Custom Scratch Built And Designed Structures

While there is a huge variety of commercially available structures to assemble and place on your railroad, sometimes you just have to have something different. Maybe it is because you don't want the same kits as everyone else, maybe you want a specific building from your hometown, maybe you just want something that is unique to your railroad or maybe you have specific space or design needs that simply are not available in a commercial kit. Whatever the reason we can professionally scratch build any structure from our original design, your original design or we can develop a design from photographs or sketches of actual buildings.

Some modelers love to design and scratch build structures, but most modelers are not architecturally inclined nor do they want to be a building contractor. For most modelers scratch building structures is too time consuming, too difficult and they simply don't feel like they have the design creativity or "architectural eye" to design and build a quality structure.

Scratch building structures also involves using paints, thinners, glues, stains, washed and weathering powders that need well ventilated areas (especially when airbrushing). Most modelers don't have a clean room or spray booth and they either don’t have the workbench space or due to family concerns can’t "smell up" the house from the chemicals. There is also quite a little investment in a wide variety of tools, motor tools, power tools, gadgets and jigs required to help properly scratch build structures.

Affordable Model Railroads can erase all of the negative concerns about scratch building custom structures for you and build virtually anything you want ready to place on your railroad and enjoy. All scratch build structures are fully weathered and detailed and we can even build an entire scene or diorama around your custom structure.

Scratch building structures does take time, even for us. Many modelers order their structures well in advance of when they anticipate being able to have the scene ready for them. The advantage of this is three fold: 1) It allows you to get into our rotation to shorten your wait time, 2) it allows for the structures to arrive in coordination with the completion of the scene the structure is assigned to, and 3)  it allows you to be on a regular schedule of having multiple structures designed and build so you can set a planned budget rather than one big expense right away, sort of like a "structure of the month club".

One of the biggest untold secrets in model railroading is how many modelers have some or all of the structures on their railroad professionally scratch built and weathered rather than done by themselves.

To see our project photo gallery, including a sampling of scratch built models click here.

What Does It Cost?

Scratch building is done strictly on a parts retail price (including any custom tool & die work, casting molds, special assembly jigs or special tools required in our judgement) and time basis. We charge a competetive hourly rate for all phases of the project including the consultation, the research, design, plan drafting and production. For some projects we may also be able to negotiate a flat rate up front. Retail price of parts and tools is based on the Walther's catalog price or the manufactures suggested retail price if not in the Walther's catalog. Shipping is extra.

All scratch build designs, special tooling and productions are the copywrite and intellectual property of James P. Adams dba Affordable Model Railroads with all rights reserved. If you would like to purchase the exclusive rights to the design, tooling and production there is an addition fee.

Please contact us if you would like a quote on a scratch building project. Please include as much information as you can (building use, conceptual idea, architectural style, photos, sketches, dimension, etc.) and please put all your contact information including your telephone number in the email so we can contact you with any questions.