Model Train Help – How To Make Your Model Railroad Look Realistic

There is a huge amount of pleasure and fun to be had by making your model railroad look realistic. This is where you can let your imagination run wild and put your artistic talents to work.

Everybody has a certain level of artistic talents and most of the time they will improve with some practice.

Making your model railroad look realistic starts with taking notice of things around you. Look at older buildings and notice how the sun has bleached parts of the building. Notice how the rain has marked the roof and rusted some sections.

Roads are marked with oil, fields have tracks and rivers have high water marks. These are the markings you need to replicate in your model railroad.
The easiest way to do this is by taking a photograph of the real life building, house, structure or parts of the structure you are trying to copy the water streaking or weathering effect on.

A photograph makes it easy to refer to over and over. Then the next step is to apply your chalks and paints to create the effect. I cover this in detail in my book “Model Trains For Beginners” and there are a large selection of other books that cover weathering techniques for model railroads.

For a fast solution – The shiny plastic model train kits you buy from the hobby shops can be quickly aged with just a simple coat of Dullcote (clear flat lacquer). It comes in a small spray can and is easily applied.

Ballasting of your model train track is essential for realism and you may want to use a finer ballast in yards with a coarser grade of ballast for the main line. This adds a bit of variety and replicates the real thing. Weathering and making your model railroad look realistic is great fun and there are hundreds of tips I can share with you to get that extra weather look. Stay tuned!

Dan B Morgan is the editor of the popular and 100% FREE Model Railroad Newsletter. This is compulsory reading for any model train beginner. It contains valuable information on the right way to build your model railroad and how to achieve this within the time, space and budget you have available.

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