How to Landscape Your Model Train Scenery
There are few landscapes in the real world that are truly flat. Constructing your model railroad scenery should include variety to add interest and challenge! Whether it’s rolling hills or the jagged cliffs of cuttings, creating a realistic landscape is not difficult. This is a good place to start for the beginner as it introduces you to some sound modelling techniques.
There are a number of popular methods you can use to mould your landscape. Beginners may want to try different methods to see which suits their skills. If building the set with children, this should prove a popular occupation as the methods are all very messy and create lots of opportunities to get sticky finger marks everywhere. Generally when building a model railway with the kids help, ensure that any house-proud spouses are well out of the way!
The basic principle behind each method is the same. You will need to create a structure on which to apply a covering layer of modelling rock, papier mache or even Poly-filla. Chicken wire works well with the first two, while polystyrene is better with the last. You can shape layers of polystyrene roughly with a craft knife, glue to your baseboard and use Poly-filla to create the surface. For the beginner, the first two are probably the easiest methods.
The wire is easily modelled into the shapes that you require. Attach the completed structure to the board – you can leave it un-attached if you would like the structure to be easily changed or replaced. Use modelling rock (a gauze impregnated with Plaster of Paris) to create the surface. The modelling rock should be cut into strips, placed over the wire and then painted with water. You will need to two to three layers of this.
The technique is the same for papier mache, though this is probably more time consuming. Once the surface has dried you can use glue and coloured ‘scatter’ to create grass or rock effects that you require.
Be prepared to experiment with different techniques and above all be ready to spend some time cleaning up and apologising!