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Ideas For Scenery and Structures

Morgan would like some ideas for his HO shelf layout from anyone who has any suggestions:

“My shelf layout is 12″/yes, one foot deep. To be 24′ long, currently finished only one 8′ board/left end. On that board I have barely enough track, and very little room for buildings, etc. Will probably need false fronts on the wall to “simulate” business for the railroad. 3″ at the most in depth. But can be 3′ wide, meaning more than one building. With this narrow a layout, I do not anticipate backdrop. Maybe just drawing paper painted pale blue on the wall. This is not to be a showplace. Mostly just for me. So I’m looking for ideas. Basic area is West TX, so it’s pretty barren. I have tons of cars, so the industries can be most anything. ?? An ice platform for refrigerator cars. ?? LOL But oil and stock pens are good. Ideas and suggestions, please.”


3 Responses to Ideas For Scenery and Structures


    Use masonite as a backboard and paint it sky blue to your liking. You can purchase backdrop scenes, or install flat buildings with clouds. If you are good at painting clouds – good. You can go on amazon and purchase cloud decals, one brand is very life like, and moveable around to your liking. For masonite seams, smear in Liquid Nails Foam for Projects from Home Depot. It stays plyable and dries fast, then paint. Seams will be invisable .

  • Johnsays:

    What industries you use are of course dependent on your era. A 1950 steam/diesel mix layout could have an ice platform and stock pens. Not so much on a modern era layout (especially no ice platform as all reefers have been mechanical for some time). Also, you said you have tons of cars. If you have lots of tank cars, you would want oil storage. If stock cars, then cattle pens (maybe as part of a packing plant). If reefers with ice hatches, either an ice platform or packing plant or both. If coal hoppers either a coal mine or a coal yard(common before mid 50s, although maybe less so in TX than in midwest, where most of us had coal furnaces until converted to natural gas in the early 50s). Research would be useful. See what industries the area you are modeling had in the era you are modeling. If period, maybe there are groups on Facebook that post old pictures of particular towns, or RRs.

  • William Gittinssays:

    Earlier comments are great. I would add that since you are limited in depth there are ways to get the results suggested by the comments. Consider using frontal scenery that is of one or two story size. In the background (against the backdrop) use some low relief buildings that provide large industry, I am assuming that your railroad needs one or two real manufacturing plants but they do not really fit a 12 inch setback.However the industries only need to exist for providing rail stops for you rolling stock fleet. Even in rural areas there were (and still are) large building for manufacturing.Good Luck

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