Creating Realistic Scenery For "O" Model Trains

In order to create the most realistic scenery for O model trains, you will need to get familiar with the different methods of cutting and shaping extruded foam. There is an art form to using handsaws, wire brushes, and box cutters in order to create the most realistic scenery. Cutting your Styrofoam will help to lay the groundwork for the scenery, but you need to be familiar with the different methods used in order to paint and cover the scenery in order to make it look like it is alive.

Most people will use paint like burnt umber in order to paint what will look like dirt. This will serve as the base for the landscape in most terrains. If you are looking to have a snowy mountain scene, you may want to use a dark gray paint instead. The paint will have to dry before you can move ahead with any part of the project. Make sure the paint completely covers the Styrofoam. Use two or even three coats of paint if necessary to completely cover the base foam. Many people will use cheap house paint if they are looking to cover large layouts. You will quickly see the quality of the paint does not matter as much as the ability to cover the layout evenly.

Once the paint has had a chance to dry, there are several different ways you can add vegetation to the layout. Because of the size of O model trains, many opt to buy moss sheets from a nursery. These sheets can be either glued into place, or simply laid on. They are preferred because they are real vegetation, which will last a long time without decaying. If you spray the moss with a fine mist of water, it will actually grow a little bit while on your layout.

Lichen is a great way to add shrubs to your scenery. The more popular way to add these to the landscape is to use some diluted schoolhouse glue. Simply mix the glue with water and then dip one end of the lichen. Use the glue in order to stick the lichen into the exact spot you would like for it to be in. The glue will dry clear, so you will not have to worry about it being seen. Another way you can add lichen to a layout is through the use of fine wire. The wire is wrapped around the middle of the lichen and then stuck into the Styrofoam.

Another great way to add realism to your O model trains scenery is to add small tress to it. This is accomplished through the trees you buy from the hobby shop. While there, you should also buy the blue polyurethane that will be poured into the riverbed you have created with the help of your wire brush. Adding some boats to the side of the river is a great way to add more realism to the environment you have created. Have fun in your mini world creating realistic scenery for your O model trains and let your imagination run wild.

Source by David Blackburn

A Brief History on Model Trains

A Brief History on Model Trains

Ever wondered where exactly did the hobby of making model trains started from? Or how long has the model train been around? Who started it and who's been doing it ever since?

Like much of anything built by modern man, these trains appeared as soon as their real counterparts came along. It was sometimes in the 19th century that the modern railway system was invented and around this time, people have been making the model equivalents of each train as well. Initially, the models were meant to promote the trains themselves as most people did not have the chance to see an actual train then. Before a railway could be completed, models of the railway and their trains would be on display to invite prospect passengers and curious creatures into thinking about riding a train.

As time progressed, people started wanting the model trains for themselves and viola, the model train industry was born. The trains in the 19th century were never as endearing as what we have today. Most trains were made with tin and wood and were not even working models although one stand-out manufacturer in the name of Marklin started developing and selling working locomotive models as soon as the train toy demand sky-rocketed. Up to this day, Marklin remains to be one of the top manufacturers of model trains having kept their tradition of excellent quality and a hefty price tag.

These trains were not big in America alone. Hobbyists included children and adults from both America and European nations such as the UK and Germany. It can even be noted that before the first world war, most prototype train manufacturers were from Germany. However, during the height of the war, shipments to America were stopped and this condition in model train shipments wave birth to American manufacturers such as Lionel and Ives.

The hobby grew large and demand was through the roof but the common problem with working prototype trains was that they were too expensive. The solution was later discovered by some American brands. They simply made less- complicated designs which had such an appeal to the middle class that the model train hobby became one of the largest hobbies during those times.

Upon entering the 20th century, these trains became more detail oriented and layout designs became more complex. Up until today, modelers are still in their search for making their dream layouts complete with realistic backgrounds and model houses.

