Winter Diorama Scenery Construction

By Guest Contributor: Paul Henry

Don’t get intimidated by the name. Diorama scenery is nothing more than the model scenery that you build for a variety of purposes like miniature 3D scenes, models, cartoons and model railroads. Dioramas are three-dimensional structures that are either built in full scale or in miniature models. This article will discuss some of the ways you can make winter diorama scenery for your model railroad.

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Tips and Tricks

Making a winter scene for your model railroad can be extremely fun. And it can be the ideal center piece for your Christmas decoration. You can even present it to a loved one as a Christmas gift. Constructing winter scenes can be a little difficult because making realistic looking snow is a challenge, but it is not something unattainable. All you need is a little practice and lots of creativity as well as experimentation. Here is how you can depict winter in your model railroad:

The Terrain

Almost everything turns white or a grayish white in winters. So if you already have a model that you want to revamp, you would need to paint most of the terrain white. Simply sprinkling snow-like stuff will not be enough. It would look very artificial. To make it look more lifelike, paint everything white and then add other scenery.


Icicles can easily be made with tooth brush bristles. Buy two new brushes with clear nylon bristles and cut the bristles in varying lengths. Put gloss medium on them and put them on overhanging of buildings or eaves. Once they have dried, put more gloss on them to adjust their shapes.


If you want to show crystalline ice on surfaces you can do so by making the following mixture. Combine 3 parts of gloss medium, 3 parts of clear sparkles (very fine) and 1 part of Titanium White paint. Also add 1/20th part of cerulean blue paint to this mixture. Add a little water if it is needed. Then you can easily paint this on whatever surface you like.

If you want a smooth ice structure, the process is the same; simply remove the sparkles.


Use soft blue light to create an image of that shimmery blue effect you normally see in winters. You can easily use small blue floodlights or LEDs to highlight this effect. Make sure there is such light near water surfaces as this would give it a realistic touch.

Snow Covered Surfaces

This is even easier than it sounds. Obviously you can’t use real snow; instead you can spray dry snow on such surfaces like trees, buildings, sign boards etc. As far as the construction of trees is concerned, you can easily buy readymade trees from the store and then insert them in your railroad scenery.


If you want to present the model to somebody as a gift, then it would be highly recommended that you glue the train to their tracks. This way there would be no falling trains when you move it around. Likewise, if your display is expected to move from one place to another make sure everything in the diorama scenery is glued. Of course if you intend to set it up in a glass case or place it out of children’s reach you can easily put the trains on the set and spray dry ice on them. Voila, your model is ready!

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