Seeing how others conduct their operations, and their session is a valuable learning tool. Visit the Burnt Hills and Big Flats railroad for some great ideas and examples.
The Burnt Hills and Big Flats Ops Site
Steve Prevette’s layout is a great layout in its own right. Beyond that he’s made it a great example of how to operate also. Of more importance, I think, is his willingness to share his operating information online.
His site (listed in the Resources section below) shows thoughtfulness and planning. There’s overviews, details and instructions and in all it is an excellent site to see how things “should, and “can” be done for a layout large or small.
I hope that you enjoy reading the information presented by Steve as much as I have.
Interested in keeping in touch or discussing posts, pages and ideas? Connect with us on the Andrew’s Trains page on Facebook
It’s not often that you get to see internal (in-plant) company railway operations today. Thankfully “Saginaw Terminal Docks” (Facebook and YouTube) posted a video from Reid Machinery in Lansing, Mi showing how they use old freight cars to store valuable machinery on their site prior to sale.
Reid Machinery’s internal railroad
Reid Machinery Inc of Lansing Michigan have specialised in moving machinery, primarily in the forging industry, throughout North America since 1992. And while that may not seem like the most worthy thing to write about on the third Tuesday in July – I urge you to hang around a moment longer. You see they also hold their large (as in big – not lots of) inventory on and in their own railroad assets.
Yes – they have their own switching layout.
Thanks to Saginaw Terminal Docks we have a front row seat, and a cab ride on one of these switching moves. I asked him about connections to the rest of the world. He tells me that the in-plant line connects to the JAIL/Adrian & Blissfield on over a mile of old track through Lansing’s south side.
And this is so modellable…
Some of the things to watch out for in the video are:
- The three person crew (Engineer, conductor, and digger – and yes it’s a guy with a shovel)
- Slow switching speeds
- At around the 18 minute mark – opening the boxcar door with the forklift forks (we often model the result but the actual operation is rarely filmed)
So sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy the show.
I’m always looking for better techniques to model rust weathering. This video comes courtesy of a post I found on the MRH website by YouTuber MarklinofSweden. He shows how to create a realistic corrosion effect very simply. Take a look at the video I’m sure you’ll be impressed.
Modelling realistic rust
Got another technique that works for you? Please share it with me and if you found this post useful please like and comment. I’m really interested in what you’re up to with your weathering journey.
This video came to my notice thanks to a post on the Australian Model Railway Magazine’s (AMRM) Facebook account. And while not Australian in any way shape or form, Geoff Taylor’s Barmouth Junction layout is a visually stunning model.
Well worth the time to travel over the line and listen to it’s creator tell you about the layout. It’s a masterpiece and while not a small layout it is so well modelled and I imagine it is just as good to operate on that I wanted to share it with you.
Well done Geoff and the thanks also to British Railway Modelling (BRM) magazine for showing us the layout.
A new gallery has been posted covering a very unique piece of UP M.O.W equipment I found back in 2000 on Austin’s Bergstrom Lead. This comes about because of a post on the MRH website where member cr9617 is modelling one in HO scale.
Not something that you see every day
Maintenance of Way equipment is a fascinating field of study and I was very pleased, as well as lucky, to have caught this piece of equipment on the Bergstrom Lead back in 2000. (It is hard to believe that these digital images are almost 20 years old as I write this – where has the time gone?)
To view the gallery click here, or use the menu and hover on the Galleries > USA > Austin, Texas, Pyke Brush Cutter and click the last pop-out. Enjoy and leave a comment if you can.
I enjoy going down the rabbit hole that is YouTube, on occasion, just to see what there is to find.
Recently I came across Marty’s Matchbox Makeovers where Marty (obviously) reworks classic Matchbox vehicles, bringing them back to their showroom best. In a couple of recent videos he’s increased my knowledge on two topics that have been on my ‘get to know about‘ list:
- The use of Brake Fluid (which I’ve always wanted to try but had been afraid of using) to take hard to remove paint off a model (in this video uses it on a clear plastic piece) and provides a fair bit of information on the types of brake fluid (who knew there was more than one – I’m no car guy…), and
- Polishing clear plastic parts using Aluminium Paste, and in the same video he showcases a silver rattle-can paint, available from our local car parts stores here in “Straya’, that gives an outstanding finish that I have a use for in the near future.
