18 Things Only A Model Railway Enthusiast Will Understand

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

For a little fun, award yourself one point for each one you’ve done.

1. When looking at things in your house you 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.

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. You rush to the get the morning post (so your significant other doesn’t spot you’ve spent more money on another train…)

7. You hurt your foot from stepping on something… It’s a track pin rather than Lego.

8. Shhh! 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. Remember to leave a few minutes spare at the end for hoovering!

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?…

18. Out shopping with friends. You pass a model shop. 10 minutes later they realise you’re not with them anymore. (They know you well enough to leave you there until they head to the pub).

How many did you score?

Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of modelrailwayengineer.com. He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon, eBay and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here. I also sell my my own ready to use, pre-made and painted buildings and terrain features. browse the range.
  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

      • Andy, I re-use the small Roll-on deodorant 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.

          • 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! 🙂

    • I use them as lumber loads.

      Cut them to the best length, make a layer for the bottom. Put a chunk of styrene or foam in the center, and then build up around, cutting some shorter “boards” for the ends where the center piece is, then a layer across the top. saves material. This technique can be used for loads of steel beams or what have you.

Add Comment

Required fields are marked *. Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.