Model Railroading Blog



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This page will provide you with a listing of all the newest pages, changes, additions, new pictures, and recent comments from other viewers so you can keep up to date. I will plan to add and/or review new techniques, magazine articles, equipment, references and anything else that I think will be helpful to you in your endeavor to build the best model railroad possible. Contributions from other model railroaders are encouraged. I want this to be your website as much as it is mine. Sharing your stories here is the key to its success.

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May 21, 2017

Vehicles from "Top Gear"

I have designed a number of vehicles from the hit BBC show Top Gear and have made them available for purchase on my Shapeways page (https://www.shapeways.com/shops/optimal-inceptions?section=Railroad+Scale+Models&s=0).

I believe your readers would find my models a unique addition to their railroad sets.

Continue reading "Vehicles from "Top Gear""

May 16, 2017

Questions from John in NY...

John writes in that he hasn't done anything related to model railroading for 30 years. Life does get in the way sometimes unfortunately.

Two questions..1. What to use for a train board. I think the best thing to use is 1/2 inch plywood supported by benchwork about 30-45 inches high depending on your preference of whether you want a bird's-eye point of view or a more horizontal point of view. On top of the plywood, I like to use sheets of extruded foam cut to fit the size of the plywood. You can add several layers of sheets, so that you can dig out valleys and rivers out of the foam. You then have to paint the foam a tan color and then add grass and other foliage. I have found the above method to be the best for me after building four fairly large layouts. There are many other ways to approach this however. Check out the Benchwork page on this site to learn more.

2. Should I use analog or DCC? I personally like DCC, because you can operate the trains individually, whereas with analog wiring, when you turn the power on, all the trains move – unless you have multiple blocked off sections. The wiring is more cumbersome with analog, but DCC is more expensive. I think DCC is much more realistic as far as operation of the railroad is concerned and it is easier for one person to operate several trains at one time.

This is just my opinion. There are many others who like analog better because they don't have to mess around putting decoders in all of their locomotives, or sending the locos off to have someone else do it for you. Learn more on the Wiring and DCC sections of this website.

Thanks for writing and good luck on your resurgent interest in model railroading. It's the greatest hobby in the world!

Mar 16, 2017

Railroad in a Bar !

A fantastic idea for a small model railroad layout in N scale

Continue reading "Railroad in a Bar !"

Nov 13, 2016

Using Atlas Selector and Controller with EZ track

Will the atlas selector#215 and controller #220 work on EZ track? Please Respond. I'm having a heck of a time trying to find something to wire up my switch turn outs....

[I'm not sure. I don't have any first hand experience with that, but I don't know why not. If anyone has done this before, send me an email at gjwarth@mac.com so I can add it here. - Ed]

Nov 13, 2016

Looking for an expert model railroad landscaper

i am looking for help from an expert model landscaper to build a desert landscape on a table 10x10 feet. i want to only build the landscape without the train tracks.Thank you for your help.
martinroth02@gmail.com

Jul 24, 2016

Send in Your Photos!

It has come to my attention that many of you have tried to send in photos, but they haven't been coming through. If you are one of those, please resubmit those photos or videos as an attachment to my direct email address: gjwarth@mac.com. If I haven't responded or posted them to the site within a week, that means I didn't get them. Please send a follow up email to me to let me know. Thanks for your patience. I do want this site to be interactive and to be able to easily show off your photos to the world and especially to other model railroaders, who, like myself, are always interested in what other people are doing.

Continue reading "Send in Your Photos!"

May 04, 2016

Trees from jute twines

i Build trees from jute ropes/twines. have you tried that method? http://www.amazon.in/Trees-Jute-Twines-Prabal-Sharma-ebook/dp/B01E5XTHBK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1460537867&sr=1-1&keywords=model+train+tree

Continue reading "Trees from jute twines"

Dec 13, 2015

Christmas and Trains - Why do they go together?


Merry Christmas to All and a Happy New Year!
From www.BYMRR.com

--> Here is a great article about the history of toy trains and model railroading and why trains are so commonly associated with Christmas...

Continue reading "Christmas and Trains - Why do they go together?"

Nov 28, 2015

TRAX

If you are looking for a great track planning and design program that...

1-doesn't cost a fortune (It's free!),

2-can be used on a Mac, Windows PC, or Linux operating system,

3-is easy and fun to use and

4-tells you exactly what you need to buy after your track plan is completed,

Then check out the following website!...

Continue reading "TRAX"

Oct 18, 2015

Railroads in Wartime

The use of railroads in wartime has become a major advantage to those who manage them well. Military railroads can inspire great ideas for layouts and modeling projects.

