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September 2015

Model Railroader has been the leading model train magazine for the past 75 years.  Each month, we bring you step-by-step modeling projects, fascinating photo tours of model train layouts, unbiased product reviews, new product announcements, tips from the experts and much more!

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Scratchbuild with help from 3-D printing

Eric White combined 3-D printing and traditional scratchbuilding techniques to build a portion of a former Pennsylvania RR freight house that once stood in South Philadelphia. In this article, Eric explains how he combined the techniques.

Instead of paint, carpet your fascia

Most modelers want to add fascia paneling along the benchwork edges as soon as it’s practical during layout construction. It provides a mounting surface for toggle switches and other controls, plus it looks like progress is being made as the layout is still being built. Typically, the fascia is painted. However, Allen McClelland carpeted the fascia on his Virginian & Ohio RR.

American history on an N scale diorama

Since re-entering the hobby nearly 20 years ago, I’ve constructed two N scale layouts. My first, a 3 x 4-foot 19th century model railroad, was featured in the March/April 2003 N-Scale magazine. The second was a 7 x 36-foot steam-to-diesel transition era layout featured in the May 2011 Model Railroader. When I started work on my latest project, a 34 x 52-inch diorama, I turned the clock back to the American Civil War.

How to model boxcar lading debris


30 years of the Great Lakes & Western

With its 800 feet of main line track regularly hosting freight and passenger traffic, the HO scale Great Lakes & Western is a tribute to the club members who maintain and operate it. The Los Angeles Model RR Society has members ranging in age from teenagers to senior citizens, all with a wide variety of modeling interests. This group not only keeps trains running on the GL&W, but also continues to enhance and update the sprawling model railroad.

Big sky, little trouble

There are almost as many ways to make a layout backdrop as there are model railroaders. From rolling-on paint to rolled aluminum sheeting, the techniques are many and varied. Gerry Leone used an airless sprayer and some common drywall installation techniques to make backdrops for his Bona Vista RR layout.

Add DCC and sound to a turntable

My HO scale Virginia & Western, featured in the May 2008 issue of Model Railroader, is complete. Of course, a model railroad is never really finished. With the major work done, I had time to focus on improving specific aspects of the layout. One of those projects was the turntable at Michaelson Yard on my freelanced layout. With a bit of work, I was able to turn this direct-current model into a smooth running, easy-to-index turntable with realistic electric motor sounds.


On the Web
From the Editor
Information Desk

Elegant terminals once welcomed passengers at their destinations


Specialized couplers for special jobs

Step by Step

How to model an enginehouse - Part 2

DCC Corner

Thinking about going wireless?

Trackside Photos

Featured layouts from your fellow model railroaders

Trains of Thought

Entertaining yard operations

Index of Advertisers
The Operators

Another look at yard limits

Great Scenery Tips

Great Scenery Tips

Realistic creeks and streams.

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