HO scale scratch building plans

John’s been in touch with a collecion of his HO scale scratch building plans:

“Dear Mr. Lee…

Here is my freight shed with its roof…

I am considering adding a ramp and a little office to it also..

More Kit-Scratching if you will…

freight shed scratch build

HO scale freight shed scratch build

scratch built freight shed

I promised a tutorial on my little shed build…

I build for American O scale most of the time now.

American O scale is 1/4 inch to the foot…

When using print out kits however, I print to what I call “Eye Scale”

“Eye Scale” is “What looks right to my eyes”.

The way I build my models began with a need for an engine shed…

The first version of that shed was “less than successful”

A better phrasing might be “A learning experience”.

One of John’s videos (not me) gave me some hints where I could improve.

Since then…. Every build has been an improvement on a previous one…

Here are some of my builds based on Al’s wonderful print outs.

HO scale scratch building plans cardstock

scratch build scenery

HO scale scratch building plans

HO scale scratch building plans

Here are my first two 1/4 inch O scale builds together…

Mind you I built these several years ago… Maybe 6 or 7…

HO scale scratch building plans cardstock buildings

HO scale scratch building plans

Using Al’s Blue house, I built a blue one of my own!

This is a small house of a style found throughout rural America

anytime from the late 1800’s to the 1950’s

I used this and a little shed kit as part of a micro layout that I built

O scale narrow gauge in a space 8 inches wide and 29 inches long..

A book case layout!

After the blue house, I built a little shed to show what could be done while

on holiday — With a very small box of tools and supplies…

printable building house

printable building house

printable building house

Almost there…

Last part of build up to the current project..

While my first build from Al Lee’s kits was an HO scale engine shed.

I wanted a shed for my Bachmann On30 Porter locomotives…

When Al came out with the covered bridge, I knew I had my engine house.

With winders from Al’s blue house (one of my favorite kits to work from)

And some other creative additions….

I had “The Porterhouse”…

HO scale scratch building plans

scratch built engine house

scratch built engine shed

I shall send the freight shed how-to next.

California USA”

scratch built porter house

A big thanks to John for sharing his HO scale scratch building plans.

He’s also sent in a step by step for the freight house which I’ll put together this week.

You can see more of the cardstock printable buildings here.

That’s all for this time folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if you want to take that first step on your model railway journey, the Beginner’s Guide is here.

Oh, and stay safe. Stay sane. Keep busy.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

13 Responses to HO scale scratch building plans

  1. Hemi says:

    Very nice scratchbuilt buildings!!!! They turned out GREAT! Keep up the great work! ~Hemi

  2. Eddie Butters says:

    Fantastic builds by John of CA. Inspiring, too.

  3. Raymond Leslie Davies says:

    I need some information regarding helix , I am in the process of planning a lay out in my loft . I have an irregular shape to work in , so I am thinking of installing a helix so as to raise the track between 2 levels . The difference in height is 26 inches , can any one tell me how many loops will this take , as I’ m trying to decide on a suitable location for it’s location .

  4. nice buildings

  5. Chuck says:

    Hi Ray, it depends on how much space you have. I built my helix 10′ feet square. So from my starting point to where my track loops around on itself, the track 3 ” within 10 feet which gives me a grade of 1/8″ per foot which makes it easier for trains to climb, the bigger your helix, the less grade you have to have. My helix has has just shy of 2 loops for 8″ so think you will need at least 3 loops minimum. Good luck.


  6. Cary E Price says:

    Great work John, love seeing the scratch built stuff and detail in your engine shed is excellent. Thanks for sharing. Cary in KY

  7. robert perotka says:

    if you need to raise 26 inches at a 11/2 grade you need 39 inches of grade

  8. Jay Young says:

    If you print out on regular paper and glue to balsa wood and build with other real wood it works great.I use square wood I rip on the table saw to make the shipping containers, then I paint the bottom black. That way you can move them anywhere, and stack them.

  9. Dan Hulitt says:

    Nice work John, I am sure the building inspectors were pleased…..you did pull a permit didn’t you?

    Seriously, I love the interior detail and truss construction for the.roof.

  10. Great job. Can’t wait for the train house plans! Love the emails and thank you for keeping the site up.

  11. Raymond Leslie Davies says:

    Firstly may I say a big thank you to Chuck for his very helpful reply , great information .
    Secondly the buildings look absolutely stunning , was thinking of buying but after seeing the pictures John sent in , I have now had a change of plan .

  12. congratulations

  13. Jack Stables says:

    Great job John. Good to see Al’s buildings in O gage. I’ve been collecting Lionel rolling stock, all traditional size. Just bought a 13 x 19 printer and ready to roll with some of Al’s printable buildings. Totally confused on the proper blow-up percentages for this smaller than O scale size. Sure could use some pointers.
    Thanks – Jack

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