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What Size Should Mountains and Hills Be?

Graham from Australia models N scale and sent in this question for those in the know:

“Please help as I am in process of designing a mountain to scale which is a highlight of my area the trains run in both directions. One goes around the other goes through the mountain. I am having trouble getting my layout to be as the real thing with the gradients. I operate in N scale so any ideas of the best way to address the above would be appreciative. “

4 Responses to What Size Should Mountains and Hills Be?

  • Bobsays:

    Building an entire mountain in any scale is difficult because of their size. It might be 20-30 miles around a mountain, so even in N scale it’d be massive!. And a mountain that sticks 2-3000 feet or more above the valley is going to be impossibly tall on a trainboard. It’s always best to build a small portion of a mountain unless you have a full basement or garage in which to build. Hope this helps. Good luck.

  • Kevin Chingsays:

    I think you need to use modelers license here. Considering some mountains are thousands of feet high I do not model hills and mountains over 6 to 8 inches and they look great, but if you want to go higher thats your choice so what ever looks good to you then go fore it as long as you have the room.

  • Bruce Webbsays:

    If you model mountains prototypicaly you will probably pull your hair out (thank god i’m already bald) just remember what one gentleman told me to figure that your engine is around 20 feet high (just a close number and easy to remember) then build your mountains accordingly DO NOT PUT ALL THE CANYONS. ROCK AND SO FORTH in the mountain (remember the hair) just make them the way you want, the illusion will take care of the rest. Jesus I hope this makes sense. and happy modeling.

  • Tim Morloksays:

    The size of the mountain or hills depends upon area/scenes you want model. In the United States, The Rockies or West Coast ranges are very different from the Appalachian (hills) Mountains. Hills will very by location also, whether along a river, foot hills of your mountain or on a rolling plain. I would suggest researching and printing out some pictures of the areas you want to model. This will give you some perspective as to relative size between real and your N scale. For mountains, I agree with the other posts, use only part of one and blend it into the backdrop for a larger look. Most mountains do not rise out of a flat plain unless they look like the ones around Phoenix, Arizona. I hope this helps.

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