Model railroad scenery is when you take your model train set from being a simple oval track on the floor to creating a realistic looking model railway scene.
There are a few basic rules to model railroad scenery that a beginner should know.
Most importantly is that the world is not flat. A model train track laid flat on a piece of plywood is not realistic. The next time you look at a real railroad, notice the terrain and the variation in the train track height. These undulations, which must be to scale, will give your model train layout a superior level of realism.
Model railroad scenery should contain trees, bushes, rocks, sand, grass, weeds and even litter and scrap.
However, take time to notice the color variations of these trees, bushes, rocks, sand, grass and weeds in the real world. Bushes and grasses are a brighter green when closer to rivers and a duller green in a desert. Each plant also varies in the shade of green.
If you are trying to re-create the look of a certain area into your model railway scenery, take photos of the area.
It is very helpful to build scenery by referring to photos. Beginners usually make the mistake of getting the scales wrong in their model railroad scenery. A quick measurement on a photo, and a simple calculation to convert that measurement into the scale you are modeling, will help to get it right.
In real life the scenery dominates the railway track.
Remember this when building your own model railroad scenery. In a confined area you don’t have the luxury of creating the feel of a big wide open space. So, a backdrop will give the illusion of a wide open space behind the model railway track.
Narrower model train layouts lend themselves to modeling mountain scenes. It would be very hard to create a wide open field on a narrow model train layout.
There’s no exact formula to getting your model train scenery right. But, if it doesn’t look right to you, then it won’t look right to everyone else.
Don’t think that you will come back later and fix an area up, because you will never be happy with it. Sometimes it is just easier to completely redo areas of your model railroad scenery rather than try and fix it later.
Model railroad scenery is one of those things that you get better at with experience. So, get your hands dirty and give it a go. Nobody builds perfect model railway scenery the first time. They get better with more experience and knowledge.
Model Railroad Scenery – Painting Rocks (Video)
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