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Making Your Own Model Train Hills

Aug 21, 2008
You have built your model train table for your big display. You have sketched in your entire layout and know exactly where your track will be going. You have even decided to add in a couple water features and maybe even a bridge. There still seems like something missing though. You think and think and finally you figure out what it is that it is missing. It seems extremely flat. So, what is it that you can do to give it so much more depth? You can add hills and mountains to your train display! It may seem like a project that will take forever, but it is actually very simple and quick.

The first thing you must do is to decide the shape you will want your hill to be. Once you know this you can roughly sketch the base of the mountain out on a piece of cardboard. After you have this sketch you need to cut it out and set it aside. One thing to note is that you should make sure that the finished hill will fit in the space you intend it for.

Your next step will be to make newspaper balls by scrunching up newspaper and then glue each ball onto the footprint of the hill that you had set to the side. You need to keep adding these balls to the base until you get it as high as you need it. Make sure that you do not make it an even height. Mountains are never even unless they happen to be man-made. Use many different heights so it looks as realistic as possible.

It is also a good idea to use ball of different sizes in order to help simulate real terrain. Next tear up several different sheets of newspaper up into strips and set them aside. You will then need to mix up a solution that will be used as a glue base. This needs to be made up of fifty percent water and fifty percent contact cement. Dip the strips that you tore up one or two at a time into the glue solution. You will then need to take this and lay it across it the paper balls and softly tap it into place. Keep up this process until the entire hill is covered. Start with the base of the hill and work your way up.

After you have it completely covered then you should let it dry. Once dry you can then add another layer if you wish in order to make the hill much more stable. Again, allow it to dry. After it dries you then customize it as you need to. You can now add all the details that you wish. Begin by painting your model.

Mix up your colors for the paint job while keeping in mind the colors of actual dirt and hills. It should be a mix of reds, browns, black, and greens. Do not blend these totally. You will want it to be streaked and a mash of colors. After you get the hill painted you can then apply your grass and any false dirt that you may want to add. You can also glue pebbles in place to simulate boulders and rocks.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for concept car tricks and tips, model train display tables, and model truck dioramas.
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