How to Use Mirrors With Model Railroad Scenery

Written by kimberly turtenwald
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How to Use Mirrors With Model Railroad Scenery
You can use mirrors to make your model train layout seem more expansive. (model railway image by Shirley Hirst from

Model railroading is a popular past time for both old and young alike. Creating a layout takes time, patience, and money. You may create an area of your layout and decide that it is not what you want and start all over again. However, with time and some trial and error, you can create a train layout that resembles the real railroad. Using mirrors can be an effective way to make your layout look larger or expand the background scenery for a fraction of the cost of an actual expansion.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Mirror
  • Model railroad track
  • Background scenery, such as trees, rocks, buildings

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  1. 1

    Select the portion of your layout that you wish to expand. You may wish to make the track look like it continues on into the distance, or you may want to create the effect of a denser forest.

  2. 2

    Position the mirror carefully to create the desired effect. You may need to experiment with the angle. Viewers of the layout should not be able to see themselves in the mirror nor should the mirror be placed at an angle that will distort the background, making it look unrealistic.

  3. 3

    Hide the edges of the mirror. This can be done by placing trees, rocks, or other scenery over the edges of the mirror. Bridges and other structures can also effectively hide the edges of the mirror.

Tips and warnings

  • Place buildings flat against the mirror to make the building look larger.
  • Paint the backs of people, cars, and other items so the reflection looks like a different item.
  • Make sure the mirror is at a 90-degree angle to any track or roads you wish to extend or they will appear at an unrealistic angle.
  • Use mirrors with the reflective coating on the front of the mirror rather than the back in order to avoid unwanted spaces.

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