A Beginners Guide To Building A Realistic Landscape Layout For A Model Train
Model trains look best when they travel through landscapes that mimic a realistic countryside. To accomplish this look, start with a full sheet of 3/4 inch plywood. Paint the entire plywood board with two coats of white acrylic paint. Let the first coat completely dry before painting the second coat. After the second coat of acrylic paint has dried, paint different shades of grey, green, and brown over the entire surface. Allow these painted areas to dry before you add the following hills, vegetation, and a water feature for your model train:
- Custom-Made Hills and Valleys - Build hills and valleys out of layered styrofoam blocks that have been stacked and glued together and then glued onto the painted plywood base. When the glue has completely dried, you can carve into the styrofoam to form natural-looking hills and even a tunnel. Once you have the landscape forms created, cover the styrofoam landscape with strips of cotton cloth that have been dipped into white glue. Layer the strips together to form the ground, hills, valleys, and countryside and paint them in shades of grey, green, and brown.
- Custom-Created Trees - Unique and interesting trees can be made by twisting together different lengths of 10 gauge, 14 gauge, 18 gauge, 22 gauge, and 26 gauge copper wire. Starting at one end, bundle together 2 to 3 lengths of each gauge of wire. Begin twisting the wires together about 2 inches from one end. This will become the trunk of your tree. As you continue twisting, divide the wires into 3 to 5 groups and twist each of these smaller groups separately. These smaller groups will become the branches of your tree. Continue to divide your wires into smaller groups and shape these smaller groups to resemble smaller tree branches that are located at the top of your tree. When you have completed your branches, go back to the other end of the tree where you started and fan out the 2 inches of untwisted wires at that end to become tree roots. Work the roots so that they give the tree a stable base to stand upon. Cut "leaves" out of green and gold fabric and work them into the top branches of the tree. When finished forming your tree, mix brown acrylic paint with sawdust and apply it to the tree trunk, tree branches and tree roots. Push the paint and sawdust mixture into all the crevasses of your tree. Take care to avoid getting paint on your fabric leaves. Allow your copper wire tree to dry completely overnight.
- Realistic-Looking Water - Clear an area on your train layout where you wish to have a lake or river of water. Build up the edges of your water area with small rocks that have been glued into place. Seal the bottom of this area with clear acrylic gel medium. Paint the bottom of the water area with pure cerulean blue acrylic paint. Allow this paint to dry overnight and then add scattered areas of small, white acrylic paint patches onto the bottom of the water area. Seal the entire area with clear acrylic gel medium to form a containment area. Pour clear casting resin over the entire water area and allow to dry at least 24 hours. Keep adding more clear casting resin over your water area until you have reached the depth of water that you want. Always allow your resin to completely dry for 24 hours before adding more resin.
You can embellish this hand-made layout for your model train with small and large rocks, many more trees, grass, bushes, and plants. Adding minute details in different areas will complete the realistic countryside. Install train tracks for your train and perhaps a few animals and humans and you will have created a whole new world that is totally unique, and the best part is that you built it yourself.
For model train paraphernalia, contact a company such as Ann's Hobby Center.
16 December 2015