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Model Railroad Scenery: Easy Guide for Beginners

The model railroad scenery is a vital component of the model train setup. In order to make the experience of operating your model trains more realistic, you need the scenery to deliver a realistic backdrop. Think of it as similar to the experience of riding a train – passengers often look forward to the scenic views along the way. Therefore, it is a crucial part of the experience in order to make your model railroad more fun to play with.

Model Railroad Scenery Basics

model railroad scenery idea

Creating the model railroad scenery may look intimidating. However, it is one of the most exciting parts of building a model railroad. It’s part of your hobby so learn to have fun with it.

In order to make the scenery realistic, you need to know about a few basics. The scenery for your model railroad should include the following elements.

  • Terrain – You can add different landscapes such as mountains, valleys, and river beds.
  • Rock formations – It refers to the various types of formations such as cliffs and walls of stones.
  • Tunnels – This is another essential feature that you must recreate for the model railroad scenery to make it realistic.
  • Painting for the landforms and terrain – You need to paint your scenery features to make them realistic and recreate the colors of natural terrains and landforms.
  • Roads – You can incorporate paved and dirt roads into your scenery to add a more realistic touch.
  • Trees – The addition of trees and forests makes the railroad scenery appear life-like.
  • Ground cover – You can incorporate different types of ground cover such as grass, fields, and meadows.
  • Water features – The addition of water features such as ponds, rivers, and waterfalls add a dramatic look to your scenery.
  • Bridge – Like roads, bridges are also another realistic feature that you must incorporate into your railroad scenery.

When thinking about the scenery, do take note that there is a blend of both natural and man-made features. Hence, you have to make room for both in order to make it as realistic as possible.

Step-by-Step Guide for Creating Scenery

Follow this easy guide on how to create your model railroad scenery.

Step 1: Create your scenery plan.

Create a drawing of your scenery plan using pencil and paper. It is a good idea to have a visual preview of what the scenery will look like when it’s done.

Detailed model railroad scenery

To make it fun, you can choose a theme such as bright summer, colorful fall, or snowy winter. Consequently, you can choose the elements to incorporate to the scenery based on that theme.

Step 2: Get your supplies.

Once you have finished your scenery plan, you have an idea of what you need to get started. List down the supplies you need and get them from the local hobby store. You can also forage items from your home to see if you can re-use any of them when building your scenery.

For the natural features, you can use natural products such as soil or rocks from your yard. This will add to the realistic finish to your scenery.

Step 3: Build your board for the scenery.

Choose a flat and durable board to build your scenery on. A wooden board is the best choice for this so it will stay in shape and because it is sturdy. If you use cardboard, make sure to supplement it with another layer.

Step 4: Put the scenery together.

Using your detailed scenery plan, you can start to put the various elements onto the board. Use glue or scenic cement for the different elements to ensure that they will stay in place. Continue to add the elements until you have put them all onto the board.

The amount of time to complete this will vary based on how simple or elaborate your scenery design is. Wait until the glue has completely dried before you test it out.

Here are Free Resources to Help Build Your Model Railroad

Free Track PlansClick Here