How to Use Model Buildings to Make Your Model Train Layout More Realistic

Princeton,NJ/ 360prwire/ December 20/

Making model train layouts can be quite rewarding and fun. Sometimes, however, it can be a bit difficult to get the layout right especially if it does not look too realistic.

One way in which you can add that touch of authenticity is by adding some model buildings around the train and train tracks.

Below, you can go through some ways in which you can make use of such model buildings and what you should keep in mind while adding them.

Locale

The locale in which you want to situate your railroad is a significant aspect to consider when it comes to using model buildings. This is usually because the buildings that surround train layouts tend to differ depending on the locale or region in which they are built.

For instance, most regions tend to have pretty standardized structures and buildings around the tracks. If you add these kinds of buildings while retaining their essence and function, then you can certainly add a bit of realism to your layout.

Some examples can include ticket booths, operations buildings, yards, bathrooms, waiting rooms, food stands and newspaper and book stands, among others.

If you are unsure of what to include, you can look up some pictures or visit your nearest train station for reference.

Materials

The material that you use for your model buildings can make a huge difference if you want to depict your layout in a realistic manner. You can either opt for pre-cut sheets that are made specifically for modeling or you can build everything up from scratch.

You can also buy some semi-finished material that you can then cut and assemble on your own.

Making your own buildings from scratch can give you a lot more control over the final appearance. You can make good use of various kinds of plastic sheets that you can then paint once you form the basic structure.

You can also use wood, roofing sheets, plaster as well as metal sheets to make various kinds of buildings and to add finer details to them.

Some sellers also sell kits that have a range of there materials all in one place, although these are quite expensive.

Scale and Perspective

Scale and perspective are quite important to consider if you want to add authenticity to your model layout. Firstly, you should figure out the size of your layout and plan out the details so that you know what to expect while building.

Once this is done, you can structure and make your buildings in a way that keeps the focus on the train and tracks while adding some depth to the surroundings.

To do this realistically, you should make the buildings near the tracks bigger in size while making the buildings in the background smaller.

Theme

Make sure that you follow the overall theme that you are aiming for when it comes to your model train layout. Are you building a passenger train layout, a freight train layout or a logging railroad?

Based on these, you will then have to consider the surrounding model buildings as well. For instance, if you are aiming for a passenger train, then your buildings can be like the ones you see on train stations with more residential and commercial buildings visible in the background.

On the other hand, if you are aiming for a logging railroad, then the surrounding buildings will be more scattered in your scenery, with a timber yard close by along with a mill, some open fields and a forested region for the wood.

Color and Texture

Texture and detailing can give a more genuine look to your model buildings. You should account for brick detailing, roof beams, windowpanes, chimneys, rough exteriors as well as labels for stores on the station.

You can add to this by painting all the buildings properly by using some real buildings as references. You can also make good use of various paints, brushes and strokes to add to the textures and details.

Spacing

Make sure you space your buildings out properly. If you have buildings on the station around the train tracks, then these are likely to be pretty close together while also being at a reasonable distance from the tracks.

If your buildings are beyond the fence or boundaries of the tracks or station, then you should account for what kind of buildings they are. Usually, however, most buildings in a city or town tend to be placed pretty close together, so make sure you include that detail in your model.

If your surrounding scenery is that of an open field or a countryside that your train will pass through, then you should space your buildings further apart.

Types of Buildings

You can include the following kinds of model buildings in your layout:

  • Commercial stores on and around the train tracks such as newspaper stands, book stands, food stalls, telephone booths and coffee shops
  • Buildings relating to the railways such as ticket booths, operations buildings, yards, warehouses, waiting rooms and benches
  • Buildings in the background such as residential houses, storefronts, food shops and industrial buildings
  • Other surrounding structures like tunnels, bridges, walls and portals

Multiple Scenes

Making use of multiple scenes for your layout can also add authenticity to it. For instance, if one scene covers the train station, another can include the road outside, while residential and commercial buildings can extend from that road.

You can also include further away fields that your train will pass through if your layout is that big. Add different kinds of terrains, roads, seasonal details and lighting to enhance your layout.

Population

You can add some people around your buildings by using figurines to add some more realism. You can scatter them near the train, standing on the platform, outside a store and walking on pathways.

You can also add some cars and buses on the road outside.

Final Remarks

Using model buildings can be a great way to make your model train layout appear more realistic. Make sure you account for the aforementioned aspects of your buildings to ensure that you can add them effectively to your layout.

 

 

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Adam Ali