Revisiting the Past with
Model Railroad Scenery

By Guest Contributor: Frank Watson

For many people building model railroads is not just a hobby, it’s about bringing their childhood fantasies to life!

If you were one of those kids who loved everything about trains, then constructing model railroads is not just a pastime for you; it’s something you look forward to. Turning to this hobby shows how you want to relive the freedom of being a child again. But building model railroads is an art that is learned with time and practice.

model railroad scenery tips

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Perhaps the most interesting part is developing model railroad scenery. It requires all your imagination and unique individuality. So without further ado, let’s step into the world of railroads and sceneries.

First Things First

As mentioned above, you can’t just get up one day and decide that you want to build model railroads and expect to complete it in a day. It needs proper planning and research. Hours of your time will be spent on searching everything you can find about the project. But hey, if you enjoy something you wouldn’t object to proper research right? Here is what you need to do before starting the actual building process.

Research…and Research Some More!

First of all decide the kind of railroad model you want along with the purpose of your project. Are you making it for your kids? Do you intend to showcase it at some exhibition or fair? Is it just the beginning of what will become a part of a series of models? Whatever you aim for, just be very sure about it before you begin. This is what will decide all the future progression of your construction. A few things you need to keep in mind and research well include:


Well yes, your railroad model has to have a theme! What are you going to make for the model railroad scenery if you don’t decide what era you want to show? Research as much as you can. Keep in mind all the details that you read. Better yet, make short pointers on a paper pad. This way you won’t forget the tiny details that take your model from an ordinary toy to one that captivates all who see it.

There are many options when it comes to themes. You can choose to depict a futuristic railroad setting that has ultra modern high-tech buildings around it. Or go back in time to show 1870’s cowboys who loved nothing better than to loot a passing train. Ideas are endless and the choices are many. You can decide on whichever era most interests you.

A good idea would be to first decide a place which your railroad model displays and research it to get information about its history.

Details for Scenery

All the details that you fill in should be researched as well. The more you read up on an era, the more you will know about it. Check out what the people in those bygone times wore, the lay of the land at the time, its flora and fauna, kinds of trains used, railway tracks and everything else. These details will grant your model a realistic look.

Just be sure to pick a theme that you want to work with. Then, stick to it! If you keep switching from one to the other, you won’t ever be able to display a sense of unity in your railroad model. Remember, the whole project is about having fun, not stressing over achieving greatness! The more models you try out, the better they will get. So happy building!

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