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Will Your Model Train Layout Make Sense Visually?
Planning your first model railway layout can be a daunting task, because there’s so much to learn, and so much to get wrong. But, believe me, even us old hands can stuff up badly at times. So, I’ll give you a couple model railroading scenery pointers I’ve learned…
Positioning your scenery at different levels can add loads of interest to a layout. Even just running adjoining track at different levels can offset the predictability of a simple track layout. However…and this is important… raising one track higher than another needs to look natural and stay in context with the scene. If you get it wrong, it can be difficult to fix later. The tracks will need to flow scenically, so they may require a retaining wall, small cliff face, or raised grassed hill to achieve the right look. Just take your time, and think through each decision at the planning stage.
Try to keep to a layout theme, or at least use carefully planned scenic transitions or scenic dividers if want to mix eras, seasons, or extremely different geographic locations. If you have plenty of space you’ll probably get away with it, but if you only have a small layout, then you’re probably best to keep to one theme.
It is easy to get carried away with something new at the railroad hobby store, but will it be a logical fit with the rest of your layout? Will adding more items just clutter your layout? Does placing a mountain in the middle of a desert scene make sense? Will a 1972 British MGB sports car look out of place in a 1960’s US town scene? So, just take your time to think things through. By doing that you’ll probably prevent 50% of mistakes from happening.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to never stop learning.
If you haven’t already got a copy, I would suggest you grab the FREE Model Train Tips ebook from the ScaleTrains.org website. It is totally free to download and could save you from the type of problems I mentioned.
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