Is model train building an expensive hobby


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Is model train building an expensive hobby

  1. 1. I s Mo d e l T r a i n Bu i l d i n g a n Ex p e n s i v e Ho b b y ?
  2. 2. The model rail building hobby is an interesting one, full of variations and themes, with lots of scope for personalization. Whether you just want to see a train go round and round on an oval track, or model a busy yard, there are three things that you will need to spend money on:
  3. 3. Locomotives and rolling stock; Scenery and buildings; Tracks and electrics.
  4. 4. For each of these, there tends to be an expensive and a cheaper way to achieve the desired results - rolling stock from many manufacturers comes in 'hobby' or 'professional' finishes, for example.
  5. 5. Before buying anything, it's important to research the available material; the hobby is fraught with compromise, and that often extends to choosing cheaper locomotives and rolling stock that might not be finished to the same standard as more expensive stock. However, with a bit of time and skill (which increases over time!) the cheaper stock can often be modified so that it looks as good as the high end models. The same goes for scenery and buildings; often there are expensive, painted and finished models which are much more expensive than unpainted models that have to be assembled and painted before they can be used on the model rail layout.
  6. 6. There are also several manufacturers of track, who usually divide their ranges into: Finescale - as the name suggests, fine modelling, close to reality; Set track - cheaper, less realistic, set pieces.
  7. 7. Here again, set track can usually be modified with some care to look as good as the finescale track. This usually requires removing sleepers, changing the spacing between them, and painting, weathering (making them look old) and finally sanding them.
  8. 8. Scratch building is another way to save money - and there are many materials to choose from. From card to plastic, metal and polystyrene, most materials can be glued, painted or slotted together to make anything from trucks and locomotive bodies to buildings and hills. Rolling stock can be scratch built by buying in the chassis, and then building on top of it, and even more money can be saved by reusing the chassis for multiple models.
  9. 9. Look for Household Alternatives to Expensive Items Finally, there are many household objects (such as empty bottles and tubes, and lids) which can be used to make all manner of railway related objects. The internet is full of groups dedicated to reusing everyday materials in model building, and all it takes is a little care and attention. A top tip to close on - buy the various model train and railway magazines, not every month, but fairly regularly, and become familiar with the model building techniques, suppliers, and innovations. These magazines are a gold mine for those who want to control their budget by using innovative ways to create their dream model rail layout.
  10. 10. Resources: