Quality downloadable kits since 2005!



What is a downloadable kit?
In 2005 Scalescenes pioneered downloadable model railway kits and texture sheets. Downloading is essentially just clicking on link that is emailed to you and then copying the files to your computer. There are no time limits on the download links or files and once the kit PDF files are on your hard drive you may print them as many times as you require.
What do I get when I buy a Scalescenes kit?
When you purchase a kit you will receive two PDF files by download. One of these files is the kit, which comprises several A4 (210x297mm) full colour pages. The other PDF contains easy to follow illustrated A4 colour instructions. Simply open and print out these PDF files with Adobe Reader and then mount the on to thicker card as specified in the instructions.
Can I try building a Scalescenes kit before I buy?
Absolutely, Scalescenes currently offers a FREE Low Relief Warehouse, Inspection Pit and a Weighbridge/Coal Office. These kits will help familiarise you with the downloading process and the basic techniques used to build Scalescenes card kits.
What scale are the kits in?
Scalescenes kits are currently available in British OO (1:76) and N (1:148) scales. For information on printing the kits in other scales click here.
What will the colours be like on my printer? 
It is a good idea to print out our colour and scale calibration sheet from here.
Where are the O scale versions?
Apologies, no plans at this stage for O scale kits. As long as your printer has the ability scale pages up there is no reason why you can't build any of the kits in O scale. You may also find access to a large format colour printer useful (scaled up the sheets are actually closer to A2). More information here.
Can I share the files with a friend?

Once you have built a Scalescenes kit it is understandable that you would want to share the files with a friend. Please don’t. Scalescenes (Graphic designer John Wiffen) has invested a lot of time and money in the development of these kits. In order for Scalescenes to continue bringing you innovative kits your support is vital.

Does Scalescenes have a printed catalogue?

Apologies, I don't have a printed catalogue, however full product information including prices, dimensions and images is available on each kit product page.

Can I sell the built kits on eBay?

Scalescenes is happy for modellers to sell surplus built models but selling MULTIPLE COPIES of your original download clearly constitutes 'commercial exploitation' and is a breach of the copyright information at the bottom of each page.

Ordering and payment

How can I pay for kits?
Our payments are processed via PayPal or Stripe, both of which are secure (SSL encryption) and reputable payment services. The Pay Pal checkout allows you to pay using your PayPal account or click on ‘Pay with a credit or debit card’ or ‘Checkout as a Guest’ and use your credit or debit card. For Stripe simply enter your card details (not retained) and click ‘Place order’. Regrettably we are unable to accept cheques or postal orders.
My order won't process?
If you are experiencing problems with your order, please try using a different web browser, in most cases this fixes the issue. If you are using a debit or credit card, you can’t use an email address or card number that belongs to an existing PayPal account. If you have a PayPal account, please log in. If you don’t, please change the email address or credit card number and try again. Also check your card expiry dates.
Can I order pre-printed kits?

Unfortunately, I'm unable to offer ready printed versions as I'm running Scalescenes from Australia and the postage costs to the UK are very high. 

Can I change my texture once I’ve downloaded it?
Sorry, it is not possible to change the texture of the kit after it has been downloaded. However if you have made a genuine ordering mistake please get in contact.
How much are the kits in my currency?
All items sold by Scalescenes are only available in GB Pounds at this stage. The payment system that the site uses will automatically take care of all currency conversions at the point of purchase (the conversion rate will obviously vary depending on the exchange rate).
Can I get a refund?
Unfortunately, downloadable products are unable to be refunded or exchanged. However if you have made a genuine ordering mistake please get in contact.
My order has been processed but I haven't received an email with my download links?
By far the most common reason for a customer not receiving their download link email is that an email address is incorrectly entered or that the email address is not receiving incoming emails (a full inbox - for example). Another reason is that the download email incorrectly gets labelled as spam. To avoid your download link email accidentally being put in your 'spam', 'bulk' or 'junk' folder you may wish to consider adding ‘sales@scalescenes.com' to your address book or trusted addresses list. Please contact us if you haven't received your download link within a couple of hours.
My credit card has been rejected.
Being a small web-based business, all the transaction stages are handled directly by Pay Pal or Stripe and not by our site. You could try contacting Pay Pal or check out their website's Helpline for assistance (they are usually quite response). Firstly check that your card details are up to date (ie expiry dates etc.). If you are using a debit or credit card you can’t use an email address or card number that belongs to an existing PayPal account. If you have a PayPal account, please log in. If you don’t, please change the email address or credit card number and try again.
Can I pay with a bank transfer, cheque or postal order?

