How to Build Model Railroad Scenery with Beadboard Foam

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When setting out to build model railroad scenery, there are a number of methods you can use to create the landscape that makes up your layout. For hillsides and mountains, modelers most often opt for wire mesh and plaster molding, but if you think this process takes too long or seems too messy for your taste, you can choose to go a different route.

In certain situations, beadboard foam makes for an excellent alternative to build model railroad scenery, as you can quickly turn sheets of the stuff into bases for hillsides with simple cuts and a coat of paint. Today, we teach you how to build model railroad scenery for your next layout using foam and hot glue.

Simple techniques to build model railroad scenery with foam

The landscape of a model railroad layout doesn’t have to be complex or painstaking to make, it just has to get the job done. To help you construct a solid base the next time you build model railroad scenery, modeler Lou Sassi walks you through the step-by-step process for turning sheets of beadboard foam into towering hillsides.

Lou begins his demonstration on how to build model railroad scenery by talking about the unique benefits of working with foam. This material can be found at your local building supply store and most hobby shops, and it’s easy to manipulate into a range of shapes and sizes.

After explaining what it’s good for, Lou shows you how to create a quick hillside using just a couple pieces of beadboard. To do so, he introduces the tools you’ll need to shape your hill, including a hot wire (if you don’t have one, certain knives work just as well) and hot glue. He also teaches you how to use Sure-Form to fill in any gaps or miscuts–be sure to keep a vacuum close by for all those little bits and pieces. Take advantage of Lou’s expert way to build model railroad scenery, and you won’t ever have to worry about the mess and dry time of plaster!

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