Building scenery on a layout is always one of the most fun things to do; houses, trees and bushes, roads, vehicles etc. There are magnificent materials and kits available, but they are often expensive and too detailed for kids. Model railroading can also be cheap, when using some creativity. We’d like to give you some tips.


Greenery and roads

It is possible to create roads using sand (from the garden) and a sieve. Sand can be found in many colors. Collecting different types of sand can be a fun holiday activity.

Grass can be made with cheap bags of artificial grass. One bag can make several modules green. Combining two or more different colors makes it look more natural. The picture shows one of the MSCD modules for the youth layout.

The sand and the grass can be glued with normal carpenter’s glue thinned with water. It is a cheap and environmentally friendly method. On the internet are several good video’s on how to do this.


Trees and bushes

Representations of trees and bushes don’t have to be expensive. Simple hedges can be made using scouring pads. Plants can be made using twigs or parts of artificial plants. Trees can be homemade using wire used by florists.



The easiest way making trees for a youth layout is using large packages of cheap trees, often pine. The bend easily so they can’t break or hurt kids. Planting them is no more than drilling a small hole and some glue.



Creating buildings out of cardboard or wood is fun but requires some skills. Easier to build are preprinted models. Some are free. Märklin offers a series of buildings (the picture shows the firehouse).

The BASIC sets from Faller are actually not more than a floor and a roof made from molded plastic holding walls from paper. Some walls are printed, some can be made with colored pencils. With some drawing skills, they can also be drawn on a computer and printed at home.


There are also paper models available in H0 scale. Schreiber Bogen from Germany have a series called ‘Altstadt’ and several other buildings in the right scale. Building for a more British setting can be found in the series by Metcalfe.

Houses built with Lego® are also suitable for the home layout.


The last possibility is we would like to mention here is printing paper or cardboard models on a home printer. Jowi sells buildings, relief buildings and backgrounds on CD/DVD that be printed. The internet is also a good source for similar buildings, like ScaleScenes and Smart Models.



All 1:87 scale models can be used for C-TRAK, e.g. models by Herpa, Rietze, Brekina en Wiking. More robust models made from metal are available from Siku. Their 1:87 models are mainly for agriculture, forestry and construction; most care models are actually too big (1:50). Suitable for the British market are 1:76 diecast models from Oxford Models.