N scale buildings and structures

I’m always banging on about making a start and Richard has done that with his N scale buildings and structures.

In faxt, you don’t need trains or track to make a start – as Richard proves:

“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 buildings and structures

N scale buildings and structures

N scale buildings and structures

N scale buildings and structures

N scale buildings and structures

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


Attached are some update pictures on the expansion of Grand Junction.

The first picture is the original 8’ x 4’ setup.

I added another 8’ x 4’ section to form an L-shaped layout in my 40” crawl space. I expanded the tunnel on the left to create a triangle of track under what is now a hillside church scene that will eventually have a wedding in progress. The entire hilltop comes off in case of train derailment.

On the new expansion is a gravel construction site, a camp around a lake with several cabins for rent as well as a farm in the back behind the gravel site and the town. The entire setup is on wheels so I can get around the back of the layout for repairs and maintenance.

The landscaping (mostly trees) is next on the punch list and we still need to ballast the new track and start adding people around the lake, the town and gravel site. As you can see, other than the gravel building and the water tower on the original layout, I’ve made good use of your printout buildings.

As always, thanks for posting these updates as I look forward to what the community is up to!


8x4 model railroad

8x4 model railroad

8x4 model railroad

8x4 model railroad

A big thanks to Rich for sharing his N scale buildings and structures – and to Rick too.

Great to see so many of the printable buildings on Rick’s layout too, especially the church.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who posted a comment on the April Fool’s post. I did manage to get a couple of orders for the buildings with the custom murals and I’m really looking forward to seeing those on a layout soon.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming – I can’t tell you how very, very quiet it is this end.

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

Remember, it’s the start that stops most people – don’t let that be you!



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

PPPS More N scale layouts here too.

15 Responses to N scale buildings and structures

  1. PAUL REEDER says:

    i don’t have a layout but a large collection of model trains.
    i enjoy looking at your images of layouts.

    paul reeder

  2. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice buildings, make more.

  3. Eric Kiehl says:

    Rich, One hell of a job, they all look realistic in my book. Congratulations on your start.

    Eric Kiehl The Firefighter
    St Louis Area Missouri.

  4. Tony Kitty Hawk, NC says:

    Gentlemen- Great work, thanks for posting! Rich- beautiful buildings! I would like to see step-by-step photos of one of the builds, if you have them.

  5. Thaddeus Sosnowski says:

    Those buildings are fabulous great detail.

  6. Raymond B Clark says:

    Those structures look fantastic!

  7. George Zaky says:

    How about doing an old man a favor, and like telling a 5 year old, show exactly how you got the brick & stone paper to look so realistic. Your buildings are well done and you should show them off on a train layout.
    What scale? Keep plugging. What is on the wall? Cant figure it out.

  8. Mr. Ron from South Mississippi says:

    Your buildings are fantastic. Buildings really make a layout, not the trains.

  9. matiSon says:

    Rich, whatever you do, don’t make the mistake that I made on my first layout. I decided to do the landscaping and hills first, and lay the track afterward. I had to constantly adapt the track to changing slopes, hills, etc. It was a lot more work than it should have been, because there was hardly any level ground for the track to sit upon.

  10. Mike Balog says:

    Rich: Those are Fantastic Buildings with such detail,,.especially in N Scale, they look almost REAL!
    Wish we could do the same in HO Scale. Never thought of using a pre-made sign
    from the store for building material. Guess, for the cost, it is cheaper than buying plastic sheets for modeling. Using Foam boards I think would be a lot better as far as structural strength. Then you can add the exterior “Siding” sheets of “brick” or wood paneling using rubber cement to glue it on.

    Mike In N.H. ~ USA.

  11. Raymond W Smith says:

    Spectacular building models. Superb work, especially in N scale. I also have modelled much of my intended HO layout before ever driving a rail spike…excellent work.

  12. Norman "Pete" McGill says:

    Good looking buildings. I wonder what it’s like to live in a house made of stones and rocks?

  13. william james palmer says:


  14. mickey j bevens says:

    Richard, WOW and in N-scale

  15. Charles Eyster says:

    Al, many thanks got such a wonderful opportunity to see and learn from such a vast group of modelers. I’m curious, do you have s count for the number of subscribers in this group?

Leave a Reply

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