Modeling Cities and Towns

Jeff Wilson
Item #12823

Do you want to create realistic cities, detailed landscapes and era-appropriate signs and more? Modeling Cities and Towns is your guide for hands-on modeling information and step-by-step techniques to capture realistic modeled cities and all the details in between.
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Filled with tons of information and inspiration that you can use today, Modeling Cities and Towns is your guide to making your layout more realistic! 

No matter your layout size, you'll find inside a wide variety of topics including modifying and kitbashing structures; creating realistic, era-appropriate signs; combining multiple scenic elements in tight spaces; building track in streets; and realistically modeling streets and sidewalks. Prototype information include operations; large city passenger stations; and many examples of how real railroads wound through tight urban industrial areas. Modeling Cities and Towns is perfect for any modeler planning, building or improving a layout!


Author: Jeff Wilson
Size: 8.25 x 10.75
Pages: 96
Author Bio
Jeff Wilson has written more than 30 books on railroads and model railroading. He enjoys many facets of the hobby, especially building structures and detailing locomotives, as well as photographing both real and model railroads.
Table of Contents


Chapter 1 - City and town design and evolution

Chapter 2 - City streets and street trackage

Chapter 3 - Urban structures and scenery

Chapter 4 - Along the urban right-of-way

Chapter 5 - Signs and details

Chapter 6 - Passenger terminals and stations

Chapter 7 - Streetcars and electric railways


Through the years I’ve designed and built five different model train layouts. All came out fine, and I was pleased with them; however, Modeling Cities & Towns by Jeff Wilson was the book I never knew I needed to read cover to cover first. 

This 96-page publication is chocked full of creative ideas on modeling cities and towns, streets, scenery, right-of-ways, signs and trackside details, passenger terminals and stations, streetcars, electric railways and more.

Author Wilson covers many aspects of envisioning a model train layout (i.e. the right time period for your layout, the correct structures and scenery, the kind of operation you want, etc.) that many modelers don’t even think of before starting. “You can have well-built, beautifully detailed, realistic buildings and other models, but a scene will fall apart…if the arrangement is not done in a realistic manner,” he advises. Then the author precedes to explain how you go about making a layout as realistic as possible, describing numerous well-conceived points to enhance the final outcome.

Throughout the book, a broad range of modeling ideas are presented and explained in specific detail. Readers will walk away with valuable ideas and inspiration to build a layout or diorama that reflects the correct time period, the appropriate materials to enhance the layout's realism, and the specific steps to take when construction begins. Wilson asks readers to consider what they believe are the most important aspects of modeling, so they can focus on what they like to do best, as well.

The seven detailed chapters, all supplemented with excellent, period black and white photos, help the reader understand various railroad time periods, prototype building and trackage techniques and railway standards. As an aid, photos in the book correspond with numbers in bold throughout the text to pinpoint specific examples of these railroad and prototype standards and procedures. 

The detailed, thoughtful text and relevant illustrations make an excellent starting point for someone just beginning a layout, but the veteran modeler will also appreciate the book for its all-encompassing facts, ideas and photography.

— Don Heimburger/Heimburger House Publishing Company

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