General Research: The internet is a great place to get inspiration but also a minefield of data which is fine for those who know what to look for but can be frustrating if you are new to the hobby. In this section we look at how best to find meaningful information.
Location and Budget: Take the time to think clearly about what you would like to achieve and what you can practically afford and remember you don’t need to purchase everything all at once. This section takes a practical look at planning before purchase.
Room Preparation: Once you’ve decided where to build its important to make sure that it’s a good environment to work in and we list some of the pros and cons and turn a cluttered office into a railway room.
Choosing a Theme: The age of steam or modern high speed rail, in this section we take a look at the LMS steam era we have chosen for this layout. Regardless of network choice or model railway gauge, planning and building principles in general remain the same.
Layout Design: It’s your hobby and you can do whatever makes you happy, however – layout design is part of the enjoyment of planning your miniature world – and planning will definitely safe time, money and many headaches. In this section we look at methods commonly used to help plan the layout before any purchases are made.
Running Operation and Wiring: Having created your layout plans we look at the need to make sure that trains will operate correctly and that power supply will be where it’s needed. This important section highlights the need for close examination of the layouts electrics.
Choosing Track, Trains and Rolling Stock: With so many products on the market, choosing a period theme will narrow down the choices, but what should we be looking for in particular. With many used or second-hand locomotives on the market the buyer needs to be aware of pitfalls that can arise from using incompatible products together.
Baseboard Materials and Construction: The very foundation of your model world and it’s important to get it right first time. Planning ahead will pay dividends as you take into account possible positioning of points and turntables where under board joists may cause problems.
Finishing Preparation of Baseboards with Scenic Material: We take a look at scenic preparation before track laying commences. In this section we pre-ballast the boards after an initial layer of cork sheeting is glued to the baseboard surfaces.
Initial Track Laying and Testing: We look at various issues the unsuspecting modeller can encounter when the planned layout does not quite operate as well as you had hoped – testing ahead of permanent track laying is the key.
Wiring and Power Control: DC or DCC Systems. You’ll be glad you took the time to draw up your electrical plans – here we take a look at various electrical components that can help you make some important decisions before committing to one product over another.
Buildings and Accessories: See the railway come to life as we look at the various methods used to create stations, engine sheds, bridges, tunnels and goods yards. Here we look at both plastic and card kits and scratch building.
Scenery: A model railway is not complete without it and there are some great products to help you. In this section we look at how to make everything from wagon loads, hillsides, backboard scenes and rivers.
Maintenance: A final word on looking after your layout.