MRA Editors

Use Markers to Create Urban Model Railroad Buildings

MRA Editors
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Duration:   10  mins

Those of us model railroaders who have urban scenes on our layouts are often dismayed at the high cost of buying building kits to create realistic scenes to fill vast spaces. Finding enough variety of building shapes and architectural styles is also problematic. Watch as Expert Modeler Tom Lund creates urban model railroad buildings at a fraction of the cost of kits with a little know-how and patience.

Tom uses modular design packets (such as Walthers’ Design Modular Building System – Planning Packet) to create a seemingly limitless number of different looking urban model railroad buildings to quickly build up his urban landscape. He pre-plans buildings with paper mock-ups using templates of different wall sections, window and door styles. Once he selects the desired wall and window configurations, he cuts them out and spray glues them to a sheet of paper slightly larger than the overall plan. He photocopies the plan to the desired size on marker paper (such as “Pro Layout Marker”), available at art and crafts stores. Marker Paper has a higher clay content that prevents bleeding of colors from marker pens. In the next step, he uses marker pens with chisel point on one end and fine point tip on the other and, after masking off windows with post-it tape, and then proceeds to use a variety of colored pens with a continuous stroke to “paint” the drawing.

He also shares an artist’s tip to prevent transferring unwanted ink residue on straight-edge and triangle-rulers by taping off the edges. With a little patience and imagination, Tom teaches the techniques that result in a realistic building drawing with “depth” that can then be photocopied and combined to create desired height and width, even repetition. The drawings can then be spray-glued to foamcore or similar rigid board, install a roof and support walls and install on your layout. It’s easy and inexpensive to make several different-sized buildings from the same drawing for forced perspective to add “depth” to your scene.

Using his techniques, learn how creating urban model railroad buildings has never been quicker or easier.

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