Walls are everywhere from the humble dry stone wall to massive embankments and bridges. What are the best products and techniques for making walls for your layout? This article looks at Model Railway Walling and Fencing.
Card and Balsa wood walls – case study
The factory entrance below was made from a Wordsworth Models download and some 2mm card. The stone texture was made from my own photograph and edited in Photoshop. The type of card I use is 2mm and 1mm grayboard This is available cheaply from Ebay and Amazon sellers. You don’t need to use the more expensive whiteboard, although the grain is finer.
For thicker walls 4mm balsa wood is easy to work with and works well. The base for the entrance is 2mm grayboard With Wordsworth’s cobbles texture sheet on top. You can also make top stones for the wall, from another strip of card. The sign is made from strips of card glued to the back of the wall.
Next I take a look at the different materials that are used to make walls and fences for model railways and dioramas.
Farm walls and fences for model layouts
Farm Walls and fences are available in an amazing number of different materials. In order of expense, we have
- Home made from card and matchsticks
- Granite chips on a foam base( flexible walling)
- Printed embossed card
- Injection moulded plastic
- laser cut card
- Cast resin
- Etched brass
I will look at each in turn
Home made fencing for model railway layouts
The cheapest option for railed fencing is matchsticks, you can also use 2mm card strips. Cut some 2mm grayboard into 2mm strips with a sharp bladed knife, these are the longitudinal fence rails. You don’t need to be super accurate. Cut out another piece of card about matchstick length and then cut this into smaller 2mm strips for the uprights. Card is much easier to cut than matchsticks.
Lay the three longer strips out on a modelling board and dab some PVA on each rail at appropriate intervals. Place the uprights in place. PVA takes a while to set giving you time to adjust the positioning. Grayboard is almost the correct colour or it can be painted easily. gates can be made in the same way.
For the post and wire type of fencing, some use nylon thread for the wires, but I find florist’s wire easier to work with. Use 26 gauge wire, or as near as you can get to 0.5mm wire. Drill 0.5mm holes about 4mm apart in the posts. Drill holes for the posts in the baseboard and then fit the wires.
Model Railway Walling and Fencing – Flexible walling and hedging
Javis make a range of flexible foam walling . This is not very realistic but can be used in the background. The advantage is, It is quick and easy to work with. You can use N gauge walling on a 00 layout, for forced perspective, to make it look further away.
Arch make a range of flexible laser cut dry stone walling. This fits to any contour, but is relatively expensive at around £9 for seven pieces. However, The detail is lovely and it is probably the most realistic available.
Arch are available from Osborn’s Models
We also have a kit build service for Arch kits.
Printed card for model railway walls and buildings
Metcalfe do a range of non embossed card for scratch building. This is available in brick and stone as well as cobbles and pavements. It is good value and handy if you have other Metcalfe buildings on your layout.
Embosed plastic sheet is also available from plasticard. This is fairly easy to cut by scoring and snapping. Wills do a range of plastic sheets that are injection moulded. They are thick and not as easy to work with as Plasticard.
Finally ID Backscenes make a range of self adhesive papers that are nicely done. At more £1 for an A4 sheet they are not cheap, but look amazing.
laser cut card fencing and gates
Scale Model Scenery do a range of laser cut gates and fencing.
Cast resin Walls and fences
Javis of Stockport make the biggest range of resin walling and fencing. There are many types of wall as well as corner pieces. Some are flocked. One caveat is that some of the fences are single sided only, they are best used where there are no right angled corners.
They are quite heavy and good value at less than £2 each.
Etched brass fencing for model railways
At the top end of the market are etched brass fences and railings. These were made by Scalelink (langley) . They have a truly terrible web site. Recently the brass fret business has been split off and is now trading as Scalelink Fretcetera. They have a slightly less terrible web site!
Most of the fence sheets are £9. You get quite a big bang for your buck with up to seven railings per sheet. They have some fun figures as well as architectural items such as staircases.
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