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Picking The Right Buildings For your HO Model Train Layout

Updated on July 23, 2016

Buildings and building accessories are a very important part of a HO model train layout. With a little effort you can give great detail. I have been carefully selecting the buildings and scene material for my layout.I want to do a combination of a town and industrial area with a setting in the 1950's or 1960's. Here is some of what I have done so far.Here's a pile of buildings that I sill need to assemble! I personally like the HO buildings and accessories of the LikeLike product line by Walthers. But I am sure that you could get equally good results using kits made by Model Power and Bachmann. As you can see I still have a lot of HO building kits to assemble.

It's all in the detail

For instance take a look at these railroad signs. I used a fine point sharpie to carefully highlight the words, letters, and cross-buck symbols on the signs. I then proceeded to paint the sign posts with brown enamel paint. I used different brush strokes to give the posts the look of wood grain.

It's easy to make things look real!

Take a look at these utility poles. All it took was a little white enamel paint on the insulators and some silver enamel paint to highlight the telephone box, electrical transformer, and street light and these are ready to be added to your train layout.

I used Testors enamel paint set for the road signs and utility poles.

Enamel paint can be smelly and hard to clean up. You really need to work in a well ventilated area when using this paint. You may want to us an acrylic based paint instead. It is less smelly and cleans up with water.

The Signal Bridge

After assembling the Signal Bridge and individual signals I highlighted them with silver paint.

Track Side Shanties

On to detailing the track side shanties, after assembling these kits I used silver enamel paint to highlight the stove pipes coming out of the top of the shanties and the lamp shade over the station sign. I then used masking tape to mask off the roof tops and sprayed two of the roofs with brown automotive primer and the other with gray automotive primer. I had these half used cans of automotive printer leftover from some bodywork I did on my car and figured I put it to good use.

My favorite HO Scale Building Kit

I have built all of these kits and the finished products are installed on my layout.


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    • Tricia Deed profile image

      Tricia Deed 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      I enjoyed your lens.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Love this! My family were always into trains and still have one that my nephews have and put up under the Christmas tree every year....5*