Printable buildings for your model railroad

There are lots of printable buildings for your model railroad on the site.

Scroll down for the free freight shed (because any train layout could do with a freight shed, right?)

You can see a listing of all the printable buildings here.

If it’s houses you are after for your train layout, here’s a silly offer for you: 4 printable houses for just $19.97.

They are all made from print outs.

You just download them and stick them together (every model on the site is printable).

There are four house designs in this print bundle, but you can print out as many as you like – so the number of houses you can make is unlimited.

(More pics of the houses here – all made from the print outs.)

printable buildings

printable buildings street

model railroad house print

The houses are great fun to build – and look great too. All the printable buildings do!

blue house model train

print buildings for model railroad

And once you have downloaded them, you can make as many as you want.

How to make the printable buildings for your model railroad

Here’s John making some of the houses. He’s quite a character:

There are no instructions with the prints – but as John shows, anyone can do them.

All the designs can be resized to the scale you are working in.

Here’s a scale conversion chart:

printable buildings scale conversion chart

All the printable buildings are made in HO scale, so if you wanted to convert to N scale, when you print the buildings, reduce the print size to 0.544%.

printable buildings scale conversion chart example

HO scale is 100% – you don’t need to do anything. Just print it out and get busy.

How to make the printable buildings

You can below the print outs are nice and simple.

Printable building

You can see on this example – one of the houses – the two walls, the roof, the chimney and the porch area.

glue bilding to card

You can stick them some card and make them as they are, which is fine, but they won’t look great.

The printable buildings look best when you add relief – the contours of the doors, windows, bricks and beams.

It’s these contours – the relief – that make the buildings look great.

cout out windows

So the first thing you want to is cut out the windows.

stick windows to card

Stick the windows to another sheet of card and forget about them for a few minutes.

printable building side on card

Use the printable buildings to trace out where the windows are on another sheet of card.

printable building window holes in card

Then cut the windows out of that one.

glue building side to card

Now stick the card with the window holes on to the back of the printable building.

card for printable buildings

The start sticking the windows back on. As they will behind two layers of card, it will add a lot of depth and the printable building look a lot more realistic.

windows on card

You can see the top window below already looks more real.

printable building window placement

Do the same to the rest of the windows – you can see the difference it makes in the next few pics. The buildings look much more realistic than when they are just flat print outs.

card relief for print out building

build depth on building with card

add depth with card

Next you need to score the building with a sharp knife so you can fold it into a 90 degree shape.

score and fold printable building

Then, glue the building to it’s base, whatever that may be, it really depends on your layout.

glue printable building to base

Then you need the other half of your printable building – do the same steps as above to make the complete house.

make other side of printable building

Here you can see a simple roof has been glued to the house.

add roof to printable buidling

But just like the rest of the buildings, adding some relief (or depth) really ads to the realism, like in this example below.

add ridges to printable building roof

The technique is the some for all the buildings, it’s not just he houses that benefit from adding relief.

Here’s one of the barns – you can see it doesn’t look flat at all.

printable building barn

And just to prove the point, here are a few more:

brick train shed

storage shed printable building

It’s the same what ever the building is – this embankment is also made from a print out:

print out embankment

And of course, once you have the prints, you can use them to make your own buildings.

Here John has scratch built an engine shed for his layout – it’s made entirely from the printable building downloads, but to his design. You can scratch build as much as you like!

You can see how John made this printable building, step by step, here.

In fact, John has put together quite a few ‘how to’ vidoes on the print out buildings. Here’s another of his:

How to make printable model buildings

Perhaps the most popular buildings are engine sheds:

You can see more of the above engine shed, and other creations from the building prints here.

If you’d like to download one of the buildings and see if it’s for you, there’s a free building below.

Free printable model building – freight shed

Here’s a free model railroad freight shed so you can try out the printable buildings.

This is how it looks:

Free printable model buildings for railroad

And here’s how to put it together.

The prints were glued to double thick card.

The timbers were cut and then it was all glued to another print, and glued to more card, so he could scribe the boards behind the timber framing.

Click here to buy the 4 house bundle deal

Still not sure? Don’t forget my no quibble 60 day money back guarantee on ALL of the printable buildings – everything in fact.

If you’re not entirely delighted with this house bundle deal, let me know and I’ll refund you in full. No questions asked, it’s as simple as that.

It’s very easy to ‘kit bash’ the print outs too – they are pretty much limited by your imagination.

There are lots of print to choose from for your printable buildings.

You can have a look at the store here.

And there’s also here.

There’s lots to make – and here’s how to make them.

All the printable buildings are made in HO scale. However, if you’re looking to use these buildings in N scale, it’s no problem, just follow these simple steps.

When you’re ready to print the buildings, reduce the print size to 0.544% and you’ll have them perfectly scaled down for your N scale model train set.

For HO scale, you don’t need to make any adjustments as it is already set at 100%.



