Techniques for Spectacular Scenery

Nothing has a greater impact on the realistic look of a model railroad than scenery. Whether your layout is a small diorama, a 4’ x 8’ starter layout, or a basement empire, realistic scenery can make your layout look spectacular. Absent or unrealistic, toyish scenery, on the other hand, can detract from the otherwise beautiful models you build or collect and leave the viewer disappointed. Learning good techniques for building scenery is essential to creating satisfying layouts that we are proud to show off.

Spectacular scenery begins with good planning. You must have a plan in your mind, and hopefully on paper, that helps you understand what the scene is supposed to look like and what will fit in the available space. Working from that plan, you can construct your scenic base using a variety of styles, techniques, and materials. Each of these have their advantages and disadvantages. It is most important to choose one that will work best for the type of scenery you are trying to create and that you enjoy building.

Once your scenic base is built the real fun begins. It is then that you begin the creative process of painting and texturing the base to resemble the real world. As you install, color, and detail cliffs, rocks, water, grass, shrubs, trees, and more you begin to create a small world of your own that reflects the world we all know but is an expression of your own creativity. As you create that scenic world, each element and detail help to create a backdrop that enhances the realism of your model trains and structures.

In this course you will learn a variety to techniques for creating spectacular scenery for your own model railroad. From scenic base to scenic details, you will see techniques demonstrated and explained that will inspire and enhance your own creativity as you create your own little world for your trains and other models. By applying these techniques, you will be able to create a variety of scenery that will make your model railroad interesting, realistic, and fun.

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93 Responses to “Techniques for Spectacular Scenery”

  1. Richard G Langellotti

    I look forward to learning more scenery techniques, especially water (rivers and lakes).

  2. Chris

    Sounds great, sign me up. Just started the plaster covering on my 19×13 layout and then on to scenery!!!

    • Customer Service

      Hello Kevin,
      The course is online and can be found by using the browse tab or entering the title of the course in the search bar and selecting Techniques for Spectacular Scenery. Once you’ve selected the course, you can press the play button to view the course. If you have any further questions, please chat, email or call Customer Service.
      Model Railroad Academy Video Membership

    • Customer Service

      The URL is where you enter in the we address you are searching for.

  3. Jerome Lodge

    I enjoy and learn from your informative articles and have always loved being a member of your community