Note that the items described below are not at all exclusive and brands and procedures may vary depending upon cost and availability.  This is an HO Scale comparison.   N or O Scale will be different.


Level B

Silver Level

Level A

Gold Level

Level AA

Platinum Level


Atlas Code 83 flextrack w/ Atlas or Peco Turnouts.  Rails and Ties airbrushed a single color of brown. 

Peco or Walthers Code 83 flextrack and turnouts. Ties coated with proprietary adhesion promoting coating - then painted flat brown/black.

Rails hand painted appropriate rusty brown. 

Code 83 Peco or Micro-Engineering Track.  Peco or Walthers code 83 turnouts.  All mainline curves super-elevated with spiral easements.  Painting same as Level A with addition of hand-tinted ties.



FlexxBed Granular Vinyl Foam

Insul-Sound™ --  Proprietary sound absorbing.


Single Color

Minimal ballast on tie tops acceptable.  Oversprayed color wash to blend and enhance contrast.

Blended Multi Color

Ballast on tie tops rare, but occasional grains acceptable.  Oversprayed color wash to blend and enhance contrast

Blended Multi Color

ALL ballast below tie tops, precisely contoured before gluing.  Track and ballast airbrush weathered with darkened 'oil streak' down track centerline.  Extensively detailed with plant material and debris as needed.



Manually operated ground-throws or finger operated on Peco

Tortoise™ or SMAIL™

Tortoise™ or SMAIL™ with detailed operating switchstand.


Carefully prepped, air-brushed, fitted & assembled.  Single coat of contrasting color on fascia and trim.  No mortar

detail.  Minimal weathering.  No added detail items.

Preparation same as B.  All detail items added.  May include multiple contrasting color coats. Fascia and trim 2-coated. Mortar and roofing detail added.  Lightly weathered.

Museum or 'Contest' quality construction.  All trim painted with 2 coats. Contrasting mortar color carefully applied.  Added

details beyond those provided with the kit installed.  Extensive weathering.



Out of the box Woodland Scenics, Heki or lower cost imports with foliage adjustments and minor color variations added.  Few bushes and details added.

Highlighted & weathered Woodland Scenics and/or Heki.  Moderate level of bushes and details added.

Museum quality mix of hand-made & detailed / weathered, commercially made. Extensive level of detailed bushes, shrubs & hand-planted details.


Simple dirt or asphalt.  Basic painting. Not detailed or weathered.  No striping.

Dirt & gravel roads detailed with ruts, potholes, etc. Shoulder detail and/or sidewalks where appropriate.  No curbs or gutters.  Utility poles but no wires.

Same as A with the addition of curbs & gutters, manholes, etc. in town/city areas. Rural roads will have drainage ditch detail.  Striping and weathering added with air-brushed 'oil' haze down center of each lane.  Roadside details such as fireplugs where appropriate.  Tar lines hand applied.  Utility poles strung with scale cable.


Painted and shaded bed with polymer gloss coat.  No underwater and few shore details.  No waves, ripples, texture or highlights.

Painted and shaded bed with resin cast topcoat. Minimal underwater detail.  Shoreline minimally detailed with sticks, rocks, debris, etc.

Museum quality.  Highly detailed bed with trash, sticks, gravel, etc. visible in shallow areas.  Resin cast topcoat with polymer  waves, ripples, etc. where appropriate.  Shoreline vegetation added. Hand painted accents and highlights.