Here are the top five accessories you must add to any model railroad layout to give it realism and bring it to life.
By adding landscaping to a flat model railroad layout you automatically start to add depth and dimension.
Lay your track where you want it to go and then think about different landscaping features you can add.
– Streams and rivers
– Lakes and ponds
A very basic example
Instead of having a flat track go around in an oval or a circle, by simply adding a mountain in the middle you have already given realism to your layout. Watching your train disappear behind the mountain and appear again on the other side is more real than watching it travel in a continuous loop.
2. A Train Station
All trains in the real world start and end at train stations The large stations have huge marshalling yards to shunt the cars around and make up the trains for their runs. They are also the place where you can have your trains sitting when they are not running.
There are also small stations that may be located in remote places, maybe where there is a mine situated or forestry operations are being carried out.
By including at least one train station in your model railroad layout you are adding to the realism of what really happens in the real world.
Apart from the train station you must also have buildings in your model railroad as these help to enhance the overall illusion of realism.
What buildings would there be around the train station for a start? If the train station in a city you could add in skyscrapers. If the train station is in a remote place, what about adding in a log cabin close by? If the train station is in an industrial area, what industries are around the train station?
4. People or Animals
Wherever there are trains there are people or animals, therefore adding them into your scene helps it to come alive with more realism.
Make sure also that when you add in either people or animals they are interacting with the scene instead of placed randomly around.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
– a person waiting at the station for the train
– a dog chasing the train
– a man and woman out walking
– a cowboy walking towards a horse that is tied to a rail
5. Lighting, Sounds and Signs
What model railroad would be finished without working stop lights, bells ringing and stop signs at train intersections?
There are also street signs and maybe billboards that you could add into your model railroad to help create more realism.