Source by Esteban Cuenca

A Brief History of Atlas Model Trains

Atlas model trains started out as Atlas Tool Company, which was founded by Stephen Schaffan Sr. in 1924. The owner of the company did what any other small business owner of the day would do and asked his teenage son to work in the family store. Stephan Schaffan Junior had a different passion in life. He enjoyed making model airplanes and as such, spent a lot of time at the local hobby shop. In order to try to make some extra cash, the young man continuously asked for something to do in the shop. His hope was to be able to work with the materials he enjoyed the most and make money in the process.

What Steve Junior did not know was was being becoming a major annoyance to the shop owner. In an attempt to pacify the child, the hobby shop owner cave has some track to play with. He told Steve Jr. that he should see what he could do to improve the track. As Steve set to making a better track, the shop owner simply enjoyed the peace and quiet he was getting. What happened was the birth of the switch kit. This was a revolutionary invention in the world of model trains because up until that time, everything for model trains was built by hand.

Seeing an opportunity to make some real money, Steve Junior employed the help of Steve Senior and the rest of the family. From the foundation of their home, the entire family worked through the night in order to create the invention, which had become so popular. They were providing one of the most revolutionaryventions in the history of model trains while still going about their daily lives, but out of the secondary income grew the company which would build the Atlas model trains you have come to know today.

Steve Jr. did not rest after creating this invention. Instead, he went on to invent the first rail joiner which could be used by everyone. He also is responsible for creating pre-assembled turn outs and flexible track. The stapling of rail to fiber track was another invention he can take credit for. It was not until much later that the company started producing the Atlas model trains you see sold in most hobby shops today. Once the company did start selling trains to go along with track and layout material, they were well received.

The Atlas model trains have been given the same care and attention the line of products is known for having. The plant that produces the products is in the same New Jersey warehouse it has been in since 1947. Once the company incorporated in 1949, it was well received by the stock market and remains one of the most recognized train companies for those who are serious about model railroading.

No matter what your skill level is, you are sure to enjoy what Atlas model trains have to offer. Not only will you enjoy the selection of trains they have, you will also enjoy the different layout elements and tracks they have to offer. With an eye for detail, the products offered are sure to satisfy even the most demanding consumer.

Source by David Blackburn

Find The Middle Of The Road With HO Scale Model Trains

Find The Middle Of The Road With HO Scale Model Trains

The most well-rounded model train layout you can have is the HO scale. That's how many in the hobby would describe it. Considered the middle of the road, HO scale has a ratio of 1:87 making it the in-range scale of the rest. In the UK OO gauge is a similar size, but not exactly identical.

Advantages to consider:

• Because of the size of HO, you will find less expensive parts. Their size is larger than smaller scales like Z, and smaller than bulkier scales like G scale, reducing costs because manufacturers do not have to be so precise and do not have to include too many materials. Again, it is the middle of the road with less price.

• The size provides great scaled layouts in reasonable space. You can not pack in as much as you could with Z and N scales, but you are able to make a fairly large layout and not consume all of your space.

• Pieces are not too small, making them less hazardous for children. It's difficult to make Z and N scale layouts with small children and put them at risk, but HO scale is larger and less hazardous. You can sleep more sound with your children being around the layout.

Now that you have been convinced that HO trains are a great scale to work with, let's discuss possible ideas of layouts.

Layout ideas and beginnings:

As you begin to choose your layout consider your favorite railroads. This may be determined by a certain era, style, geographic area, or historical event. Choose wisely, because you will be working on this layout for some time, so make sure you are excited and interested in the layout you choose.

Historical Layouts

Let the precision begin. With a historical layout you will be dealing with exactness and details that could get difficult. It is a tough challenge, but one that is very rewarding. You can focus on a certain historical event and the era and develop the railway exactly to that style. This is a neat way to get passionate about history. One warning that I do have for you is that you may run in to some trouble getting all of your parts. You may be modeling a historical layout that just is not widely made, so making the parts scarce to find. Fortunately because HO trains are the most widely produced scale, you will find a good selection of rolling stock and accessories in the hobby stores.

