Applying Ballast by Chuck Thiedel: “So your just ballasted road bed has clumps in it that makes it look like the surface of the moon. What happened? You sprayed diluted white glue onto dry ballast.”
Alpine Division Hobby Shop by Jeff Junker: “The instructions for the Alpine Division HO scale Hobby Shop spend more time telling you what’s not included in the kit than how to construct the model.”
Building a Passenger Station by Jeff Junker: “How can you make a standard out-of-the box model railroad kit look a little bit different than everyone else’s? And without doing any scratch building? And without taking too much time? Custom paint it and then weather it.”
Building a Refinery by John Burns: Here’s part of a 12 foot by 6 foot layout I’m building, which is loosely based on an oil refinery.”
Concrete Barriers by Jeff Junker: “Balsa wood material called “Trailing Edge” is about a perfect shape for a concrete barrier as anything.”
Fallen Barn by Sydney Gonsoulin: “They give you a lot a scrap pieces either to scatter around the outside of the barn or to throw on top of it to make it looked like it’s collapsed upon itself.”
Hole in One by Ken Mason: “The water tower was on the layout as an unpainted plastic kit and did not look very realistic. I took it home and painted it, weathered it, and thought it would be a fun addition to our open house scavenger hunt”
Roundhouse and Turntable: ““The ground cover is local dirt that has been baked in the oven to dry it, then ground to powder in an old Mr. Coffee grinder.” ~ ~ Matt Hardey
Weathering Freight Cars with an Airbrush by Vincent Peri: “Crevices around the doors and along both sides of the boxcar’s support ribs usually need more attention, as well as roof overhang areas. I used a fine spray in those trouble spots and gradually build up the weathering until it looked right.”
Tom’s Tiny Town:
Creole Cottage by Tom Bishop: “Among the items you can find here are a squirrel on the fence, a bird in the tree, a goat in the bushes and a snake in the grass”
Converting Doug’s Drugs by Tom Bishop: “Using a really impressive computer program by Evans called “Brickyard”, I created the stone and brick surfaces for the addition.”
King’s Way Background Building by Tom Bishop:” I modified it a bit by using basswood molding.”
New Orleans Shotgun House by Tom Bishop: “This is an HO scale model of an old-fashioned, New Orleans style Shotgun house. It’s scratch built using a chipboard (also referred to as card stock) sub-structure.”
Tyco Miracle Furniture Build-Out by Tom Bishop: “The Evans software program for designing wall and window facing is outstanding. I took the ho-hum Tyco Miracle Furniture kit and transformed it into a 7 story building.”
Two Story House by Tom Bishop: “Everything you see (except the scenery) was printed on the computer: roof, awnings, brick patio, windows.”
Empire Builder Series:
A Road of Your Own by Jeff Junker: “Philip Alberado grew up in the rolling hill country outside of Nacodoches, Lousiana. Like a lot of youngsters he had a model railroad in the house. After junior high, the railroad was stored in the attic, replaced with other interests. Twenty- five years later, his father stumbled across the relic and asked him what to do with it.”
Creating Reality From Fiction by Patrick Harris: “If all of your equipment is time/setting appropriate, operations realistic and properly executed, then you are very definitely a protolancer—and just a whisker away from being a prototype modeler.”
Designing a Rail Empire by Jeff Junker: “Creating a conceptual plan for designing your own rail empire requires a lot of thought. You wind up constantly talking to yourself, saying things like “would my imaginary road could exist in the real world. What is the catalyst that sparks your fiction to the realm of reality?”
Mixing Covered Hoppers by Patrick Harris: “Much like a recipe, recreating a realistic train depends on the right mix. I have shot thousands of photos of rolling stock, and after a while one gets a feel for when a train looks “right”—that rightness being dependent on the time, place and road being observed, of course.”
Painting the Pine Valley by Ryan Harris: “The colors needed to reflect the region my railroad serves. The Northeastern extent of the railroad traverses the San Juan Mountains in Colorado and climbs to within an arm’s reach of the Continental Divide, while the Southwestern end of the railroad crosses the brilliant desert of Western New Mexico.”
Railfan Terminology by Patrick Harris: “A friend of mine asked me the difference between a “mainline and a short line”. I could see the confusion, and sought to clarify, so I sat down and jotted some observations from years of railfanning. The crux of the point is that terms for describing “who” a railroad is sometimes sound like a description of what its various parts are.”
