Downloadable Cardstock Buildings

Bindlestiff's picture

An interesting website that features downloadable pdf models of historical Illinois buildings, for instance Lincoln's Springfield home, etc.  Some interesting "main street" models similar to the old Heljan courthouse square series and the DPM's. Nice brickwork and roof detail. Check it out.  Free


Scarpia's picture

Great fiind!

Great Find! I'll do a couple of these for background structures.

HO, early transition era local time GMT +4
On30, circa 1900    


Good link!

Yes, great site and I think it has been added to since the last time I visited.  I first discovered this site from a link posted a few years back on another forum and had forgotten all about it.  Thanks for the reminder!


These are just perfect for the small town I am building in the mountains.

Will have to play with page scaling to resize them for N scale.

Thanks for the great post!

Bit of advice take them to your local discount printer and have them print these with a color laser printer on good card stock. You can even have them printed two to an 11x17 sheet (which is a standard paper size in the printing industry) and save money.

Worth the cost and still cheaper than plastic kits.


Rio Grande Dan's picture

These are Great for back

These are Great for back ground and for Kit bashing DPM plastic Models. also Great Wood shingles on the log Buildings. With a little bit of X-acto work they will make a great shingled roof.

Thanks for the link I'll definitely find a use for it.


Rio Grande Dan

cardstock buildings

these are good looking buildings there is also a book printer called DOVER BOOKS that prints books of all

kinds of buildings and houses all in HO scale you can find them or order them a BORDERS BOOKS or at

BARNS AND NOBLES they sell for around 5to8 dollars i have bought a couple of them and with a little

work in weathering they look great for background or building flats

ron netti

Would it work to use regular paper, and then glue it to card

stock or foam core?  I'm not sure my printer will handle something as heavy as card stock, and I would rather have it built with something a bit heavier like foam core board for strength.

Two ways (at least)

One way is to print on thin (regular) paper of good quality (smooth) then laminate this to heavier cardstock.  This is suggested by, I think.  It's been a little while since assembled the cardstock freebie freight house from their site.  But that's basically what I did.  Just be sure to use a good adhesive so that it won't delaminate over time.

The other would be to use as heavy a cardstock as possible in your printer.  Find a local scrapbooking store and talk to the folks there about how they print things on heavy paper and you may get some good ideas.

I've even heard of printing on thin or flimsy styrene but I'd stick with paper and laminate it to styrene, card, foamcore, etc.


dfandrews's picture


The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency has done a great job preserving these examples of a variety of architecture styles,  

I printed out Jensen Drug Store at noon today, and discovered that it is a bit oversize for HO scale.  I first suspected that all the buildings are to the same scale, but that is not the case. 

I was working with the back doors, which scale to 7'-10"; but that is a bit too tall.  I would expect the back doors to be between 6'-8" and 7'-0".  But the width scales to 2'-11",which is just about right. So, no good basis for guessing!

If we have some good basis dimensions, we can determine scaling factors for all the popular scales.  So, if anyone lives near any of these buildings and can get some measurements, ....  Front or back wall door and window widths from face of masonry to face of masonry would be good.  Some or all of these buildings are in current operation, so consideration of the owners, and maybe an introduction and explanation of what you're doing, may be in order.

Here's some of the buildings on the website:

Jensen Drug store, 113 E Washington St, Momence

First National Bank, Dwight

Will Hall Bldg, Aledo

E.Stein Bldg, Blue Island

Tinsley Bldg, 6th & Adams, Springfield

78 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake

Thanks for the help.



Rincon Pacific Rwy, 1960.  HO scale std. gauge - interchange with SP.


dfandrews's picture

Be an advertiser


I'm looking at some of the buildings on the Illinois site as (1) place-holders for later structures to be built, (2) ideas for scratch-built or kit-bashed town buildings, or (3) background models with mostly just the fronts mounted on foam-core for a slight relief against backdrops.

And, as are many in this hobby, my purchases correspond to a shoe-string budget. 

I was not aware of your company, and a cursory glance through your website looks very promising.  This Important note, though.  I am very rigorous in limiting my purchases to advertisers with MRH magazine, because I value so much what MRH provides, free, to us the subscribers; all paid for by the advertisers.  So, if you're an advertiser, I will bet that I'm a customer. 



Rincon Pacific Rwy, 1960.  HO scale std. gauge - interchange with SP.


Rio Grande Dan's picture

How to Print the Card stock Models.

First buy yourself some 8.5 X 11 Letter Size 110 lb Index Card Stock white. it is basically the same thickness as Photo paper without the glossy side.

When you bring up your printer settings select Properties and then select Ink jet Papers and pick Heavyweight paper or Matt Greeting Cards. This paper is thin enough to go through any printer made !!!

When you paste the card stock to anything use Pliobond contact cement or any contact cement other than a water base glue or paste to attach it to a heavy poster board or gator board. The water base glue will cause any paper you use it on to warp and distort your buildings ,so remember to apply a thin coat of Pliobond or what ever type of contact cement you choose to both pieces of paper and allow to dry for at least 5 minutes before you attach 1 to the other. Then smoth it out as carefully as you can. Pliobond will last for Years and years without any pealing.


Rio Grande Dan

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