The Wild West

Get excited about the scenery you can use. Wild West layouts are very detailed in their scenery, which really makes the layout unique. These layouts are popular because you can design your own western town to surround your train. You may want to incorporate cattle trading and shipping areas, a saloon with bar fines in the streets, and a general store. There are plenty of opportunities here to be creative and stretch your boundaries.

Theatrical Versions

These layouts are very exciting and adventurous. There are quite a few movies out that have railroads that play a significant role in the movie, so why not make a model layout? Some movies with iconic railways that you may want to model are – Harry Potter, The Polar Express, Mission Impossible, etc. There are numerous possibilities, you will just need to check out the available trains that are modeled from movies and go from there.

Fictional Layouts

Time to get totally original and unique. Approach these layouts with an open mind and somewhat of an idea of ​​what you want to make. These layouts are best described as "made from scratch." Take your ideas and inspirations and combine them into a layout that is truly original to you. You can incorporate several different styles of layouts to make it your own. This type of layout can be the most challenging because you do not have a particular model that you are following, causing you to really make something brand new.

Source by Robert R Anderson

Model Trains for Beginners

Model Trains for Beginners

Model trains are a hobby that fascinates enthusiasts and attracts admirers from all over the world. When taking up this exciting hobby, some thought should go into what type of model railway you wish to build as model trains for beginners can be overwhelming if you just dive in. This creative past time is the perfect way to display skill, imagination, and capture the wonderful essence of historical railways and trains with nostalgic memories of the past.

Whatever your vision is, spend some time planning your model railway and join a local enthusiasts club where you will find plenty of helpful tips and hints to get you started. Many small model railway projects start small and expand into complex systems capable of operating several trains at once in all kinds of different terrain. The tips in this article will help you plan and think about how to commence your own model railway.

Theme and Era

Are you looking for the days of luxury trains like The Flying Scotsman or Orient Express, or looking to the great Trans continental railways like the Trans Siberian Express or the Indian Pacific, which ran on the world’s longest straight stretch of track across Australia? You need to decide on the year, the country and the rolling stock and trains you require. This is a very exciting task, and your project will evolve from these ideas.

Display Space

Model trains for beginners should not be over ambitious and should allow enough space to show off the layout without overwhelming the room for a first time model. You can always expand or start a new project that is wall to wall. All model railways are a labour of love, and it is best to start small because of all the detail involved.


If you have a small display space, then a smaller scale model railway will work better although more impact is needed from the scenery and setting. Larger scale models are easier to work with, but are more expensive.

Plan of the Track

Your track design has several options, and it is best to draw some different configurations on graph paper. Once you are satisfied with the layout of your track, you can use your sketch to build it into your setting.

Which Track Type to Use

There are many different brands of track on the market with varying rail sizes, roadbed attached track pieces and track only. Custom curves can be made from a flex track product. Review and try different types to see what suits you.

Display Table or Bench

Before deciding on the size of display area for your model railway, you can do a dummy run with your track on the floor. This will give you an idea of overall size required. Estimate how much extra will be needed for scenery and extras. This will give you the size of board, bench, or table for your display.

Electronics and Wiring

The operation of your model railway can be very sophisticated with digital command control (DCC) that enables you to operate two or three trains at once. Locomotives are electronic, but many other components and accessories are also electronic which will give you an authentic replica of a real railway with lights, switching of tracks, steam and smoke, whistles and other sounds. You can even buy tiny video cameras to record your train’s journey around your personal layout, which is great fun to watch.

Starting a model railroad can turn into a life long experience with something new and different to be added every day as your imagination updates your vision. Model trains for beginners are a rewarding and interesting hobby that not only gives satisfaction to the modeller, but also to people who see it. Just remember to plan carefully for a layout you will have for life.