Continue reading "Railroads in Wartime"

Sep 07, 2015

Alpine Wonderland

This Alpine Wonderland, a model railroad layout designed and created by Alan Fisher, is an outstanding and inspirational work of art.

Continue reading "Alpine Wonderland"

Aug 30, 2015

3D Printing

3D printing is a great way to create unique 3D models or parts for your miniature model railroad in any scale.

Continue reading "3D Printing"

Aug 15, 2015

MY DARJEELING HIMALAYAN RAILWAY MODELS

Since my childhood I have always been really close to the railway operating environment because my grandfathers used to work in Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Continue reading "MY DARJEELING HIMALAYAN RAILWAY MODELS "

Apr 26, 2015

Realistic Scenery from Aluminum Flashing!

I have developed a new approach to model railway scenery. Strong, light, pliable, realistic in appearance, inexpensive, transportable and easy. Components

Continue reading "Realistic Scenery from Aluminum Flashing!"

Apr 26, 2015

OBB Wildbach HO

My name is Anthony. I live in Australia. I first became interested in Model Trains when i received a layout made by my Father for Xmas when I was 7 years

Continue reading "OBB Wildbach HO"

Mar 09, 2015

Easily made pine trees

See youtube how i make the big number of fast made nice pine trees. http://youtu.be/-xu9OoMBTyI After some practice i make about 10 in an hour, costing

Continue reading "Easily made pine trees"

Mar 09, 2015

Roger from Coastmans

Hello folks! I've made conifer trees using several methods, and I believe a multitude of methods are important toward the development of the total forest.

Continue reading "Roger from Coastmans"

Mar 09, 2015

Polyfil and puffball trees

For distant puffball trees, I use the time-honored technique of making balls out of polyfil fiber, and then add ground foam (different sizes and colors)

Continue reading "Polyfil and puffball trees"

Oct 29, 2013

Northern Hills Railway Society

The Northern Hills Railway Society, located on Main Street in Deadwood, South Dakota, has just added a new window display to its attraction. The display

Continue reading "Northern Hills Railway Society"

Oct 26, 2013

KCS&P Fast Freight RR

Photos of the KCS&P RR built by Ted Dimone

Continue reading "KCS&P Fast Freight RR"

Sep 14, 2013

Mymodeltrain

This is my newly built rail in the backyard. Initially, I have zero knowledge about model trains. I built this rail in 1 month after calling dealers asking

Continue reading "Mymodeltrain"

Sep 14, 2013

Your First Model Railroad: How to Start and Finish It on a Budget

Building your first model railroad layout can be intimidating. Open any model railroading magazine and you will see page after page of pictures of huge,

Continue reading " Your First Model Railroad: How to Start and Finish It on a Budget "

Mar 21, 2013

Model Railroad Club: How to Get Started

Want to start your own model railroad club? Here are some tips.

Continue reading "Model Railroad Club: How to Get Started"

Jan 19, 2013

Hossman

About 10 years ago I bought a few Lionel trains that were packed away in a wooden crate.Since I`ve been a kid I always loved model railroads and having

Continue reading "Hossman"

Jan 13, 2013

A "Hybrid" Structure

I was in the process of looking for interesting rail yard buildings to add to the collection, and at the same time I have been practicing my skills with

Continue reading "A "Hybrid" Structure"

Jan 13, 2013

Fast Hand

Displaying my trolley layout at Trainfest in Milwaukee, WI. As I was talking to a father with his son in his arms. The boy faster than lighting grabbed

Continue reading "Fast Hand"

Dec 30, 2012

Model Railroad Layout: Overview

Overview of how to build a model railroad layout - step by step.

Continue reading "Model Railroad Layout: Overview"

Jul 16, 2012

Model Railroad Yard

This page contains all the ins and outs about building a basic model railroad yard for your train layout.

Continue reading "Model Railroad Yard"

Jun 28, 2012

We've Gone Mobile!

You can now access Building Your Model Railroad on your Android, iPhone, Blackberry or Windows Phone in a format designed especially for mobile devices. Think of the possibilities! You can read all about model railroading and plan your next layout from anywhere.

Just type in www.bymrr.com into the browser on your smartphone and you will automatically be taken to the mobile version of this site containing all the same great content. Then save the site to your home screen so the app will be easy to access.

Continue reading "We've Gone Mobile!"

Jun 09, 2012

Where To Find Great Signs for Buildings and Billboards

Hi-So far, I have found six good sources of Free signs for the various scales for modelers.

1) gatewaynmra.org-click on online Model Railroad Library, then click on Vintage Color Signs

2) ON30center.com-click General Interest then click on Sign Material.

