Model Train Scenery For S Scale/Gauge


Howdy all,

My question is, how can I improve my layout with scenery and hills etc? A picture of my layout is enclosed and yes, I recognise that there’s a lot of “stuff” on the layout… Things are moveable but I don’t know quite what needs to be where to make me happy.

I am old school running American Flyer on my first ever model train board which is a simple 4×8 table with one of those Walthers Green grass mats put underneath and then my track put down on top of that.

How can I add “depth” to my layout? (meaning height variation) How can I make things less “Flatsville, USA” I would really like some help.

Answers ( 2 )


    My last American Flyer layout was an L shaped layout about 9 x 10 feet. a point to point with return loops at each end. No pictures, film was expensive and digital wasn’t even a dream in the late 1960’s. The rise to the second level, 4 inches above the first, was about 12 feet of track. My scenery was cardboard and milk cartons. Look at extruded polystyrene insulation (EPS?? 1 inch or 2 inch thick) to supply hills, remembering that you need about 4 inches to clear the trains. A piece smaller than 4 x 8 would give you enough to put some elevation without constructing a mountain. Consider extending the tunnel into a long cliffside just inside the track to hide the track along the wall extending from the slight hill in the upper right of the photo. You can also put an elevated area that is rural on the left side of your spur track and keep the town that is on the right side. Both of these can put some ground elevation above track level. Replacing the grass mat with EPS gives you an opportunity to use paint and work with things like static grass to expand your modeling. Flyer track can be a challenge to come up with a working track plan and still provide space for scenery. In my case scenery was a 32nd scale slot car track that started on the upper level of the flyer layout and ended up with as many as 4 levels above that. The Flyer was a half scale railroad that brought people to the racetrack. Cardboard under the track and roadway made things much easier and scenery was an afterthought. Good Luck, Ray


    Your trackage is tight to the edge. Could you have a new base board that was a little wider. Scenery could start at the edge and then envelop the trackage. Back scene boards of masonite would help. With limited space you may wish to develop 2 theme areas. Elevating one or both would hide some trackage. Good luck and have fun.

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