Buildings - Where to Buy?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by jkinosh, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. jkinosh

    jkinosh Member

    I'm looking for a little help here. I am currently building my first Layout, Basic Loop of track that can with my Kit, and need to get some building to add to my layout. I am concidering building the Carolina Central Layout next, so what ever building I build, would need to be used on that layout as well. But what I was looking for were some suggestions as to where some good places to get resonably priced kits would be as my Model Railroading budget has been cut pretty short since we found out a week ago that my wife and I are expecting our first child, who should arive in July.

    I would also be willing to scratchbuild structures, as long as I can find some basic instructions online anywhere.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks Again, Everyone here always seems so helpful,

    Jacob hamr
  2. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Best place to get building kits would be your LHS(Gaugespeak..Local Hobby Store).Some are pretty pricey, but if I use my LHS as an example, may have some on discount or even sale. There are also a bevy of on-line retailers that also have discounted prices.
    As far as scratchbuilding, I would look in the Academy section here on the board. Robin(Matthyro) did some excellent scratchbuilding work using cereal boxes. There is also an article in The Gauge magazine, showcasing his techniques he used, though using cardboard, can also be used for wood and plastic.
  3. HPRL

    HPRL Member

    I agree that you can start at your loco hobby shop. A lot depends on the era you are modeling. Just remember that you get what you pay for. If you go low on cost (unless you shop around) you will low on quality. I personnally like laser kits but then again I pay a lot for the kits. Ebay has a lot of building for n scale (search n scale "Buildings"). In some case you get good deals but you still have to pay shipping and some of those sellers make money on shipping -- not the item.

    Happy Building (Pun intended) :D
  4. coaster

    coaster Member

    My two cents (with adjustments for inflation)

    Jacob --

    Two things to bear in mind: (1) This is your first layout; you don't have to get everything exactly "right" (which you won't anyway -- nobody ever does). The main thing you want do, in order, is have fun and learn. (2) Whatever trackplan you follow on this or succeeding layouts (Carolina Central or whatever) is just a suggested guide; you don't have to model the same locale, region or era in the trackplan. Neither are you limited to those buildings and industries.

    Oh yeah, there is that third thing, isn't there? Congratulations, dad-to-be!

  5. Brian

    Brian Member

    I'd strongly suggest searching Ebay for building kits and structures. Even though some people do "pad" the shipping prices somewhat....even still you can find better deals than most hobby shops charge for the same identical kits. I've visited several "local" hobby shops in my area........and I simply refuse to pay $18-$20 + for structure kits that I can buy on Ebay for $5-$8 plus roughly $5-$6 for shipping. Yeah, it might only be a $6-$10 difference....but for someone on a budget.....and wanting alot of structures on a layout it does limit how and what you purchase :thumb:

    Also, with Ebay you can find groups of pre built structures (removed from old layouts) for dirt cheap alot of times. I recently purchased this lot on Ebay:

    $20 shipped for that lot was a great deal IMHO.

    As far as cheaper kits not being the best detailed.....well, that also depends on your modeling you can always drybrush or use other techniques to really make a building kit stand out.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    A lot will depend on whether you look at the structures as "something to put on the layout" or as a "hobby project that's going to be interesting, fun and instructive". If you want to stretch your hobby dollar over hours of modelling, look for more basic kits. You can then use the techniques for your next building, and end up scratchbilding all your stuff.
    But, you may look at time spent on buildings and scenery as time away from running/building trains. Then, try train shows where guys are often selling old buildings.
    For a really basic start, you can get books of HO scale cut-out cities or villages. Assemble quickly or you can add details and interest.
    And look at Robin's posts for techniques to really stretch your dollar. But he'd been doing this for years. (start now!)

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