Source by George Reno

LGB G Scale Trains – Tips For Outdoor Railroading

LGB G Scale Trains – Tips For Outdoor Railroading

LGB G scale trains are a wonderful, diverse option for the model railroad enthusiast. These trains are a larger scale, and so they have many advantages over the smaller HO and N scale trains. For one thing, an amazing outdoor train layout can be created and accented with landscaping. As a matter of fact, outdoor LGB G scale trains are as much about gardening and landscaping skills as about the interesting model train. It is not uncommon for model railroad fans to have both indoor and outdoor layouts.

Why Outdoor Garden Railroading?

Installed outdoors, LBG model trains add a great deal of interest and excitement to your yard. It's there for everyone to enjoy, because it's not hidden away in the basement or another unused room. There are many more options for building and accessorizing your layout thanks to the multitude of landscape and scenery options. You can even add actual water, rocks, flowers, hills and valleys; You are only limited by your imagination. And LGB G scale trains have the durability to handle the tougher demands of an outdoor layout.

Why LGB Model Trains?

With LGB model trains, the equipment is built on a larger scale, making it much easier to work with. HO scale model trains are on a scale of 1:87, but G scales are a scale of only a 1: 22.5, making them more than three times the size of an HO set. LGB also means that you will enjoy greater quality and reliability.

Indoors Versus Outdoors; Protecting LGB Model Trains

It is true that the LGB and garden G scale trains are designed to be left outside, but many enthusiasts often bring their trains inside when they are not actually running. While LGB model trains are designed for outdoor reliability, equipment weathers more quickly in the elements. Having an indoor options will prevent the weather, rain, animals and especially the sun's ultraviolet rays from wearing down and damaging your prized G scale train. Obviously, the track could stay outside as it's an integral part of the landscaping, and they weather will not hurt it as it's meant to be left outdoors. In fact, snow can be removed from the tracks either by hand or with the train. For extra fun you can outfit your G scale train with a plow or wedge and then watch the train clear the snow from the tracks.

Landscaping and Scenery

The roadbed should be raised above ground level to simplify maintenance, and it also looks lovely and very clean with a raised bed.

One popular method for raising the roadbed is to use retaining blocks, then backfill around the blocks with dirt and gravel. You can also utilize pressure treated landscape timbers for this. Pressure treated landscape lumber has the added benefit of being more weather resistant and stronger then chemically treated wood. You can also cut it to build ramps, bridges and other interesting architectural elements.

As you are planning your train track route, be sure to consider your landscaping that will go around it. A rock garden makes a lovely addition to the outdoor G scale train layout.

Be creative with your scenery! For example, birdfeeders can be converted to model buildings for even more interest and variety. With a little planning, you can create a phenomenal G scale outdoor train layout that will bring you, your family, friends and neighbors pleasure for years to come.

Outdoor model trains are a great way add attraction to one's backyard space. And LGB G scale trains are a strong choice for outdoor railroading. Consider the outdoor option featuring a model railroad instead of hiding the layout in a basement.

Source by Mike E. Foster

G-Scale Train Resources – The Best Places To Find Information On G-Scale Model Trains

G-Scale Train Resources – The Best Places To Find Information On G-Scale Model Trains

There are quite a few resources you can use to search for information on all aspects of G-scale trains. Their wide popularity has generated dedicated websites, G-scale train clubs, and national and international organizations.

NMRA (The National Model Railroad Association) has a great website as a place to begin.  This website is for all scales of model trains, and thus you will need to dig a little to find what you are looking for.  NMRA is a non-profit organization that was formed for the encouragement and growth of the model train hobby around the world.  With 17 regions across the world, they are one of the largest model train organizations in existence.  As with most organizations, NMRA holds periodic conventions where enthusiasts can learn from others, share their own layouts and locomotives.  The NMRA website has links for electronics, clubs, hobby shops, tourist sites, and the railroad industry among others.  This is a great site to check out if you are interested in model railroading.

Another website where you can find information on G-scale trains is Railserve.  Although the website started in 1996 as a resource for railroad travelers, it has grown over the years to be a resource for all things about railroading, both actual and models. This website now boasts thousands of permalinks covering over 150 categories in countries around the world.  Almost every railroading publication has mentioned this organization, and it has won numerous awards over the years.  Bookmark this site as you will go back to it over and over as your interest in the model train hobby grows and grows.

