Model railroad building kits

Building Wood Model Structure Kits for Model Railroads
July 17, 2017 – 12:30 pm
Ho model railroad building kits | Mualsambel

Like all kits, this project offers opportunities to expand upon the original materials. The first addition to this model will be an interior. As this will be a foreground structure with large windows in the front, a little extra effort here will really pay off. In general, interior scenes do not need to be as detailed as the exterior as they can only be viewed from limited angles and lighting. Still, some signs of life inside go a long way in completing any structure.

Floor and Walls

This kit did...MORE not include any provisions for an interior, but it is not difficult to add one. The floor was made from a piece of balsa wood cut to fit and attaches directly to the foundation beams. The color of the wood looked close enough to a pine floor that it was left unpainted.

An interior wall was made from a piece of scribed wood siding. This same material will also be used to upgrade the roof. Scribed styrene could also be used, but the wood provided an easier option without the need for any extra painting or treatments.

The wall was measured for length and the profile of the peaked roof was matched from the rear wall of the kit. After dry-fitting, the walls were trimmed until the roof was a perfect fit. Then the wall was glued in place with wood glue. This will divide the finished and unfinished portions of the interior and provide a support for the light.


Since this kit could have developed into any number of businesses, a trip to the hobby shop determined its identity. Searching the figures and details, a Preiser figure caught my attention. It is a police officer with his feet propped up on the desk reading the newspaper. The relaxed attitude seemed perfect for a small town. With a little paint, this figure could have been turned into any person, but I eventually settled on leaving him in uniform.

The desk was modified with the removal of the modern desk lamp and the addition of some paper piles and a painted blotter. The rest of the office furnishings came from a Model Power set. Wall hangings and the door to the back rooms (not modeled) were made on cardstock.

A dog, also a Preiser figure, stands alert and barking at the door in a futile attempt to alert the officer to strange noises from the rear. That scene will compliment the finished structure where a figure will be seen escaping from a hole under the foundation. Little scenes like that, no matter how improbable, can add a whole new dimension to a layout.


Lighting for the interior is a single 14 volt grain-of-wheat bulb. The bulb is positioned near the peak of the roof and attached through a hole in the interior wall. This allows the light to fully illuminate the scene without being seen.

The wires continue through another hole in the floor to a wiring bus below the scenery. There is no lighting in the back rooms of the building. Details would be less visible through these windows and having some light and dark spaces in any building increases authenticity.

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