by Tony Koester
Part 3: Scenery, structures, and rolling stock
No matter the scale or gauge you opt to model in, you have some homework to do before finalizing your choice of location, era, prototype (or base prototype from which to freelance), and so on. We discussed site choices in part 1 of this series (January 2020).
Now it's time to consider the structures, scenery, locomotives, and rolling stock needed to model that time and place. Do we have enough information to scratchbuild accurate models of the key structures? If not, are there good candidates for kitbashing?
Taking scenery to the aisle
by Dave Bigge
Fascia-mounted extensions add realism to this HO scale layout
In layout planning we typically like to use as wide of a radius as possible. Often this means pushing the track centerline close to the edge of the model railroad. Because of this we have to foreshorten the scenery, leaving little room for rocks, grass, and other vegetation between the edge of the ballast and the fascia. The lack of foreground scenery can be especially troublesome if you want to take realistic photos of your models, as the fascia always appears in the image.
There are many opinions on layout fascia. I'm in the camp that thinks that the fascia should be simple and not attract attention. On a previous layout
I painted it a reddish-brown color, which matched the scenery color. As an experiment, I repainted the fascia a dark chocolate color. The color minimized the importance of the fascia, shifting the focus to the layout, where it belonged. On my HO scale Cajon Pass layout, shown here, I used a semi-gloss color called Ghost Story. While the color was pleasing, it was distracting in photos. To remedy this situation, I attached scenery extensions to the fascia.
Model an abandoned right-of-way
by Lou Sassi
A problem S-curve had to go, but its remains presented an opportunity to add some visual interest
Add interest with mini-scenes
by Don Ball
These details help set the locale and era of your model train layout, and can tell a short story as well
Fireballs and Alpha Jets
by Paul J. Dolkos
Brian Wolfe's HO scale Blue Ridge Division modles the fast freight of the 1970s on the Western Maryland Ry.'s east end
How to model white birch trees
by Cheryl Sassi
Natural material, craft store supplies, and paint are all you need to add these realistic trees to your model railroad scenery
Modeling a modern-era rail hub
by Pat Hiatte
John Schindler's 30 x 60-foot HO scale St. Louis Junction RR features action on both sides of the Mississippi River