Background Buildings

Discussion in 'HO Scale' started by Tbone, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Tbone

    Tbone Permanently dispatched

    I am looking for some background buildings for my N&E layout.Do you guys know of any manufacturers or have any ideas for some building flats?Something like this one...

    It doesnt have to be a business as long as it is no more than 2" deep.Maybe some residential buildings.I just need some ideas.
  2. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I have an old WABASH VALLEY kit #WKN821 (N scale version) "THE WAREHOUSE" almost identical to what you show.
    I've had it for 20 years or longer, don't know if it is still available. But it is almost a "box of sticks" kit-- windows, plastic sheet printed with brick pattern to cut to fit, and, yes, sticks --well, they ARE cut to length to make the concrete frame.
    Almost might as well be scratchbuilding.
    That might even be easier than using a kit.
  3. Mr. SP

    Mr. SP TrainBoard Member

    Might use some Design Preservation modular building kits to build a flat. There are several styles and kinds available. I think Walthers has/had some flat kits too.
    Just thought of it. Number one kid used the Heljan number 806 grain elevator kit and made it up as a building flat. The silos were one sided and the back half was used to make the elevator longer. The head house on top was done the same way with the roof cut lengthwise to fit.

    Attached Files:

  4. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

  5. Wolfgang Dudler

    Wolfgang Dudler Passed away August 25, 2012 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    This is a DPM kit:


    And this is Walther's Mill, my son "kitbashed" it:


  6. Tbone

    Tbone Permanently dispatched

    That is sweet.Thanks for the ideas guys.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2009
  7. xdford47

    xdford47 New Member

    Using Auran Trainz for backdrops

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]I made a backdrop by using the Buildings in Auran trainz and taking screen shots of them, and pasting them to paint or Gimp. The picture is then pasted on to foam core board, the edges of which are painted a grey colour. Rather than make my layout fit the backdrop, I can make my backdrop fit my layout by printing out as close as I can to what I want or envisage. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]When you do the screen dumps onto the Auran "board" put some scenic green underneath it and rotate your building and or your view so that you get the full "sunny side" ... which in the case of you in the Northern Hemisphere is the South aspect of Trainz compass.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]The pictures are printed on sticker A4 size paper then cut out and applied... and it is fun![/FONT]
  8. Tomkat

    Tomkat TrainBoard Member

    I am also getting ready to make some background building flats. This is a test item of textures & signs printed from jpg files that I got on line applied to a cardboard square. I will likely use foam board when I make the final buildings. Also you can use real photos or othe images from old postcards found online. Just copy & paste image to MS Publisher or other software that you can size photo to your scale...
    (for me HO) or you can make it small to look like it is far away.


    Here are some postcards sized to HO



  9. pachyderm217

    pachyderm217 TrainBoard Member

    These are N scale structures, but you can do the same thing in HO. These twelve small building flats came from 1 DPM kit and 1 Walthers modular kit.


    This shows most of those flats in place behind some low relief buildings.

  10. stewarttrains98

    stewarttrains98 TrainBoard Member

    There are some online places that sell them. One place is called back drop warehouse and the other is sceniking. There is compnay that does sell modern backdrop buildings but I can't recall the name right now. I do know that they have an add in the new MR for a gas station that they just released.
  11. faraway

    faraway TrainBoard Member

    I'm just building a new layout and have a need for background buildings too. In addition to the background the corners have to be filled in a useful manner too.

    This is my interpretation of a mill based on cornerstone


    The other corner will become some kind of meat processing. It is also mainly based on cornerstone. Walthers had a special sales on the modular kit during spring. I got a batch of elements and used it here.

    This building is based on the well known DPM elements.

    At this time all buildings are in raw condition only. They had to be completed up to this stage to finalize the track layout.

    May be you can pickup some idears
  12. Tbone

    Tbone Permanently dispatched

    I like the DPM background building.Can you tell me what kits were used and how this was constructed?
  13. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Really nice mill complex. I like the use of space and the sidings for switching. This "relief" buildings concept makes it much easier for increasing layout operations without sacrificing realism.

    This reminds me of the type of layout I saw on David Barrow's Cat Mountain and Santa Fe several years ago. Those were some really relief structures.

  14. faraway

    faraway TrainBoard Member

    It is based on some "DPM Designer bulk pack" "Rectangular window., Industrial building 362".

    The backside shows the dirty part of the construction

    The mortal wash with light gray is very important for the overall impression.
  15. Larry Hepker

    Larry Hepker TrainBoard Member

  16. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

    Great info on this thread! Although I prefer the flats or low-relief structure approach, I have been seeing more and more modelers use digital images laminated to foamboard or styrene to produce background (and even foreground) buildings with great results. All of the background buildings in this scene of downtown Lynchburg, VA on Mike Burgett's C&O Clifton Forge Division are digital images printed out and laminated on foamboard:


  17. Tomkat

    Tomkat TrainBoard Member

    Digital images laminated to foamboard

    I like the look of the digital can use like building blocks to make your own design, just add doors, windows, signs ect or use a whole image of a real building.

    Here is my test try.



  18. Tbone

    Tbone Permanently dispatched

  19. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

    Thanks for that link! I believe that is the company that Mike Burgess uses/created/co-founded on his C&O layout that I posted a pic of above. I have been following his layout closely and I will be trying some of these out. Very economical (money & time). Jamie
  20. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    How do you laminate these to foam board or any flat surface? Is foam board best to use? What type of glue/epoxy/cement do you use? I would be concerned about the image peeling away from the foam board after a few years in large temperature changes. Thanks for the info.

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