Most of the buildings and structures are made from printed paper, mounted on card, with some buildings made from embossed plastic kits.The very early card buildings I made were from a popular range of commercial preprinted and precut kits, but I find the raw cut edges very obtrusive in N-Scale and difficult to disguise, and in close up photographs the dots of the screen printing process were evident. These early buildings have been given away. The embossed plastic kits were quick to build but painting to achieve a realistic variety of colour, especially in bricks, was very tedious. Also I felt that the embossed textures tended to be too pronounced for N Scale.Latterly I have decided to use Scalescenes card kits. These are photo realistic overlays which you print yourself from a purchased PDF file and mount onto card. The design of these kits is such that there are no exposed card edges and the printed resolution is excellent. You can print the files as many times as you want, perfect for long stone walls or a long row of terraced houses. Very detailed instructions are included.The basic technique is to print out all the pages and then protect the printed surface with a lacquer. I have tried various matt spray varnishes, but find these either gave a semi-gloss finish or had a slight powdery look, and usually stank the room out. So I now prefer to use the brush-on Winsor & Newton’s Artists’ Acrylic Matt UV Varnish.You then glue the templates for the walls etc. onto the various thickness’s of card, usually three; I use Evostick Resin-W Wood Glue, diluted with 10% water, as when this has set, ideally overnight, it produced a very rigid base.
The outlines and door & window apertures are then cut out with a sharp craft knife or scalpels (Swann Morton scalpel blade size 10A works best for me) to form the bases for the overlays. The texture overlays are then glued to their respective card base layers and wrapped around the widow & door apertures, so that there are no raw exposed edges of card. The various walls and roofs etc are then glued together, again using the wood adhesive, to form a very sturdy final structure.I use Canon High Resolution HR101 paper, as the detail in the overlay prints is shown to best effect and the paper is quite thin so that it wraps around the base layers well. The overlays make the finished structures look very realistic, even in close up photographs.It is also easy to adapt the kits to produce your own variation on the model, or to scratch build from the available texture sheets.Below are shown two of the many textures available - Aged Brown Brick and Random Ashlar.