Tag Archives: seeing

Site Seeing – 29 June – A new series from Model Railroader – Taking Care of Business

I’ve been quite hard on model railroader over the years. They’ve been very predatory in their behaviour over the years. I even got a cease and desist letter from them at one point because they thought I’d copied part of their intellectual property when I published a corner layout of my design. After to-ing and fro-ing and a level of “kiss my A##” from me since I was in the right, we’ve gotten along well ever since.

However, I may, and I stress only may, change my point of view if they keep up their new free to watch video venture – Taking Care of business. The basis of the idea is to ride along with a crew (in this video SMS Lines switching the Pureland Industrial Park in Bridgeport, New Jersey) as they go about their day-to-day work. The video was entertaining and informative. My concern is that if it doesn’t stay free I certainly won’t be putting up my money to pay for it. Lots of content providers share similar videos on YouTube and other sharing sites that help me understand as much.

Free is good as in beer, and speech. Hopefully MR keeps this series going as free to watch. There is some really interesting content, good production values and I enjoyed the narrative of the story showing the crew going about all of their tasks during their day.


  • Video: To watch the video (while it is still free) head over to Taking Care of Business: SMS Rail Lines | ModelRailroaderVideoPlus.com
  • SMS Rail Lines: SMS Rail Lines restores, maintains and operates many historic Baldwin diesel locomotives (in fact I believe they have the largest fleet of Classic Baldwin’s in North America). It’s a labor of love to keep these rare and historic units in-service for future generations to witness. For more just search “SMS Baldwin” on YouTube.

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Site Seeing – May 25 – MRH Universal modelling sizes chart

If you have not become a reader and participant with the crew over at Model Railroad Hobbyist, now is certainly the time to do so. IN the current issue (May 2017) of their free online magazine they have great download: a universal modelling sizes chart.

Has all the major gauges in the chart in both PDF and Excel format free for download.

Go here for the download page.

Enjoy and have a great day.

October 31 – A very big thank you to all

It’s been a long road, with many changes since the original Andrew’s Trains site hosted by FotoPic went under. With files lost, and images gone, and an audience to rebuild it seemed a big hill to climb. After some time I’d gotten the HVL website (www.huntervalleylines.com) established, files and images uploaded and people coming back to visit and a lot of good press going.

Then change rolled around again and before I knew it the hosting company no longer supported my prefered image and blogging packages. With the loss of that support all the content I had worked so hard to upload, discuss and write about was gone.

In 2013 I made the move to the WordPress free version. It was a hard decision to start again for the third time but it seems that it was ‘the charm’. Sometime yesterday a visitor dropped in and viewed the site and helped to double the stats from 2015.

When I started this blog in 2013 I did so very quietly, to get my feet under me while I began transferring data across. 2014 was quiet again as I got used to the platform and my direction.

2015 was the year that things really took off. I had more time to work on the site and the content (though sadly I’ve been grossly under employed since this time in 2014 after being laid off).

2016 has made me very glad to have stuck with it, to get it done and rebuild. With more time to develop the content (the upside of being laid off) and less spent on the mechanics of the site, projects coming out of mothballs with the freeing up of a little money over the next 6 months, I look forward to what I can give back to you.

Site stats to October 31 2016

I’m a one man band. There are times when I just don’t have the energy or the time to post. Sometimes there is too much to post. I’ve done the best I can to make it all work. Thanks for being willing to come along for the ride. Small layouts are my thing. I enjoy the fact that they are easy to build, take up little space and allow you to operate when and where you are able.

In summary I just wanted to say thank you for your ongoing support, suggestions and comments. I love model railways, and small layouts in general. Mostly I like my fellow modellers who share their dreams, their schemes and even their memes about railway modelling.

All the best, and for those who like my family are Northern hemispherically influenced, Happy Halloween.

Site seeing – June 19, 2016 – The big city edition

Today’s site is a masterpiece. No more hyperbole, so let’s get straight to it.

Site 1: Industrial switching layout – City Limits

While the site is in French, using Google translate allowed me to get a better understanding of the content. Visually I find this layout a stunning, well thought out and executed ISL. I hope that you enjoy it too.

Site 2: YouTube – City Limits

Site 3: YouTube – City Limits 2

Site Seeing – June 17, 2016 – The Tutorials edition

My son Ewan got into Warhammer 40K 3 years ago, and while he has been slow to pick the game up we’ve worked together to complete the models and getting them ready for paint.

Among the things I’ve noticed is that gamers are great scratchbuilders. So today I have four outstanding tutorials for you to look at – all from the same site.

Site 1: Rob Hawkins’ Hobby Blog – Making Crates

A highly creative way to make light and sturdy crates of just about any size, using pink foam (or any foam you can get your hands on). A great tutorial on how to and why to make crates Rob’s way.

Site 2: Rob Hawkins’ Hobby Blog – Pipes

It is amazing what Rob can come up with. I’d not thought to use this technique to model the pipes so often associated with our model railroads. Another great tutorial  and relatively cheap to boot compared to some of the pipe kits I’ve seen available.

Site 3: Rob Hawkins’ Hobby Blog – Stairs

Another simple to do, but hard to imagine (at least for me) tutorial on how to make stairs. With a full step by step style Rob takes you through a start to finish on how to custom make and fit the stairs for the model.

Site 4: Rob Hawkins’ Hobby Blog – Flagstone Street

An innovative use for what normally I’d struggle to use, thick cardboard. What a great idea it turns out to be. I’m looking forward to using this on some new dioramas I have in mind and for a new layout idea I have in mind.

Site 5: Rob Hawkins’ Hobby Blog – Cornfield

This tutorial is a two-for, that is you get to learn how to make stone walls and assorted stone wall pieces and you get to model the corn field. Once again some really interesting techniques and outcomes. Highly useful for those of us modelling anywhere in the midwest, or even Texas.