If you live in a larger metropolitan area, there is a chance that your local hobby shop may have information about G-scale trains.  More likely, you should look for local shows, swap meets, and railroad museums to find information and learn more about these large scale trains.  Since these scale models have been around for some time, there is a large amount of history and thus historical information about them.

Online forums are a great source of information.  If you don’t see a thread about G-scale trains, start one yourself.  Ask questions, and others with more experience with these beautiful trains will be more than happy to answer them.  A recent search of mine in one forum showed over 150 model railroad enthusiasts online in that forum at one time!  It’s like a virtual meeting of people with similar interests.

It probably goes without saying that searching on Google is a great way to find resources for model trains.  Here are a couple of tips to help you with that search.  First, if you are searching for a specific phrase like “G scale trains” make sure you include the quotation marks.  If your results show a large number of sites that you are not interested in, and they include a common word, you can redo the search  and omit that word by inserting a dash in front of the unwanted word with no spaces in between (e.g. –sale).  Ebay is another great source of parts, but be sure you are dealing with a reputable dealer with lots of positive feedback in their profile.

G scale trains are not as popular as other scales due to their larger size, so you may have to search a little harder for information.  But these trains are worth the effort, so don’t give up!

Source by Henry Michael

Tips About Ho Brass Model Trains And The Hobby Opportunity

Tips About Ho Brass Model Trains And The Hobby Opportunity

When an individual includes a hobby in to their life they are creating an ideal focus that could assist them discover more pleasure from their life experience.   An unique leisure activity opportunity is found with the opportunity to collect HO brass model trains.   HO brass model trains are replica trains that are 1:87 size of normal trains with an unbelievable quantity of details which assists to provide character to the model.   An even better characteristic of HO brass model trains is that these little collectibles are completely functional, allowing the train or collecting enthusiast  the chance to develop their own train setting distinctly designed around their creative ideas.

Any time you take a look at these HO brass model trains, the very best benefit for the majority of enthusiasts is found with the dimensions of the train.   In the past most train model collectors were stuck with the model train collecting choice of OO brass model trains.   Although the older OO brass model trains possess the similar detail and clarity there exists a large issue with the size.   OO brass model trains are two times the size of HO brass model trains that can easily increase the size of any collection.   

When you include the demand placed on the size of your created setting required to operate your OO brass model trains you can very easily see how HO brass model trains are a significantly greater opportunity for enthusiasts.   In the past quite a few collectors of OO brass model trains would have to devote complete rooms or basements to the creation of their environment models.

The 2nd feature linked to the benefits of HO brass model trains are found with the large quantity of availability found with this collection.   The old OO brass model trains are often outdated and not as appealing as the HO brass model trains which restrict their distribution and manufacturing companies.   

When you look at HO brass model trains 2 leading model train making companies surge above the rest and are Broadway limited HO trains and Marklin HO trains.   With Broadway limited HO trains and Marklin HO trains a collector will certainly be capable to choose from an amazing variety of HO brass model trains which integrate old train styles and the more contemporary models.   Even though, the very best benefit of purchasing Broadway limited HO trains and Marklin HO trains is found with their wide distribution and supply in regards to components as well as accessories.

The options which are offered with HO brass model trains create a fantastic chance to create your own special hobby interests.   When you target your HO brass model trains collection around brands such as Broadway limited HO trains and Marklin HO trains you obtain access to a vast range of purchasing options and repair opportunities.

Source by Mike Franklin

The Incredible History Of Athearn Model Trains

The Incredible History Of Athearn Model Trains

Irv Athearn started The Athearn Company along with his love for accumulating and building model trains in the year of 1938. He initially launched by building a big O scale setup at his parents residence of which in the end he marketed for a large ten thousand dollars. For this period that was in fact a whole lot of cash that also supplied him all the foresight and vision to produce the Athearn Company which would definitely be come his income for many a year to come.

