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countryside/town table layout help.

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Hi. Im thinking of making a 1.5m by 0.8m table layout in my house for my brother as a present and am having some trouble, cause this is my first time and I have no experience. I got a few questions to ask you guys. Thanks in advance!


1. I have the tracks, trains, buildings etc but I want to make a layout part countryside part town. So, I want to make my train tracks look rusty and dirty, however, how do I do that? Paint?


2. I want to make a base to put all the tracks and buildings on top, with fake grass and trees etc. But what material should I use to nake the base?


3. I want the countryside scene to have a water body like a lake but I don't know how to make the fake water thingy.


4.I also want to make a farmland but I don't know how. Should I hot glue gun the fake grass and plants?


5.in the town part of the layout, I will put a few modern buildings but I don't know how to make roads....I thought of buying road plates but it looks very unnatural.


6. Lastly, I was thinking about making the edges of the base of the diorama lije a cliff or a hill but im not sure how :(



Any tips and advice will be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

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Martijn Meerts

1. Painting is usually the best way, just make sure to pick the correct paint. A lof of manufacturers have a rust paint, but more often than not there's too much red in it to look realistic on tracks. You can have a look at manufacturers that do paints specifically for model railroading and see what they offer, or try and mix a good color yourself (for example by adding some dark brown to standard rust paint)


2. A lot of people use foam as their base, which in your case might be the best option as well, makes it easy to carve out the lake you want to add. I've never worked with it myself, but I'm sure others can give you some good tips there.


3. There are many techniques for this, one of the best I've seen is by using a rough wallpaper as a base, paint it with various dark blue/dark green tones, and add several layers of gloss varnish. Other options are for example the water kits from Woodland Scenics.


4. Depends on what type of farmland really, and how detailed you want it. Rice paddies for example are a ton of work to get them to look right, but like grassland with grazing cattle on it is easy enough. Just add wood glue to the surface you want to add grass to, and then add the grass. You could use something like the Noch Grassmaster to make it look very realistic, or a cheaper version which works almost as good :)


5. Several companies make road paint, which gives you a slight asphalt texture and decent color. Markings you'd either have to add using decal sheets, or paint them on yourself.


6. You could use blocks of foam for that as well.

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