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Tall Buildings in H.O

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Tall Buildings in H.O
Posted by CP Modeller on Thursday, May 16, 2019 6:05 PM

Does anybody know of a source of plastic kits of large U.S. buildings of 200 to 300 feet in height. I'm not looking for Skyscrapers--- far too big to consider, particularly for background use. On an urban layout. Walthers don't seem to do. what I would call large. I believe there some that are available ready made but are way out of my budget.

Any thoughts would be greatfully received.

Colin  U.K. 

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Posted by Eric White on Friday, May 17, 2019 9:58 AM

Bachmann had a line of Cityscenes kits under the Spectrum brand name. You might find them on the secondary market.

Custom Model Railroads offers some large urban structures made from milled acrylic plastic. They can get pricy though.


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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, May 17, 2019 1:40 PM

Design Preservation Models has a couple tall kits that could be kitbashed higher.

They also sell modules, a pack of 4 walls that have differrent architectural features as in a wall with 2 windows, 4 windows, doors and windows, no windows.


COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Friday, May 17, 2019 1:46 PM

Lunde Studios makes some pretty decent (moderately) tall downtown sort of buildings. There are quite a few in the 10- to 15-story range. Kitbashable as well.

Here's a link:

I have several in N-scale, so there should be no problems finding plenty in that other scale.



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Posted by ctyclsscs on Friday, May 17, 2019 3:46 PM

A few years back Atlas had some modern high-rise office building kits in N scale. You could buy extra floors and stack them to get taller buildings. You might be able to find some here and there at shows or on eBay.


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Posted by drgwcs on Friday, May 17, 2019 4:35 PM

Most of what is out there is going to be in the 12" to 15" variety. Walthers has the Ashmore hotel that is a thought. As others have suggested the Bachmann City Scenes are great kits- (When did they go out of production again?) there are three that would be good- The Metropolitan and the trade tower as well as the hotel are all reasonably tall. These are still readily avaible on ebay. Lunde Studios are really nice kits- they have one that works out at 16" tall. As has been said Custom Model Railroads makes some incredible kits- seen them at the national but they come with a hefty price tag. Not mentioned previously was Imagine that Laser Art- they make what looks like some pretty neat large city buildings.

Don't overlook kitbashing. I have seen some neat stuff built with City Classics buildings. Modular parts are made by Design Prervation Models as well as Lunde Studios. I have also seen the Life Like Hotel and factory used as raw modular materials too.

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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, May 17, 2019 4:51 PM

The "Baldwin Locomotive Works" by Model Power could be combined with itself to build a structure higher and higher.


Ooops... Now that I have done a Google Search, this model might have been in N scale only.


I think they must have built the locomotives standing up on end, then lowered them to horizontal tracks. Why would the locomotive works be a high rise?





Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by G Paine on Friday, May 17, 2019 10:44 PM

Walthers Cornerstone has a couple of tall backgound buildings

Ashmore Hotel is  8-5/8 x 4-7/16 x 13-7/8"

City Apartment Building is 8-1/8 x 5-3/16 x 12-11/16"


George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

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Posted by xdford on Monday, May 20, 2019 5:47 PM

I saw a layout at an exhibition with a couple of very tall (for a layout) model buildings in a city scene which from normal viewing distance looked very effective. Looking closely I presume that they were a plywood box with normal building tiles glued around them, consistently one colour such as deep blue which gave the window effect.

Such a tile system could work very well on a backdrop to give a low relief depth but give the impression of more. Seeing a tile dealer for a remnant would be your cheapest option! You might even fool people at first about the detail and depth in your windows with moving characters in the office areas that look like the people admiring your work!

You could add a range of details such as Doors and Shop front windows at the ground floor and individualise it as I doubt there would be too many model kits 700+mm (about 2ft 4") tall.

Hope this helps,

Cheers from Australia

Trevor for a taste of Canada in Australia



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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, May 20, 2019 7:21 PM

I just did a quick search for HO scale skyscrapers, and there is a ton of info out there.

Kit bashing, by combining kits, and scratch building would be a good start.


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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, May 20, 2019 8:35 PM

Hi Colin,

City Classics makes several building kits where multiple kits can be combined to create structures as tall and as wide as you want.

There are five basic downtown office building kits. They are about 8 3/4" tall (61 1/2 scale ft.), and each additional kit will provide about 6" (43 1/2 scale ft.) more height. Five kits will give you about 225 scale ft. in height.

The basic kit width is about 3 1/2" (25 1/2 scale ft.) and you can use additional kits to add to the building width in 3 3/16" increments. You can easily vary the depth by cutting the side walls.

City Classics also makes window treatments to fit their various office kits including business signs, and draperies and blinds.

They also offer industrial kits which can be combined in a similar manner.

The kits do require some sanding to get the wall joints square, and if you are going to add height you will need to cut the wall castings accurately. They have to be painted as well.

If the cost of the kits is too high, you could always just buy a single kit and cast copies on your own.


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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, May 20, 2019 9:03 PM

My tallest building are only 5 or 6 stories, but it works fine.  None are background buildings.

Some are City Classics buildings, but there are a lot out there.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by steemtrayn on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 1:57 AM

 Why would the locomotive works be a high rise? 

They did have an office building.   

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 6:39 AM

Look at Rod Stewart's lay out with it's tall buildings.

I think he mentioned he was inspired by G. Selios and the F&SM, the way he "stacked" building sections for tall buildings, for the "big city" look.


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