Model train layouts are not a hobby that I would recommend for everyone. There can be a lot of work involved in the design and building of the layout and it is only recommeded for those people who are dedicated and committed to model trains. A simple layout can be easy and cheap to create, however the fun really starts if you take the time to create every small detail in a large layout, using your imagination to add things such as a woodland, city or desert in the yard of your house.
Planning is one of the most important things when creating a new layout, and is the first thing that you should do. This is a vital step when starting off as all actions that come later can only be started when the previous step has been completed.
You will need to have a vision as when planning a model train layout this is a fundamental part of the process. Have a look a the site where you want the layout to go. When you look at the site, what do you imagine there? Could it be a forrest where trees are felled to provide wood for building? Do you see a city where trains are busy ferrying passengers all around town? Is there a fairground or circus where you can hear the squeals of joy from all of the children? How about a western scene with cowboys or even a train robbery in progress? There are many situations that you could put in your model train layout, you have to decide which one you would like.
Once you have decided on the scene the next thing that will need your attention is the terrain. Model train layouts set indoors are quite often even, hoever having an outdoor garden layout may require you to work on the terrain. Depending on your terrain you could leave some small hills and transform them into mountains, or if you would like a real challenge, how about a tunnel. Even if it entails extra work the outcome will more than compensate for that. Some of the area will have to be smoothed over so that you can lay your tracks, remember, not everything can be tunnels or mountains.
When planning your outside layout, remember that you will have to do gardening and there are also plants in the garden. It can be better and easier to find a way to work with what is already there. You may want to try planting smaller bushes and plants that my fit in better with the scale of your model train layout. The opposite is additionally true. Your impression of scale may be broken if you have a 20 foot tall rose right alongside your model train, it will not look very realistic.
One other factor to take into account with the planning or your model train layout is the budget. It cannot be said that model train layouts are very cheap. If you are after a really good layout, then you will have to be prepared to spend a bit more money. Another thing that you may want to take into account with your model train layout is that there will be a bit of work involved.
Maybe our budget is restrictive and your are time poor, if this is the case think of an interior layout, this may be a better option for you. If you have a passion for this hobby and it may be that adding the extra time and money will be worth it, especially when your family and friends see the results of your work.