Model railway buildings come in many forms, from kits and downloads to ready made buildings. Each has its pros and cons. So who are Best Model Railway Building suppliers? look out for the tips and tricks sections.
We have built many different manufacturers kits for clients and will give you some tips and tricks to help you choose the best, below.
The Best Model Railway Building suppliers are:
Hornby make a wide range of resin buildings that are ready to plant. They are not cheap at £30 for a simple house. However, they have nice detailing and are a quick solution for building a model railway scene. Disadvantages include issues when adding lighting, such as light bleed and gaining access to the interior.
To prevent light bleed paint the interior of the building black, you may have to drill out the base with some models.Tips and tricks
What type of glue is best for card kits?
We use the UHU type clear glue for most card to card joints. However for large flat areas use the cheap glue sticks you can get from Pound shops. PVA white glue takes forever to dry and can cause warpage.Tips and tricks – glue
You’re probably wondering who makes the most popular buildings?
2/ Metcalfe Card Model Railway buildings
The familiar green packets containing Metcalfe card kits are seen in most model shops. These high quality die-cut kits are also seen on many layouts. Which may be an issue for the originality of the layout. They are well made and have superb instructions. Lighting is straightforward and the card is thick enough to prevent light bleed.
Metcalfe have gradually been upgrading older kits with laser cut parts and have a range of mini kits that are mostly laser cut. We have built several Metcalfe kits for clients who love the look and detail of these fine models.
As with any card buildings you need to colour the exposed edges. With Metcalfe kits it is often easier to colour the edges before construction. Bend the corner back on itself and use an appropriately coloured chalk pastel to colour the edge.Tips and tricks
We have never had any issues with them apart from not reading the instructions properly!
Which Metcalfe kit is the most popular?
From our kit building commissions it would Be…The humble terraced house row!
It gets Better, Next comes the corner shop:
After Metcalfe kits comes Superquick.
What are the problems with Superquick Kits?
3/ Superquick Card Models
One of the first manufacturers of model railway buildings was Superquick. they are still in production and available on this site.
An old favourite , the kits are made of thin card and tend to warp. they are die cut but the instructions for the earlier kits can be a real pain to follow. We tend to strengthen them when doing build commissions. They benefit from being attached to a thick card sub-base. This holds them square and stops any twisting.
Use strengthening strips inside the walls to prevent warping. Attach the windows with dabs of UHU not Sellotape as recommended. This tends to disintegrate with age.Tips and tricks
4/ Kingsway Models
A newer entrant in the model railway building market is Kingsway. The kits are not die-cut and require a lot of work to get a good result. As it happens Kinsgway kits are our most common build commissions.
They make lovely dioramas. The range is wide with many London bus depots available for 1/76 scale bus collectors
If the walls are brick, colour the inside edges of any widow openings with watercolour paints. The cheap solid block type are fine for this. Paint from behind the walls and keep checking that paint is not running onto the front brickwork.Tips and tricks
Pettite Properties make a range of laser cut buildings for model railways. They provide buildings in three scales n, 00 and O. Clear windows make interior detailing a breeze. Finishes can be done with brick papers or a thin layer of Das clay. Score the clay to create stone or brick effects.
Perhaps the original download kit provider scalescenes have some very realistic buildings. They need a lot of care and skill to make as all the components have to be cut out, including the window frames. However you can now get screen printed windows. There is a good selection of signage with most kits.
Unusually, there is also a useful range of ships and boats for the card modeller. A large cargo container ship is available for that dockside scene. There is a large selection of printable brick and stone papers. The roads and pavements papers are great for dioramas. Finally interior detail sets are available including doors and furniture!
6/ Worsdworth Models
Who can argue with free? The Downloads from Wordsworth models are free and make a useful contribution to the available model railway buildings. They have got better over the years with some earlier examples being somewhat primitive.
7/ 3Dk models
Another British outline download kit provider is 3Dk models. The kits have lots of interior details as well as printable windows. You can download a free kit to try and there is a small range of printable texture sheets.
A tip for speedier building is to leave out the interior detailing. unless you are going to light the building it cannot really be seen.Tips and tricks
Finally no street scene would be complete without a range of cars vans and emergency vehicles.