DIY Contracting Software Computerizes
Building From Scratch

I've been having so much fun with this card modeling project, I wanted to share it with others because it is (a) more economical and (b) can be customized to your own needs.

The key is a good computer, photo quality capable printer and a software that can produce the "building materials" for your building(s).

N Scale Buildings From Cardstock

My first project using Model Builder software from Evan Designs ( has resulted in an impressive group of background building flats for my upcoming N Scale bench layout.

A lot of the time has been devoted to teaching myself how to scratch-build using paperand 3/16" foamcore.

Take A Laugh Break

Many of these buildings were kitbashed from photos taken here in Nashua, and Manchester, NH where there are many massive brick industrial buildings dating back to the 1800s.

I then virtually slice up the building picture to come up with a design I like and one that fits the available space.

Then comes the fun part, engineering the building on my computer by putting together building elements from the materials pallet (wood, brick concrete or metal) roofing, windows and doors that can be adjusted to fit the size and shape that fits your plan.

Sample Materlials Pallet

The software also allows you to select the scale you want to work in from Z Scale up to 1/24.

Once you get the building designed the way you like, you can save it to your computer and print them out. I usually produce the building one wall at a time and print them on photographic paper.

* Cut the walls from the paper with a razor blade and a steel rule

* Paste to foamcore sheet with spray photo adhesive.

* Trim the wall section with a Snap Blade Utility Knife. Paper and foam will dull knives quickly.

* It is easiest to butt the corners together using white adhesive and buttress them with a right-angle braces.

Roof your creation with the roof of your choice in a flat, peak and hip configuration. For background flats, you can limit the depth to one to three inches depending on scale and available space.

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