Lake Erie N-scale Society
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How to Make Scenery

By Various Club Members

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"NTRAK" Modular Model Railroading

The following describes the steps needed to build a basic NTRAK module. Keep in mind that most model railroads are never completed because constant change and improvement are done as a "labor of love"!

Begin by building the FRAME, TABLE TOP and BACK BOARD to NTRAK specs.  Materials used can vary; 1" x 4" lumber, 1/2" plywood and "Homesote" are good examples.

CORK is used to reduce noise and to give the roadbed a prototypical shape; "N" scale TRACK (9 mm between the rails) is laid down and fastened.

Mountains created from CEILING TILE and/ or STYROFOAM can be added, then a "rough" shape can be established.

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1) Using a utility knife, wire brush or hacksaw blade, begin to SHAPE the HILLS and MOUNTAINS.

2) PRIME the BASEBOARD and BACKBOARD.  (For example, brown could be used where "dirt" is going to be and green where "grass" will be.)

3) To enhance the details, PAINT the sides of the RAILS to appear "rusty" and the RAIL TIES to appear "like wood".

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1) Various types of modeling "plasters" can found at local hobby shops.  APPLY some PLASTER on the baseboard and the mountains to give realistic texture to the scenery.

2) After the desired effect is achieved, COLOR can be applied to the ROCK FACES.  Use of several colors will provide the modeler with the ability to show realistic detail when building cliffs, rocks and grasses.

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1) To enhance the landscape, ADD "dirt" GROUND COVER.  Local hobby shops will carry a variety of ground cover products or they can be made out of common materials.

2) A finish coat of PAINT has been applied to the SKYBOARD.  Begin to think about adding clouds, city skylines or landscapes to provide "depth".

3) The painting on the rock (or cliff) faces has been completed.

4) BALLAST has been added to the TRACK.

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1) BEGIN adding the GRASS colored ground cover.

2) ADD the "dirt" colored GROUND COVER to the mountains.

3) BEGIN the construction and installation of BUSHES.

4) PREPARE buildings, trees, cars, trucks, bushes, people, etc. as details to enhance the finishing steps of the layout.

Spending more time detailing these items (and the layout in general), will result in a more satisfying and complete project

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1) FINISH the layout by ADDING all of the DETAILS that have been gathered previously.

2) Finally, DECORATE the SKYBOARD by adding the desired landscape, skyline and/or clouds.

3) Stand back and enjoy the completed project.

"Now, what if I just added…"

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