How to add Guttering to Model Roofs

How to add Guttering to Model Roofs

The final details we are adding to our roofs are guttering and down pipes. Most buildings have some way to take rain water from the roof to the ground to avoid it sheeting down on anyone waking past.

Whilst such small buildings wouldn’t necessarily have guttering, it is possible that they would and I like to add the details.

They are easy enough to model from simple styrene shapes such as U-shaped channel and tube.

The Real World


Didcot, UK
Didcot, UK
Mersea Island, UK
Mersea Island, UK
Montague Book Mill, MA, USA
Montague Book Mill, MA, USA


  • Wire centred styrene tube – I picked mine up years ago at a hobby shop but you can also use normal styrene tube with a wire threaded down the middle if you cannot find the styrene-coated wire
  • 3/32″ or 2.4mm U-shaped styrene channel (Plastruct)
  • 2mm x 0.5mm or 0.02″ x 0.08″ styrene strip
  • Plastic Magic glue by Deluxe Materials
  • Black spray paint ( I use Halfords but any brand will do)


  • 00:12 The Real World
  • 00:29 Method
  • 06:04 Final Result
  • 06:23 Mini Kathys
  • 08:06 Close

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7 thoughts on “How to add Guttering to Model Roofs”

  1. Hi Kathy

    Its good to see that someone likes to finish off their railroad structures. I invented a terminal RR that in my mind is situated in Houston Texas. In Houston the only time it is expected to rain is when there is tornado and it isn’t real rain like from storm clouds but water picked up and brought inland by the twisters. More likely to see structures lifted up and shaken to pieces like a rag doll in the mouth of a pit bull terrier than soaked with rain.

    My other layout which is British is set in the Lake District and that definitely needs gutters and down spouts on buildings. I use the scratch builder packs of roofs and gutters in 4mm scale that is marketed by PECO. Works great with H0 as well. So does the window and door packs. Being set in the Cumbrian Hills I need waterfalls and weirs and your tutorials have be very inspiring. Thanks for a great series.

    Tom Jenkins
    of Cumbria

    1. Hi Tom
      It’s those finishing details that make all the difference.
      You’ll definitely need gutters and drainpipes in the Lake District! It’s beautiful and I love the stone buildings and slate roofs.
      Your layout’s certainly going to be amazing with all those weirs and waterfalls.
      I look forward to seeing your layout.

  2. I look forward to your posts every week! The guttering thing was great – so many people omit gutters and downspouts on their models but in reality they’re as much of a part of a building as a roof.

    Question: what are the dangling wires on the models. For interior lighting?

    1. Hi Rodney,
      Thanks a lot!
      The wires are for lighting and that video will be up soon. In the meanwhile, they’re a bit of a pain hanging around.

  3. Kathy, agree with the comments that these details are dismissed far too often. And so easy to include. The details on the Montague Book Mill offer lots of inspiration. One thing is the brackets that hold the downspouts to the wall. I find that including these also offers an opportunity to hide any glue smears that may have resulted from gluing on the downspouts.


    1. Dick

      Those attachments add even more detail and are a wonderful idea. I have done them in the past and, whilst fiddly, they do add even more to the model so great suggestion.

      I love the Montague Book Mill. Bob Van Gelder’s kit (South River Modelworks) is a really faithful representation and a joy to build.



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