How To Select And Weather Model Railway Buildings

Model Railway Buildings

Model railway buildings are one of the most important factors to consider when you begin building your model train layout. These buildings help to create the historical setting and geography of your layout, and give your railroad a realistic feel.

In order to make your railroad look as life-like as possible, it is important that you select buildings that complement your railroad. You will also need to know how to ‘weather’ your buildings, to give them a natural look.

Use Appropriate Colors For Weathering Model Railway Buildings

When you begin to look at weathering your model buildings, there are certain colors that you will want to use in order to get the most realistic look possible. For example, brown and black paints can be used to simulate the natural look of rust.

If you need to simulate weathering effects on your exhaust pipes and smokestacks, you will want to use black and grey colored washes and paints. These colors can look like residue left behind in the form of soot.

When you need to re-create the effects of oil stains, dust, dirt, and grime it is a good idea to use white, grey, black, brown, and tan washes and paints. These colors give a very realistic effect when used on model buildings like garages, gas stations, and factories.

One of the best ways to create the ‘streaking effect’ that is usually caused by rain and other fluids that may fall onto a building over time is to use the ‘dry brush technique’.

To get the best effects from this technique, you need to dip your brush into your paint or wash, and then wipe it on a paper towel. Once you have wiped off most of the excess paint or wash, you can use your brush to gently apply the remaining paint or wash to your building.

This will leave a streak of paint or wash on your building. Overall, this technique is one of the easiest ways to create effects like oil splashes on the floors of garages, and really gives a realistic weather-beaten look to older model railway buildings.

Select Appropriate Railway Buildings For Your Layout

When selecting your model railway buildings, it is important that you select buildings that are appropriate for your layout. For example, a modern-looking passenger terminal would definitely be out of place on a railroad set in the 1800s. Therefore, you will want to use buildings that complement your layout’s historical and geographic setting, to give your model train layout a truly realistic feel.

Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal Kit
Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal Kit

An historic railway building to add to any model railroad set in California would be the Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal Kit from Historic Rail.

This unique kit recreates the fabulous architecture and style of this unique building, which was built in 1939 by the combined efforts of Union Pacific, Santa Fe, and Southern Pacific.

With much attention paid to simulating the Mission-style architectural details of this original building, the model building is definitely going to make any mid-20th Century California model railroad layout look great.

Schultz's Garage Kit

Another unique building for a model railroad layout is the Schultz Garage Kit from Historic Rail. This kit is perfectly designed to replicate a small town garage that could be found in any town from the 1930s through to the 1970s.

Featuring an assorted junkyard, molded-in-place architectural details, and simulated brick walls, this building is sure to be the perfect addition to any town you may design on your model railroad.

By understanding some effective weathering techniques, and keeping a few examples of great model railway buildings in mind, you will be well on your way to making your model railroad one of the most realistic looking railroads around, which after all will probably be your main aim.

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