Railways run through and over the land and laying the landscape first helps create the right overall sense of scale.
Another technique to making your railway seem part of the environment and have the right sense of scale is to upsize the back scene.
Usually, as I explained here, back scenes are around 9 inches high for N gauge and 12″ for OO gauge.
But they don’t have to be these dimensions and going BIG will completely change the visual dynamic of a model railway.
One layout that does this to maximum effect is ‘Montherme’ in N gauge by the Club Maquettisme Sedanais, seen above. Click on the image for a larger version.
The yawning back scene swallows the model below and makes the whole layout feel much larger than it is.
If you have space, a maxed out back-scene is well worth considering.
You’ll need to create your own but for big skies that really just a lot of pale blue paint.
What are you waiting for?