Ride the Crescent Lines by Mike Mule and Jeff Junker: “The Crescent Lines Railroad views itself as part of a larger transportation system; its goal is to transport goods across the country, in a mostly north to south direction. This is reflected in how an operating session is run.”
Conner and his dad work together on his model train layout. His parents encourage the youngster to do his own research. Here’s what Conner found and he has shared with us with the following links:
- Background-Building Using Your Computer and the Internet(PDF): Model railroad enthusiasts can use their computer to create backdrops for realistic scenery.
- Building a Simple Layout(PDF): A layout involves a track plan with straight, curved, and turnout sections of track. The hobbyist must choose a plan to use, which might include a rural setting or a switchyard.
- Model Railroad Engineer: Civil Certificate(PDF): Anyone pursuing the model railroad hobby will need to learn the craft. Joining clubs is one way to gain expertise in model railroading. The National Model Railroad Association is one club that supports model railroaders.
- Model Trains for Beginners(PDF): This instructional guide explains scale, gauge, and important tools used by model railroaders.
- Scottsdale Model Railroad Historical Society(PDF): Explore the possibilities of model railroading with the story of a railroad park in Arizona.
- Model Railroading(PDF): A model railroader has several choices for gauge and scale. The layout can be simple or complex, depending on personal desires.
- Building Model Railroad Topography and Scenery With Foam Board(PDF): Foam board is one option for constructing topography and scenery in a model railroad. Foam board comes in large sheets, and people can cut it into the sizes needed for construction.
- Layout Maintenance(PDF): A hobbyist must consider many details when constructing a layout. The humidity level in the room, insulation, wiring, and lighting are just a few issues to tackle when designing a model railroad.
- Ten Tips for Freight Yard Design and Operation(PDF): Some enthusiasts choose to design and construct a freight yard, which requires specific components and staging to create the layout and make it realistic.
- Building Your Model Railway: Epochs(PDF): To create a realistic layout, the model railroader must consider the periods during which locomotives were running. Different models were running during different periods, so an authentic railway would not combine locomotives from different eras.
- Airbrushing for Model Railroads(PDF): A hobbyist might use airbrushing to add color to scenery or a railway car. Airbrushing enables more control and precision than aerosol paint.
- Electronics for Model Railroads(PDF): Electronic technology has changed how model railroaders control train layouts with sophisticated power sources, circuitry, and wiring options.
- Building an Early Combine(PDF): Explore specifications for building a combine car for a model railroad.
- Standards and Recommended Practices for HO Modules(PDF): Some enthusiasts might choose to build modules when constructing a layout. A module is a section of a structure that fits together with other parts to create a full layout.
- Dave Frary’s Nantucket Project(PDF): View pictures and read information about a model railroad display that was designed for the Nantucket Historical Association.
- Model Railroading Tips for Plastic Modelers(PDF): Using plastic components and structures is one option for people building a model railroad layout.
- 3-D Printing and Model Railroading(PDF): The rise of 3-D printing has created a cutting-edge option for making cars, structures, and scenery for a model railroad layout.
- Communications for Model Railroads(PDF): Depending on the era chosen for a model railway layout, the designer will need to include an appropriate method of communication for the locomotives and sidings.
- Track-Laying Tips and Techniques(PDF): Learning model railroad terminology will be one of the first hurdles for someone delving into model railroading.
- Virtual Railroading(PDF): Traditional layout planning involved pencil and paper. Current technology enables hobbyists to plan a layout on the computer using computer-aided design.
- Structures/Scenery(PDF): A model railroader can use kits to build model railroad structures. Many of these kits enable the construction of realistic structures that fit with specific eras.
- O-Scale Trains(PDF): This publication offers model railroaders support and resources when constructing a layout in O-scale.
- Using Computer Power Supplies on Model Railroads(PDF): A model railroad layout requires power for moving trains and tracks, lighting buildings, and operating switches. A computer can supply this power, and this document provides information about this power source.
- Building a Stub Switch Using a Fast Tracks Assembly Fixture(PDF): A stub switch is a turnout option for people building tracks from older eras. This type of turnout does not feature moving switchpoints.
- Foam Roadbed Construction(PDF): Some enthusiasts use extruded foam insulation to build scenery. This material is light in weight and easy to cut with hand tools.
- Designing Small Shelf Layouts(PDF): A small shelf layout appeals to many model railroaders because this type of layout fits into small spaces and can be finished in less time.