18 Things Only A Model Railway Enthusiast Will Understand – What’s Your Score?

10 Fun 10 Comments

things only a railway modeller will undetstandYou know you’re a model railway enthusiast when…

Let’s have a little fun. Run through these 18 things and award yourself one point for each you’ve done or do.

See how your score compares at the end.

1. You look at things in your house and immediately think of a use for them on the layout. They strangely disappear a few days later.

2. When your colleague at work offers you a sweet you dispatch the model train on the train track that you’ve set up between the desks to collect them. Hat tip to Mr Tim Dunn who gets 2 points just for being himself.

3. You can’t ride on a train without making mental notes of things to add to your layout.

4. You spend more than 20 minutes contemplating the right spot for a building on your layout, moving it millimetres at a time.

5. The kitchen sink isn’t dirty. It’s paint and glue from your brushes.

6. Your eBay watch list is full of locos in the hope they’ll go unnoticed and you’ll get them cheap. They never do.

7. You hurt your foot from stepping on something… It’s a track pin rather than Lego. Take two points for sympathy if you’ve done this.

8. Ssshhh! You’re quietly pleased when your significant other says they’re going out this evening. Train time! This, of course, never applies to me 😃

9. Even better… Your better half says you can “play with your trains” as they’re going out. (Minus one point if you don’t get the hoovering done too!

10. On a visit to a friend they take you to a station as a surprise. You regale them with precise details of who built it, when and the history of the lines that run to it. They just stare at you.

11. The toilet is blocked. It’s mod-roc plaster.

12. Sunday morning and you’re fishing through the hoover bag to find the little figure that got hoovered up by accident.

13. You find wagons in your pocket. At work….. I still get odd looks from the company restaurant manager since I tried to pay with for my cappuccino with £4.50 in coins and an N gauge GWR brake van.

14. It’s 2am. You can’t sleep. You’re working on your layout

15. You know more about the trains and rolling stock than the staff at your local station.

16. Your gin tastes odd because you’ve just put the paint brush in the wrong glass.

17. Gin, paints. Thinner?… Extra point if it’s Hendricks.

18. Out shopping with friends. You pass a model shop. 10 minutes they realise you’re not with them any more. Two points if they know you well enough to leave you there until they head to the pub.

So, did you beat my score? 19. Go on embarrass yourself 🙂


  1. Steven Hollands - December 6, 2016

    I never look at the wooden drinks stirrers in coffee shops without wondering what to use them for, other than the intended use. I always save mine afterwards, if only to use as paint stirrers, which is almost the correct use. I have also been left behind looking in model shops and the like, it’s just something I have always done.

    • Steven, I’m always tempted to ask if I can have the ground coffee beans. Once dried they make great ground cover 🙂 Model shops…. The shop of dreams…

      • Steven Hollands - December 9, 2016

        Andy, I re-use the small Roll-on Deordorant bottles, after cleaning out with warm water and of course removing the ball. I find they are the right size for having white spirit or other paint materials in, mostly for cleaning brushes. Once the top is screwed on there are no smells of solvents, or anything else.

        • Oh! I like the idea of using Deordorant bottles for paint mixing bottles etc. Inspired. Andy

          • Steven Hollands - December 30, 2016

            Another trick I use from time to time, is to use the old Aftershave Bottles that have the finger operated atomizer on the top. Once consumed, the screw top needs to be carefully removed, otherwise the glass bottle will shatter and the bottle washed out with plain luke-warm water. Thereafter, they are very good for spray application of water based / acrylic paints, obviously thinned to the viscosity of water or thereabouts and make useful applicators of weathering paints when a full air-brushing is a just too much. Wash out with water after each use and you’re done.Makes economic use of materials too.

          • You touch a raw nerve here Steve! I’ve long been looking for a misting sprayer (for ballasting and painting) and have given up trying to find one that produces a fine enough mist. In the end, I used a Aftershave spray but annoyingly the spray nozzle assembly was fixed to the bottle. I had to break the glass to get it off and cut my hand in the process. Now it works but the atomizer regularly slips off as it’s not fixed on. It would work great if I could find aftershave where the top unit just screws on and off. Grrrr! 🙂

  2. Eric Lackford - December 10, 2016

    Those wooden stirrers are invaluable so now my wife, mother in law and children save or collect them for me. Their uses are legion. I sharpen to odd one to a point and use it as a superglue dropper, you can really control how much you apply this way. As for the quiz, 16 or so.

    • Eric, 16 huh? I’ve got competition 🙂 Nice idea for a superglue spreader. That stuff’s a nightmare! Cheers, Andy

  3. My worst habit is going up into the loft (where my railway lives) for something totally irrelevant to the hobby but always giving into temptation & having a little tinker & wonder why the missus is shouting “what ya doing?” 30 mins later. Or…… I’ll go up to do a certain task on the build only to do something else completely different. ( I have numerous build tasks on the go)
    I find the little herb jars with holes in the lid great for scenic scatter especially the base stuff before the static grass.
    I have also used driveway gravel stones as walling + glued on the end of my tunnel portals & sprayed with silver/black mix to look old & weathered.

    • Hi Andy, I’m sure my wife will echo your comment. She’s stopped asking me to go up into the loft to get something – she knows I’ll disappear only to emerge found several hours having completely forgotten what she wanted but covered in paint, scatter material etc!
      I love the idea of using herb jars with holes in for scatter spreading! Thanks, Andy

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