"Low relief" is the model railroading term used
to describe a building with only the front (or the back) visible. Sometimes part of one or two
sides can also be seen, but you can't see behind the structure. It is for this reason that low
relief buildings are very often positioned at the edge (or near to the edge) of a scale rail
Done well, they provide a superbly realistic backdrop running along the edge giving the look that
the landscape stretches further than in reality it does. The apartment and commercial buildings
seen here would provide a interesting urban street profile to the backdrop of a railroad
layout. They look so genuine it is hard to believe they are scaled down models and not the real
This street scene is inexpensive
and easy to make, and can be scaled up or down (within reason) to any size require (O scale would
be too big). You simply download them (PDF file) and for printing out.
Foam Core (available from Hardware, DIY, Discount, Art Stores) or
CorFlute are perfect for supporting the structures. Both are low in price to buy in a big sheet.
Glue each paper part before you glue the parts to pre-cut foam sheet. Leave them to
Downloading of the file takes a few seconds and you can keep the
files on your computer for future use. You are legally allowed to print copies for your own
non-commercial use. Giving copies away, selling them, trading copies, or distributing copies
breaches the strictly monitored copyright laws. I printed out a couple of copies of the taller
builings and glued the frontages directly into my backdrop. I then positioned a row of 3 sided
buildings a few inches in front to add dimension and give the appearance of a street running
between the front and back buildings.
Check out today's special price (see above) where you have the
opportunity to this street scene (all 6 buildings) for approaching half price.
Apart from using them as scenery props on your
layout, here is another clever use for low relief buildings. Get an artists' canvas panel and paint
it in the colors of your choice. Then glue the constructed buildings to the canvas panel and hang
them like a painting above your layout or in your office. The effect is amazing and will be a great
About Model Train Scales
Article by Tony
When making your own model railroad, the first
thing you must know about is scales. The size of your trains and the size of your buildings and
structures will all be based around the same scale. So if you choose N scale for example; you will
need to run N scale trains, include N scale structures and N scale track. Mixing HO scale with N
would look strange and unreal.
Do you prefer a railroad that is large and is more
visible , or would you prefer a smaller layout that will take up less space? Once you have
decided what scale you want your railroad to be, you can start thinking about scenery and
other fillers. So if you are new to the world of model railroads, here is some information
about various train scales:
Basic Information about Scale for Model
When it comes to scales or the size of your
railroad, you have many options. Here are some of the most commonly used
Scale: This scale is ideal for anyone who likes big trains. It is also
perfect if you want either your kids or your elderly relatives to get involved in this
captivating hobby. O scale has 1:48 or 1:43.5 scales. The rails are 1 ¼ inches apart. This
scale was very famous in the days when model railroad were manufactured only as toys. They
are still popular today, because unlike most other scales they are big and impressive. The
only problem with O scale is that since the locomotives are so huge, they tend to overshadow
the scenery and you will need a lot more space if you want to include a lot of track and
Scale: HO is the most popular size for model railroads. It is half of O scale
which means 1:87 scales. It is an ideal scale for all those who want to focus on the details
of their model, like the scenery, winding railway lines etc. Not only can you easily include
the details, you can also fit your railroad in a small place.
Scale: The most popular scale among British folk, it has measurements of
1:74. If you love everything to do with Great Britain, or if you live there, then OO scale is
for you as many of the trains and accessories have an English flavor (in the UK that would be
Scale: If you are one of those modelers who love to make minute details with
care and like to develop long railway tracks where your train passes through tunnels and
through valleys, along rivers and gushing streams then N scale is perfect for you. It has the
size of 1:160. You can create some amazing N scale structures and epic landscapes and scenes
with the help of this scale.
Scale: One of the smallest scales available, Z scale has a measurement of
1:220. If you want to decorate the side table in your sitting room with your railroad, then
use Z scale. The trains are tiny, but are intriguing to watch as they travel the
Once you have made up your mind about constructing
your model on N scale, HO, or perhaps OO or Z scale, you will find out that most accessories
are very easily available. Not only will you be able to buy a variety of locomotives, trains
and railway tracks, you can also find all kinds of sceneries and backgrounds from online
train stores. Local hobby shops might only stock the most popular scales, so online model
train stockist might be you best source for scales like O, Z, or TT scales.
If you prefer making your own scenery then even
that is not too difficult with HO, OO, or N scale structures. Simply research the internet
for millions of ideas and use your creativity to mix and match accordingly.
Keep in mind though that you need to keep small
kids away from the railroad or make sure that everything in your railway is glued on the
surface! Join a local (or online) train club and
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