Paper models


Just came across this site:

where you can download paper model templates of buildings and such. Can be used as plans for scratchbuilt models or as temporary fillers for those empty spots. And they are free!.


David Calhoun's picture


 What luck! I was just about to write asking about cardboard models to go with track planning/alignment and you came up with a great answer. Aside from marking the centerline of the track, one has to make sure the buildings being planned fit the space or that the rails don't run into an obstacle they can't get around. 

There are plans with many building kits and I cut out the floor plan to put down on the layout. A good friend, Gary Mease, who was a model railroader and design artist, taught me to turn the "floor plan" in different directions. You come up with some interesting spacial layouts and "tweaks" to sidings. He always told me that too many buildings in a straight line were boring. 

Thanks for the info. Yet another reason I really enjoy this site.

Chief Operating Officer

The Greater Nickel Plate

Jamnest's picture

Paper Buildings

I use DPM and Walther's HO Modular Templates.  I print them on cardstock and glue them to foam board.  I have made several adjustments to the track plan because what I drew on paper just didn't look right.  The DPM templates have the part number so when it comes time to build the building I know which pieces I will need.

You can dowmload the Walther's Modulars Templates for free from their website; and the DPM Templates from the Design Preservation website.


Modeling the Kansas City Southern (fall 1981 - spring 1982) HO scale


Geared's picture

Great back ground buildings

Paper models make great background buildings. I print off textures and glue them to foam core to give a little profile. Here's the site I use to get textures.



Geared is the way to tight radii and steep grades. Ghost River Rwy. "The Wet Coast Loggers"


caboose14's picture

Excellent Paper Models

Perhaps the best quality paper/cardstock models I have found are from ScaleScenes. They are not free, (a few small kits are for you to try out) but are very inexpensive and quite impressive when constructed. Instructions are excellent as well. The fellow who produces these is very good modeler in his own right. Check out his South Oak Road link on the site. All his structures are built with his kits. Looks VERY nice!

Kevin Klettke CEO, Washington Northern Railroad

Scarpia's picture

That's a great find

That's a great find!

I did it, and I do strongly recommend folks who are in the construction mode to do paper/foam/cardboard mockups - it's really helpful in visualizing the results.

Per paper buildings, a friend here in the area made one for me - and I was very impressed! Here's a sample

They certainly have their role in the hobby, and I know I'll be trying it soon.

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


Another angle to try

Another way paper models can be used is making pohtocopies of the main parts of unassembled kits. Easier to kitbash paper than plastic...


Long life to Linux The Great!

Paper & cardboard structures

I too have used DPM's site to print templates for cardboard structures that act as stand-ins until I get the time to construct the final building for that area.  The pic below is the backdrop area behind the yard in Van Buren Ark.

There are four structures along the backdrop...from front to back...Ark-Oma Furniture & Appliance, Crockett Plumbing Supply, non-rail served warehouse and Greene Giant Cannary.  For the time being, these stand-ins help give the scene a semi-finished look.  The best part is each structure only took about an hour each to assemble.

take a look

Scale scenes does a fine job but also take a look at Clever models.

very high quality cardstock structures with American lines. and almost everything is under $10

Moderator edit: MRH spoke with Clever Models about advertising and agreed this post is permitted this one time. Please go check out their website and show them how much traffic MRH can drive to their site!

color printer plus laser seems to work well



Cheaper Home Laser cutters seem to be breaking into the MR hobby high end tool choices.

I like the effect here and the fact that specialized structures are now very easy to produce, even in one-offs. I believe even the trolley car bodies are done that way.



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