Model Railroader's Best of Scenery

Model Railroader's Best of Scenery

Model Railroader's Best of Scenery

Model Railroader’s Best of Scenery is a new 164-page special issue. Build the best scenery yet with the most up-to-date techniques from today’s best builders including Mike Danneman, Pelle Søeborg, David Popp, Cody Grivno, Steve Otte, Gerry Leone, Paul Dolkos, and many more! This comprehensive collection includes 33 detailed projects to make your layout more realistic. Plus, profiles of three exceptional layouts!

United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines


scenery from the experts

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BUILD A model railroad? It takes time, patience, a few simple tools, and the right materials. That’s about it; if you fiddle with those things long enough, you’ll eventually have a pretty good layout. Now suppose you want much better results, and you want to succeed on the first try. Then you’ll need one more thing, and that’s knowledge. TO GET THE BEST RESULTS you need to learn from the best. In putting together this collection of 33 essential articles, the experts at Model Railroader magazine combed through more than a decade of magazines and special publications to produce this comprehensive guide to the most up-to-date scenery techniques. In this 164-page publication you’ll find time-tested advice from today’s top modelers, including Pelle Søeborg, David Popp, Cody Grivno,…

17 tips to create authentic scenes

EDITOR’S CHOICE CARL SWANSON EDITOR When my HO scale Union Pacific Daneville & Donner River layout first appeared in the March 2005 issue of Model Railroader magazine, I was quite thankful to hear complimentary remarks. However, I was puzzled why so many people considered my model railroad to be “highly detailed.” On the contrary, my layout doesn’t include many details at all, yet that didn’t prevent viewers from believing it does. From these comments I concluded that people will sometimes mistakenly think that a realistic-looking layout must include numerous details. But in my experience, adding lots of details – large or small – won’t guarantee realism. More often, extensive detailing detracts from an otherwise authentic scene. To clarify my point, imagine a one-square-mile real-world setting that you’d like to model in HO (1:87.1) scale.…

paint effective backdrops

EDITOR’S CHOICE RENE SCHWEITZER PRODUCTION EDITOR A well-rendered backdrop can add a wealth of realism to a layout. When the Model Railroader staff built the Wisconsin & Southern (WSOR) project railroad (see the January through April 2008 issues of MR), they asked me to paint the backdrop. The WSOR project railroad replaced an existing portion of Kalmbach’s Milwaukee, Racine & Troy employee club layout, which had a partially finished backdrop of its own. Instead of starting with a blank wall, I simply repaired and added to the scene that was already there. The techniques I used to spruce up an existing backdrop are very similar to painting one from scratch, so I treated the project as though I was starting with a blank sky-blue wall. Painting backdrops can be easier than you may think, especially…

choosing your paints and brushes

I like using water-based acrylic colors because they dry quickly, hold their color, and are permanent. This type of paint allows me to work over areas without lifting or dissolving paint I’ve already laid down, and the acrylic is easy to clean up. There are a number of brands of acrylic paints, and they’re sold in most craft and art-supply stores. You don’t need a lot of colors to get started. For country landscapes, I recommend having ivory black, titanium white, cadmium yellow, ultramarine blue, cadmium red, burnt umber, and permanent green on hand. You may also want to add cobalt blue, alizarin crimson, viridian, and mixing gray to your palette. Selecting brushes. You’ll need white-bristle acrylic flat and round brushes of varying sizes up to ¾". While your paintbrushes don’t need…

big sky, little trouble

There are almost as many ways to make a layout backdrop as there are model railroaders. From rolling-on paint to rolled aluminum sheeting, the techniques are many and varied. So when the time came to create the backdrop for my new Bona Vista RR, I weighed all my options. The new layout is a multi-deck, and before the upper-deck framing and subroadbed could go in, the lower deck’s backdrop needed to be installed – all 85 feet of it. My goals were that it be economical, easy, and effective. I chose ⅛" tempered hardboard and had my home center cut the sheets the long direction, giving me 2 x 8-foot pieces. These were trimmed a little more when I installed them. I knew I wanted the effect of atmospheric haze, where the…

light up a big-city skyline

Adding a printed photo backdrop is one of the easiest ways to include a city skyline on a model railroad. Whether you purchase or make your own printed photo backdrop featuring skyscrapers or industrial structures, you’ll find they’re both effective options for suggesting there’s greater depth to an urban scene. But the instant you dim the room lights to simulate nighttime, these backdrop scenes are cast into darkness and the illusion of distance is lost. To restore the effects of forced perspective during low-light operation on my freelanced HO scale layout, I used numerous light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to illuminate building windows and help define the overall shape of the printed backdrop structures. The following steps show how I modified sheets of 1"-thick extruded foam insulation board to form backdrop panels fitted…