Site seeing – March 13 – the Under the Wire, but not over the hump edition

I am big time into electric traction. Having grown up in Sydney’s west during the reign of the famous (or infamous depending on your point of view) Red-Rattlers it was a privilege to witness the double-deck trailer introduction and the total takeover of the network by Double-Deck Suburban and Interurban sets. Of course having an uncle who drove on the Sydney passenger network helped in this love of ‘sparks’.

Recently I realised a dream when I became a member of our local tramway museum (the Ballarat Tramway Museum). I’d love to be able to drive for the museum, before that happens however I have to become a conductor and be passed medically fit. I’ve finished my conductor training. This means that I’m an assistant Conductor, able to work under another conductor’s supervision. I did that during this weekend’s annual Ballarat Begonia festival.

A couple of photos from the day I’ve posted below:

#616 heading for Gardens Loop on an outbound run on Sunday 13/03/2016
#616 heading for Gardens Loop on an outbound run on Sunday 13/03/2016
Depot roads 2 and 3 with #13 on the right and restaurant tram # 939 on 13/03/2016
Depot roads 2 and 3 with #13 on the right and restaurant tram # 939 on 13/03/2016
My good self as Assistant Conductor 13 March 2016 - Ballarat Tramway
My good self as Assistant Conductor 13 March 2016 – Ballarat Tramway

You can visit the Ballarat Tramway gallery page for more from the Begonia weekend and I’ll be adding more over time as I find them in my archives.

Like this post and comment if you find it useful or would like further information; if you’ve not already subscribed to keep up to date you can do so now using the link at the top of the post.

Site seeing – March 08 – The making it aged edition

As the author makes note of on his website: “Styrene when used to represent wood in the model world eliminates the limitations of wood. Wood has its own grain and color. Styrene is a blank palette which can be manipulated“. I agree with his sentiment wholeheartedly.

Site 1: Making styrene look like aged wood

This great tutorial shows you how to use plastic card to simulate wood in many ways. It’s a great tutorial and worth the time to read.

Site seeing – March 06 – the Lumberjack edition

They’re something that we’ve all seen, and make the models we build better for being in the background to provide a place anchor or the foreground as a load. But making them is not as simple as it seems. Today’s site may well change all of that.

Site 1: Making Logs

When the author needed to make logs for cribbing on his layout he decided not to whip out to the backyard and take his chances he decided to go the route of scratchbuilding. Follow along on this simple (and simply amazing) tutorial and build yourself a log or 50.

Site seeing – February 25 (It’s the Southern Pacific edition)

My long-suffering, patient and very lovely wife of many years is from the Lone Star state. My first train experience in Texas was in late 1997 just after arriving in the US. After pulling into a little gas and go station to get a soft-drink (soda) for each of us and something for the car on Airport Boulevard near Highland Mall.

While sitting in the car after filling her up, the Longhorn RR’s GP9 pulled up right behind the store (the little gas station is gone now, but it sat between the rail line and Airport Blvd), the crew got off and bought themselves a soda before remounting and chugging off up the line back toward the yard at McNeil.

It is not a bad way to be introduced to North American Shortline railroading. Being less than 10 feet away from the loco and it’s train was mesmerizing. I think the crew even waved as they walked by. I do however digress, onto today’s site of interest.

Site 1: The Texas and New Orleans, Southern Pacific Railroad slide show

The Southern Pacific gobbled up a lot of other railroads in its time, before being consumed itself in 1997 by the UP. Among the most interesting legacies of the constituent railroads were the station and depot buildings whose architectures varied widely, depending on the local flavour. Among my favourite SP depots is the San Antonio depot. While not shown in this set I have some colour photos of the San Antonio depot during an open day showing the stunning stained glass window above the depot stairs leading up to the first floor. A wonderful Spanish Mission style depot it is only one of the eclectic mix shown in the set above.

There’s more than just depots and other buildings in this lot though; there are also lots of locomotive pictures, location pictures and more, and the most of them are in glorious black and white. I hope that you enjoy.

Site seeing – March 5

It’s O scale day! And today there are resources everywhere.

One of the best modellers out there today, in O scale, is Mike Cougill. Mike’s been a railroad modeller for over 40 years and been actively involved in the hobby press for a long time. Mike’s written magazine articles, a regular column and been the editor of O Scale Trains Magazine before starting a new company, OST Publications. Mike’s partner in the new business  passed away in 2013 and he’s run the company since.

Site 1: OST Publications

The aspect of OST Publications (link here) approach that I like most is a focus on doing great work, and thinking things through to yourself as a modeller. I have no interest in any of the sites that I bring up while ‘Site seeing’ except as a participant, or satisfied customer.

Among the best areas of the site are the free downloads. I’ve since bought a couple of his ‘Missing conversation’ series e-books and I just saw another one on scratchbuilding that I’m going to buy tonight once I’ve finished writing this post.

Site 2: Proto48 Modeller

More of a resource centre for those modelling in Proto48 (finescale 1/48th O Scale) I like the site’s approach to sharing information on manufacturers and, suppliers and publishers that are specific to Proto48. I am simply too lazy to model to this level, however, I do like to see the skills of others and to gain ideas from them about how to make my modelling more acceptable to me.

There are a lot of resources here, along with articles and lots of links. Enjoy


OST Publications

  • Detailing Track – Techniques For Modeling Prototypical Looking Track (Link)
  • The free guides – special editions of ‘The Missing Conversation’ eBooks (Link)

Proto48 Modeler

  • Articles and Tips (Link)
  • A condensed eBook by Mike Cougill (PDF for download) (link)