Designed" Fun-To-Make Model
Buildings To Add Realism & Interest To Your
Model Railroad Background & Backdrop Scenery
SEE ABOVE FOR BELOW HALF PRICE OFFER!
As a guide the approximate
dimensions for the B546 tall building (left building) with the logo in OO gauge is 6.7 inches
(170mm) tall x 5.9 inches (150mm) wide x 2.95 inches (75mm) deep. In real life-size terms that is
42ft tall x 37ft wide x 18ft deep. The frontage with the blue door in OO gauge is 5.9 inches
(150mm) wide which equates to approx. 37ft in real size. There is a scale conversion tool on this
website to easily convert the measurements to other scales.
Railway yards are usually an
exciting addition to a model railway, because they involve plenty of activity
(train movements) and lead to plenty of operational fun, and some frustration at
times too. However, that said, rail yards are generally a welcome addition on a
railroad and are something your visitors will enjoy watching.
Rail yards typically conprise
of several tracks so finding enough room to lay the track can pose problems. It is
usually a shame to overly restrict the number of tracks and the length of each
track, because that can cause operational problems.
Cars need to be easily
transfered from one train to another with having to physically lift them off the
track to couple them up to another train. That would defeat the purpose of
operating model trains in a realistic fashion like real railroads
A better solution to gain more
track space and have longer tracks is to minimise the space used up by rail yard
structures. The easiest and cleverist way is to incorporate low relief structures
that fit against the backdrop giving the illusion they stretch to full depth (when
actually they are only a few inches deep).
Rail yard structures (like
those seen in these download plans) will give the appearance of stretching full
depth whilst still retaining an exceptionally realistic look. They won't use up
anywhere near the space required for regular 3D style buildings. As most veteran
model railroaders will have discovered; rail yard background scenery needs to
provide the illusion of a scene being far larger and busier than it is in
These plans can be downloaded and scaled to
different sizes to match your model railroad scale (anywhere from S scale, HO, OO, down to Z
scale). Here is your guide -
The whole process is easy. All you
do is print the design(s) out on your home printer before gluing them to plastic corflute (you
can also use foam sheets, or cardboard). My preference is to use corflute, because it so cheap
to buy in a giant sheets (DIY stores have it), and it is "as strong as a gorilla." I paid around
5 bucks for a large 3ft (900mm) x 2ft (600mm) sheet. The store sold larger sheets
Follow the drawings that are
supplied with the plans ... you'll find them extremely straightforward to understand. Plus you
even get more detailed step by step manual at no extra cost (just in case you need extra
guidance or more ideas). By constructing these rail yard structures you will develop into a
"master of scenic backgrounds", because your structures will look so so real!
To add the final finishing touches
you can easily make steps, chimney stacks, or platform supports from scraps of balsawood or
More Model Railroad Scenery Tips
How To Turn Sawdust into Ground Cover
For Little Or No Cost
Model builders love to make
something out of nothing. We say we are ingenious, others say we are cheap. Whichever, here is a
little trial project, if you have not already done so.
Whether your scale is 1/12 for dollhouses, 1/24
for dioramas, or 1/160 for N scale model railroads, we often need grass or weeds for ground cover.
This will be a no cost, or low cost, project, depending what you may find around the house. The
quantities for this trial are small, but may be increased if more is required.
Things to find -
• Quart jar – A large, clear, glass or plastic
jar with lid, like a fruit or peanut butter jar.
• Strainer – A small screen type colander or large tea strainer. About 6” round.
• Plastic Container – Small ones with lids, like butter or sour cream.
• Paint – Small bottle or sample of a grass green, water based, or craft paint. NOTE: Craft paints
are water based, mostly non-toxic, and will not normally stain ceramic or stainless sinks and
utensils. However, use caution, and use with care, if these items are used by the wife.
• Tea Strainer – A smaller screen type strainer, more fine than the big one above.
• Cake Tin – You spill less with a bigger one.
• Sawdust – About 3 or 4 cups full.
• Old Newspapers – To cover the table and collect spills.
• Pint Jar – Or similar one or two cup size bottle, to mix the water and paint.
• Small Spatula – One that will reach the bottom of the large jar.
• Old Aluminum Foil Pie Tin – To hold dirty utensils.
• Mix the paint – Place about ½-cup water into the pint jar, and add about ½ teaspoon of green
paint. Stir to clean spoon. Screw on the cap and shake for a few seconds. The paint should be well
mixed, so check the color. Too dark, add more water. Too light, add more paint.
Some Words About sawdust – When selecting your sawdust, stay away from that produced from
chemically treated boards, as it has been treated to prevent termites and rot, so is
Also, stay away from exotic, colored,
hardwoods, which may have a natural staining and irritating element, when handled. Some woods, such
as cedar, have a natural aroma that should be considered before using.
Stain the Sawdust – Place about a cup of
sawdust into the quart jar, and add the ½-cup paint mix. Screw on the lid and shake. This will take
longer than the water as you have to get all the sawdust about the same color.
Place the large strainer in the cake pan,
remove the jar lid, and pour the sawdust mix through the strainer. Use the spatula to remove the
rest of the sawdust from the jar. The liquid will collect in the pan. Press down on the sawdust to
remove more of the paint mixture.
Save the paint solution by pouring back into the pint jar and replace the
Dry The Painted Sawdust – Place the empty cake
pan in the center of the newspaper and carefully dump the sawdust from the large strainer into the
cake pan. Spread it throughout the pan and let dry overnight. You can speed up the dry cycle by
using the stoves oven. Pre-heat to 150 degrees and Turn Off the oven. Place the pan in the oven and
stir the contents from time to time, until dry. Do not leave the sawdust in the oven if you have to
reheat the oven. IF you do have a fire, DO NOT open door!
Store Your Ground Cover – Pour the dried ground
cover into one of the small plastic containers, replace top and store. A set of stackable
containers is handy when you are trying to store, and use, your groundcover.
Grade Your Ground Cover – By repeated
straining, the painted ground cover can be sorted into several grades, such as, course, medium, and
Take the small tea strainer, add a few
spoonfuls of ground cover, and work it around to sift out the smaller pieces, which will fall
through into a pan. When all of the fines are through, dump what is left in the strainer into one
of the containers; this will be your course.
Repeat with what ended up in the pan. When the
fines are through, dump what is left in the strainer into another small container; this will be
Pour the fines, that passed through the
strainer the second time, into a third small container; this will be your fine.
Using Your Ground Cover – There are several
ways of applying ground cover to you diorama or layout. Use water based paint of a suitable ground
cover, and paints a small area about 12 inches square. Add some of your course green ground cover
to the small tea strainer and shake gently over the painted area. For more contrast, you might
repeat quickly with the medium grade, to fill in between the larger granules. For more info on
Add Other Colors – By using different shades of
green, yellow or brown you may create a wide variety of ground cover. Dried leaves and clippings
may be ground in your own blender, to produce underbrush around trees.