3) Lauriegreensweb.com-click on Dioramas, then Great Signs near the top of page

4) oldwestsigns.com

5) collectorsweekly.com click on signs and

6) vintageadvertisingsigns.com

Arnold Davis

Jun 03, 2012

The Many Life Skills Model Railroading Can Teach

While browsing around in the model railroading community on forums and sites like Twitter I have noticed many adult males ask a particular question. Is

Continue reading "The Many Life Skills Model Railroading Can Teach"

Jun 02, 2012

Making trees

I have been looking around but the trees are very expensive if you buy them in a pack.I started taking wire that the florist use and with a drill made

Continue reading "Making trees"

May 01, 2012

Railroad History

Railroad Parts: History for Kids - This is a great web page (for "kids" of all ages) with lots of interesting and fun links to other pages explaining the history of railroading, steam engines, locomotives, engineers, and stories about the thousands of wayfaring teens that rode the rails during the Great Depression. You don't want to miss this!

Continue reading "Railroad History"

Apr 17, 2012

National Train Day!!

Calling all train fans! Now in its 5th year, National Train Day is back May 12th to celebrate train travel and the ways trains touch the lives of people with events across America. This year, festivities will highlight the unique perspective passengers enjoy as they take in the vastness and beauty of the American landscape, from cities big and small, to country vistas and everything in between, when traveling by rail.

As part of National Train Day, each major market event features live entertainment, interactive and educational exhibits, kids' activities, model train displays and tours of Amtrak equipment, freight and commuter trains, and notable private railroad cars.

National Train Day will also bring the "rail way" to life for attendees, and those participating online and through social media. To join in the celebration, passengers inspired by their train travel experience are encouraged to submit photos, video and stories at NationalTrainDay.com for a chance to win prizes.

For more information about National Train Day events, visit NationalTrainDay.com, facebook.com/NationalTrainDay or @natltrainday.

Continue reading "National Train Day!!"

Feb 26, 2012

Horace and William Creek Railroad

Photos from Dave Coble's Horace and William Creek Railroad.

Continue reading "Horace and William Creek Railroad"

Jan 06, 2012

Model Railroad Stories

We all have model railroad stories we could tell - some funny, some not-so-funny, but maybe educational. If you have a story to tell about your model railroad experience, let us know about it here.

Continue reading "Model Railroad Stories"

Dec 04, 2011

Technique for Painting Locomotives and/or Rolling Stock, from John Staehle

Try this technique for painting locomotives or rolling stock:

1. First, using a green scouring pad, lightly scratch the surface of the model you wish to paint, this roughs up the surface without damaging details. (I use this for all my models.)

2. Using an airbrush acrylic paint mix that is thinned with Blue tint windshield wiper fluid will assure a fine looking finish. Mix to about 60% thinner/40% acrylic paint.

3. Airbrush the model with thin layers of paint at about 25psi and let each layer dry. The alcohol in the wiper fluid will cause the paint to dry almost as fast as you apply it. This is what you want to have happen. Eliminating streaking and runny paint will have the desired results with practice.

4. The final step for setting and hardening of the paint can be done with a hand held hairdryer set on LOW heat. Gently go back and forth over the entire model with the hairdryer as this acts like a the poor man's paint drying booth.

5. A note about acrylic craft paints: Although some readers might want to use pre-mixed hobby paints, the paints I am referring to are found in the craft section of many hobby related stores. With color charts to refer to, one can replicate RR colors as well as military colors as in my case. Acrylic craft paints were first used in ceramics and wood projects and I found them to work on all styrene plastics as well. I would suggest that one purchase several colors and try them as I described. Thinned with water, black makes a great base for weathering. They all mix with various other acrylic based products to make really great scenery as well.

Have fun!

John

Nov 30, 2011

A new beginning

A new start with photos to share within the new hobby barn. The great thing about starting over is that one can rebuild with what you have as I am in stages

Continue reading "A new beginning"

Nov 16, 2011

I Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself!

Michael Buzzeo wrote in this comment:

"This is the most user-friendly, informative site on model railroading I have ever seen. It offers clear, concise and to-the-point instructions of the hobby. Once you stop here, there will be no reason to go anywhere else!!!"
[Thanks, Mike. I really appreciate it!-GJW] See more comments here!

Continue reading "I Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself!"

Nov 16, 2011

Looking for a job?

