Scenery Tips

I have collected a number of model railroad scenery tips and techniques from various sources and am sharing them here. Do you have scenery tips or techniques you would like to share with Model Train Tips readers? You can send them in using the form on the Contact page.

Columbia River Gorge Railroad Pictures

In a recent article, I asked which railroad you model on your layout. One of the areas I mentioned that I would like to model was the Columbia River Gorge area that separates Washington and Oregon. I recently had the opportunity to travel through that area and took some pictures to share with you here. There are rail lines on both sides of the river and run parallel to the highways on the Washington and Oregon sides of the river. I was travelling on the Oregon side on U.S. Interstate 84 headed east towards The Dalles. These two pictures show the trains on the Oregon side right next … [Read more...]

Airbrushing Tips to Weather Your Model Railroad

Weathering with an air brush is easy to do and gives excellent results. Start with darker colors and add lighter colors on top. Line up all your cars, structures and loco’s and treat them assembly line style, then change colors and do it again and again. Remember, weathering is a matter of degree and most rolling stock is fairly clean. The disadvantage of weathering with paint is that it is pretty permanent when you are done. Mac McCalla shared this tip for airbrushing: I have been weathering with an airbrush for many years and have done many clinics for Badger Airbrush and at the … [Read more...]

Painting and Weathering Using Common Household Items

Always on the lookout for cost effective ways to enhance their model railroad layouts, modelers continue to come up with unique methods for weathering. Painting Here’s a tip where Palmer Schatell describes one way he paints some components of his layout: When airbrushing HO [cars & engines], with a little hand molding, the soft cardboard rolls that toilet paper comes on fits into the cars and locomotive bodies and provides a way of holding these objects. I used the cap from a spray can fastened to the center of an inexpensive Lazy Susan to allow me to turn the bodies without having … [Read more...]

Model Railroad Weathering with Eye Shadow and Chalk

Model railroaders are continually coming up with creative and unique methods for giving their model railroad layouts a realistic weathered look. Here are a couple of tips for using eye shadow and pastel chalk. Eye Shadow Aaron Savoian shared this tip about using eye shadow for an interesting weathering technique for your model railroad: I have found that women’s eye shadow works well when wanting to blend colors on plaster castings. The eye shadow doesn’t need to be sprayed to adhere to the plaster and is easy to work with (no messy dust). I usually apply a slate colored eye shadow … [Read more...]

Weathering Roads, Paint and Rust on Your Model Railroad Layout

Peter Plantec shared this tip about weathering roads, paint and rust on your model railroad layout: There are several brands of alcohol based asphalt patch material used to mend roofs and gutters. I found that I could dilute and pour it in a form made of strip wood to make a road bed. Before it completely hardens you can rub in some talc and cut in cracks and divisions. You can even carve scale bricks as the underlying old road bed. The surface looks remarkably real. Also, I almost never paint anything. I gesso it and then add layers of alcohol stain (used for shoes.) I usually … [Read more...]