Regrettably we are unable to accept bank transfers, cheques or postal orders. Scalescenes is actually run from Australia and as a result transfer fees unfortunately often exceed the value of the order.

Error messages and downloading problems

My download email doesn't have any links to click on.

If your download email doesn't contain any links (blue text) please ensure that your email settings allow you to 'View as HTML'. 

When I try to open the PDF file I'm getting an error message.
Please ensure that you are not attempting to open the actual downloaded ZIP folder from within Acrobat Reader. Attempting to open a ZIP folder with Adobe Reader will result in an error message.  Try opening the ZIP folder in ‘File Explorer’ (Windows) or ‘Finder’ (MacOS) and then double clicking on the PDF files. We also recommended that you upgrade your Adobe Reader to the latest version:
When I try to open the ZIP folder, the file opens up in a program.

To check that ZIP files are correctly opening within File or Windows explorer, right-click on the zip folder file, a fly out menu will now appear, scroll down to "Open with." Select ‘File explorer' and check the 'Always use the selected program to open this type of file' button. This should now open up the downloaded ZIP folder and this will allow you to see PDF files.

When I try to open the PDF, the file opens up in a program other than Adobe Reader
To check that PDF files are correctly opening with Adobe Reader, first copy the files from the ZIP folder to your hard disk. Then right click on one of the PDF files, a small menu will appear, scroll down to 'Open with'. This will open another window that will allow you to select a program to open the file with, select 'Adobe Acrobat' and check the 'Always use the selected program to open this type of file' button. If Adobe Acrobat is not listed you will need to check that you have it installed on your computer. If you don't have it installed Adobe Acrobat is a free program and that is available from:  
When I enter text into the editable signs nothing happens
You will need to have Adobe Reader loaded on your computer for the editable text function in the PDF files to work correctly. This is a free program and is available from:
Do I need to have WinRAR?
Windows has built-in support for extracting zip files and should just open up the downloaded folder in the same as any other folder, Winrar, another zip program maybe interfering with this. Please consider disabling or uninstalling WinRAR if you are having problems.
Do I need to buy WinZIP?
Windows and Mac OS have built-in support for extracting zip files so you certainly don't need to buy Winzip. You should be able to simply click on the downloaded folders and open them up as you would any other folder. Please consider disabling or uninstalling any ZIP extractor software if you are having problems.
What software do I need to open a PDF file?
PDF (Portable Document Format) is the current standard for transferring, viewing and printing high-quality documents on the web or via email. Scalescenes.com kits are supplied as PDF files, these files can be opened, viewed and printed using Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader is a free program and is available from:
I’ve accidentally deleted or lost my download, can I download it again?
Yes. Please contact us for more information.
I can’t open the zip downloaded ZIP folder on my tablet or smart phone.
Unfortunately at this stage iPads, iPhones and some Android tablets and phones don't support zip folders. However this is easily fixed by downloading a free ZIP folder app: Android tablets and smart phones Apple iPads and iPhones Or course you'll also need the Adobe Reader as well as access to an AirPrint enabled printer or printer app.


What kind of printer do I need to use to print out the kits?

Any type of colour printer that will take A4 size paper is suitable. For larger kits or projects access to colour laser printer would be an advantage. Colour laser printers have dramatically reduced in price in recent years and are generally much cheaper per page to run than an inkjet. 

How do I know that the PDF is printing at the correct scale?
Within the Adobe Reader print window, please just ensure that 'Page scaling - none' or 'Actual size' is selected in the Adobe Reader print window. If 'Fit’ or 'Shrink oversized pages’ is enabled then the sheet will print out at the incorrect scale. You may also need to check that your print scaling is set to 100%  within your printer options (as opposed to the Adobe Reader's separate print window). You can access this from your printer’s options box. To check that your printer is printing at the correct scale, you can also print out my colour and scale calibration test sheet.
Can I print on to self adhesive label paper?

Certainly, self adhesive backed paper is well suited for the card mounted prints and very useful for the cut out ‘window overlays’ (avoids any excess glue on the clear film). Please refer to the next FAQ as to how to print just the window overly section of a page.

About the only thing that self adhesive paper isn’t well suited to is wrapping the’Cover layers’ over and around the ‘Base layers’.

Can I print out just a section of a page?


Yes, you can print just a selected section of a page from Acrobat if your printer supports it.

