Great looking scenery for your layout

Shelli sent this in.

I was in two minds whether to post it or not, because making trees’ is a subject you can only do so much on…

But – if you have a look at the end result, I thought it would be silly not to post: great scenery for next to no cost.

They look fantastic.

And don’t forget the latest ‘ebay cheat sheet

(Now with S,Z and American Flyer!)

Please do keep ’em coming.



PS. And a small indulgence if I may – I thought rather than scour Amazon for a good book I’d ask you kind folk.

Any suggestions for a good novel (or any good read)? Doesn’t have to be train related – but would help…

(Just hit reply to any of my mails and let me know!).

27 Responses to Great looking scenery for your layout

  1. Tom BonDurant says:

    Great looking trees, Shelli. We are always looking for ways to save a few bucks and still have authentic looking scenery. Good job. If you ever get the urge to make a video on this process, it would be very helpful. But, for now, the pix are good. Thanks for sharing.

  2. craig says:

    Now, that is a pretty neat process. I really like the finished product.

  3. Joe Rusch3 says:

    I’ve been receiving youe e-mails for perhaps 6 months and find them interesting and stimulating. You end most with printable buildings that when mounted on card board could be used on a layout. The layout I’m planning is O-scale. How do I set my printer to print out facades in O-scale?

  4. Pete Wotring says:

    Hi Shelli,

    Great lookin trees-just another way to make trees that I and a number of my train buddies have been using-we have a flower plant in the states-not sure if all of them,but here in Maryland,western part of the state,a flower called SEEDUM,to start a new plant just cut or break a stem from another planp,punch a hole in the ground and that’s all there is to it,come spring and you will have another plant!!and the best part is to break off the stem after the first frost,let dry and then paint the trunk first-next spray on White Rain hair spray,hand pump type works best,dip in find woodland scenic turf green,spray again with the White Rain and makes a great tree in about 5 minutes or less!

  5. john creasey says:

    really good pics on tree making, i can never get enough advice

  6. Malcolm Dubber says:

    Great effects. Have been using this (these) techniques since 2004 after attending a model railway weekend with Dr Mike Waters in Oxford. Tricky thing is to get scale right for different gauges. I model in OO (HO) and Z.

  7. paul Otway says:

    nice trees Shelli.

  8. Tom Oliver says:

    Thanks for that fantastic video on making trees, and the music which accompanied it. I was looking at buying trees, but the cost is prohibitive, so this video was timely. Thanks Shelli!

  9. Ron says:

    Clive Cussler has a series of books about a detective – Issac Bell set in the early 1900’s. Train travel comes into play In all the books. Try The Chase first

  10. Austin Wilson says:

    WOW, that is awesome. Wish I had seen this before purchasing all the trees on E-Bay for my very large HO scale. And to think, I have everything in my shop to make them. Great job. Austin.

  11. Tom says:

    In regard to you request for a good book … click here for
    The Great Railroad Revolution … The Hisotry of Trains in America.
    by Christian Wolmer … hard cover copy around $20 paperback $13.

    Well written book starts from first railroad Baltimore and Ohio in the 1830’s to the expanion through the growth of the nation to about 200,000 miles of railroad interlaised around the USA how the railroads were very vital in the growth of our country up through the late 1970’s when automobiles, truck helped to dcrease the need for major rail … passenger and freight service.

    I think you will find it interesting reading … rolled up in historical overtones.

    Thanks Al for your site!


    Tom N

  12. Tom says:

    Selli I can see a forest for the trees. I have a couple of brooms I was going to through away. Forget that!
    Nice trees, well done. Thanks for the info.

    Thanks Al for sharing!


    Tom N

  13. THOMAS says:


  14. kenn says:

    Nice trees. I find that I can use bunches of cinnamon branches from the dollar store which I then use to follow a similar process. Thanks for reinforcing what I am working on. I don’t feel so alone. Keep up the work and can’t wait to see more.

  15. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great pics am just starting to add scernery to my layout this is a great help thank you.

  16. Chris says:

    Very nicely done, Shelli. Using cast-off materials to make such unique and interesting trees is a terrific idea. Thanks for sharing it!

  17. Lee Barry says:

    you want to read a good book. Try “ALL HANDS DOWN”, it is about the sinking of the USS Scorpion, a nukie boat(sub). The reason I bought it when first out, I was in a round about way involved in this fiasco. I was assigned to the USS ORION AS 18 from September 1967 until March 1969, my active duty days. I was a 2nd. Class Boatswain Mate/Gunners Mate ( I jokingly refer to myself as the only BMGM in the Navy). I was assigned to the Armory aboard the Orion, or as we called her “pier 18 or the USS never sails. She was stationed in Norfolk,Va., my hometown. For another one if you have never seen Kalmbachs’ Building the N Scaled Clinchfield RR, it my be hard to get as there are no copies and Kalmbach no longer has the “dies” to make any more.

  18. Mike Hoggard says:

    For a mass of good reading I recommend the novels of Lee Childs. About 20 of them featuring the same character “Jack Reacher” . Reacher is an ex US military police Major who spends his time just wandering around America. He has a talent for finding trouble and of fixing it. Fast moving stuff and difficult to put down.. once you get hooked, you will want to read them all

  19. Larry says:

    Nice job on the trees. Great tunes to go with it. Thanks AL and Shelli!

  20. David A. Massimi says:

    Forgot all about Cussler’s Isaac Brown series…and i read a great one about some ruthless folks building a railroad !
    This series is interesting, fast-paced, and difficult to put down once you’ve started.
    I think you will enjoy!
    Dave, in NY

  21. Stephen D Gispanski says:

    Shelling, very nicely done. I liked the greenege to go along with your lay out. Like the music to go along with it. Who is the artist music by? I was digging it. You have to have some good music when you are building. Al, thanks for everything that you are putting into this, without you I don’t know how far I would be. All the comments that everyone and the little details mean a lot to me and other folks out there here in the U.S.A and across the big fish pond where yall are at.
    Thank you, S.D.G.

  22. Tony says:

    I’ve watched a lot of these videos never left a message but watching creativity of making those trees from scratch was pretty amazing

  23. Earl Jones says:

    You can’t go wrong with anything Lee Child writes. David BaldaccI would be a close second. Also, John Grisham writes great legal-themed stories.

  24. Tony Kitty Hawk, NC says:

    Grisham is a great choice, as is any Ken Follett. If you have any interest in flying, “Fate is the Hunter” by Ernest Gann is a real classic. Great job on the trees!

  25. Mike DeVore says:

    Very nice choice in music. Brought back memories. I’m going to give these trees a try!

  26. Roger Vipond says:

    Railway Book? How about “The Signalman” by Charles Dickens. Was also made into a (very good) short film. I wonder if you can get it on YouTube?

  27. Will in NM says:

    Great job Shelli on the trees video! Looks like an easy way to get some great looking foliage for your layout. I think I would have used more than one shade of green grass to dust the trees into slightly different shades of green for more variety. Other than that, I like the results.

    Oh, and the song “What Condition My Condition Was In” by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition from the 1970’s was a perfect accompaniment for the video.

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