Proper architectural models are usually built in 1/4" scale if they're
small buildings such as homes, but I've never heard of them being done
in 1/87, no matter what the size of the building being modeled.
You might try eBay?
~Pete - I have seen a number of that type of model being done in 1:72
(aka1/60 [10"=60']). They were usually larger complexes, like hospital
additions, malls or schools. Bigger models, of say marinas,
professional or industrial centers or some city developments were of a
size that was compatable with N guage models. Some guys at the local
wargamers club got one such city development model from the architect
who came in fourth or fifth for real cheap and used it as a setting
for some kind of WWIII battle-scenerio.
But the problem is that while models in a somewhat smaller scale
(1:100 or so) can be used very effectively as background buildings to
force the perspective on an HO layout, buildings in a *larger* scale
always seem to look too big unless they're the modern "slab" sort that
have very few -if any- doors and windows to use as a size reference.
And since you can't use larger scale buildings as background
buildings, they must perforce be right up in front where the scale
difference tends to stand out like a sore thumb.
In fact, the term "architectural scale" sometimes means scales with such
and such a fraction of "inches per foot. 1:48 scale (1/4 inch per foot)
and 1:72 scale (1:6 inches per foot) are architectural scales, as is
1:96. Architectural scales are thus almost always multiples of 12.
As others have pointed out, you're unlikely to find 1/87 architectural
models, though you might find something close enough (or in a size
suitable for background use).
Don't know of any web sites, but why not just contact some local
architects? All you need is one helpful one. I imagine a lot of these
models just get trashed after being shown to the client.
Found--the gene that causes belief in genetic determinism
Are you Really looking for architectural models, or do you just want a
source of inexpensive HO buildings? If the latter, then search
e-bay or google: ho structures. HO buildings also returns a lot of hits.
Another source is local train shows. The magazine 'Model Railroader' lists
train shows. The current issue of MR also has an article on building card
stock model structures. Kit building and scratch building are usually the
least expensive approaches to populating a layout with buildings, but you do
have an investment of time.
Here's where to find HO structures on e-bay:
# Home >
# Buy >
# Toys & Hobbies >
# Model RR, Trains >
# HO Scale >
# Buildings, Structures
Thanks to all of you for your input. Yes, I have check out ebay but I am
looking for unique structures and I just keep finding less than unusual. I
am thinking of doing some paper modeling. Any experience with this form
would be appreciated.
Lots of good info on line. Google "paper modelling techniques tips" and
then again with "...modelling...". I occasionally reread a few, just to
remind myself of what to do.
Start with a couple of the free models for practice.
Here's a check list based on how I do it:
... craft knife with disposable (snap-off) blades, and a box of spares.
Beware of cheap knives that don't lock properly.
... tooth picks and very small brush for applying glue
... small, very sharp scissors (cheap nail scissors are not good enough)
... 2H or harder pencil and good sharpener
... used fine point ball point pen, blunted awl for scoring bend lines
... cutting mat (12"x18" or thereabouts)
... triangles and dividers (look for school geometry sets on sale)
... small machinist's try square
... metal straightedge
... emery boards as sold for manicures
... 60 to 80 lb card stock, inkjet quality for printing downloaded models
... miscellaneous sizes of balsa and hard wood strips for bracing,
... plastic strips for window and door frames, etc
... plastic detail castings such as chimneys, down spouts, eaves troughs
... glue stick, white (PVA) glue, rubber cement, household cement
... miscellaneous markers for colouring the cut edges (go to a art
supply store for these)
... spray on sealer (clear lacquer is good, but toxic. Sealers used by
artists are safer, but aren't as waterproof.
... make triangular braces (for roofs, corners) out of heavy card (2mm
... If it's not supplied, make a base for the building out of heavy
card. Mark the outline, and cut a 1 - 2mm larger. If you do this
carefully, you can easily align the building on the base by eye, which
is especially helpful when the building is _not_ square.
... score all bends before cutting out the parts
... plan so that score lines and cuts are as long as possible, aligned
across walls, etc
... if you plan to paint/weather the model with water based paints,
spray on sealer before cutting out parts
... small items are best printed on lighter weight paper
... you can rescale models by adjusting the printer scaling, or by
playing with the margins, or by changing the image size.
... When you force smaller images by rescaling margins, you can often
print more than one copy of the model on the same page by turning the
paper end for end
... when resizing an image, make sure the program "resamples pixels",
else all you will get jaggies
... shiny clear plastic does not, oddly enough, look very realistic as
... change blades frequently (repeat 10 times)
... gluing light weight paper to a backing is iffy, but sometimes
necessary. Practice with scrap paper first. For smallish bits, glue
stick is best. For larger areas, best to seal both paper and backing
first, and use diluted PVA. Rubber cement discolours and gets brittle
... take pictures of interesting walls, etc, and print out. You can make
your own model kits this way, actually.
... to gain 3D effects, print more than copy of the model, and layer the
parts. Eg, cut out the doors and windows on one copy, and layer it over
the second one.
Erm, that's enough for now.
Paper modelling is addictive. ;-)
Two more tips:
Diluted PVA is excellent for stiffening paper parts. Just brush on one
side, let dry, then brush on the other. Ink must be water resistant for
for this, which brings me to my next tip:
Buy the best printer you can afford - none of those "free with system"
junkers, with a tri-color ink cartridge. Multi-tank, Canon, Epson or HP.
Buy maker's brand inks only, they all supply water resistant inks.
Bonus: your pictures will look a lot better, too.
And a reminder: good quality card and paper excellent general modelling
materials. In many applications they are better material than the others.
I told you paper modelling is addictive, didn't I?
Yes, it is.
Here's a piece I did, showing that even industrial structures can be
modeled in paper:
The model is almost all paper, except for the railings (copper wire),
deck beams (wood I-beams) and the outside legs (plastic H-columns).
(Even those could be made out of paper.) As you can guess, it's just a
whole lot of itsy-bitsy pieces of paper glued together. (I use whatever
cheap white glue I can get, usually at the dollar stores.)
Paper is a mix of cardboard and various cover stock I've accumulated
over the years, including from my career as a printer. (*Please* don't
use the inaccurate term "cardstock"; there's no such thing. Printers use
either cover stock--thick paper--or what's called "text", ordinary
writing or copying paper.)
Even the gusset plates are paper, embossed with a blunt needle to
Here's the structure this was modeled after, a cement plant near
Thanks for your good advice and for taking the time to articulate those
ideas and your experience. I hope to profit from your experience. Do you
have any experience with Evan Designs Model-Builder? From what I have seen
on their web site, it looks impressive. If you do not use Model-Builder what
soft ware progam do you use/recommend?
What do you think of this progam's products? Are they on par with your work?
Hard to say, because the pic is small. The models look clean and neat,
ie, they haven't been weathered, etc. The larger buildings look more
like impressions of the real thing than accurate models - probably
intended as background models. They do seem to have potential, though.
Weathering, details, addition of things like wondpow and door frame,
"rtexturiisng" surfaces, that's what really makes the difference. I look
on any kit as a base, not as a finished product. If you are good at
visualising what you want the finished model to look like, and have
moderate or better skills with a paint brush, you can make anything look
I'd still recommend downloading, printing, and building a couple or
three freebies. Will give you the experience you need to make your own
FWIW, David M's work is better than mine.
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