Scenery for model trains

Dave’s been back in touch with a wonderful step by step video on scenery for model trains.

And best of all, you can see him running his trains at the start of the vid.

The end is quite entertaining too, as you’ll see.

I’ve added pics, but they don’t really get across hoe Dave does his does stuff, it’s wonderful to watch.

(Vidos is below the pics.)


I have just uploaded a new video showing step by step how to add scenics to a model Railway.

I tried to speak slower as a few have problems understanding my Yorkshire acent on the last one, but I am sure that they will understand and realise how easy it is to add scenics to a layout.

I have started out with a piece of plain board and built up a Diorama with a hillside, ballasting, adding static Grass, shrubbery, etc.

Its step by step, just sorry it is a bit of a long one but I tried to get everything in to it…



empty baseboard for model railway

From this..

finished model railway scene

… to this.

Scenery for model trains

add glue to newspaper

Crumple up newspaper in water to create the embankment.

Scenery for model trains

Add as many as you need for you scene.

add mudrock

Add Mudrock.

tap down mudrock leave to dry

Tap it down and leave to dry.

add base coat for grass

Add base coat for the static grass.

Scenery for model trains

Add the base coat on the front too.

ballast Scenery for model trains

Add ballast.

ballast Scenery for model trains

Even out the ballast with your finger.

base coat Scenery for model trains

Add some brown to the base coat.

add shades of green Scenery for model trains

Add green and some glue.

base cover static grass Scenery for model trains

Do the same all over the scene.

ground cover Scenery for model trains

Add different shades of ground cover.

cover up tracks for paint

Cover up the tracks.

add glue

And the screw, add glue…

add static grass

Get busy with the static grass – you can see it stands up nicely.

hairspray to keep static grass in place

Hairspray will keep it in place.

shake on static grass

Shake on more static grass.

add brambles Scenery for model trains

Add brush and brambles to the edges.

Scenery for model trains

Add trees and more brush cover.

add sleeper grime

Spray on the sleeper grime.

wipe rails clean

Wipe the rails clean.

add backdrop

Add backdrop.

add rust paint Scenery for model trains

Add rust pain to the rails.

add different shades of paint

Touch up with different shades.

Scenery for model trains

The finished scene… but the pics don’t do it justice, have a look at the vid, it’s really worth watching:

A huge big thanks to Dave for sharing his Scenery for model trains vid.

I’m always banging on about making a start and I think a diorama is an excellent way to dip your toe in the water.

A layout, is not different to a ‘large’ diarama. When it comes to wiring, just start simple.

Best of all, a diorama can be anythign you like, an engine shed, a railway hut by some track… anything:

Here’s one from the archives, and another one from Dave:


I have enjoyed your site for a long time, since I have retired had to find something to fill the spare time, I purchased one of your (Big Bundle Deal) and printed out one of the Engine sheds among many others.

I have created my own version of the Engine shed as shown in the pictures.

engine shed interior

With added and above doors are my creation of lamps, LED lights.

engine shed interior

Scratch built table and chairs with tools.

engine shed

Interior detail.

engine shed

Side walls have ventilation fan vents.

I have dreamed to set up a model railroad layout for a long time and when I started to make it a reality one thing came up after another, like kids, education, weddings and now I have time and room to finish the dream, but not much of a budget.

Best to all talented people like Hall of Fame Dave, talented hobbyists and their many beautiful layouts.


(You can download all of the engine sheds here, with this bundle deal.)

Now on to the very same Hall of Fame Dave, who has also sent this vid in:

“Hi Al,

just uploaded video showing building that Railway cottage from your site, turned out not bad, and it was easier than what I thought, just a case of getting a decent piece of card to put the print on, then cutting to size.


So there you go, if you don’t know where to start, pick a scene, build it, and see if you enjoy yourself. I suspect you’ll find it a lot of fun. Pottering over scenery for model trains is relaxing too, just go at your own pace and enjoy it.

Leave a comment below if you have any tips on making that start, or tinkering with scenery. I’d love to hear from you.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

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



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

18 Responses to Scenery for model trains

  1. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Dave. Thanks again really good subject and expert guide.

  2. Ellis James English says:

    You brought a tear to my eye with your farm scenery. Yes it looked so real to me I was looking for my (long gone) apple orchard full of trees. Hate to sound so melancholy, your post came at a time when I needed to reflect. I got that 100% from that one scene. Thanks. To many of us it’s not just “running the trains” It’s the microcosm that exists in a given model train set up. thanks again Red

  3. Bill in Virginia says:

    Great tutorials Dave! Always enjoy your work greatly !!

  4. Brian Olson says:

    Excellent video production and great ideas. Step by step, add some patience and the end result a winner.

    I got some great ideas here!

  5. Paul Anderson says:

    Great post, great ideas. But what is Mudrock?

  6. Thomas Hanaway says:

    I can’t figure out what “Mudrock” is.

  7. George Zaky says:

    Many thanks for the time & effort to mentor people like me who dont get the scenery quite right. Love your your videos.
    Nice job on that train shed. The interior details are what separates the amateurs from the pros.
    Which brings up a dilemma for me. I have been trying to get scenery items to put outside of buildings such as crates, junk, barrels, tools, etc in either O or S scale and find that even if I find it it is crazy expensive and most times I just cant find it. There are those who have & do 3D printing but I’m not going there. Just a rant-thanks for listening. I feel much better.

  8. Rob McCrain says:

    Ryszard, A lovely engine shed. Your details really make it enjoyable. Dave, Great how to. Excellent detail on how to add scenery to any model railroad/railway. I like how you broke it down into manageable steps, making it easy to follow for those new to the hobby or ready to branch out and dabble with scenery for the first time. Good work, sir.
    Rob McCrain – Farland Howe

  9. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Dave……. your videos and instructions are always great. Wow do I love your layout.

    Ryszard…….great job on the engine shed. Really good detail and wethering.

  10. Marklin ed. says:

    Thanks Dave your always give us food for thought. Your videos are great and very informative, I’ve learn so much from them.

  11. Dave Humphreys says:

    Thanks Dave. You do amazing things. I especially like the train ride in the first video.

  12. John Reynolds says:

    So much good stuff.
    Dave’s scenic tutorials are great!
    Very nice engine shed as well.
    I love the inspirations.

  13. david howarth says:

    Thank you all for your comments , as for the query from Paul and Thomas ..the word is Modrock as In (model rock) a lot know it as plaster bandage made up of plater Paris on a bandage …pfobably my accent again …but in the Uk it is known as Modrock…thanks again ..Dave

  14. John says:

    Thank you Dave for providing this tutorial, which I’m sure has simplified the process for many viewers.
    Well done! And as always, thank you Al for your dedication to this “family” of worldwide enthusiasts!
    John, Phila. PA

  15. Ben From Chicago says:

    Ryszard, what a great looking engine shed, the detail is wonderful!
    Dave, That video was very helpful and you’ve given me several ideas on how to improve my scenes by using the static grass. Thank you for posting! And, I love to watch your trains run, you have such an awesome layout!

  16. Ralph says:

    Great video Dave.
    Pleasing to have experienced hobbyists share their techniques like this.
    Also good to see a steady camera so we can concentrate on the action.

  17. Glenn Beebe says:

    Dave, great how-to video guide. Thanks

  18. william janmes palmer says:


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