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Make. Paint. Build: Hints, tips and advice for model train enthusiasts, model makers and miniaturists


Tales from my workbench, shows reports and build project updates for my models and model train layouts.

Making an animated outhouse

model railway animation, figure in an outhouse as door opens.
Time for a break. [...]

MRE still on track?

Word cloud graphic of what's covered on model railway
Every so often I review MRE and check it's still on track. [...]

The six must-have Dremel Bits & accessories for model train enthusiasts

Dremel model railway
Enhance your model train railway with these six essential Dremel accessories. [...]

Taking a new tool for a spin

Parkside desktop disc sander
When old and cherished hand tools meet the ease, speed and convenience of a modern power tool. [...]

The gimlet hand-tool, what is it and why you need one

Photo of a wooden handled gimlet
Another of my occasional posts on old-hand tools, this time the gimlet. What is it, why they're so useful and why I use them. [...]

Keeping your shed, cabin, garage warm in Winter

new log cabin
Model railway or workshop in a garage or shed? Live in the Northern Hemisphere? Here's what you need to do to protect your layout and trains in the cold winter [...]

Making miniature pumpkins

Miniature pumpkins
Possibly one of the cutest miniatures I've made. [...]

Covid brings about a new man-cave

Time for a new home... Again.... [...]

Modelling a smithy, exhibition layout

Photo of OO gauge blacksmiths
With the goods shed almost complete, I've moved onto to the smithy. [...]

Where do most people keep their model railway

Thinking about building a model railway and wondering where to put it? Here's where other modellers keep theirs. [...]

I didn’t mean to do that

spilt fluid
How working on the model river lead to flooding one of my points with masking fluid! [...]

Mission impossible: The impossible railway

I've seen some bonkers model railways over the years but nothing compares to this. [...]

A quick & proven method for making modelling putty / paste

making your own model paste
Just a quick and proven tip to making your own modelling putty when you need to fill a hole on a model or miniature and have run out of, or can't get, your [...]

The scratch awl and its uses

Scratch awl, what are they
For reasons I can't explain, I love old tools and one of my favourites in my tool box is the scratch awl. [...]

A moving waterwheel

My exhibition layout will feature a mill with turning waterwheel. This article explains the simple electrics behind this. [...]

How to create convincing corners with Plasticard

how to make plasticard corners
Plasticard, aka Styrene sheet, is a great material for making buildings but just gluing sheets together can leave you with ugly corners. This article looks at [...]

A present to myself

wooden tool box
I don't smoke. Or take drugs. And I only drink moderately. What I do have a weakness for is... [...]

It’s a Grand Design

grand designs kevin mccloud
I'm not going to spoil this by saying anything, if you're a fan of Channel 4's Grand Design, Kevin McCloud and models just watch. [...]

Brunel: 4 Talents Shared By Modellers

Isambard Kingdom Brunel is a personal hero of mine, an inspiration behind many of my models and one of two patron saints of ModelRailwayEngineer. [...]

Update: a move and new space for train tinkering

The loft of our new home
For a good reason posts have been lacking here recently but with a little luck that will change after Christmas. [...]