Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 95

Adding to Your Model Railway


Hello Everyone




Last week, l was telling you about how my nephews Bill and Bob were putting together a model railway.


Well, this week their mum has been helping too, and this is what she did…


She made some pine trees and hedges with some dark green and brown rainbow yarn.


She took the plastic cover that had been on the packaging of a mascara tube and made it into a poly tunnel for a back garden or a farmer’s field. She put some brown felt underneath on which she had embroidered a row of very large French knots in thick green yarn. These looked like foliage.


Then she took some more brown felt and embroidered a shrubbery. A series of loose French knots made in dark green yarn created the plants and French knots of different colours made with two strands of embroidery thread created the flowers on the top.


Other ideas…


Garden ponds can be made out of brown foil from a sweet wrapper covered in cling film.


Tiny pictures from magazines can be used to make posters to put on billboards in the street or railways stations. Parts of pictures can make coloured curtains for houses. lf you can find a picture of a dress, it might have a tiny flower pattern on it.


Scouring pads and sponges can be used to make textured surfaces or chopped up into small pieces and stuck together to make hedgerows or hay bales. Remember that PVA glue dries to be clear but you can mix paint in with it to change the colour of things.


Cocktail sticks can make flag poles.


Net from vegetable or nut bags can make football nets or fruit cages on farms or in gardens.


Matchsticks and fuse wire can make farm fencing.


Plastic jar lids painted grey can make round-a-bouts at road junctions; you can put grass on the top. You could put a flower bed in the centre of the grass.


Tiny pieces of modelling clay can be used to make all sorts of items like suitcases to put on a station platform or boxes and crates in a goods yard or piles of coal.


lf you ever want to paint any of these tiny items with paint, varnish or clear nail polish to harden them, push them onto the end of a toothpick or cocktail stick first so that you can hold them. Then put the toothpick in some sort of old, small cup or jar to let the varnish dry in mid air.


Look out for bits of moulded plastic packaging that might look like greenhouses or bus shelters or benches or traffic cones or fences.


Use your imagination.


Remember that these kinds of toys are only suitable for older children.



Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam




Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bill: Knock, knock!


Bob: Who’s there?


Bill: Garden.


Bob: Garden who?


Bill: Just garden the treasure!



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

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Picture Gallery



The engine that Thomas was based on


image009 Some model railways are large enough to ride on and some are outside in a garden

(9 inch gauge Bolney Court)


image010 A garden railway


image012 Small station

German tinplate 1920 – 40


image014 Large station made from metal as well 1920 – 30


image016 1930s toy metal signs


image018 A 1930s bus


image020 Water can be made using plastic or resin or paint


image022 Plants can be bought in packets

If you want to make garden surfaces out of brown or green felt, position the houses first so that you know the exact shapes you want – test them out with paper first


image024 Putting trees between tracks makes the model look more interesting but you have to check they won’t get in the way of the trains


image026 Tunnels can be bought ready-made and covered with papier-mâché landscaping


image028 Adding accessories like telephone boxes, road signs and people all add to the interest


image030 Suitcases and boxes can be made out of modelling clay and painted and varnished









There was a sale at the Rocky Bay Department Store recently and Bill and Bob went down with some of their pocket money to see what they could find in the toy department.

With every purchase over £5 each customer received a raffle ticket.

The raffle was drawn last Saturday and Bill actually won a prize!

He couldn’t believe his luck though when he realized that the only prize left to choose on the table was a doll. image033




He took it and gave it to his cousin Emily.

His mum thought it was kind of him to give his prize away and tried to make it up to him by making lots of things for his railway set.

That made both Bill and Bob very happy.












Quick Quiz 


Can you un-jumble these names of needle trees?


  1. deacr
  2. cpusre
  3. inpe
  4. arlhc
  5. onofrie
  6. rfi







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lt’s the Weekend! 


Make pine trees and hedges by taking some dark green and brown rainbow yarn threaded into a yarn needle and sew it into itself over and over. Start at the bottom of the tree and work up. If the trees are put on toothpaste tops, they can be put onto the pavement to look as if they are put in enormous city planters.






The flowerbed in the photograph below is French knots embroidered onto a brown felt base. The foliage is the dark green yarn that is used for the trees and different coloured embroidery silks create the blooms. The lawn of course is made from green felt and the roadway is made from stone coloured felt.

The nice thing about making gardens out of felt is that you can make them any shape to fit in between buildings. These gardens can be back gardens, front gardens, side gardens and can be put at the side of the street or the sides of slopes up to station platforms.

(Remember that because PVA glue is water based it will melt in the rain so it is not suitable for things that will be left out in a garden.)


These are more models than toys, so don’t let your baby brothers and sisters get hold of them.








If you don’t have a model railway, you may like to make some of these trees to add into a snow-scape decoration for Christmas.






Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. deacr – cedar
  2. cpusre – spruce
  3. inpe – pine
  4. arlhc – larch
  5. onofrie – conifer
  6. rfi – fir



Cedar trees




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