By 1946 Irv had turned his hobby into a full on assembly and production team still working in the limited space of his mothers house. It was time to expand. He relocated to California 1948 with the release of the HO scale type model trains. Then followed the reefer kit providing customers with the fantastic convenience of pre built models, his keen business sense helped him realize this was what was in demand from his client base. Soon to follow was the very famous Ready To Roll model train kits which due to their high production quality and cheap pricing structure became the most popular amongst enthusiasts at the time.

Irv Athearn always manufactured model train products that were of the best quality and which provided the most value to his clients. Irv was able to stay at the top of his game once he had come up with prototypes for the very first locomotives to ever be built that had flywheels on the shaft. In 1991 Irv Athearn sadly passed away. Athearn Model Trains continued to grow after his death and eventually was bought out by Horizon Hobby Incorporated who are continuing to carry on the high standards which Irv Althearn worked so diligently to create during his lifetime.

Heavyweight Passenger, Streamlined Passenger, Warbonnet and Iron Horse are all train model types that the Athearn Company is very famous for releasing. Locomotives,Rolling Stock, Vehicles and Accessories all fall under the HO scale and wave been well produced by the Athearn Company. The very current model is the Genesis which now comes with Tsunami sound as well as DCC controllers from Sound Traxx. Some of the most sought after kits are the HO Ready To Roll type which because of their brilliant paint schemes, numbering decals,detailed air hoses, MU hoses and coupler lifting bars became popular amongst enthusiasts.

Very rarely do we get to earn a living from something we are passionate about like Irv Athearns did. With his mindset and company he set and produced a product of respected and high quality. These standards were set and still hold true in today’s model train industry. R.I.P Irv Athearn.

Source by Simon G Edwards

What’s so special about Bachmann model trains?

Bachmann model trains are widely known as some of the best in the model train community. Bachmann model trains have been in operation for many years and have therefore developed a great following amongst long time model train enthusiasts. It is for these reasons that Bachmann model trains remain popular and keep producing greater model trains in many different scales and for different sizes of track.

The Bachmann model trains company are now one of the largest in the model trains industry. They produce a range of fabulous model locomotives and trains, which is why they are so special. People from all aspects of the model train world love to use Bachmann model trains because they are great for beginners and highly experienced people alike.

It doesn’t matter if you are running an O scale train track or an N scale; you can find great trains and locomotives to place and run on your track. Not only that but these trains are some of the most detailed you can find from any manufacturer. The attention to detail is incredible, which is why they are so popular.

As you know, model train hobbyists are fanatical when it comes to the detail on their trains. They want everything to be perfect and resemble the original real life train exactly. This means it needs to be detailed down the finest point.

For experienced model train enthusiasts, the N scale from Bachmann model trains is perfect. Many of the most experienced model train enthusiasts wont use anything other that Bachmann model trains. They are known as some of the most accurate and detailed of all the model trains on the market today.

Bachmann model trains have a long recorded history of building high quality model trains. Some of their model trains are very expensive to buy but you can also find them at low prices.

One example of this is the HO scale. As you know, the HO is the most popular in the entire model train community. This is the scale that most people now use and it is still growing in popularity. Bachmann made a clever move by creating and building model trains for this scale. As such, now you can find a huge range of model trains in the HO scale.

This means that they are less expensive than those in the N scale or the larger O scale. It makes it more affordable for people to buy the Bachmann trains and this has also increased their attention in the market.

Model trains on the HO scales are perfect for people who don’t have the room for the larger scales. Not only this, but they still provide great detail without being too small. The HO scale can comfortably fit into most spare rooms, while also creating a very interesting track layout.

As the HO scale is so popular, Bachmann focused on this scale and created many lines of model trains for it. This led more people to know and appreciate Bachmann model trains, which obviously increased their popularity. This is one of the reasons that Bachmann model trains are so special today.

Source by Philip Redfearn