Making Trees for Model Railways: Techniques for Your Layout

Subscription Options

Model Railroad Academy Membership with automatic renewal

Please select from the available subscriptions above

  • Choose Your Membership Plan
  • All-Access Video Pass
  • New Videos Every Week
  • View on Computer or Mobile

Select your membership plan and get our best model railroad videos with 24/7 access to tips and ideas from our master modelers, automatic renewal and our ‘cancel anytime’ policy.

Clear

Learn More

Model scenery begins to appear realistic with the integration of foliage. It brings dimension and detail to a model railroad layout. With such importance, making trees for model railways can be a tedious step in your designing process. Typical railway scenes require vast amounts of greenery. The process can be especially exhausting if you are recreating a fall scene, as it demands a multitude of color. Modeler Jim Eudaly acquired a wealth of experience making trees for model railways through his Appalachian mountainside layout. He could make a batch of nearly 900 trees in about two hours when he was in production. In this video, Jim shares his quick and easy technique for creating fall foliage.

Making Trees for Model Railways

There are a countless number of tree species on this planet. They grow in all sorts of colors and shapes. For this reason, there are many ways to recreate trees for model layouts. Any given layout may require an entirely different set of trees. Jim has spent a lot of time experimenting with making trees for model railways. He has mastered a technique for making large quantities of trees that saves time and money.

Jim demonstrates how to make two types of model railway trees. The first he creates are flat tree tops that blend well on steep mountain settings. The second he creates are 3D trees that fit in best in the foreground. Both styles of trees use the majority of the same basic materials. Jim suggests that these particular trees work best on an almost vertical layout. He starts at the top with smaller trees and darker colors and works his way down to bigger trees and brighter colors to give the effect of the mountain tilting back.

Watch as Jim creates a mountainside layout camouflaged in autumn colors. He covers a large space in a brief amount of time. Making trees for model railways can be a major time commitment, but give Jim’s technique a try and you will create a realistic forest scene in your very own layout in no time.