


A huge thanks to Cary for sharing his G scale building plans – a wonderful update, and it just to show (again!) that you don’t have to spend a fortune to have with this hobby.

That’s all this time folks. Hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.

And if Cary has made you feel like springing off the armchair, rolling your sleeves up and starting your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

22 Responses to G scale building plans

  1. Charles ZEIS says:

    Very nice.

  2. Eric says:

    Nice engine Dave.

    Cary, an inspiration, all brilliant scenes in their own right and well thought out, love the bear scene and the guy with backache, look forward to seeing them on your layout.

    Eric (Leeds) UK

  3. Chris Goodman says:

    Hi Cary,
    I have constructed a couple of garden railways on the ground. I dug trench about 4 to 6 inches deep and filled with road base gravel. The road base was then tampered to form a solid and level base. The track was laid on the road base and ballasted with minus 1/4 inch crushed gravel. To stabilise the edge of deep ballast I sprayed the ballast with water diluted concrete sealer . To locate wiring 3.5 inch plastic storm water pipe was placed underground along side the track and “T” sections placed at strategic locations along the pipe. Holes were drilled in the pipe for flexible conduits to run the wires. Hope this information is helpful.

  4. Hassan says:

    Hey I am Hassan, what I like to say is ” the new steam loco is wonderful, why can”t you buy steam loco with a chuff smoke !! then your layout will be awesome

  5. Linda H says:

    Cary, I absolutely love your creativity and talent. The accessories you have created are wonderful and I especially love the people. The expressions and poses are great. You are so right about difficulty finding the people for your G scale and my O scale layouts. You have amazing patience. I also love the idea of the outside layout and thought of trying that myself but the deer, groundhogs, squirrels just “make themselves at home” in our yard and wreak havoc with the landscaping and yard decorations now, so would have to think long and hard about how to protect all that work to keep it safe. Can’t wait to see the “finished product” (if there is such a thing in model railroading). Keep up the incredible work.

  6. Jim Sulkosky says:

    Looks great, Keep up the great work.

  7. Thomas Murphy says:

    It’s fantastic work, Cary. You’re time and patience that you’ve devoted to your layout is a rewarding concept to all of us. I’m sure the your final completion will be all-the-more inspiring! Thank you.
    Regards, Tom.

  8. Ben Dickmann says:

    Only the layout itself is better than the quality of the presentation. Wonderful job! Thank you for sharing. Ben (USA – Illinois)

  9. Joseph Stately says:

    The structures you have built look great. Excellent job on the detail. Hope to see more pictures in the future.
    Joe (USA – NJ)

  10. dave says:

    NICE if I EVER get time I have been putting together the steel elevated track support sections for my G gauge a bit by bit and they are stacked in my fab shop one day I will put them together out here at the farm the track rests on 1 inch angle steel that is one eighth inch thick the curves were rolled on my rolling mill all the sections are then laid upside down I put every 12 inches a one inch wide eighth inch thick 3 inch long flat bar and weld the sections together the track is held to the metal roadbed with number 8 self drilling screws I enlarge the holes that are already in the track for nails that is screwed to the flat bar the supports are box tubing 2×2 that will be set in concrete to raise the track 2 feet off the ground so I can get the small push mower under it to cut the grass and string trim around the uprights The reason I am using steel it will last every one puts there’s down on wood and in 2 years its rotting ever PT wood rots plus I can do the yard cutting easy and since my house is underground I can run the train from the yard down to the front of house and keep the grades on a reasonable level I am making metal power poles with porcelain electric fence insulators that will attach to the track supports to string power around the layout with no voltage drops I have a little over 200 feet of track so far I do not plan on any turn outs to give trouble Its going to be a BIG loop I will post a picture of some of the frack sections when I figure out how to do it Nice work every one !!

  11. Ian Mc Donald says:

    just amazing great work.

  12. Richard Sommery-Gade says:

    Since your just positioning your figures like the “bear”, might you blend the edges with some modeling clay and flat paint that to blend into the scene. Just a suggestion which you probable have thought of.

  13. John Reynolds says:

    Wonderful work…!

  14. Jim Jerele says:

    Hay Cary, I am another G-Scaler from Ft. Myers Beach, FL, but I am in Crestwood, KY until June 15th. Read you post and would like to catch up to you and talk trains and see your project. My cell phone is 216-857-5050. My name is Jim Jerele

  15. Danny says:

    Gary, I think tis is pretty col.. I run S, HO, and N scale
    I also have a TT scale I bought many years ago it is very small and a lot of folks have never heard on it until I show them… I have a lot of grass in a huge yard
    After watching your video, I am seriously thinking of going to an out door G scale.. Keep p the good work

  16. I K Sargeantson says:

    What is a ‘coin-bank’ truck? In UK several of your expressions don’t make much sense to us !!

  17. Joe Wilson says:

    Coin back truck is a coin slot to put coins into. It’s a bank for saving and storage of Pocket change! Shillings ? Nickels,dimes and quarters?

  18. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Cary…..great work. Love the detail. Love grandma chasing the bear and the dress up guy with the convertible

  19. Robert Brady says:

    Where’s Louie’s Shoe repair ? Ah you forgot that Gary.
    The Critic

  20. Will in NM says:

    Great job Cary! I love your creativeness with the figures and buildings. I think I may have one or two of those old-time truck coin banks somewhere in my train room. They’re too large for HO scale. You would be welcome to them if I can find them again.

    I have some G scale equipment but recently decided to put it up for sale as I don’t really have a good place to use it. The only G-scale track I ever bought was a small oval of track just so I could see the locos run and break in the gear trains. I have a Bachmann Shay and Climax, a few Bachmann log cars, and two short logging cabooses.

  21. Bruce Young says:

    I look forward to the out door track work coming up. Look GREAT

  22. Erick says:

    Looks pretty kool. Would like to see more though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *