Scratch-Built Garage

By Ty’s Model Railroad - 6/11/2012 08:23:00 PM

Scratch built styrene garage building with blue walls and white doors, windows, and roof

I’ve accumulated a small collection of scrap styrene over the last year or so, mostly from bulk bags of assorted styrene pieces from Evergreen. A couple of the larger scraps I had consisted of various corrugated patterns, so I decided to try my hand at building an entirely scratch-built structure. I decided to keep the design simple for my first attempt. I planned out a small garage/workshop measuring about 2.5” x 5”. The design includes three overhead bay doors, four office windows, and two single entrance doors. There are also two small windows on the front and back. I kept the size of the building to a minimum as my layout is quite limited for real estate at this point. 

4 hand-cut styrene walls for a scratch built garage structure

I started by first planning the design of my building on paper, noting the real-life dimensions of each wall, door, window, and the roof. I then converted these measurements down to HO scale. Using a new blade, I carefully marked the measurements on the backside of the styrene sheet and scored the outline of the wall using a straight edge. I used a square and ruler to double check the measurements after every score line I made, ensuring that the walls were kept square and equal. I then gently flexed the styrene to break each piece apart. I fixed any rough edge with sand paper and a hobby knife. 

3 painted styrene overhead doors and 2 entry doors for a scratch built garage structure

The overhead doors were cut from scrap v-groove pattern styrene and the entry doors from standard smooth styrene. For the main entry door, I cut a half-length opening for a window and added strip styrene for the insert trim. I masked the very outside edge of all the doors so I could easily add glue to these unpainted areas when attaching the doors to the backside of the walls. The doors were then all sprayed with light aircraft gray paint.

Trim being installed around scratch built windows and doors using thin strip styrene

4 complete scratch built garage wall panels prior to assembly

I hand painted the corrugated steel walls with a mix of blue and steel gray enamel paint, mixed 1:1 with thinner. After letting the three coats of paint dry for 24 hours, I glued the overhead and entry doors to the backside of each wall. I then added trim to the doors using 1.5mm x 1.0mm strip styrene. I used the same strip styrene for the window frames and on the base of the building to represent a foundation.

4 complete scratch built garage wall panels assembled together prior to roof installation

I then glued the four wall pieces together. I added extra styrene support pieces to the interior for extra rigidity. The roof was a single piece of v-groove styrene, scored and carefully angled down the center to fit the slope of the building. After airbrushing the roof a light gray, I carefully glued it to the main structure. After making a couple touch-ups to the paint and trim, I weathered the walls, doors, and roof with a variety of powdered pastels. Lastly, I sealed all the weathering details with two light coats of dull-coat.

Scratch built styrene garage structure with blue walls and white doors, windows, and roof

Once the structure was dry, I added clear styrene pieces to the backside of the walls for window glazing. The final step was to add a black paper divider and floor to the interior of the so no white plastic could be visible through the windows. I am quite happy with how this little project turned out and can’t wait to mix it in with my other model buildings.

Scratch built styrene garage building with blue walls and white doors, windows, and roof

Scratch built styrene garage building with blue walls and white doors, windows, and roof

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  1. Looks good! I got some helpful hints from you, thanks.

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