How they do it: Sunday Scribbles on baseboard inclines, track, modelling tips and more for your mental toolkit

Want to build a better railway? Whatever your level of model railway building this week’s Sunday Scribbles has something for you with five quick tips from experienced modellers spanning track work, model making and baseboard inclines.

Basic Beginner Tips

(scroll down for intermediate and advanced model railway building tips).

After you’ve got a Hornby starter set you’ll quickly want to expand your layout. Getting a Hornby track extension pack is the what most people do but there’s another alternative: Peco.

This quick five minute overview from Youtuber Calvertfilm reveals the differences.

If you’ve added track, either Hornby or Peco, you may then need to add extra power to your track. Once again Calvertfilm shows how to solve this problem with a little known Hornby product.

These track link clips are available here if you needed.

Intermediate Tips

If you’ve got a medium to large model railway and are having conductivity issues, and who doesn’t at some point?, this will light up your day (pardon the pun).

On the subject of large layouts, my next layout – covering Southern England – will be huge and also feature a dizzying number of inclines. I’ve been looking for ways of making these and came across this unusual idea from John Mellor.

This Everbuild EVFF5 Fill and Fix seems a good option for this and I’d be interested to hear any thoughts.

Ideas For Experienced Builders

For the experienced modeler, with the track and core scenery built, a lot of time can be spent on models. While kits from Ratio etc make things much easier getting these kits to look realistic often requires time consuming work.

This quick tip from  solves one of these problems — creating a realistic mortar look on brick and stone walls.


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While over on Instagram, why not follow me. I post photos of layouts I see on my travels. I’m at

Until next time…

Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of 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.
    • That’s a good point Andy! If you take a look at the video on YouTube ( ) there are comments that explain this: it clears gunk off the track, can help with lubrication amongst other things. Give it a go, the trains ran a lot better on some of my track after I used it.

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