Friday, May 7, 2021

Background Buildings for Scots' Landing - Scratch-built HO Scale Paper Models

These structure and others will be placed along a road that will climb along the backdrop of my Scots' Landing module. I'll build the hill and the road on the bench and then place it on the layout.
I'll need a few more houses and a medium-sized factory to fill out this four-foot chunk of HO scale landscape.

The green house on the right is Clever Models' "Small Chicago House" (S14). The other two are kitbashed versions of the same kit. The porch on the left uses fine cloth mesh for window screen.

This building is scratch built from a photo on the Internet. I widened it by adding the vertical row of windows on the left. The side walls are Clever Models' "Cream City Brick" texture sheet. I haven't decide what kind of business this will house so there is no sign yet. Roof details include a scatchbuilt hatch, some scrap lumber, and a sand barrel and shovel from Fine Scale Miniatures.

The boarding house is scratch-built from photos of one of the buildings from the Builders In Scale "Waterfront" kit. The photos were from Vilius Bileisis' amazing blog, The storefront will probably end up being a cafe but I am so far undecided. Walls, windows, doors, and shutters came from Vilius' photos. The shingles and chimney are from Clever Models.

The stone & wood barn is scratch-built from a photo on the Internet. It might be someone's craftsman kit, I don't remember where I found it. The stone walls are from, the wood walls, roof, doors and windows are from the Randsburg Barbershop kit by Paper Creek, now available free from All were modified in Photoshop. This will be a cabinet shop but I have not yet decided on a name.

The grocery store is a scratchbuilt copy of a model photo I found somewhere on the Internet. Wall texture, windows, and doors are from Clever Models' texture collections. The image in the large windows and the wall signs are images from the Web. I'll put some produce crates in the entryway when they arrive from Model Tech Studios.


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Three More for the Ceresco & Wolf River

 The Wet Whistle Tavern and the tinshop will be part of the back scene at Scots' Landing -- a somewhat run down commercial street climbing the bluff. They are paper models, scratch built from photos. I don't have a spot for the produce co. yet. That is also a paper model scratch built from plans.

All three are HO scale (1/87) and built with texture papers from Clever Models, Paper Creek, and ScaleScences, and windows & doors from my digital parts box. The sheet-metal roof on the tinshop came from The Texture Library (

The tinshop was a limited edition O-scale kit from Stoney Creek Designs in 2018. I scanned a photo from their ad in Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette to make mine in HO scale. The Wet Whistle was a 3D digital model from (I think) Turbosquid. L.Baker Produce is a FOS Scale Models kit.

One of the advantages of paper models is the ability to use photos, scans, and screen captures of real buildings and models -- plus Photoshop -- to create my own scratch-built models.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Three Background Structures for Scots' Landing

 Against the backdrop of my HO scale Scots' Landing module, I am planning a commercial street climbing a hill to the bluffs above the harbor. The businesses along the road have seen better days but they hang on, serving the river folk at Scots' Landing and people from the town up above. I recently finished three more structures for that street. Once in place, they will be 22 inches from the front edge of the layout.

The Caledonia Hotel is a scratchbuilt paper model, a compressed version of  McGee's Hotel from Microscale Models. I used photographs of the kit from Villius Beleisis' amazing blog at Villius' scale models are masterpieces.

Wishy Washy Laundry is also a scratch built paper model. The front walls are based on a photo of a model from somewhere on the Internet. I've modified it and added the sign and name in Photoshop. If you know whose kit and whose build it was, let me know so I can give proper credit for the photo. The side walls are a Clever Models clapboard sheet, the shingles are from Paper Creek (no longer in business), and the vents are from Walthers.

The coal dealer is a paper model kit from Clever Models. I widened it by moving the vertical "COAL" sign to the front of the building, and I added some roof detail.

The street will be about four feet long, so I have lots more storefronts to build.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

1931 Bugatti Racer - paper model in 1/24 scale

This is a free download from ichiyama. The kit is 1/35 scale. I scaled it up to 1/24. It was a fun kit to build except for the tires. I had to build a dozen of them to get five I liked, and I am still not entirely happy with the results. But it looks good on the shelf.

Friday, December 11, 2020

USS Gambier Bay -- 1/200 Scale Paper Model

 I'm picking up this project again after letting it sit unfinished for about two years. I am not much for writing detailed build threads, but I will try to post updates now and then. Maybe that will help motivate me to finish the kit. It has lots and lots of greeblies.

The Gambier Bay was 512 feet long. The model will be just over 2-1/2 feet in length.

For the uninitiated, "greeblies" are those tiny little parts that can drive you half crazy, especially when your tweezers go "boink" and the part flies somewhere over your shoulder. Greeblies that you think fell onto the floor between your feet will actually land in the shag carpet in the next room. No one knows why; it just happens. 

My progress, so far: 

USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) was a Casablanca-class escort carrier of the United States Navy. She was sunk in the Battle off Samar during the Battle of Leyte Gulf after helping to turn back a much larger attacking Japanese surface force. She was the only American aircraft carrier sunk by enemy surface gunfire during World War II. [Source: Wikipedia]

Progress on the Gambier Bay

I have mated hull and flight deck, and started on the galleries on the sides of the hull. I've run out of laser cut railings. Progress halts while I work out the best way to make my own.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Medieval "Morning Star" & Stand -- 1:1 scale paper model


Sometimes I just need a break from building airplanes and model RR structures. This evil-looking piece of hardware was a free download and an evening's work. And, who knows, maybe it will come in handy when I go back to teaching at the college in January.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Still Trying to Decide on a Trackplan for Ceresco

 Ceresco ("seh-RESS-koh") is one of two terminals on my Ceresco & Wolf River HO scale shelf layout. The other terminal, Scots' Landing, is nearing in progress -- track laid, some scenery done, some structures built. My requirements for Ceresco: 

  • Size, 9 feet x 2 feet
  • A simple plan -- most space given to scenery and scratch built structures
  • Varied elevations
  • Industrial atmosphere but not "big city" 
  • Most tracks not parallel to the edge of the layout
  • Drop-in Connection across the aisle for continuous running
  • Some staging, not necessarily hidden
  • Turntable & engine house
Here is the current "contestant":