Without the buildings, structures and scenery to make it come alive and bring realism, your HO scale model railroad layout would be pretty boring.
Model Train Layouts Offer a Peek Into the Past…or the Present
Painstakingly planned model train layouts can accurately capture moments in time, evoking memories of bygone eras.
But model railroading hobbyists know that a train layout doesn’t have to represent a perfect academic portrayal of history – the beauty of the hobby is that you can model anything you want, from modern-day to way back when…
As we aim to showcase some of the most popular manufacturers of HO scale buildings and scenery, today we turn to an all-time favorite: Woodland Scenics.
Woodland Scenics, An HO Scale Favorite
Perhaps one of the most well-known manufacturers of buildings and scenery, the Missouri-based Woodland Scenics was founded by David Osment in 1975. When it comes to innovation and invention, this company reigns supreme, and their dynamic range of products have long been a first choice of model railroaders.
Their reach extends well beyond the HO scale model railroading realm: along with their PineCar and Scene-A-Rama divisions, Woodland Scenics manufactures model scenery, gravity-driven pinewood racecars and educational arts and crafts.
Fun fact: In 1975, a recession greatly impacted the architectural modeling industry. The enterprising David Osment, who owned an architectural firm called Osment Models, Inc., investigated ways he could branch out the business using his modeling skills. He discovered that the model railroad industry was lacking in realistic scenery products…and the rest is history.
An Extensive Line of HO Scale Buildings & Scenery Products
Today, Woodland Scenics has long been a prime leader, responsible for establishing industry standards. They continue to supply outstanding quality products – and their offerings go far beyond HO scale. O Scale, N Scale, and the list goes on…you’ve probably seen Woodland Scenics products in countless model railroad layouts, as well as architectural layouts, dioramas, and so much more. See their Woodland® Quality Brands Catalog packed with endless design ideas – you can access the PDF version free.
The extensive line of Woodland Scenics HO scale products includes:
- Easy layout systems
- Tidy-Track® Rail & Wheel Maintenance System
- Buildings & Structures (their Built-&-Ready structures make it quick and easy to bring realism to any train layout)
- Lifelike figures
- AutoScenes® vehicles
- Just Plug® Lighting System
- Scene kits
Our Top 3 Favorite Woodland Scenics HO Scale Products:
It’s virtually impossible to choose given that Woodland Scenics has such an awesome range of HO scale offerings.
#1) Coming in first is what we like to call a “conversation piece” for your HO scale model railroad layout: Miss Molly’s Diner. Really, what could be more retro fabulous that this ready-made structure just waiting to bring all the nostalgia from days-gone-by to your model railroad layout?
The fine details don’t stop at the classic 50s style exterior signage…have a peek inside and you’ll see diner booths, a kitchen (where all that old-fashioned home cookin’ comes alive), and plenty of other fabulous features that bring this blast from the past to life…
#2) Just Plug® Lighting System. Looking for a fast, simple way to light up your HO scale layout, literally? No advanced electrical know-how or special tools needed – just plug and voila…instant realism! Just Plug® is DCC-compatible, and you can control individual bulb brightness. Plus, the modular design makes for easy expansion whenever you’re ready. If HO scale isn’t your thing, Just Plug® works for any scale. Check out this video:
#3) Pretty much any landscape product…because if you want to bring realism to your HO scale model railroad layout, Woodland Scenics leads the pack. Affordably priced, their line includes favorites like ground cover, Peel ‘n’ Place® Tufts, The Field System™ (ideal to model grassy areas in any season), plus plenty of tools & adhesives to get the job done right.
We especially love the Woodland Scenics Static King applicator, because it works great when you’re modeling more expansive grassy areas. It ensures Static Grass and comes with various Sieve sizes to create a varied effect using 2-12 mm lengths of Static Grass. Plus, a convenient divider makes it possible to use multiple colors and sizes simultaneously – perfect for creating life-like fields and realistic tall grasses.
Showcase Your Talents on Your HO Scale Model Train Layout
As any model railroad enthusiast will tell you, building scenery is one of the most rewarding aspects of the hobby. You may not consider yourself to be “creative” or “artistic” – yet this is an opportunity to showcase talents you may not realize you have.
It doesn’t have to cost a lot – and getting started is more approachable than you think. With the wide range of available HO scale structures, scenery items and tools to get the job done, enjoying one of model railroading’s most favorite pastimes has never been easier.
We’ll close with an amusing quote from Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar and former President of Walt Disney Animation Studios:
“Driving the train doesn’t set its course. The real job is laying the track.”