Enhancing the quality of your model railroad layout doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, there are various common household items that can transform the overall look of your design. NMRA Master Model Railroader Gerry Leone shares four of his favorite model railroad tips that require few resources but ultimately produce significant upgrades to your layout.
Four Classic Model Railroad Tips
The first tip Gerry introduces is a simple method for creating frosted glass using transparent tape. This method can be used to effectively block view of the interior of passenger cars or structures that lack detail. Gerry compares a normal window next to one with the frosted method to show what a difference it creates. The best part of this tip is it only takes about five seconds to complete.
Gerry reveals two more tips which both involve filling joints in model structures. As common as it is for model structures to have a few dings or even warped walls, it’ll be convenient to understand a couple ways to fix this issue. The first way is with a solution you can create yourself using plastic cement and some pieces of styrene. You can eliminate the waste of styrene by using leftover pieces from other projects. You’ll wind up with a liquid solution that you can paint onto structures for a perfectly flawless joint. Another way of filling these gaps is by using ordinary baking soda. Gerry explains that this method works best when used on the inside corners of joints. You’ll wind up with a joint that is hard as rock and your structure will be extremely strong.
The last tip Gerry explains is an impressive way of creating loads for model railroad cars. He shows how old blister packs and facial tissue can make for a perfect addition to the top of a flat car model. This type of packaging is fairly easy to come by, especially in hardware stores. It comes in all shapes and sizes allowing for versatility. Gerry demonstrates some loads he creates resembling transformers and missiles neatly covered with a tarp and strapped down with some EZ line. He also explains a weathering technique to use to resemble classic tarp wrinkles you’d see on the load of a flat car.
Reduce costs on improving your layout by using some of these model railroad tips. Gerry shared four of his favorite, but our instructors provide many more tips and tools for improving your model train scenery.