5 of the Best Ways to Use Figurines in Your Model Railway

March 26, 2022

5 of the Best Ways to Use Figurines in Your Model Railway

You may think that once you construct a train track and decorate it with buildings and scenery, the job is done – not quite. If you’re wondering what to do next, consider adding model figurines. Adding even a few model train people can truly bring your railway to life. To ensure you don’t aimlessly add figures to your set, we have compiled a list of tips for you to do it effectively.



Buying and Painting the Model Train People

Before you add model figurines to your railway scene, you need to have them in your possession. You can buy themed packs or individual figures. Sometimes you can save money by purchasing figures that haven’t been painted. If you choose this route, you will need to paint them before placing them in your train scene. When it comes to Preiser figures (white plastic), we recommend painting the skin first, then clothes, and finally, hair. This way, whatever paint color ends up on top looks okay if it slightly overlaps on other parts. Be sure to use a fine-tip brush for those tiny details!

Attaching the Model Figurines

Attaching your figurines to surfaces is easier than you might think. While different adhesives stick better to some surfaces than others, you can simply use Gorilla Glue – this super glue will adhere well to most surfaces. If you want something less permanent, consider using poster putty or scenic adhesive. These will keep your model train people in place while allowing you to move them as you please. Scenic adhesive dries clear so it won’t leave ugly residue behind. Find what works for your scene.



Quality Over Quantity

While not having enough figurines can make your scene look like a ghost town, having too many can make it look like a beehive. Find the right number of model train figurines for your setup. This may vary depending on whether your model train goes through a rural farm or a bustling city. You don’t need a lot of people to bring your railway to life. It is more vital that they naturally match the theme.

Choose Wisely

Your train scene may be specific to a time period or modern, seasonal or generic, rural or urban, etc. Whichever style you’ve selected, make sure your model figurines fit the theme. If you have a farm scene, it makes more sense to choose farmer figurines over businessmen in suits. If you have a water feature in your railway scene, consider adding people swimming or placing fishermen on a dock. If you are just starting, plan with the end in mind. Plan on including model train people when you first decide which scenes you will create.

Location, Location, Location!

Now that you know which figurines you are going to incorporate, make sure you put them in the right places. It goes without saying that basketball players do not belong on an ice rink. Figurines should be placed in obvious locations. If you have a train station, for example, consider positioning figures there to appear like they are waiting for the train to pick them up. Model train figurines holding luggage are perfect for this.


Let the Fun Begin

Model train people prepare to board a model train

Hopefully, you have a better idea of all the fun ways you can incorporate model figurines into your train’s railway scene. From filling the streets of a city with people in a hurry to planting some fishermen by a lake, the opportunities are endless. Browse our collection of model train people to find some that fit your scenes or discover inspiration for expansion.

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