50 Responses to Printable buildings for your model railroad

  1. Love your how to. I,m going to try one of your buildings . The barn, oh, and the small shed,s . They will go great on my layout. How fun they will be to build.Thank,s so much for ever thing .

  2. Doug Leever says:

    Wow these are fantastic great idea .

  3. Louis Spencer says:

    Used to be able to buy these at my local hobby shop, not ant more!

  4. John Reynolds says:

    I love Al’s printable buildings…
    John’s videos are a delight…
    Cannot recommend both enough!

  5. I would like to check it out… Looks great… Looks fun… Looks easy.

  6. Phil Knauf says:

    Looking for a printable 0 scale dairy barn set on a stone foundation with a barn hill.

  7. Fred Sutton says:

    I have enjoyed your email postings for a long time. Regarding your printable buildings: what enlargement factor would be correct for G scale?

  8. John Anderson says:

    Gauge conversion is pretty easy. HO is 1:87th scale and 1:1 printed
    So you simply take 87 and divide it by the desired gauge.
    N=1:160, TT=1:120, S=1:64, O=1:48, G=1:32 alt. (1:29)
    To convert to G gauge: HO/ G
    87 / 32 = 2.72
    Just increase the document size by 272%

  9. Robert Schmidt says:

    What is the required increase for S gauge?

  10. Michael Miller says:

    Great product !!

  11. David Parrish says:

    Enjoyed your web-site…

  12. Mike Welsh says:

    I am an architect drawing apartments and houses for builders and homeowners.
    An idea would be to expand your printing for Architects or builders to make models of a project in the construction field not just model railroad stuff. I think this might be a additional service you could provide. I draw in sketchup and autocad for my customers. Just a concept idea, maybe or maybe not….Mike

  13. This sounds like the idea to fill my town and country with buildings and other things.

  14. Dennis says:

    To do it right, you need a color printer, right ?

  15. Bonnie says:

    I LOVE your buildings! I need to enlarge everything to O scale, and you instruct to increase print by 143%. Does this increase diminish the quality of the photo at all? I do have a nice color printer. Thank you!

  16. Lewis Brumberg Jr. says:

    Very impressed with the print outs .Also the video was well done and ver informative.Congrats

  17. Don Lukenbill says:

    I love Johns videos, he is such a delightful character. He makes his videos informative and very fun to watch. I am just now starting to incorporate his ideas into my layout. I am not an artist by any means but he makes me feel like one with his little tips and tricks, ideas that would never come to me without his excellent tutelage. I am very grateful for all his wisdom, you couldn’t have picked a better promoter for your print outs.

  18. Gary Bonam says:

    love this guy’s approach! He looks like he would be a riot to hang out with. What kind of wine is he drinking? I’m a beer guy myself, but if it helps I might try the wine route!!! I bought the whole library of buildings, waiting for printer ink so I get started.. Is John or has he already done the making roof’s video? I would sure like to see it.

  19. Joe says:

    Excellent , enjoy watching your videos . Great information

  20. Stephen D Gispanski says:

    Great idea John, unfortunately I have had power going youth here and there that over time my printer did not want to work anymore. Time to shop for a new one, I like everything thaat John has, glue the wood to the paper, bolsawood, good stuff.

  21. Darlene Bissonnette says:

    Whoever thought paper and other simple materials would turn out so well? I love this!! These have much more realism than the plastic kits I’ve purchased in the past! John’s instruction is entertaining as well as very informative and interesting. I’d enjoy viewing more of his videos! Great stuff!

  22. John Marshall says:

    I’m looking forward to doing my first printed building. Likes John’s video, but there was no link to the instructions for the more detailed buildings.

  23. Rex Welker says:

    I need some mining buildings and stuff!

  24. terry Slack says:

    Do you sell O gauge buildings? If so where can I go to see them?

  25. Don Weden says:

    To make buildings compatible with 1/50 scale would you increase or decrease from O scale? Love the buildings. Looking for modern industrial/warehouse buildings.

  26. Bruce Nichols says:

    It would be nice if you included the foot print dimensions of all your printable buildings.

  27. Ed White says:

    Al, I would love to help more. I’ve rebought the beginners guide, but even with the fire sale on the buildings I cannot use the whole set you are selling for $75. I know there is another package of 4, but not what I want. Why not let us design our own packages? With my current layout I would be hard pressed to add 3 buildings, but I’d be willing to try if I could choose what would possibly fit in my layout. Just a thought.

  28. Tony Banks says:

    I’m modeling in both H.O. and N. I’m using the paper downloads, and printing is easy. My first few N downloads were difficult; finding the proper thickness of paper. Printed out the copies on 115 lb. paper and glued the backs onto cereal box card. Crazy John (I love his wit) makes everything look easy, but it takes practice to get good results in N and H.O. Some buildings take a few working hours to complete. Glue dryng time (and sobering up from the wine) adds more time, so don’t be discouraged that a nice building takes a few days.

