If there’s one thing that will really increase the look, feel, sound and even smell of your model railroad layout that would be the intelligent use of multimedia into your existing display. Creative and new ideas are popping up all the time, and these days you are truly limited only by your imagination, as the technology is advancing practically faster than we can implement it! Let’s look at some of the ways multimedia can be used to make your model railroad layout even more stunning than it already is!
Types of Multimedia Available to Use
There are many types of multimedia you can incorporate into your layout. We’ll look at some of the most major, and easiest to implement. Any one or more of these elements can make a major impact on your layout. Video, audio, still photos, as well as some special effects go a long way toward making a railroad come alive.
Video - Video can be used for many things. Some examples might include a dynamic backdrop; one that the weather changes as it is wont to do over the course of a day. This is an incredible effect, and the drama it lends to a layout can be stunning. Not only weather, but other events screened on your backdrop, such as wildlife, other trains or motor vehicles and the like can be quite exciting.
Audio – Lifelike sound tracks, available quite easily or recorded also quite easily can bring another dimension to your layout. Sound is a very powerful tool, and trains don’t run in a vacuum: there is a lot of life going on around them. Environmental tapes are quite the rage now, and with a little care and possibly a little editing you can come up with a sound track for your layout that will bring even more life into it.
Still Pictures – Still pictures can be worked into your model train layout in a number of ways. You can use them as static pieces in your backdrop, or modeled into your scenery. This type of media allows you to use exact era pieces in your layout, and duplicates real life in a way that is difficult to do.
Special Effects – While some might argue that special effects aren’t really multimedia, I would disagree. Whatever can bring a layout to life, breathing veracity into lifeless metal and models I believe deserves spot at the table. That said, effects like fog, lightning, and other effects can give a layout added drama.
Think of the possibilities here: a weather video, augmented by an audio soundtrack of a thunderstorm, accentuated with several pinhole lightning strikes would make for one stunning layout. That’s not to say this wouldn’t be a lot of work, but the return might be something to behold!
The prudent use of multimedia can have a big impact on your layout. Don’t be too shy to give it a try!