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How Model Railroad Structures and Model Railway Buildings Can Add Greatly To Model Train Scenery



Creating realistic model train scenery is the part that pulls a model railroad layout together and brings it to life. Adding weathered model railway buildings and impressive structures like trestle bridges and flour mills all add to the visual interest and reality of the scene.


Simple model train scenery details can make a big difference and improve the enjoyment for everyone. Many visitors to your railroad will spend a lot of time watching the trains operate. They may not immediately notice the fine details on the model railway buildings and model railroad structures… but they will the longer they watch.


Your visitors will get to notice the little things that add to the overall model train scenery effect. Spectators will get see the vegetation that grows alongside the track and notice the signs on the model railway buildings and the weathering techniques used on the trains.


Watch their excitement and interest grow as they spot new things about the layout. Those little details you added will get noticed.


Model railroad structures like tunnels and bridges will add interest to any model train layout. You’ll need a railway station too. Add some operating signals at the railway crossings. Use either a set of crossing flashers or a flasher and drop-arm combo. Kids (and adults too) will be mesmerized by these 'lights and action' accessories.

Other model train scenery ideas like an operating grain elevator, a water tower, maybe some coal loaders, or a control tower will help complete a scene. The key is to be creative, but specific, when making model train scenery.

modular train layout

Make sure any vehicles and railway crossings are from the right era. One idea is black washing the grilles and hubcaps to add depth and realism to a street scene. By using a small paint brush you can also paint parking and tail lights, and door handles if needed. Then consider disassembling each vehicle and installing a driver and passenger (s). Nothing looks more fake on a model train layout than a vehicle appearing to be driven by a invisible ghost.


You can purchase miniature figures for hobby stores and railway suppliers. They come in male, female and child variations all molded in 'flesh' color. The arms are usually attached by gluing them. The figures can then be painted.


Sometimes, there won’t be enough room to fit the figures between the steering wheel and a seat. It sounds a bit nasty, but you simply cut the legs off (ooch!) with pliers to make the figures fit. Use flat model paint (rather than glossy paint) to paint on clothing and make the hair look realistic.


When buying adhesives for joining model train scenery, there are several choices in hardware stores and hobby shops. They are not all suitable for the same job.


When building model train scenery try using an acrylic matt medium or white glue as these modeling adhesives will be water soluble. Note – contact cement will be more suitable for some applications.


If you are going to use white wood glue, you may want to dilute it with water using 2 parts glue to 1 part water, or a 1 to 1 ratio, depending on the application required. Try adding a few drops of liquid dish washing detergent to help break up the surface tension of the water. Another idea is to add a small dab of latex paint to tint the glue and disguise any bare spots.


Always keep model train scenery, model railway buildings, people and model railroad structures to the right scale relative to the trains.