Miniature Buildings
(top of page)   Home   Articles


Miniature Buildings


HO , OO , 4mm, 009, 1/72, 1/76, 1/87

This article is still incomplete. Sorry.

Part of the Hudson and Allen mediaval range for 25mm wargamers

The title of this article begins with HO and OO which clearly pitches it as being about model railway layout buildings. But it also includes scales much loved by military modellers - all the various figures around 1 inch / 20mm / 25mm tall. It's just that the number of buildings created by military modellers is, I suspect, much less than by the railway fraternity.

This article should form one of the cornerstones of this website. So much is written and illustrated about this class of models and so many models are produced. Including, it has to be said, some of the finest model architecture you will find. The best work of rail and military modellers is first class. It deserves attention but it is a hard piece to write. Part of the issue is that there is just too much material. A commentator such as me hardly knows where to start. So this is something of a stream of consciousness for the moment.

Maybe the best way to kick off is with an attempt to list some categories. First by model construction type and then by building type.

A low relief card model of a 1930s factory from Scale Model Scenery

Simply because I have already produced an article on the subject the first category I want to mention is buildings made from paper and card. I have the feeling, with no particular evidence to back this up, that this category is on the up and up. At least in the railway world. Less so for military subjects. I'm not going to say more on this for now but please do take a look at the article MBcard.htm .

A low relief card model of a 1930s factory from Scale Model Scenery

The Black Horse Inn, made up by someone who knows what they are doing.

The second group are made from plastic card. Some, like the one illustrated, are from a kit. Others are scratchbuilt, though many of these will probably include some bought-in components and commercially produced moulded or pressed texture sheets. Even kits can involve a lot of hard work. This picture is of a Wills kit called the Black Horse Inn from their craftsman range. It was beyond me when I tried it. Each window and door opening still had to be cut from the supplied brick patterned sheets.

But there are those who construct everything themselves. For an example of just what can be achieved in 4mm scale by a purist scratchbuider take a look back at this archived article 'The Forth Hotel' by veteran modeller Don Rowland..

It is also possible at this scale to build from wood, though it is tricky to get the necessary detail. But not impossible. Take a look at this Youtube video from Marklin of Sweden for example. If you want to be picky about whether a station platform counts as a building go right ahead. But you cannot complain about the lack of detail.

In the world of toys, the 'wooden railway' (more commonly known by the famous brand of 'Brio', which has suffered the same degradation of their brand as Hoover and Biro did) there are certainly some wooden buildings. For them, fine detail is not an issue.

David, December 2019