Special Effects and Other Ideas for Advanced Model Railroading
One of the more exciting things about model railroading is that it allows for so much creativity. There are so many things you can do and so many different ways to do them. And there is always room for a new idea, a new slant on things. New technology allows for new ways of doing things that were never even thought of in the past.
Model railroading is a great way to explore and help create new ideas, because there is such variety and so many different facets of the hobby that you can never get tired of it. There’s always something new to add to your layout to make it better.
Once you get your trains going reasonably well without derailments, and after you’ve applied all the scenery you can think of applying for the moment, and after you’ve had fun inviting friends over to see your creation and after hosting a few operating sessions, you may be asking yourself…Ok, what’s next?...
• Add a sound system
• Coupling and uncoupling
• Add more lighting effects
• Install a signal system
• Install traffic signals for your roads
• Add operating crossing gates
• Computerize your layout for optimum control
• Create fire and smoke effects
• Add more animation
• Use mirrors and illusions to enhance your scenery
• Create automated train and track operation
• Install a train cam
• Photograph your layout
• Make detailed lighted interiors for buildings
• Lighting effects for locos, cars and cabooses
• Add more scenery details
• Start your own model train web site or blog
• Become a Master Model Railroader
• Write articles for model train magazines
• Write an e-book about model trains
• Have fun with operating sessions
• Add or upgrade your staging yard
• Start a new layout
• Start a model railroad club
Be careful what you ask for, right?
You could probably add a few more items to this list, and I’ll probably add more to it as well later. The idea is not to be overwhelmed by the tasks ahead, because these are all optional – icing on the cake so to speak. I listed these things to help exemplify the breadth and depth of the hobby and to stimulate ideas for you to think about.
Neither you nor I will ever likely “finish” our model railroading adventures. We may hold off on it for a while due to time and space constraints or other temporary priorities, but we will always want to come back to it. There is always more to do, another avenue to explore, another track rail to nail down, something new to learn. The art and science of it are magnetic and constantly drawing us back to it. It’s an exciting learning process and a great way to explore and develop our own personal creativity.
And besides that, it’s fun!
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