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Corner Fillers

James Hickman

JAMES HICKMAN explains ways to fill up empty spaces on your layout.

Anyone who has built a model railway will have, at some point or another, had that small area of the layout that seems very difficult to fill. Usually the corners on a circular or oval layout, or a small patch of ground on an end-to-end.

It can be frustrating trying to find something that will suite the location and once you have, it usually won't fit as desired. So why not use the old phrase of ‘make it fit’?

A lot of the time when any modeller builds a layout, a kit is involved. Like myself, most of our readers will open the kit, follow the instructions and build it as it was designed. There is nothing wrong with this at all, in fact if you are requiring a footbridge I wouldn’t expect you to build it any other way. There are some kits however that are good to ‘kit-bash’ and even better when used to fill those annoying open spaces.

Low Relief

Many manufacturers produce low-relief buildings, whether it be in kit form or pre-built. Although these are good at placing at the edges of the layout, it does make the back-line look very straight and uniform, and when has anyone seen a British road built (after the Romans) that ran exactly straight? So to avoid the look, why not create your own low relief buildings?

Corner Fillers

The Walthers Storage Tank (WH933-3168) could be used on a variety of layouts over many periods and regions. With the use of a good Razor Saw, these kits could easily be cut in half. For added effect cut them into un-equal pieces to change the angle in which they sit. If you have a corner of a layout that needs filling, why not cut one half again, for the perfect fit into a corner, and will mean you can model multiple buildings from the same kit.

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Corner Fillers

This technique can be used with a variety of kits. The Fordhampton Gasometer (GM412) would be another perfect example of this. You could also use this technique to add any type of building to the cover of your layout, it just depends where you cut as to where it will fit.

Corner Fillers

Another example of a good kit to cut to fit would be the Dapol Church (DAC029). Perfect for a corner churchyard, you could even fit a wedding in there too. Just remember if you are cutting buildings with windows and doors to not cut through these as it will look out of place without some drastic disguising.

Simple Scenics

Sometimes you don’t need a lot to fill the space, sometimes a few trees and bushes will do. Just remember that if you are going to do this try and keep it consistent with the rest of the layout so it doesn’t look out of place, or as it has been added as an afterthought. Maybe include a couple walking through some woods down the side of the trainline to catch the viewers eye.

Corner Fillers

This image was taken from my Autumn Scenes article but would make a fantastic corner filler in any season. Just remember to change the figure for one without such warm clothes!

Small Kits and Scenes

Sometimes less is more. If you have a layout situated in the countryside, then a large industrial plant may not be something that would look right on your setting. For this, there are a range of small kits and make up a filling scene with these. A campsite would be a good start, as a variety of manufactures produce models for this kind of scene.

Corner Fillers

BU8120 N Scale Tents (Available in OO/HO under reference BU6026). Once these are placed, the details can be added.

Corner Fillers

Oxford Diecast produce a range of campers, which are available in both OO and N Scale.

Even the campers themselves are catered for.

Corner Fillers

PR10538 At The Campsite. That is just a few of the options available for campsite, explore our site for more items!

Corner Fillers

Other kits you could use would be the likes of the Busch ruined barn (BU1405)

Corner Fillers

And even add a forgotten ploughing engine from Oxford Diecast (OD76FBB001).

Corner Fillers

You could consider an out of town petrol station like this one from Piko (PK61827).

Corner Fillers

Or even a little water mill like this one from Faller (FA131362) with accompanying stream.

There are so many options for adding the little details to the corners of the layout, no longer leaving them to reside as forgotten pieces of board. If you have a little corner that you can’t fill maybe try one of the ideas above - and if you’ve already filled yours then let us know what you used, we would love to know!

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