2017-07.3: Start Small, THINK BIG: Scenery (pt 7)

22 Jul 2017

Average: 4.9 (21 votes)
35:43 - July 2017 Act III - Start Small, THINK BIG: Scenery-1 (2017)

Miles Hale is building a project layout in the TrainMasters TV studio using the principles of The "One Module" Approach, also known as TOMA.  On this segment, Miles creates realistic landforms on the corner section with expert help from his wife Fran.  Learn about making realistic river rapids using natural and manmade materials, making your own foam filler material, and a scenery-planning technique they call “Papyrus Terraforma”.

Note:  The YouTube Model Builders video referenced in this segment can be found at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR2gEe7jKCE&t=1564s

Also see:
- Episode 1: Intro - watch now!
- Episode 2: Design - watch now!
- Episode 3: Benchwork - watch now!
- Episode 4: Trackwork - watch now!
- Episode 5: Wiring - watch now!
- Episode 6: Structures - watch now!
- Episode 7: Scenery, pt 1 (this episode)
- Episode 8: Scenery, pt 2 - watch now!
- Episode 9: Adding details - watch now!
- Episode10: Operation - watch now!
- Bonus: Making grass tufts - watch now!

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Act IV: Assembling Flat Resin Kits, part 1 ...

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Georonn's picture

Fran, Miles, really nice job presenting the how-to on imagining the scenery layout.  I am very impressed with the Woodland Scenics water effects.  Great episode.

George Ronn


Another great episode. Can't wait to see the layout finished.

coyoteww's picture

Great episode. I have always loved watching Miles ( and Fran ) do scenery. Their explaination as they move along is always informative, and enjoyable. I have probably seen the majority of Miles videos, and they never grow old, and I always find something interesting in each one, and each time I watch them. Look forward to the next installment.


An enjoyable episode.  The YouTube Model Builders video in which Fran and Miles built the bridge is 10/18/2016.

Great episode, with a lot of inoovative ideas on scenery.

Could you please clarify what Gatorboard is? I believe it has a wood-fiber exterior, not styrene as Miles noted.

Jack Cutler

The official description of gatorboard is:

Gatorfoam® foam board is an extruded polystyrene foam board bonded between two layers of Luxcell wood-fiber veneer. It's a heavy duty yet versatile foam board and is great for everything.  

  • The original, heavy-duty graphic arts foam board
  • Excellent reputation for great performance
  • New, bright white facer is the brightest foam board of its kind and great for digital and screenprinting

So Miles isn't quite right in his description of straight gatorboard. It's faced by coated wood veneer, not styrene. You can also get styrene-faced foam board, however, but it's not called gatorboard, it's called "gatorplast" so it's a member of the gatorboard family: 


 Miles and Fran, thanks for an informative and enjoyable video.

I was wondering if water could be added while breaking up the celulose insulation material in the blender. I would think it would help control the dust and assist in breaking up the large clumps.

Looking forward to the next installation of this series!

Tim Moran

Are the Tea Leaves fresh or boiled in water then dried and ground?

Wathcing Fran and Miles work together is amazing.  Hopefully we will see a lot more of Fran in the future. 

Thanks for an informative video.