How to Build a Roller Coaster Model

Updated March 23, 2017

Building a model roller coaster is an exciting way to learn about physics. Most roller coasters start out with a burst of power to get them going, and then for the remainder of the ride, centripetal force powers the roller-coaster car. Before you begin building your roller-coaster model, you should have a roller coaster design to follow. This design should include measurements for the track that will help the roller coaster moving using centripetal force. The better your design the plan, the better your roller-coaster model will be.

Complete your roller coaster design and gather your materials. What you need depends on the type of roller-coaster model you are building. Plastic, wood and metal are all options. If you want to be really creative, pick a different medium such as food or string. Remember that in most cases you will need to have materials to fasten the roller coaster together, such as nails, glue, nuts, bolts or screws.

Make your base. Most of the time, this will be made of wood. Drill any holes you need for attaching your roller coaster to the base. If you are going to paint your base, do that now and allow it to dry before you continue. Keep in mind that once you have attached the roller coaster to the base, it may be difficult to paint details onto the base.

Lay the track that will attach to the board. If you have a straight line of track that attaches to the board, glue the entire length to the base. Work your way up from the bottom. Take your time around the twists, turns and curves. It is usually a good idea to fabricate these elements and then attach them in the appropriate place to the roller coaster.

Add the cars. You can use toy cars. Some people use marbles or other round objects instead of a car.

Now you know how to build a roller coaster model -- enjoy!


Put scenery on the model. If you want your model to look authentic, add scenery such as trees, grass, dustbins or benches. You may want to add small figurines.


Avoid using small parts if your model will be played with by young children.

Things You'll Need

  • Base
  • Drill
  • Paint
  • Nails, screws or glue
  • Track
  • Toy car or marbles
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About the Author

Casey Holley is a medical writer who began working in the health and fitness industries in 1995, while still in high school. She has worked as a nutrition consultant and has written numerous health and wellness articles for various online publications. She has also served in the Navy and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health administration from the University of Phoenix.