Most of the structures on my layout are adaptations of Cardstock Models from Clever Models. I have my own method of building them but each kit is in itself complete with internal bracing and are excellent just as designed. In the “Freebies” section of the Clever Models website there are instructions on building cardstock models – General Construction Informtion for Paper Modelers.

Clever Models always have some free downloads in this Freebie section (if you model in HO you can use the O scale kits .. simply print them at 55%). I downloaded the O Scale Small Stone Grainery – figured it would be fun to see just how well I could super-detail the kit.

For those not familiar with Clever Models kits .. you download a series of PDFs (how many depends on the complexity of the model) and then print off the kit. I use a cheap Cannon printer I purchased at Walmart. I prefer the Cannon since I can print on cardstock .. something many of the more expensive printers can not do.

The Kit files

The directory listing shows the files that come with The O Scale Grinery. The Kit notes are for the build (instructions) The rest are self explanatory except for the TO_371 Illinois Stone.pdf which is an entire 8-1/2 x 11 page of the stonework used for the model.

Pages 3 & 4

In this graphic I have put both pages 3 and 4 together so we can talk about them easier. The originals are each on a regular 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper. The various parts are designed to be laminated after being printed on cardstock. This creates a 3D model using paper/cardstock. A good example is the gable ends (2) is laminated to (3) and then (1) on top of (2). You laminate as much cardstock as you need for the effect you want.

Now. Note that the walls are the same for both Page 3 on the left (Front and Right walls) and Page 4 (Rear and Left walls). This doesn’t bother me since we can only see two adjoining walls at a time. What does concern me is where Front wall meets Left wall and where Right wall meets Rear wall. Obviously the stones are different. Part of the fun of this article is to address that.

Internal Supports

Before I start blathering on about my method of building Clever Models kits I wanted to give a quick overview of hos the kits are constructed per the kit instructions. Page 5 is contains the Internal Supports.

It is fairly simple. You print these from cardstock … then cut out and fold. We have a “Top Interior Support” as well as a “Bottom Interior Support”. Thee is also triangular supports for both ends of the roof area.

This provides a nice and sturdy kit if you follow the instructions .. which .. I have a hard time doing.


Here we can see where the side walls meet the front and back walls. Since the Front/Right and Rear/Left are exactly the same so is the corners. I will fix this by bringing the area where the walls meet into my graphics program and creating a overlay that will match both walls but have the stones wrap correctly around the corner.

This not terribly difficult other than matching that the overlay is the same scale as the original prints (there can be discrepancies in size when creating a .jpg from a PDF.

I’m actually skipping ahead a bit as I want the four walls all glued up before matching a corner overlay to the built up model.

Foam Board Armature

My method of building cardstock structures uses foam board. That’s the sheets you see at Walmart, Michael’s etc. a sandwich of cardboard and a foam core. Elmer’s is common measuring 20″ x 30″ x 3/16″. White is the common color but I have seen others including black and yellow brown (which I like). The color doesn’t matter other aesthetically during the modeling I suppose.

The photo here shows an older project (Clever Models O scale Maintenance Shed) using foam board. The slots and tabs allow a very quick and very sturdy armature which the printed cardstock can be then glued to. White glue works great to make a very, solid sub-structure.

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