Model Train Newsletter Issue #103

model train newsletter

Hello all Model Railroaders and Welcome to Issue #103 of the popular Model Train Newsletter…

I want to thank you for all your wonderful feedback and comments. It is very encouraging to see all the lengthy conversations in the forum. I have been told by numerous model train beginners that the forum has been an invaluable source of information to them.

Slowly our plan to encourage more beginners into model railroading is working… We are de-mystifying the beginners confusion!

Enjoy this issue!

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Weathering Your Model Trains

Why should you weather your model trains?

Whether you are just getting started with model trains, or you have been enjoying this hobby for a long time, there are many different things that you can do to make your model train layout look more realistic.

You may have already spent a lot of time making sure that your models are to scale, but if you want your model railroad to look real, you have to avoid it looking too new!

Having objects in your train set look too shiny or too new can be quite distracting.

This is why you need to think about how to weather them.

A weathered boxcar

Weathering is the process by which you can make new objects look distressed and more worn.

It can be instrumental in how you take your model train set to the next level.

One product that you should have on hand when you are thinking about weathering metal objects on your train set is a can of Rustall.

This is a simple aerosol spray that will allow you to put touches, or even whole finishes of rust on various bits of your model set. It works best on a surface that has been primed or that otherwise has some tooth to it, allowing the mixture to settle.

When you spray something with Rustall, you’ll have a great look of rusted metal and the more you spray on, the more weathered the object looks.

When you are thinking about adding brick buildings to your model train layout, think about how you can make the bricks look even more realistic.

Take some diluted latex paint in gray or buff and brush it carelessly across the face of the brick.

Then take a rag and wipe the surface off while it is still wet. The paint stays in the channels between the brick when you do this and defines some bricks more than others.

When was the last time that you saw a roof that was perfectly shingled and detailed, especially when you are looking at older buildings?

You want to give your model train layout a homely and well worn look.

Using a craft knife, or a sharp flat object, gently pry up some of the shingles on your model train building. Missing shingles are a little much, but if you start prying some of the shingles out of their beddings, you will give more texture to the building as a whole.

One important tip to remember when you are painting on finishes is to let gravity help you and guide you.

Think about painting on a finish and having it drip a little.

This can look great, because in real life paint usually drips down.

However, if you are holding your structure upside down, this creates a drip pattern that is very different to what it should be in real life!

Take a moment to look at your finishes and to make sure that you are getting the drip pattern that you need.

Weathering is great fun and requires no special skills, just a willingness to give it a try.

Start with an old model or even some scrap plastic, until you are more confident.

By observing the older buildings in your area you will notice how the elements have faded the paint, corroded the metals, rotted the timber, etc.

This will give you many ideas that you can apply to your model train buildings.

Weathering your model train buildings, locomotives and cars will massively improve the realism and appeal of your model railroad.

Give it a try today! Click here to comment on this article.

Best Coffee Table Layout?
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Building an N-Scale Layout

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Model Train Conversations

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Modelers are a different breed – Today, when I stopped into an autoparts store to pick up the supplies I needed to repair a hole on the body of my mom’s car, the checkout guy, upon seeing the stuff I was buying, asked me a question. “I suppose you already have the Bondo?” I replied “I use Bondo for modeling projects so I always have a supply on hand” his response was a puzzled look. This only reminded me that us model builders see the world in a different way then the average person…. read more


New to Model Railroading – I am new to model railroading. I am looking to setup my first layout. I am looking at doing an O Gauge layout. I have a few questions I would like everyone’s input. I have seen several people mention putting there layout in there shed or garage. Are there any limitations to this…. read more

Pond water – if I prepare all the scenery around the pond, including down the banks before I pour the water in, it gets soaked up like a siphon into the landscape. If I pour the water first, the scenery lays on top and doesn’t look real. Whats the best method to do this….. read more

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Complete Model Railroader How To System


“Discover The *Closely Guarded* Model Train Tips, Tricks And Secrets…
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  • How to plan to save time, money and frustration.
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G-Scale Model Trains

G scale model trains have got to be the best all around train size for beginners and experts alike.

These trains are bigger than most, at a 1:22 scale, one twenty-second the size of a real train. This means that the train is six inches high and around 27″ long, ideal for children to handle with relative ease.

G scale is a really good beginning train for families that want to explore this hobby together. Many of these train sets are found around the holidays, trekking around a Christmas tree for example.

One of the nice things about these G-scale model trains is that they are easy to set up, since the tracks are larger and easier to handle. But because of its size, it takes up more room and even a simple layout can fill up a dining room table.

If you are planning a permanent indoor setting, then some thought and careful planning are needed. This is an excellent opportunity for families to get together and have some quality time.

Even if the children are smaller, they may still have some ideas you can incorporate into the layout and when you are building the bench work for the base, they can help you by holding the tools.

They can help you in other ways as well.

Because of its larger scale, these G-scale model trains are ideal for using and making scenery and buildings yourself.

There are many kids toys that are ideal for these things as well, people, some buildings, cars or trucks. Anything that they want to contribute can help.

You should explain to them that this item will not be played with unless you are all together. You can also have them help you make things, like taking an empty can and cleaning it and painting it for a water tower, or decorating a box to make into a building.

G scale model trains are also ideal for setting up outdoors and blend in quite well in garden settings or landscaping.

They are large enough to see from a deck or patio and can be set up with some really elaborate layouts. There are many different examples on video and in photos which you can view to get some ideas.

Many of these can be found online, or you can order a number of different books with layout designs.

It is a good idea if you are planning an outdoor design setting is to start from scratch, or as close as you can. Start with the track design, so you can lay out all the control wiring and any extra power for layout lighting or accessory needs.

Be sure that as you add things that you can still access these components with relative ease. You wouldn’t want to put in plants, for example, or you may have to dig them up when you have a problem.

There are many different basic sets available for G scale model trains.

If you want just a cheap model, you can usually find a basic set at many toy retailers. Many of these are in holiday themes and can have music, lights or other components.

Make sure that your children play with these under your supervision. If you are wanting something a little better, then you can expect to pay over one hundred dollars for basic sets with just the G scale train and tracks.

I would love to hear your thoughts… Click here to comment.

Photos Submitted by Subscribers
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Model train layout by Norm Lawrence
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Model Railroad by Chris Butlin
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Model railway by Steve Smith
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Model railway by Bob Fallier
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Typical G-scale Model Railroad
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