Building Model Trains and Scenery

When building model railroads, part of the fun is building the scenery around them. You may wish to build something more permanent than a simple train set running around the Christmas tree.

The foundation of your railroad is the bench work. You may either buy ready made bench work or build it yourself. If you decide to buy a bench work kit, you will be treated to various advantages; these kits come predrilled and precut, they are sturdier than a homemade bench work, and they are mobile therefore they can be taken apart and brought to shows.

Of course building your own bench work, though more complicated, has its own advantages. You will be able to exact what your vision is for your trains. Step one is to create a design for your layout. Decide the size of your bench work, being sure to compensate for any additions you wish to make in the future. Consider how much area you have open to you to create your layout. You will need to decide what shape you would like your layout to be. The bench work may be any shape, ranging from squares and rectangles to ovals and circles. The standard leg length of the table legs is 28 inches but this can vary to meet your design. Making sure that your bench work is solid and can sustain a fair amount of weight is of paramount importance. Plywood is a good platform, usually three eighths or one half inch thick will suffice. If you wish to make it portable, the plywood can be cut into sections.

When building the scenery for your railroad, be sure to keep perspective in mind. You want the scenery to look bigger than it actually is. To help with this, use different layers of scenery. Put the larger trees in the front and smaller trees in the background and on mountains. Your theme should also play a role when designing your landscape. For example, if you are putting many logs on your train then it should run through terrain that has many trees.

You may also use aspects such as tunnels, rocks and boulders, grassy meadows, roads, and bridges. Incorporating towns and villages may also help you bring your landscape to life. Of course, you will need to include finer details such as underbrush, bushes, fences and telephone poles. Adding water, such as ponds and streams, is always a nice touch as well.

Of course, we get into model trains and scenery to show off our imagination and artistic talent, right? So get going and bring awe and amazement to your friends’ faces with your fantastic talent.