HO model railroad scenery

Dan has been back in touch with some tips and how he makes his HO model railroad scenery looks so good:

“It is the tiniest of details that often make the scene.

The culverts that carry the water away from the track is very important. My layout depicts the “dry” season.

The most obvious reason was because I did not know how to do the water when I began.

I have 7 other layouts that I have built or done the scenery. I will show them at a later date. (If you don’t get tired of me posting.)

model railroad detail culvert

I often used PVC conduit cut in half for the culvert. (My layout uses darker ballast as the Santa Fe did.) The “rocks” around this and most of the other waterways is plan old kitty liter.

HO model railroad scenery

I squashed the PVC to flatten the look on this one.

HO model railroad scenery

Continuation of previous photo

HO model railroad scenery

A better view of the “rocks”

model train tunnel entrance

The dry water way.

model railroad dry ditch

Here I used a large plastic soda straw. It fit nicely between the main line tracks and carries the water away from the tunnel drainage.

model railroad dry road

This one took some time to work out. The roadbed an abandoned rail line that is part of an overall scene. I did the track work as normal then took up the track just like the prototype does.

model railroad farm

This is the scene. The Santa Fe can be scene just to the left. They needed the space for a track that the older too up. They added the track to the butcher’s place and to the grain elevator seen before.

The trees and shrubs were painted with cheap craft paints using pieces of sponges.

HO model railroad scenery

A larger view of the scene. The back drop is the reversed side of a vinyl floor cover used by contractors on floors. The back side has a nap to it to make it smooth and flat for a finish of latex paint. Then painted with my choice of blue at the top and white low on the bottom and meeting in the middle. In photos before and to come the mix is more prominent. I coved the corners.

The distant hills/mountains were brushed on.

model railroad factory

Photo 10 this is one of the two corners.

Santa Fe Dan”

A huge big thanks to Dan for sharing his HO model railroad scenery tips.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not tired of Dan’s posts at all, in fact, please do keep ’em coming Dan.

If you’d like to see Dan’s last post, it’s here: Santa Fe train layout.

That’s all for today folks.

Just email me if you’ve got something you’d like to share on the blog.

And if today is the day you get going on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

6 Responses to HO model railroad scenery

  1. John Birch says:

    I love the attention to detail and the feeling of space. Very realistic.

  2. Denny mckernan says:

    just sitting here looking at the pictures with a smile on my face at the quality and real life like pictures. What a fantastic way to start the day. Keep the pics coming

  3. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Dan….. your scenery is great and you are right on with your attention to details….. they make the scene.

  4. Jim Robinson says:

    Really nice work with some unique techniques applied.

  5. george zaky says:

    Santa Fe Dan
    Great stuff!
    If you wanted to do a wet season then I suggest using a high gloss varnish sparsely poured in a ditch-I use Epithanes a marine high gloss varnish. Experiment with it to get the amount that makes you happy because less is more. I use the varnish behind a waterfall, in a swamp, ditch & occasional puddle and it looks wet where applied due to the shiny finish.
    Your work is very much appreciated and we hope to see more.
    Big Al
    Thanks & Cheers

  6. SantaFeJim says:

    Very nice job n the scenery. Every layout looks just a bit better with Santa Fe engines and rolling stock in plain sight, 🤗

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *