Using Masonite as a Model Railroad Backdrop

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If you’re thinking about a good material to form the background to your layout, consider using masonite as a model railroad backdrop. Masonite is one of the most inexpensive and curvable materials to use, and Master Model Railroader, Gerry Leone, share some tips as to how he has mounted ⅛” masonite for model railroad backdrops.

In Gerry’s case, he’s already cut the masonite into a strip 18” high to fit beneath his upper deck shelving, and he’s pre-painted it sky-blue. Here are some tips on model railroad backdrop painting. He highly recommends, where possible, to install the backdrop before laying the benchwork and, certainly, any scenery, to aid in fitting the masonite quickly and easily. And, he says, always have a solid surface to which you can attach the ends of the masonite on a curve.

While some modelers use Liquid Nails or a silicone caulk to adhere the masonite to the wall or studs, Gerry prefers to use a nail gun. He later fills the nail holes with a little spackle, sands it smooth, and paints it with leftover blue paint.

Masonite is flexible enough to wrap around a 180-degree corner, if you carefully bend it a third at a time, overnight, to avoid cracking the masonite. While there are many other materials from which to choose – aluminum roll sheeting, sheetrock, canvas, even strips of styrene plastic – next time consider using masonite as a model railroad backdrop.