Our company provides awards for a Locomotive Manufacturer. We need a person that we can send HO scale locomotives to and have the railings and small parts put on and ship back to us. We don't make a lot - maybe 40 to 50 per year. We usually do in lots of 2 to 5 at a time. The person that currently does these for us is "retiring" and he tells us it takes about an hour. He mounts the train to a plaque, drills it and glues railings or little parts. They are mostly put together. We are located in Erie PA.

If you are interested or know of someone interested, send an email to me, (Rob Hess) at rhess@paragonprintsystems.com

Nov 16, 2011

New Tips

I discovered a few helpful tips, I would like to pass on. So, here we go!

If you are tired of using the various colors of masking tape for drapes/curtains, you might like to try the white self-adhesive wallboard tape. It has threads that run N,S,E, and W. It does adhere well to the plastic parts and I think it does look very realistic.

The next tip deals with making scale hay for hay bales. Do try the home coffee grinder to grind up the pieces of hay from the animal/pet supply house. Just cut your scale hay bales from wood, paint them yellow, and glue the ground up pieces of hay to the bale.

And the last tip deals with the purchase and/or ordering on line the battery operated LED lights that the stores are now selling for the holidays. For example, the Home Depot is selling some sets under the Martha Stewart Living Line of products. These sets have 36 mini lights on a 9 foot ultra slim wire. Operates on three AA batteries and has three settings-steady-flashing-phasing(on for six hours-off for 18 hours). The price is around $8.00 and comes in two colors-white&red.

-Submitted by Arnold Davis

Oct 01, 2011

Small N Scale Train Layout

Step-by-step creation of a small N Scale model train layout - A great way to get started, or if you just want to take a break from the big layout.

Continue reading "Small N Scale Train Layout"

Sep 22, 2011

Track Cleaning with a Pencil!

Hi All,

I read an article about track cleaning on the internet the other day, not sure where abouts. The article stated that using Graphite (Pencil) rubbed on the rails will promote better electrical pickup.

I rubbed a Pencil all over my railroad (N Scale). My trains run 100% better!!! It really works. I can now run my trains so slowly that a train takes 45 - 50 minutes, to go from my lower staging yard on the lower deck to my Staging loops on the 4th upper deck, with no jerky running it's just smooth running all the way.

I model the Rio Grande so my grades are close to 2.5% over most of the railroad so electrical contact is a must.

Currently I'm using DC but hope to convert to DCC, the same should apply to DCC Layouts as well.

Cheers,

Rio Grande Steve

Sep 16, 2011

Modular Benchwork

In regards to benchwork, I have built my layout in modular sections 2 x 8, 3 x 8, 3 x 6 and 3 x 6 feet. construction is 1/2 inch plywood screwed and glued to 1" X 3". I used steel studs to form 45 degree wall mounted brackets that I bolted to the walls every 4 feet. I set my modules on top of the brackets and bolted them together to form a U layout. I do not bolt the modules to the steel stud brackets. By doing this the modules can expand and contract as it needs too, just like a laminate floor. This avoids the buckling of the layout due to temperature and humidity changes. By building my layout in modules I can turn the module on its' side, clamp it to two saw-horses and do the wiring from a comfortable standing position. -Gordon Wahay

Sep 16, 2011

Reversing Track Tutorial from Azatrax

Great to see your wonderful website continue to expand. We appreciate the links you have to our site for train detectors and crossing signals.

We've recently added a tutorial on reversing tracks to our site, and have systems for sale to automate reversing tracks on DC as well as DCC and AC layouts.-John Parsons

Continue reading "Reversing Track Tutorial from Azatrax"

Sep 16, 2011

Making Hay Bales, Ballast, Coal and Ground Cover

I think I have found two new uses for the blender and/or home coffee grinder. I have obtained have loose hay from our Farm Supply House and placed a small quantity at a time in the grinder for HO and G scale hay bales.Then, its a matter of cutting the square pieces of scale lumber, painting each piece yellow, and gluing the hay. Now, for the second use. Grinding some aquarium gravel for ballast, coal, and ground cover. I purchased some yesterday for $1.00 a pound. Yes, the gravel does come in many colors.-Arnold Davis

Sep 04, 2011

Railroad Industry News

A newly relaunched site that will provide you with current prototypical railroad information. It may be helpful in designing and planning your own model railroad.

Continue reading "Railroad Industry News"

Jul 26, 2011

Trees Made with Juniper Snips and Balsa Trunks

I use balsa wood carved to the shape of a conifer trunk, then score the trunk liberally with my razor saw to simulate bark. After this step I will then

Continue reading "Trees Made with Juniper Snips and Balsa Trunks"

Jun 18, 2011

Garden Trains

Garden trains are a great way to involve your family in model railroading.

Continue reading "Garden Trains"