If you’ve ever wanted to know how to use these interesting techniques I can recommend Marty’s videos. He achieves great outcomes with commonly available products (if you’re not in ‘Straya’ then you’ll have something similar available. Enjoy watching and talk to you all soon.
I enjoy scratchbuilding. It’s a mental as much as engineering or artistic endeavour. I recently found the site highlighted today and just had to share this for those of you unsure how to begin or for those who’ve begun but need along their scratchbuilding journey.
While this site deals with cars, and car related projects, the series of tutorials provide a great set of skills totally applicable to all modellers.
It includes extensive styrene tutorials in both flat and curved surface projects and there’s another outstanding tutorial on a project in brass. And this guy knows his scratchbuilding business.
There are downloadable templates, lists of tools and supplies to complete the model; in all a very comprehensive site and full of ideas for those of us interested in bettering our scratchbuilding skills. I learned a lot from reading all the tutorials.
Imagine an industrial 7mm narrow and standard gauge model railway with radio controlled crane and lorries. Then look at a great video and see it in action.
Built by a group of four during a three-month period for a club exhibition. This layout is in 7mm scale and uses both 16.5mm (3.5mm HO standard gauge) and 32mm (7mm O scale gauge) track. Scenic area is only 2’2” x 6’, with an overall size of 2’2” x 9’ including fiddle yard.
Of particular note are the working features of the layout including:
- standard and narrow gauge trains
- working gantry crane, and
- radio controlled lorries
The gantry crane had apparently been on another layout and manually controlled. When moved to the yard it was converted to radio control. The lorries, which I believe are the work of Mr Giles Favell, (see the resources section below for more) were in use on other layouts. The rolling stock came from other layouts also.
Control of trains is by DCC, while point control uses MERG canbus.
See more about the wonders of Giles Favell’s radio control 7mm scale lorries and his layouts at:
We moved back to Australia in 2006. So, I have to live through others when they visit David Barrow in Austin Texas, my wife’s hometown, and where we spent 10 years from 1997. Trevor Marshall visited recently and came away with a great post on the man and his layouts – including his new small (comparatively speaking) O scale layout which really piqued my interest.
David Barrow’s layouts
Hi – my name is Andrew – and I’m a David Barrow fan boy tragic…
I first remember reading about David Barrow’s Cat Mountain and Santa Fé layout in the 1980s in Model Railroader magazine. As a young man, dreaming about my large future model railway plans, David’s layouts (there were at my last count about 17 versions of the Cat Mountain) were my ideal. While I dream of those massive layouts still I took another path to small layout designs.
Recently David Barrow has followed down that rabbit hole, this time in O scale, with a new layout. You can read more about that in the second link below by Trevor Marshall.
David’s layout design and presentation skills are unique in the hobby. Not to everyone’s taste I’ll grant, yet having seen and operated on the layout once in 2005, I did not notice its minimal scenic treatment. I was too interested in the operational side of things.
Image 1: Davids Barrow’s entire O Scale layout – battery-powered and operated by radio
Once again the layout design is the centre of attention and the scenic treatment is classic David Barrow – minimalist. However, you can use the design and then scenic it to your heart’s content. Hmmm – now let me see – I have 3 boards in the garage on which that layout design would fit perfectly…
You can out more on this layout in the Model Railroad Planning 2018 publication from Kalmbach.
I admire modellers who can get to the meat of a project, quickly and with vigour. Gazmanjack (Gary) on RMWeb used second-hand track, wood and other parts from his modelling left-overs to create a stunningly good small layout for operations. Read on for more.
Linden Ford – the second-hand layout
Gazmanjack (his handle on RMWeb) back in 2014 built an outstanding layout from left over bits and pieces, as an adjunct to his current layout, to give himself something to operate on during the other layout’s longer build. I’ve only just found it and wanted to share the forum post with you.
And what a cracker this layout is. I won’t go into too much detail here, as I think the adage of a picture telling a thousand words is true on this occasion. There is plenty of information in the post too on the build including scenery, tree armatures, and so on.
Image 1: Linden Ford – an outstanding small Inglenook layout
I hope that you find inspiration in the post. So much with so little that turned out so well. Well done Gary!