There are many ways to enhance the appearance of your model railroad setup. Aside from including high quality scenery and accessories around your tracks and train cars, steps can be taken to escalate the illusion even further by directly meddling with these items or adding other items.
One of the most popular features of a model railroad is the tunnel. Instead of using a general opening for your train to pass through, actual model tunnels can be purchased at many train set stores. You will want to find a tunnel portal that is scenic or adheres very closely to real life tunnels. You can find items that resemble tunnels within rock formations with jagged designs or ones that pay very close attention to the detail of bricks. You don t have to stop with simple purchasing the tunnel and placing it on your set. You can touch up the tunnel, perhaps with an airbrush to emphasize a grayish color to more accurately reflect the tunnel s real life counterpart. Another creative method is to blacken the inside of the tunnel.
Color is very useful in improving the realism of your model railroad setup. Most accessories do have an artificial nuance to them, even the best quality accessories, so there is always room for improvement. Like with the model tunnel, you can use an airbrush, an old fashioned paintbrush, or even Sharpie markers to touch up your various accessories. Darkening street signs or rail crossings will surprisingly make them look less artificial and more realistic. You can also use this tactic to cover up areas of your tracks, accessories, or passenger cars that appear blatantly manufactured, such as railroad ties or places where you ve snapped your accessory from its plastic packaging.
Figures of people and vehicles can easily diffract from the illusion of your setup if they are not tended to. You can paint the clothes of your setup s inhabitants and detail the various cars or trucks with accessories like hubcaps and taillights. Actually painting the taillights can be very effective. An excellent idea is to take your people figures and fix them inside the vehicles so that it doesn t appear as if cars drive themselves in your universe.
Perhaps the best way to breathe life into your model railroad is to implement accessories that can actually operate. If this seems a bit excessive, then you are obviously a novice. There are products such as street lights or crossing signals that can operate with flashing lights. If these are correctly implemented into your setup, turn out all the lights in the room and behold your model railroad from a few feet back. The illusion will be uncanny and you will find yourself transported to a place where you feel as if it is an actual railroad you are watching with its flashing railway crossings and lifelike inhabitants.