Scratch built N scale models

Richard has been in touch with his N scale scratch built models.

As you’ll read, he hasn’t laid an inch of track yet.

But he’s made a start, and more importantly, having fun – which was good enough for me.

And I also love what he’s done:

“Hello Alistair,

I’ve really been enjoying the emails, blogs, photos and “how to’s” from your site.

Thought I’d throw my 2 cents in with some photos of my first few scratch N scale builds.

All of these are made from balsa strips, popsicle sticks!, 0.03 inch thick styrene, a 0.06″ “For Sale” sign (purchased at my local hardware store for $2.00) , brick and stone paper printed on the back of wall paper, and styrene roofing sheets.

Most of the windows were purchased on ebay, but some were 3D printed (I’m still on a huge learning curve for this!).

I’m using the scale of 1/155 – 1/160 and therefore One foot = approx 2mm.

Some are complete but others have a few details to finish.

The first photo shows some of the materials that I use.

The funny thing is that I haven’t laid an inch of track yet! I wanted to have some buildings ready to go before I start my layout.

Thanks for letting me post!



materials for scratch build

N scale scratch built model stone barn scratch build

N scale scratch built model house

scratch built n scale house

N scale scratch built model factory

N scale scratch built model factory

scratch built signal box

scratch built signal box

N scale barn scratch build

n scale barn scratch build

scratch build house n scale

scratch build house n scale

scratch build house n scale

Now on to Dave:

“Just uploaded my completed work on the track problems on the layout, touch wood now all running smoothly until them Gremlins come back and start causing problems again.

I just have to finish off with some track grime, but need to wait till all perfectly dry then can finish it off, but for now happy with it all.



model railway

model railway

model railway

Thanks to Dave, and a big thanks to Richard too for sharing his N scale scratch built buildings.

It just goes to show the most important part of any layout is to make a start and have fun.

I know most of you lay track then get busy on the scenery.

But as Richard shows, there are no hard and fast rules.

If you want to make that start with a few models, roll up your sleeves like Richard and make that start.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you poke boredom in the eye, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

model train answers

32 Responses to Scratch built N scale models

  1. Jack Riepe says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this piece today. From the photography of the exquisitely constructed buildings, to video clip. Thank you for this.

  2. It’s remarkable what Richard did scratch building and it’s always good to hear from Dave.

  3. Great work on the n-scale buildings Richard, very realistic with basic materials.

  4. Robert Brady says:

    like the realism of each building, but HO the way to go. Bet you used a lot of ink.

  5. Graham Smith says:

    Great looking work on the buildings, and I always love the use of materials that keep the costs down.The only problem I found was when I printed the brick work image on our printer for one building. Unfortunately the layout ended up backing onto a south facing window and despite having blinds on it the sun still bleached that side of the building. The colour’s gone but the B/W image of the bricks is still there, so I might get the old water colour paints out, if I can find them, and repaint them. But there again what you can’t see won’t hurt you!

  6. George Zaky says:

    Great buildings and love what you did with materials. Would like to see them in a layout with roads, people, & of course trains.
    Much thanks for your video. It just makes me feel good! Nothing like the real country side, I can almost smell it and then to see your loft with the great trains. Best to you & the real boss.

  7. Rob McCrain says:

    Richard, your scratch-built buildings are excellent. I am very impressed. They are as good as any I have seen. It will be great to see your layout with maybe a train running someday. Lovely work, Rob McCrain – Farland Howe

  8. THOMAS says:

    It is oh so nice to see and watch trains running … THANK YOU !

  9. DJfromNJ says:

    Simply great posts today. Excellent scratch builds portend an exciting future in modeling.

    Dave’s 5 minute action video was a nice break in my day.

    Thank you to Richard, Dave and our host, Al.

  10. Brett Middleton says:

    This layout is immaculate! Richard I really enjoyed seeing your layout. I love the theme and how you’ve created this master piece. Great on a true labor of love!

  11. Dan Willams says:

    Richard, your buildings are fantastic. Ignore Robert Brady about scale. I have HO and N scale. Work with what you want and like!! I bet your layout will be great.

    Dan in Richmond Va.

  12. Erick says:

    Looks good.

  13. Bill McCourt says:

    Admire your work on the buildings. Nice job!

  14. Fantastic looking buildings. I am curious how you made the bricks on the backside of wall paper. Love your creativity and how to save money. I too enjoy saving being retired now and working my layout. Keep us posted please.

  15. Bill in Virginia says:

    Beautiful buildings! Great job on those.

    And seeing Dave’s trains running is always a treat

  16. Brian Messenger says:

    Well done Richard, scratch building in HO is hard enough but ‘n’ scale is four times harder. Super buildings.
    Dave, your videos are always entertaining. Thank you.
    Brian – the HOn3 guy in Knysna RSA.

  17. Mike Mumford says:

    Those N scale buildings are just artistry! So well built and so beautifully weathered and finished. I can only try harder!

  18. Richard’s buildings are just amazing.
    N scale is pretty darn tiny and the amount of detail he has been able to work into those buildings is remarkable.

  19. Minnesota Mike says:

    Thanks Dave. You’re videos are always a pleasure to see.

  20. Paul Lichau says:

    Great job on your buildings Richard. Absolutely loved and appreciate your detail. Your first building was constructed with field stone. What did you use for that? It is the most realistic field stone I have seen.

  21. thanks all for your comments , the NYMR visit was the first this year as only just opened fully , no doubt will ba many more before the Year is out …and of course DMR will still be running …

  22. Rich Boles says:

    Thanks to all for the comments! I will be posting some more builds and photos of the process that I use soon.

  23. Brian OlsonI says:

    Beautiful work.

  24. Don Kadunc says:

    Great buildings. Are the walls and roofs from Al’s prints?

  25. Bob says:

    Fantastic work on scratch built buildings So realistic.

  26. Dave A Bellian says:

    Outstanding job, very realistic and the engine house is really well done.

  27. Steve Ruple says:

    Nice looking buildings Richard, they look good.
    Dave , I like your background pictures.

  28. Nancy Schweitzer says:

    Gentlemen, OUTSTANDING fun here! I will be carving out a little time today for weathering some of my buildings. Such inspiration.
    Thank you so much!
    Nancy from Gig Harbor

  29. Eugene Shaffer says:

    Richard! As Raymond’s dad would say on “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “Holly Crap”, how did you do that at ‘N’ scale? Those buildings are exquisite! I have to work at ‘O’ scale since I am too Shakey to handle anything smaller, I wish I had the ability and patience to build something that detailed, even at ‘O’ scale. You are an artist!

  30. bill palmer says:

    wow hes already a craftsman

  31. Glyn Jones says:

    Superb N scale scratch built models Richard! The detail
    Is exceptional. We look forward to seeing them on the layout as it evolves.

  32. robert dale tiemann says:

    i like this setup very much, nice buildings.

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