HO Scale Model Train Scenery & Trees

HO Scale Model Train Scenery and Trees

The HO scale is widely used in the miniature train hobby, so it’s basically the standard by popularity. According to the National Model Railroad Association, the scale is usually rounded to 1:87.1 or one real foot is equal to 304.8 mm. It is essential to keep this scale in mind to make your model scenes cohesive and believable. That said, there’s more to model railroads than the trains themselves. The trees, scenery, accessories, and buildings all complement the actual train and track models to make the best diorama possible.

Vegetation and Adhesive

To create the best-looking grasslands and mountain ranges, avoid choosing one single material for your imitation trees and grass. You can use fake moss for most of your trees, while ground foam is a good way to get ample foliage coverage on hills and mountains. When youre satisfied with your layout, always remember to bond your scenery materials using a mixture of one part acrylic matte medium varnish and five parts water. Doing this as you go is an efficient way to gradually build up your scene without the risk of bumping something and ruining everything in the process. Adding about half a teaspoon of liquid detergent to your adhesive mixture allows it to penetrate deep into your HO scale model plants for better hardening quality.


A mixture of tree varieties makes your mountainside diorama more believable. You can buy HO scale model trees that are professionally finished out of the box so you dont have to do the work yourself. An assortment of deciduous and pine trees makes the foot of a mountain look lively, while a group of pine trees can reproduce the cold, crisp climate of the mountainside. A pack of autumn red, yellow, and orange trees can also impart that quiet, peaceful feel of late autumn.

HO Scale Buildings

Buildings are just as important as the trees, trains, and shrubbery in an HO scale diorama. While you can buy buildings and use them outright just like trees, the sheer customization of DIY buildings can help you achieve the realism you want. For instance, a particular warehouse design that would be perfect for your train station diorama can only be achieved by making it yourself, so its best to be well-stocked with scale timber, paints, and weathering materials.