Gerry Leone

Layout Tips - Layout Skirt

Gerry Leone
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Duration:   2  mins

A finished skirt makes a model railroad look complete. Unfortunately, cloth can be expensive and may require a seamstress or knowledge of a sewing machine. National Model Railroad Association Master Model Railroader Gerry Leone shows the cheap and easy way he hides everything underneath his layout.

A layout skirt makes the underside of a model railroad look nice and hides anything that’s being stored while an audience watches operation. Gerry uses landscape fabric which comes in different quality levels. This means the fabric can be cheap, his specific roll of fabric was three dollars. These rolls come in 3 foot by 50 foot lengths, and also come in 4 foot lengths.

Creating the skirt is as easy as cutting the fabric to fit under the fatia. Installation can be accomplished with clothespins bought from target, dollar stores or hardware stores. Gerry places hot glue on the clothespins and mounts them to the fatia about an inch from the bottom. He attaches them on either side of the cross members so the fabric does not sag in between.

Some notches are cut out of the landscape fabric where the cross members fit and all is clipped underneath with the clothespins. This is how to achieve a nice finished looking layout with skirting underneath. To create a more fancy look, use a stappler to add some pleats in the fabric every couple of inches. With Gerry’s method, if the skirt should tear or get ruined it will be easy and inexpensive to replace.

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