Doug Hodgdon

Creating Rock Scenery Class + DVD

with Doug Hodgdon

A key component in turning a model railroad track plan into a layout is realistic scenery.

Regardless of what part of the world you model, there is a high probability that the terrain includes some rocks. Whether they are huge mountains, bluffs over a river, or a shallow rock cut through rolling hills, rocks are a common element in scenery nearly everywhere. Adding rockwork, therefore, is a great way to add realism to your model railroad layout.

In this class, Creating Rock Scenery, you’ll learn how to add rockwork to your layout. You will be introduced to the tools and materials you’ll need to cast your own rocks, install them on your layout, and blend them into the surrounding scenery.

In the class, you’ll see rockwork added to existing scenery, but the techniques presented will work equally well if you are working on new scenery.

You’ll learn how to plan your scene so your rocks look natural but do not interfere with your railroad’s operations. You will learn how to cast your own rocks from plaster and install them realistically on your layout. You will see multiple techniques for filling in the area behind your rockwork to prepare for the surrounding scenery. You will learn how to create the scenic base for the surrounding scenery as well.

Once installed, you’ll see how rocks can be colored to look very realistic and match rockwork in your area or in reference photographs. Finally, you will learn how to add scenery texture and other elements to complete the scene.

With the techniques and skills you’ll learn in Creating Rock Scenery, you will be equipped to add beautifully realistic rock scenes to your layout.

In addition to your video instruction, you’ll get a helpful Class Guide PDF that you can print out use as a reference as you plan for, and work on, your rock scenery.

NOTE: You’ll receive this Class video instruction in two forms: As on-demand streaming video (in your MRA Account); and as a physical DVD, mailed to you.

  • 9 Sessions
  • 1h 25m

Doug Hodgdon

Douglas Hodgdon has been a part of the Model Railroad Academy since 2016 and really enjoys helping folks follow their passion for trains. He got his first train set for Christmas at just three years old. It was a Marx wind-up and he was mesmerized by it! He’s had model trains ever since. Doug worked at a hobby store as a teenager, and that evolved into a business of building model railroads as a full-time vocation for over 50 years. He’s worked on model railroads from Z scale to 1 1/2” to the foot (1:8) scale. As you may know from Track Talk Live, he models in S scale, the Proto 64 variety, operating his Southern Pacific “Citrus District”. It’s a 2’ x 18’ switching layout and uses a waybill system. Doug’s theory of model railroading is that it’s called “The World’s Greatest Hobby” for a big reason. It can be a fantastic hobby with plenty of opportunities to learn and grow. It can truly be three dimensional art. In hosting classes for the Model Railroad Academy, his goal is to create a shared inspiration for the hobby.

Printable Class Guide PDF

Download this Guide as a reminder of the key details you’ll see in the video instruction

Video: Meet Your Instructors

Download this short video to meet your class instructors, Doug Hodgdon and Mike Swiridow

Bonus materials available after purchase

How do I know what the Class covers?

Every Class has a free Preview video you can watch, to give you a flavor of the Instructor and the skills or project that will be covered. In addition, the Overview tab includes a thorough written description of the Class. And finally, each Class Session has a brief written summary of the content in that Session, including the length of each Session video. You will get a good feel for the Class content by reviewing these resources.

Do I have to be a Member of Model Railroad Academy to purchase a Class?

No you don’t. While Premium Members will receive regular offers for special deals on Model Railroad Academy content, Classes are not reserved exclusively for Members. If you buy a Class as a non-member, we’re sure you’d also enjoy having access to our full library of great railroading videos and articles as a Member, so give it a try.

How do I purchase a Class?

First you should decide that the Class is what you want. Review the Class Preview video and the various written descriptions of the Class and each Session before you purchase, so you have a good understanding of the Class content. When you’re ready to purchase and gain access to the Class, simply click the “Add to Cart” button, and proceed through the Checkout process.

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Once you’ve paid, you can access/view your Class by going to the MY ACCOUNT section of Model Railroad Academy. The MY ACCOUNT link is in the upper right-hand area of the website. Within your MY ACCOUNT, a section labeled “My Classes” will appear, including a link to watch the video of your Class. You’ll also receive an email confirmation after your purchase, which will include a link to view your Class. You can access your Class as many times as you wish, and you’ll never lose access to your Account information. Just be sure to “Log In” for access to MY ACCOUNT.

Do I have to take the Class right away?

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Is there a limit on the times I can view my Class?

No. Your access never expires. You can view any Class you purchase as many times as you want, whenever you want.

Can I View A Class On My Tablet Device Or Mobile Phone?

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Once you purchase any Class, within the Class viewing page, you’ll have access to post a question, comment or tip in the Class Q&A Resource area. This is not a “live chat,” but your Class Instructor and MRA contributors will answer posted questions and provide tips regularly. You can also view other Class participants’ questions and input to take part in this virtual dialogue among others who have taken the Class and are willing to share tips, answers, or ideas.

Can I print out Class details?

For any Bonus Material that is a PDF Download, yes you can. Just click on the icon/button for the Bonus element you want, and print with your local printer.

What are PDF downloads?

These are simply documents, plans, or written materials that are formatted in a way to print out and retain for reference. By simply clicking on the icon/link for any PDF Download that is included with a Class, you can print that document on your own printer or simply view the contents on your computer/mobile device.

Are there any system requirements to view the Class video content?

Your Class video content is best when viewed on a computer manufactured in the past couple of years with a good broadband Internet connection (not dialup). We also highly recommend using the latest version of Firefox, Safari, or Chrome as your Internet Browser, though recent versions of Internet Explorer will work as well. The recommended screen resolution is 1024 x 768 or larger.

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Can I get a refund if I don’t like the Class?

Because you’ll have full access to all the materials and content that is presented in the Class immediately, we can’t offer a refund after purchase. Please review the Class Preview video and the various written descriptions of the Class and each Session before you purchase, so you have a good understanding of the Class content.

How do I contact Model Railroad Academy?

If your question is about the Class content, please use the Class Discussion benefit to ask your question online – and you'll receive feedback from the Class Instructor. Even your fellow Class participants may jump in to offer tips and advice from their experience. If you have other questions or need help, you can email us at modelrailroadacademy@program-director.net or call us toll-free, at 1-855-208-7399. Service Representatives will be available Monday-Friday, from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Central time, excluding normal holidays.

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