The Basics of How to
Make Model Railroad Scenery

Railroad scenery is the place where you have unlimited scope to show your creative and imaginative reach, constructing just about anything and everything.

Once you have decided that you are going to make your very own railroad model, you have to remember that it’s not just about buying a railroad track and running a train on it. It requires a lot more work and thought. Your railroad should be a well integrated illustration of the epoch you want to depict in your railroad model.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Starting from the beginning; first determine the enormity of your project. How big or small a scale do you want to construct? Is it going to run on DC or DCC? Likewise, do you want to make the scenery yourself or would you want to buy the readymade stuff? Before you start building anything, make sure that you do a little research. This will let you learn the basics of how to make model railroad scenery.

model railroad scenery tips

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Scale of Your Model

What will be the size of your train is an important question. This of course would depend on why you are getting involved in the project. Are you making it with your kids for their school project? Is it something you want to sell? Or do you simply want to engage in a new hobby? Once you are clear about your aims, it will be easier to decide.

Since this is your first time, it is better to go for a small scale model railroad, as they are easier to handle and require lesser details. And as you get your grip on the basics of making railroad scenery, you could move on to undertaking bigger projects.

When making railroad scenery for display, keep in mind the space that you will have to display your model. You would not want to work hard at it and then find out that your model does not fit in its corner or on the shelf you made for it!


There has to be a theme for your railroad model. Do you want to display the era of the earliest locomotive trains that ran on coal, or are you inclined towards constructing something more contemporary? The choice is completely yours, and believe it or not, you will have many options to choose from.

An Operating Model

A model railroad that doesn’t work is like an aquarium with fish stickers! You should make sure that your trains actually run in your model. When you are thinking about how to make model railroad scenery, also think of how it will function. Look in to the practicality of having it run on electricity using the advanced DCC operation, or the more traditional DC system of operation. Choose one that best fits your scenario.

Railroad Scenery Basics

When it comes to constructing your railroad scenery, you will have the option of buying the things or making them on your own. If you build your own scenery, it will give a sense of ownership and pride. It will also be a lot more fun. You can give free reign to your imagination and experiment with everything you have at home to see what works best. Here are some of the basic things that many model railroads incorporate:

• Roads: Roads could be made of dirt, gravel or be paved
• Trees: Different kind of trees can be incorporated in the model
• Water: Add waterfalls, lakes, ponds or sea, whatever suits the theme of your scenery
• Bridges: Stone, wood or steal, depending on which era your model depicts
• Terrain: Landscapes and mountainous ranges
• Tunnel: Your model trains can pass through various tunnels
• Rock Formation: Construct rocky regions in your scenery
• Small Details: Benches, people, animals, signboards, etc This list is as long as the width of your creativity

Building all of these things is going to take patience and hard work, but it will be a joyous experience for you!

Model Railroad Scenery Tips

Model Railroad Scenery Techniques

Model Railroad Tunnels

Scenery Themes

Diorama Scenery

Model Railroad Bridges

Miniature scenery

Track Wiring