Not just trains: cars, vans and boats for model railways

5 Intermediate 5 Comments

scale car for model railwayWant a car for your OO gauge level crossing? A fishing boat for your N scale harbour? A cycle outside the signal box? Who wouldn’t.

Many layouts have a level crossing but what about cars and vans waiting at the gates for the train to pass? Or perhaps a car parked alongside a railway line with children and parents waving at the passing train?

Such small touches add realism to your layout but in the past good quality cars, vans and lorries for railways haven’t been that easy to get.

Thankfully like trains, the quality of Die-cast vehicles — to name just one manufacturing technique — has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and there are now some wonderful OO and N scale model cars, lorries and boats available.

Here are my favourites.

OO & N Scale Cars, Vans and Lorries

If your idea of model cars is the smashed up Matchbox toys we had as kids think again.

Take a look at Oxford Diecast, the detailing on their N and OO scale models are simply stunning.

Just take a closer look at the photo above of Network Rail Land Rover Defender that I picked up recently. Windscreen wipers, tread on the tires and even the indicators and license plate and all at N scale!

Wow!

They’re a perfect complement to the locomotives we have running around our track.

The Oxford Diecast range is available from most model railway dealers or here for OO 1:76 scale or here for N 1:148 scale.

Model Boats & Water Craft

rowing boatsIf you’ve read my blog for a while you’ll know I have a thing about rivers and canals. So I was more than a little pleased then when I found the Langley Models range of N scale boats and the Craftline Models OO scale collection of narrow boats.

Langley Models also do a delightful range of OO 1/76th scale rowing boats, fishing trawlers (ideal for a harbour scene), sailing yachts and ferries.

Cycles

Cycles bring an extra touch of realism to a layout. A a cycle parking facility at a busy station or the signalman’s bike leaning against a wall of a signal box add a delightful touch to your layout. 

And luckily Hornby do a nice OO scale model while Langley Models have a nice range of N scale bikes ( scroll down the page on the Langley site).

Anything else?

What have I missed? Are there any other types vehicles you want for your model railway but can’t find. Drop a comment below and I’ll do my best to find them.



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  1. I am currently working on my clubs kids layout and am animating a number of road vehicles. So far we have a fire engine and police cars with flashing blue lights, a helicopter with roating blades and some construction vehicles which will move back and forth. One item that I have not yet been able to source is a tipper truck that actually tips. I can make the mechanism to make it operate but need the basic model in HO scale. Any ideas?

    • Oh, that’s a good idea. I’ve certainly seem them on other layouts so they should be available. I’ll have a talk to various manufacturers and let you know.

    • Hi Neil, I think I’ve found one:

      http://mre.one/hotipper

      It’s an HO scale Caterpillar truck with tipping dump box. Appears to have great detailing too. I’d love to see pictures or video if you do get it motorised and with lights!

      Regards, Andy.

      • Its a great model but unfortunately would not match the era of the rest of the layout. Most of the existing vehicles are 1960s models. Thanks for looking.

        • Ah, you didn’t mention era. I’ll have a look around for something more suited to the 1960s.

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