Tips for Modifying Model Railroad Scenery Kits

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

In modern day model railroading, the best layouts tend to be the ones that are proto-freelanced, or those based on a prototype but largely improvised according to a vision the builder has in their mind for how they’d like the layout to turn out. Freelancing a layout means putting your own spin on the scenery, which typically requires scratchbuilding a number of its components.

While many expert modelers prefer to scratchbuild in order to create the exact image they have for the layout, oftentimes it can be easier and more efficient to use model railroad scenery kits for certain elements. But kits don’t always provide exactly what you want for a specific location or mood in a scene, so it’s necessary to modify them to achieve what you’re after. In this lesson, we teach you how to modify model railroad scenery kits to personalize your structures and make them more closely resemble the design of your prototype.

How to modify model railroad scenery kits

To demonstrate the benefits of modifying model railroad scenery kits, host Allen Keller took a trip to Tony Koester’s HO model of Allegheny Midland Railroad to get a sense of how Tony utilized modified model railroad scenery kits in his remarkable mountainous layout. Tony walks you through a few of the stations on his extension of the Nickel Plate Road, and points out some of the structures and features he created using model railroad scenery kits that he slightly altered.

You’ll get inside the mind of a master modeler as Tony talks about the thought process that went into utilizing modified model railroad scenery kits to best resemble the structures that existed on the Nickel Plate Road. For instance, Tony discusses a few ways to create walkways and building supports using repurposed fencing and trestles, respectively. He also explains how, sometimes, it just takes looking at your layout with a different perspective to find the best methods for using modified model railroad scenery kits. Take a couple tips from the expert, and see how you can best take advantage of model railroad scenery kits on your layout!