MODELING: Depicting Real World

You may have noticed that many in this hobby tend to look at structures on a layout as background or a collection of unusual buildings.   Factories too small to justify a rail siding and houses that didn’t fit the locale.  Modelers who try to model prototype areas and scenes try to build credible looking buildings that fit the area and scale.

What I am suggesting is that you need to build models from scratch to make the scene credible.  Buildings are the easiest things to build.  There are lots of parts such as windows and doors available today.  If you are modeling the area you live in, grab your camera or smart phone and get your butt outside and find interesting and plain buildings to provide the right look.  If you don’t live in the area or you are modeling a period prior to “urban renewal”, you need to get to know Google real well.  It is amazing what you can find when you start searching.   I found a site that showed bungalows in the Seattle area.   I live 900 miles away but you can go to the Tacoma Public Library website and find photos of nearly any kind of building or industry for that area.

Ok, it is time to “just do it”.

Renee Grosser created the look of western Minnesota.

I have long admired Renee’s modeling of classic Midwestern homes.  She has captured the look because the models are based upon real buildings in the area that her husband Ray’s railroad depicts.   Ray is an ardent Soo Line modeler and has built a Soo Line layout in HO and recently in O scale.   The following buildings were built from styrene and are well executed.

1 Prototype house 2 lr

The actual stone building is shown above.  Renee’s rendering is shown below.  The model captures the design and details of the actual home.

13 finished house lr

Rau house Waite Park MN won 2nd place at O Scale National 2012 lr

The home shown above won second place at an O Scale convention in 2012.  The model shown below has lots of visual eye candy to capture attention without looking like a cartoon.

Rear of Ringsmuth house Waite Park MN lr

I would like to thank Ray and Renee Grosser for sharing their work.

Happy Trails,




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