Firstly zoom into the section that you wish to print and then select print. Once in the print window in the 'Print range' section, select 'Current view'. Please ensure that 'Page scaling - none' is also selected. If 'Fit to print margins' is enabled then the selected section will print out at the incorrect scale.

Can I resize the kits to another scale?
Yes, if your printer has a scaling option, it is a simply matter of entering a percentage into your printer’s ‘Page scaling’ section. For more information please click here. Please note: Enlarging the kits to larger scales can be difficult as some page tiling maybe required. Also ensure that you adjust the card thickness recommended in the instructions accordingly.
I’m not sure that my printer can print on heavy card?

It doesn’t have to. Kits are printed on to paper and then mounted on to one of three different cards (light, medium and heavy). The thickness of the card is determined by the scale you are building in and is explained in the instructions.

Very few of the kits have elements that are suitable to be printed directly on to card that is thin enough to go through a printer. Instead the construction method generally revolves around cutting out simple 'base layers' and then wrapping a 'cover layer' around them. This is a far superior method of construction as you don't end up with ugly exposed card edges (the downside of many other card kits). 

My prints look different to the textures on the screen?
As all the photos and swatches shown on the website are RGB colour (screen-based) and the kits and texture sheets are all CMYK colour (ink based), some minor variation is inevitable, especially when you add different printers into the equation. The best way to determine how different textures will appear on your particular printer is to output my Test Print.
My print's colour is not quite right.

All Scalescenes products have been very carefully colour calibrated and exported to commercial printing standards. Unfortunately, all colour printers produce a slightly different interpretation of the colours. Here are some things you can try if your print doesn’t look right:

  • Check the ink levels and ensure that the heads are clean and in alignment (most printers have a small 'utilities' window to deal with these issues, refer to the users guide).
  • Change the type of paper you are using (for example Matt photo inkjet paper tends to produce much richer colours than even the best copier type paper).
  • Ensure that the paper hasn’t been affected by moisture.
  • Make sure the paper type in your printer settings matches the type of paper you are using.
  • If your printer has the option, try changing its colour management settings (these are usually found in the options section of of your print window). Different settings can yield very different results on the same printer.
Can I print out on to Letter sized paper?

Generally printing the A4 kits on to Letter works out OK as I always try to leave fairly generous margins at the top and bottom of the pages. If you find that a couple of small sections do get cut off you should be able to print just that area again. Firstly zoom into the section that you wish to print and then select print. Once in the print window in the 'Print range' section, select 'Current view'. Please ensure that 'Page scaling - none' is also selected. If 'Fit to print margins' is enabled then the selected section will print out at the incorrect scale.


What skill level do I need to build the kits?
Scalescenes kits are based on the simple technique of forming blocks and then wrapping a texture ‘skin’ over the top. This is a very forgiving process and results in a more realistic ‘seamless’ finish. Generally made up of simple rectangular shapes all kits are designed to reduce tedious and fiddly cutting. For both the beginner or the experienced ‘kit-basher’ the ability of Scalescenes kits to be printed as many times as you require means you can print out an part again if you make a mistake.
What if I make a mistake while building the kit?

No problem, just print out the section that went wrong and build it again!

What do you mean by 200gsm card?

Paper and cardboard thickness is often specified by its weight per square metre rather than dimensional thickness. (eg. most copier papers are approximately 80gsm) Try to get as close to the weight or thickness as specified in the instructions as possible (a limited amount of variation in thickness has been factored into the kits).

Where can I get the recommended card?
Suitable weight card is available from good art supply shops. 'Grey board’ or better quality white ‘pasteboard’ are ideal. These are sometimes sold as 1000 microns (1mm) and 2000 microns (2mm). Your best bet is to try your local art or office supply shop. If you don't have a supplier nearby, a number of good online suppliers are listed here.
Do the Scratchbuilder’s Yard sheets match the textures in the kits?
Yes, the Scratchbuilder's yard contains texture sheets that match your kit's texture exactly to ensure that any kit bashing is seamless!
Can I use spray glue to mount the prints?

Having spent over twenty years working as a graphic designer, I really can't say I trust the longevity of spray glue, it does have a tendency to dry out and separate over time. After much experimentation, as unlikely as it seems I have found the best option by far for mounting the sheets on to card is the humble glue stick (I use UHU). 

As long the back of the sheet is given a generous but even coat of glue, not only do glue sticks not wrinkle or bubble, but they also have the ability to be repositioned and smoothed for several minutes after application. After running a roller over the sheet, I have found gluestick adhesive to have excellent longevity.