Trains4Africa
Because all Boys (and some girls) love Trains

Model Railroad Scenery is..

• a Setting – a believable and realistic setting for our railroad..
Impactful – makes a big difference in the enjoyment, appeal and realism of a layout..
• Buildings and Bridges and other structures are part of the scenery

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Scenic Modelling is..

Forgiving – the most imprecise type of modelling; enhance or re-do if you don’t like it
Cheap – likely the least expensive part of modelling!
Quick – the modelling with the quickest gratification!
Easy – the easiest type of modelling!

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Secrets to Good Scenery
•Use photos or pictures of real world scenery – you cannot go wrong
•Use Variety-
– shape, color, texture
– rocks, trees, vegetation
– details: debris, weeds, puddles, flowers, animals, figures, signs, etc.
• Consistent Theme – Appalachians, Rockies, plains, desert, swamps, Pacific NW, etc.
• Engineering Realism – balanced cuts and fills, drainage contours and culverts, etc.
• Viewblocks – tall areas make layout appear larger (trees, structures, cliffs, etc.)
• Flat Finish – dull just like weathering, with few exceptions (glossy water, etc.)
• Shortcuts – scenery can be less detailed as move from foreground to background
• Water Soluble – primary paints and binders can dilute and cleanup with water
• Series of Layers – build up materials in layers

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Railway scenery falls into two main categories, Handmade or Commercial

Handmade or built scenery is the cheapest option and for some types of model scenery it is also the only option (hills, rivers, rocks’¦etc) Handmade scenery can be very tricky to create properly and many railway beginners can end up with a lot of mess. It is recommended that you start experimenting before embarking on a large scenery project.

Commercial or shop purchased model scenery is an option for people whith higher budgets. A good quality finish is sometimes easy to achieve with bought scenery but it can start to get expensive.
The next most important element of model scenery is the hills. Even intricate train layouts look flat and lifeless without the inclusion of gradient.

You have two main options when it comes to using hill scenes:

1. Paper Mache

  • Very cheap to buy, you only need newspaper, water and glue.
  • Can be really fun and you can get the kids to join in with you

2. Modelling Rock

  • Relatively expensive and requires far more adult supervision
  • Tricky to get started on
  • Requires the use of a chicken wire frame and then you add the plaster impregnated fabric on top of this.

3. Polystyrene/Styrofoam

  • Very easy to create large hills with
  • A lot less messier than the other two options
  • Still very cheap and only just requires a little Polly fill to smooth the surfaces.