  29. Georgia J Andrews says:

    I am just thinking about getting I think N size setup so tour web site is very healful

  30. David P Gibson says:

    What type of paper board do you recommend to do your buildings thanks in advance

  31. Edie Diaz says:

    Where are the instruction links and details for making the relief roof. I love the way you are fixing these buildings up.

  32. Doug rafters says:

    What type of Card stock paper do you use?

  33. charles huffman says:

    i purchased your 4 house and garage print buildings, i built the first one using the techniques you described in your video and they worked out great and look great, they will be a nice addition to my ho train layout, thank you and look forward to more of your printouts and viewing your videos for future designs

  34. Desperado says:

    Please please tell me how to find Dave’s videos on constructing these paper houses on my computer . I want to be able to
    go and look up all of his videos 😂 thank you!

  35. charles huffman says:

    Hi fellow train enthusiasts, just a little up and up, if you use 12pack soda boxes for your card stock make sure you glue to the unprinted side or inside area, print outs will not stay stuck to the slick surface (learned this the hard way) but thank goodness it was before I built any. The slick surface doesnt alow the glue to penitrate thus letting the printout peel off quite easily and not stay attached. Thanks and happy modeling

  36. charles huffman says:

    I just completed the church and it turned out amazing, had to add 1 piece below the bell tower. Added a real brass bell in the tower from a package of them i purchased at hobby lobby. I cut out all the windows and recessed them then done the top 3 windows in 3 different colors of fine glitter to resemble stain glass and the 2 circle windows I done in 4 different colors of glitter. I also cut the panels in the foyer entrance except along the top and pushed them out to reveal the entrance door better.. I also cut about 1/8 inch strips of one of the other printouts for a ridge cap on the roof, it helps to cover up where you score the roof to be able to bend it over. It will be a nice addition to my train layout

  37. Bill Anton says:

    Would it be possible to reduce to these for Z scale? What would the reduction be? Thanks in advance!

  38. Donald R says:

    I currently use 160lb. card stock for my entire construction. It runs through my printer very well, and is heavy enough to build a free standing model with no bends or bulges. I tried applying the paper printouts to wood and cardstock, and was not very good at it. The heavier cardstock give me a good sharp print job, and enough glue surface to glue edges without a glue tab added to the design. Also holds a nice straight shape well. If I add awnings, or other detail, I drop to a lighter weight card stock as needed.
    Need more updated, modern designs. All train layouts are not depicting the 40’s through the 70’s, even though that was a golden age for railroads.

  39. Anyone have pictures of the completed factory?

  40. BRIAN. Brian Dyson says:

    Hi Al, thanks for the construction buildings what a fantastic idea I would never have thought this was possible. Keep up the fantastic job you are doing. What a terrific web site you should get an award for the great job you are doing

  41. TJK says:

    Wishing Dave a speedy recovery……..

  42. Bert says:

    Very exceptional postings ona product that is great for all levels. I do have a few questions :I have a HPDeskJet 5150 color printer and I model in N scale:
    1 – do you spread our white glue or used spray adhesive to attach the printed copy to the backing?
    2. What do you use to overspray to seal the printout/structure?

  43. Michael Ilkenhons says:

    Greetings Alastair: You may not remember me. I had submitted some of my HO scale scratch built structures to you a few years ago. I had left the hobby and only in the last two years rejoined it. I have a new small layout, roughly 42 square feet. I was less concerned about quantity, more interested in quality. If you have time I would love to share some of what I have done. Cheers Mate.

  44. Blayze Lynn Arbsland says:

    I’m building an HO scale Big Rock Candy Mountain layout before having a layout party.

  45. W. Jerome Holscher says:

    I am so glad to see that someone is not so greedy as to charge for time and effort.Many start-up modelers are rejoicing also. Unfortunately I chose to start with England’s train services. I wonder how many of your siderail sheds and buildings might transfer from US to English railways? Do you have any ideas?

  46. John Birch says:

    Just a thought/question… Instead of using the windows and doors that have been cut out and glued to card as individual pieces, would it not work to print another copy, glue it to card and paste behind it as one piece?

  47. Don Kadunc says:

    I find it easier to print out a second sheet for windows rather than using the cut out windows. Mound two prints on card stock Cut windows as usual on one . Mound the other behind the cut stock. Everything matches up perfectly. It does use a little more ink but saves a lot of time..

  48. Glenn says:

    what type of Printer is required to print this out ? any recommendations?

  49. Deon Mcglenatendolf says:

    Struggling to find the diners on the shop page. Could you assist with a link if they’re still available

  50. Jack Harowitz says:

    This is really a question: I have bought a lot of your paper buildings over the years and I tried to find them with no luck, can you give me a hand in locating them? I’m ready to start making some of them and I can’t locate them.
    Jack Harowitz

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