“Something I have done that did not turn out so cheap ( because of the size of that layout) was using insulation spray foam to mold and shape mountains etc. Then covering it with plaster cloth (using a spray water bottle). Poking with sticks and fingers to take to the shape of the spray foam was an amazing realistic look and time saver, however next time I will semi preform the mountains with chicken wire to save costs.
“I like using black drywall sandpaper for roofing. It looks good and easier to cut than plastic roof slate.
“I would like to add to Dave’s comments:
1) Start small & simple. Plan your work and work your plan. Just because you have 100 sq feet does not mean you have to fill it ALL immediately. It is easy to get overwhelmed by too large a project.
2) Break your schedule down into smaller “achievable” projects. The sense of accomplishment on each project will encourage you to move on. You can always expand your layout as time & resources permit.
3) Get at least 1 locomotive & some rolling stock operational. It serves as to break to just to watch something moving (see #5).
4) If in doubt: a) seek help; b) experiment –> be patient, not everything works every time, even on a real railroad!!
5) Most important: RELAX!! HAVE FUN!! ENJOY IT!! Model railroading is a hobby – not your life’s work.
“Don’t know how much help this is… but
1) Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
2) Don’t be afraid to change scales!
I went from ”N” gauge to a 1:20.3 garden Rail Road. THAT has been a lot of pleasure! I can finally see what I’m working on.
I still have the small loop of track outside, but it’s not much fun freezing my “Jingle Bells” off in the winter but great fun for my grandson and I when the weather is nice.
Having been bitten by the “Narrow Gauge” Bug AND the “Geared Locomotive” I am now working in On30… and plan on following my own suggestions. Been thinking about a Shelf Layout, but don’t know if that will satisfy me… now that the kids are out of the house I just might take-over their bedrooms. LOL
Don’t know if this helps…. But it has been my experience as time went by. When I started in “N” Gauge there was no way I could have afforded a Bachmann 2-Truck Shay for an outdoor layout.
Sometimes… our wants and capabilities change over time… as long as we STAY in the best hobby in the world… no worries.
“I have used plastic straws for lamp posts, and I used them to put the wires through the track base for street or any other lights for the houses, etc. We use rynolite instead of plaster mould for scenery, i.e. mountains.
“Alastair after getting your email some time ago on tips sent in by Roger on Model train flat bed loads I decided to give it a go and have included a couple of photos on my finished product on which I think have turned out rather well. The only problem is that the liquid last for some time and it takes time to gather enough to make some more. Hope you like the photos and look forward to receiving more of your email tips.
The flat bed ‘how to’ was sent in by Roger, and it’s here. It’s also reminded me, I have another of Roger’s which I haven’t published yet.
Latest ebay cheat sheet is here. Have a peek!