If you have added miniature
cars in your railroad then adding people in the cars is going to make it more
realistic. It is a bit of an effort such as dismantling a vehicle, but adding
people in your layout will have a great impact. It will help you attain the real
life appeal that you want to add to your design.
If you have selected an era and
you are designing your railroad scenery around it then it is absolutely necessary
that all part of your design should depict that era. Adding a 1957 Chevy to a train
layout that has been designed to depict the 20’s will damage the image that you are
trying to create.
Keep the Scale
Make sure that you keep the
scale you are using in mind when you are purchasing accessories and structures for
your design. This is necessary for uniformity so that nothing in your railroad
layout looks inappropriate or out-of-place. HO scale and the smaller N scale are
the biggest selling scales. OO scale is the most popular scale in the
Scratch Built Model Railroad
Try making structures at home.
It is not obligatory that you buy all the structures that you want to add in your
train layout. To keep your layout more economical and realistic you can create
structures at home using paper, card, wood, or foam. Scenic effects can be made
from actual sand, tree branches, leaves, stones, or anything that you think you can
remodel to give your design a realistic look.
Depict Variety in
If you have added people in
your design, make sure that they are specific to the era that you are trying to
portray in your model railroad scenery. Try to add a variety of figurines in your
design. You can achieve this by buying figurines from different
To make your structure look
like it is actually built in the past, you need to rough it up a bit. You will fail
to achieve the authentic look if every railroad building in your design looks like
it is fresh out of the hobby store. You can buy model railway buildings
where the painting and weathering is already done for you (like the one's you see
on the right).
Add Design to the
Try to add decorations to the
interior of some of the kit structure in your design. It is not as complicated as
it sounds. You can work with thin paper to add things like curtains or carpets to
give interiors for railroad buildings a more authentic look. It is as
simple as gluing fabric to paper and sticking it on the surface of the windows in
the building. The printable model railroad buildings (seen on the right) already
include windows and some feature curtains and reflections to make them look just
like a building from a real life scene. They are downloadable model
This is something that most
designers overlook. However this is an amazing technique to make your layout look
more specific to the era that you are trying to capture. Add advertisement related
to that era in your design. You can easily find images on the internet or magazines
that you can resize to fit your layout.
Add Season Related
You can modify your design with
the change in seasons. You can add Christmas lights and snow to depict winters, or
you can add fallen leaves to make it look like it is autumn.
Your design can look as real as
you want it to. It all depends on your attention to details and your imagination.
While the train and track is the main attraction of your layout, to add a touch of
magic to your setup you need to experiment with the designs to make your scenery
look as lifelike as possible.
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